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Can You Help a 78 year Old Man Choose His 80th Birthday Present?!

A few weeks ago, an old friend, client and supporter of our company for many years, contacted me and told me he wanted to order himself an 80th birthday present for himself,   he had worked hard all his life and deserved the treat! The only problem was he didn't know what he wanted most, a 28g shotgun or a small bore single shot rifle use on his ranch in Texas. Of course he needs neither, it is just a desire to have something bespoke made as a treat for oneself as he reaches the 80th year, something to look forward to receiving 'on the day' .

Westley Richards 28g or Single Shot? (1 of 2)

We make, on a quite regular basis, the 28g hand detachable lock shotgun, it is a very popular gauge and one that I am particularly found with, the size, scale and handling is superb if I say so myself! The single shot rifle is something we have never actually made under my tenure here, I have always wanted to, but have never actually pushed the 'go' button, there were other projects taking up the R&R budget or whatever!

I decided in the end to photograph the two possible choices together and send them to him, ones that I had in safe and that were not examples of what he may have wanted but would invite comment. I suggested that I should put them on The Explora for a vote of confidence and see what the people say, he agreed, so here they are!

A single shot vintage Westley Richards rifle in .360 which is a larger frame than we would want but can be scaled down and made hand detachable lock, together with one of the favourite 28g hand detachable lock guns we have made over the years.

I look forward to hearing the advice our readers can give! Single or Double?!

Westley Richards 28g or Single Shot? (2 of 2)


  • Tim Wilkes on May 12, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Simon, I believe there is only one sane conclusion to your chums dilemma. He has reached an impressive milestone in his life. He deserves both for his birthday!

  • Stuart Richards on May 12, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I don’t mean to intrude on your article with my biased opinions boss, but it’s been on my wish list to build a true best quality Westley Richards rook rifle since I started at the company. So fingers are crossed and files are at the ready.

    • Simon Clode on May 12, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      A very good reply! I think that with the desire and wish of our team of gunmakers to make the rifle, it will have a big influence on the decision!

      Perhaps I will have one for my 70th!

  • paul on May 12, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    start building that single shot ASAP and in a classic rimmed cartridge,,, there are enough 28 gauge shotguns in this world!!!!....paul

  • Neil McVeigh on May 13, 2016 at 8:16 am

    I agree with Tim.There is only one thing better than a new WR gun and thats two new WR guns.You can't take it with you so enjoy life to the full!

  • Clive Newman on May 13, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I agree with Tim and Neil,don't think about it you got have them both enjoy.

    • Simon Clode on May 13, 2016 at 11:36 am

      Thank you all for the advice but I think you are all taking the easy route! Of course both, but lets say the budget and time frame allows only one or other!!


  • steven nash on May 13, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I'm for the rifle. I've no idea what a Texan ranch has on it but I would imagine to use the shotgun you would be needing to walk with dogs, whereas to use the rifle you could be in one place patiently waiting or at least moving more slowly. At the age of 80 I know what I would prefer and at least if nothing came into range one could look at ones present as opposed to constantly looking out for your footing (but then I only shoot squirrels and roes!)

  • Gary Duffey on May 13, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Build the "Rook" in .222 (or Hornet) with .28 gauge extra barrel and case as set. Customer (fellow Texan) will get both, and Stuart will have plenty to do.

  • Vance Daigle on May 13, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Gary I like the way you think Sir!!!! both barrels in a cased set, now that is a one of. But if I have to chose just one, it's hands down the rifle. I have seen several 28g WR shotguns on this blog, but I don't recall ever seeing a rifle like this. I would love to clean out a little nook where I could keep this gun in my study. What a great rifle Simon!!!! It appears to be vintage, but unless I missed it I don't really know when it was made. Just another rusty ole nail I suppose!!!!

    In Christ

  • Andrew Bakke on May 16, 2016 at 4:15 am

    I do believe such a rifle would be treasured by its first owner and whomever he bequeathes it to. It will be a specimen for the ages.

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