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Blog Post Featured Image

A Droplock Masterpiece From Engraver Vince Crowley

This last week Vincent Crowley payed us a visit to deliver back one of his more recent masterpieces. Vince and I have known each other from our earliest days in the 'gun trade' having both started out with Westley Richards. It has been a pleasure working with him for over 20 years now, on some of the finest guns and rifles to leave the Westley Richards factory.

Vince has always been one of those lucky talents and I remember with envy some of the exceptional pieces he created as little more than a kid. Both of us have matured (supposedly!) since those early days and through the kind patronage of some fantastic clients, have been privileged to put together some genuine masterpieces of the gun-maker and engravers art.

Gold feathers add beautiful detail to the lock plates.

The gun shown here is one of our classic hand detachable or 'droplock' shotguns in 28 bore. With this particular gun Vince has used a process where raised steel scenes are actually carved onto the main action body and cover plate, rather than being of a relief carved style. This gives the scenes unparalleled dimension and it is almost as though the birds are flying out of the backgrounds and streaming past you. For interests sake, the gun is adorned with Bobwhite Quail, Chukar and Pheasant, with a Black Labrador on the trigger guard bow.

As we have come to expect with Vince, the rest of the gun has a wonderful combination of super fine rose bouquets and scroll, carved fences, pierced lever work and super delicate gold work. All of us are very much looking forward to seeing the finished article, as there are a few other nice touches to complete the final package.

Pheasant adorn the cover plate, whilst a Black Labrador retrieves a bird.

Bobwhite quail stream down the right side of the action.


  • Ken Hill on August 2, 2018 at 8:16 am


    Another great looking droplock from WR! The extra touch of engraved feathers on the drop plates is a very nice touch to the rest of the theme.
    Does the client intend to leave the gun with a brushed type finish or leave the case colors on after hardening?


    • Trigger on August 2, 2018 at 10:46 am

      Hi Ken

      The gun will end up brushed, but subtly to leave depth in the scene.

      Best regards


  • Neill on August 2, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    The work of engravers leaves me speechless! Sometimes it may not be to my rather conservative taste, but regardless how do they do it? If you are drawing, you can run a mistake out, but cutting steel you can't. Lovely work, you guys are the world leaders.

  • Neil McVeigh on August 3, 2018 at 3:36 am

    Seeing the quality of engraving here has made my day!Fantastic job Vince.
    Trigger as ever thank you and Ricky for helping to raise all our spirits by bringing such jewels to the blog for our delectation.I know its tough to do but please keep it coming!

    • Trigger on August 3, 2018 at 3:56 am

      Hi Neil

      Many thanks for your kind words, we will all continue to do our best and keep you all up to speed with the goings on in WR and the wider gun world.

      Best regards


  • Peter Buckley. on August 3, 2018 at 4:58 am

    Hi Trigger

    All I can do is reiterate what has already been said by the above contributors, this is as you say a “ Masterpiece” by a fabulous talent, what a combination of game scenes and fine rose bouquets, how on earth can this man Vince be so talented!

    Dare I contradict you? I’m sure it’s a ‘German Shorthaired Pointer’ on the trigger guard bow.
    Can’t wait to see the completed gun.

    Best regards


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