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Best Posts of The Explora Blog 2023 - Part 1

With competition hotting up The Explora, the original online journal for field sports enthusiasts and admirers of the finest guns, rifles, leather goods & sporting attire, continues to pursue a passionate and authentic dialogue with its readership, and is why it remains one of the world's favourites.

Year on year, the team at Westley Richards does its very best to make The Explora interesting, thought-provoking and relevant, with a good mix of comment, opinion, history and modern production. On delving into the blog's analytics for the end-of-year review of our readers' favourites, we discovered some surprises and some less so.

This year we have divided the 'Best of...' into two parts for maximum enjoyment over the festive period. Part 1 focuses on new guns and rifles that have left the factory over the last 12 months, as well as highlights from our pre-owned inventory. And part 2 showcases the world that surrounds these revered guns and rifles, including their world-class manufacture, the celebrated Westley owners in years past and time well spent in the field.

A Pair of New 'Stutzen' Rifles

‘Stutzen’ in German, if you look it up, is (rather unhelpfully) listed as a verb meaning ‘to prevent from falling down by pushing from below or the sides’. Yet, in the Austrian Army, the term was apparently in use during the first quarter of the twentieth century to describe the short-barreled, stocked-to-the-muzzle Mannlicher 8mm carbines that were issued to artillerymen and engineers.

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Vintage and Pre-Owned Rifles by Westley Richards & Co.

Westley Richards & Co. is known worldwide as a maker of both shotguns and rifles. However, the firm is perhaps most well-known for the bolt action magazine rifles and double rifles it has produced over the last two centuries. Westley Richards’ reputation for building reliable rifles one could rely on in harsh conditions while facing down dangerous animals is due in large part to the legendary sportsman who used them, such as F.C. Selous, James Sutherland, and Ernest Hemingway.

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W.J.Jeffery's Iconic Double .600 Nitro Express At Westley Richards

The 1920s were pivotal years for British gunmakers. November 1st 1920 saw the first licence requirement imposed on civilians for the ownership, possession and transfer of rifles, pistols and their ammunition. Before that date, Englishmen were as free to own firearms without restriction as are today's Texans.

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A Stunning Double Duo In .375 Flanged Magnum & .577 3" Nitro Express

Creating a perfect pair of double rifles for all eventualities was a challenge our gunmakers rose to with their customary enthusiasm. This .577 and .375 duo complement one another beautifully and represent the ideal African battery.

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Exquisite New .318 WR Magazine Rifle

Long ago, before the Great War, the 250-grain, soft nosed, bottle necked .318 Westley Richards was rated among the finest of the, then relatively new, Mauser magazine rifle cartridges available. After fifty years of neglect, it is once more appearing in best quality rifles and taking African game.

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The Explora Blog is the world’s premier online journal for field sports enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, conservationists and admirers of bespoke gunmaking, fine leather goods and timeless safari clothes. Each month Westley Richards publishes up to 8 blog posts on a range of topics with an avid readership totalling 500,000+ page views per year.

Blog post topics include: Finished custom rifles and bespoke guns leaving the Westley Richards factory; examples of heritage firearms with unique designs and celebrated owners like James Sutherland and Frederick Courtenay Selous; the latest from the company pre-owned guns and rifles collection; interviews with the makers from the gun and leather factory; new season safari wear and country clothing; recent additions to our luxury travel bags and sporting leather goodsrange; time well spent out in the field; latest news in the sporting world; and key international conservation stories.

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