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The Westley Richards I want in my Santa's Stocking.

My unfinished Westley Richards 'Black' 300 Win Mag.

A comment by Neil in my last post suggested a post on 'what I would like Santa to bring me in my Christmas stocking' so this is the first item I want to see sticking out the top when I wake up!

Before I go to my box I would really like to hunt a Marco Polo sheep and/or an Altai Argali sheep. I don't relish the thought of altitude sickness and filthy camps but I find the Marco Polo a majestic animal and it has been on my bucket list for many years. 'Thou shall not covet another mans trophies' but I have always done so with my friend and frequent hunting companion Sultan Al Thani's Altai Argali, one which he took in the early 90's and was a very close world record. The size and mass of the horns make me want to steal it every time I see it to add it to the walls of interesting stuff here at WR.

In order to do these hunts I need a nice, light, bomb proof rifle with a fixed scope. A rifle with which I can learn to control my shakes and ineptitude with a scoped rifle when shooting at distance. A rifle I can leave at the top of the mountain if needed. The Plastic Fantastic was born, but, I hastily add, has not yet been conceived. The specifications seemed pretty simple to me, a special alloy sheathed lightweight fluted barrel on a new Mauser 98 action all fitted to a synthetic stock to our normal stock design and shape in a take apart format.

To date retaining crisp lines on our stock profile has been a problem, I have paid for moulds and machining and all kinds of stuff, I have 3 or 4 failed attempts and the cost of my rifle grows with alarming pace and is shortly going to exceed that of one our very best take downs. The trophy fees unfortunately grow at an alarming pace also!

They say a shoe maker never has a pair of his own shoes and the same certainly applies to this gunmaker. I have attempted many times to make my own new guns and rifles but the dealer in me always lets them go before I finish them and I start again. So if Santa could help complete this quickly I would be a very happy hunter!

I can imagine all the traditional readers rolling around in horror at the very thought of Westley Richards doing such a thing but just wait until you see the finished item, you will want one for your mountain trips in your stocking too!



  • Neill Clark on December 17, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I wait with trepidation, as a lover of walnut and traditional English rifles. I don't doubt it will be a quality product, but a synthetic stock......?

    Still, Merry Christmas to all at WR and all blog contributees.

    • Simon Clode on December 17, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      Yes, a synthetic stock that costs more than the very best exhibition walnut one, can you believe the irony of that! I can easily justify it by the fact if I do finally survive the drive up the mountain with vodka fuelled driver and then the altitude, I don't want to be walking around giddy, dropping my wood stock and busting it making the journey pointless!

      Fit for purpose!

      • Larry on December 17, 2015 at 9:13 pm

        This made me laugh.

        Purpose built, indeed. From whom is the barrel sourced?

  • paul j. antonino on December 17, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    i remember telling my fly fishing guide that if he could get me to break my bamboo rod in half i would love it even more ,,,purposeful,,but i like wood !!!!....paul

    • Simon Clode on December 18, 2015 at 12:13 am

      Do you have a carbon rod in your house? Be honest!

      • paul j. antonino on December 18, 2015 at 6:02 am

        yes an 8'6" bruce and walker hexagraph with a hardy bougle mk iv on it !!!....paul

  • Keith on December 18, 2015 at 12:36 am

    Dear Simon,

    I understand this is a special purpose rifle for a hunt of a life time, but I do hope it will be a "one of a kind". There is nothing like a walnut stocked Westley.

    I do hope the .476 makes it in time for my stocking.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and everyone at Westley Richards,


  • neil mcveigh on December 18, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Simon,I think you have blind-sided all your Explora fans!Certainly not in a million years would I have expected this in your Xmas stocking.Notwithstanding its makes absolute sense for its intended purpose.I am a great believer in the saying "to each man his own".Permit me this opportunity to wish all my fellow Expora fans a great and happy holiday.Lets hope 2016 will be as good as 2015!

    • Simon Clode on December 18, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Better to be unpredictable! You also need to bear in mind that I am fortunate to be surrounded by 100's of fine walnut stocked guns and rifles on a daily basis so black makes a change for me! If you look close at the photograph you will perhaps see the wood grain as this prototype stock is done in walnut and then stained black. I just need to find the synthetic master craftsman who can replicate it for me, no luck so far!

      A Very Happy Christmas to you also!

  • vancedaigle on December 18, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Morning Simon,

    I will add my nickel worth of two cents into this round of discussion by saying. Its not everyday I eat on the finest china and drink out of fine crystal. there is a time and a place where certain things are in order....especially guns. I like this gun, while I don't get out to hunt very often anymore I do have a synthetic stock gun to do so. I leave the finest guns for those special occasions. There I go I am all in.

    Merry Christmas to you and all the WR family. It has been a great year reading your Blog Simon, it has added many pebbles of knowledge to my bag. Thank you and may all your wishes come true. God Bless!!

    In Christ

  • Peter on December 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Good evening Mr Clode.

    I personally own two synthetic rifles that I know doesn't even get close to your rifle,but some times I prefer them over my WR with beautiful walnut stock. For example when crossing a small creek while moose hunting it's really handy to measure the water depth with the rifle before you go in to it . Another time when it's handy is when you hunt with a bunch of idiots who seems to be trying very hard to get their rifle in close and very brutal contact with your own . Having said that,never ever have I got a plastic rifle out of the gun safe and poured me a really large one just to admire it but that has happened with my Westley more than once. Came to think of it maybe I should skip moose hunting and idiots while hunting and only get nice rifles in the future.
    A merry Christmas and a happy new year to all the people who have made this blog so fantastic and of course a big thank you Simon for all the fantastic posts I've been able to read here.

    Best regards

  • steven mc enroe on December 19, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    thanks for sharing this wonderful blog with us simon
    is it possible for you to share with us the pics of the altai argali taken
    by your friend sultan al thani
    most sincerely steven

  • Dr. Paul A. Draghi on December 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Dear Simon,

    Now that it is apparent that this post did not result from someone hacking your blog, I can only express my reaction by quoting Bertie Wooster from P.G Wodehouse's "Jeeves in the Morning":

    "It was one of those cases where you approve the broad, general principle of an idea but can't help being in a bit of a twitter at the prospect of putting it into practical effect. I explained this to Jeeves, and he said much the same thing had bothered Hamlet."

    Warm regards for the Holiday,


    • Simon Clode on December 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      Thank you Paul, perfectly put!!

  • DArcy Echols on December 26, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Welcome to the dark side my friend.

    • Simon Clode on December 27, 2015 at 12:44 am

      Thank you D'Arcy...just dipping my toe in!

    • Clifford Biggs on February 12, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      I was going to say, a Westley Richards take-down "Legend"...
      There is a market for these...
      Good luck with it!

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