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Westley Richards London Shop, Gun & Rifle Sales 1907

We have a multitude of old ledgers here at the factory, many of which, even after 30 years I have never taken time to look at. One such book is a matching ledger to the Mauser records both of which I had rebound some years ago. This particular ledger is the daybook for gun sales in our London shop for the years 1892 to 1927. The ledger is divided into sections as indicated above. I point out that these are 'off the shelf' or stock guns and do not include 'guns ordered'.

Westley Richards, Ledger, 1907, Guns Made

I picked 1907 for no particular reason just to have a look what the London stock gun sales were in those days. 1914 would have been 100 years ago but also the start of the War so I jumped back a few years to what would have been 100 years before we left the Grange Road premises.

Westley Richards, 1907, gun makers, journal

The guns are all listed in columns by serial number and the totals sold were:

Best Hammerless Guns   45

Plain Hammerless Guns  84

Best Hammer Guns  0

Plain Hammer Guns  1

Double Rifles All Kinds  23

Keepers Guns and Cheap Guns  16

Secondhand Guns   41

Single Rifles  2 Best, 56 Bolt Action, 5 Lee Enfield, 35 Rook &Rabbit.

Revolvers  46

A brief overview is that most of the shotguns were 12g, the double rifles were .303, .318, .450, .476, .500 and .577's (4). The bolt actions were mainly 318's with .275, .303 and .375 being the largest with 3 sold. Rook rifles were .22 and .300 and the odd .250. In the revolver section you find Colts, S&W, Mauser, Webley and Bergman.

As with any old journals I cannot be sure how accurate the information is and how well it was kept, but I imagine it is actually totally accurate! Certainly it is also much easier to find than on the modern computer. It is just a shame we cannot write as elegantly as they did 100 years ago and maintain such perfect records for the future.


  • Nick Cargill on March 14, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    I wonder if you might elaborate as to what exactly a keepers gun entailed vs a best, or plain? It is not a term I have come across before!

    • Simon Clode on March 14, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      As a company we have always supplied a large variety of guns, you can come here today and buy a £100 .22 for instance, to shoot rabbits in the garden or a £100,000 double rifle with elaborate engraving to do the same job! A Keepers gun would have been a simple plain functional model of gun, no frills, perhaps of our make or perhaps another make, if you look at the same line it says keepers guns/cheap guns. This is also the second hand sales record illustrated.

      Thank You for commenting!

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