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Rigby Refurbishment

Although repairs and refurbishments have always been a part of the Westley Richards repertoire, in recent years, following record numbers of new gun and rifle orders, we have sadly had to reduce the amount we take on. Repairs can be disruptive to the steady flow of new gun manufacture and often, on vintage guns of various makes, can be time consuming when machining and fitting new parts. Even the small amount we now do results in our production manager pulling his hair out trying to work out quite how he’s going to fit it in his extremely busy new gun and rifle schedule and without wishing the poor chap to be bald before his time, we have to be selective on what we take in. On the odd occasion I do manage to sneak a few into the workshops and one such rifle we have recently completed is this superb Rigby .450 Nitro Express Farquharson rifle. I thought the readers of the Explora would enjoy a few before and after photos of this stunning rifle.

In summary, our initial task was to re-regulate the sight work and sort the issue of faulty extraction. The rifle was shooting high and struggling to extract the spent cartridge. Once the rifle was back into working order it could be stripped down and we could then begin the cosmetic works. The wood work was put into the stock finishing shop and the many coats of oil were carefully applied to build the finish up to our normal best quality, high gloss finish. The action was annealed and we then recut and picked up all the engraving, bringing back to life the elaborate scroll work, Rigby name, double line border and sight work. Any pins that were tired or chewed were replaced and engraved. Once done it could be polished and prepped for hardening. The barrel was then polished and best quality re-blacked, topped and tailed, ready to be reassembled. The action, lever, safety button, grip cap and forend diamond were re-colour hardened, the trigger and pins were blued, sight worked and sling stud were blacked. The rifle was then freed up and fully reassembled before the final checks and finishing coats of oil on the stock were applied, ready for final inspection.

I think you'll agree the rifle has turned out quite superbly and we are proud to have restored this wonderful rifle back to its former glory.


  • David Hodo on May 16, 2019 at 4:01 am

    Hard to believe the ability of your gunsmiths (artists) can transform a well used rifle into a thing of such beauty and to appear as it has never even been to a range let alone hunted. So far above my understanding with how they do this and at the same time, so admired and appreciative that WR has employees that can work this magic on a daily basis when requested.
    Just Wow!

  • Ben Arrowmith on May 16, 2019 at 7:35 am

    What a superb refurbishment, i bought many years ago a W-R 1869 patent improved Martini from W-R in 577/500 no 2 which had been brought back from India by Mr Clode, it had been fully scroll engraved and was cased with all the reloading tools and accessories but in poor condition, it was deemed to be worth saving and went through W-Rs workshop. The transformation was unbelievable.
    Craftsmanship at its finest !.

  • Peter Buckley. on May 16, 2019 at 6:00 pm


    The Farquharson rifle has got to be one of my favourite rifle’s, it’s just so stylish so quintessential.
    My only regret is that I didn’t see it before the original remaining finish was removed so the comparison could be made, obviously it required refinishing.
    But the before and after changes are phenomenal just shows what the lads at Westley Richards are so capable of. It’s now one of those rifles you just couldn’t walk past without asking to fondle it, Fabulous I want to take it home. Guarantee the client is well chuffed!

    Best regards


  • Rex on May 17, 2019 at 4:54 am

    Amazing work!

  • Chris Buckingham on May 31, 2019 at 11:04 am

    A wonderful restoration, and in a very nice calibre, my 577 WR is a bit of a handful at such a light weight, but .450 is powerful enough, and with not too much recoil, my other Farquharson is in 475 No2, which is just brutal! I see the St Ledgers have added their special magic in the hardening ! Chris B.

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