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After One Year 'The Africa Rifle' Returns to the Factory Engraved.

Last night when I received The Africa Rifle back from Paul Lantuch my plan was to keep it under wraps until completely finished. At the time it seemed a good plan but this morning I have decided it was probably a bad idea. For one, it is only fair to allow Paul to show his fellow engravers what he has been working on for the last year, I know they always enquire and I know he lets nothing out! Secondly I can get quite a few posts for this blog during the process of completing the rifle, and that helps me out. Finally, I really just can't resist!

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The Africa Rifle is the pair rifle to The India Rifle which has featured on this blog a few times. The Rifles are in .600NE and built on a sidelock action with Westley Richards 'Model C' bolting and lever work.

The rifle is engraved using a wide variety of techniques which I will elaborate on in another post with more detailed pictures. Multi coloured gold and other rare metals have been used for the inlays and will be treated with special patination, there is relief carving, fine gold inlays, stock inlays, barrel inlays, I think actually about every technique available to engravers has been used, and then some!

In the same way as the India Rifle was telling a story about the hunting days in India the Africa Rifle tells the story about the early days of hunting in Africa. Certainly Paul Lantuch has done another magnificent job with the engraving work, I cannot tell you how nice it is to work with an artist who is always up for pushing the boundaries, trying new things and developing new styles rather than knocking out the same old stuff year after year! I hope you will enjoy watching this rifle coming to its completion in the months ahead and to eventually seeing the pair of rifles together for the first time.

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6 Comments

  • Larry on March 12, 2016 at 7:23 am

    This rifle is truly phenomenal! Well done Paul!

  • Neill on March 12, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Astonishing engraving, I think it has to be the finest I have seen to be honest. Personally if would be a bit much for me were I commissioning the rifle, but that's purely my opinion and each to their own. Congratulations to Paul for such accomplished work.

  • Ross on March 12, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Fantastic metalwork! Very reminiscent of old Japanese nihonto (sword) furniture with the interplay of inlays and alloy patinations.

  • Jonathan Tomlinson on March 16, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Hi Simon

    I note that you do not now, nor seemingly have ever utilised side bolsters on the actions for your double rifles unlike perhaps some of the London names. What are you own views on their presence, do you see them as rather more for aesthetic purposes than for functionality? I am not aware that Rigby, Westley Richards, Jeffery or Wilkes to name but a few ever encountered difficulty by their absence from their own rifles.

    Kind Regards

    Jonathan

    • Simon Clode on March 16, 2016 at 6:06 am

      The short answer is that they are not required, the actions are strong enough with the Model C bolting or 3rd bite which the London Purdey and Holland lack, they have a third bite of sorts but not very effective. With the move to nitro ammunition and increased pressures their actions required reinforcement at the intersection of the breech and water table. They were of course beautifully filed up and are now a distinctive part of the Holland rifle, copied by many. I imagine the story is the same with the Purdey action but I have never felt their reinforcement has the elegance of the Holland one.

      So the answer is a good third bite makes the difference!

  • C. Roger Bleile on April 7, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I'm always happy to see Paul's latest creation. The Africa rifle is another example of Paul's artistic creativity and exceptional technical skill. I'm looking forward to seeing additional views of this historic rifle.

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