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David McKay Brown .470 3 ¼" Nitro Express Round Action Double Rifle

The name David McKay Brown should need no introduction to readers of this blog. Scotlands premier gun and rifle maker, David is still building guns at his factory in the village of Bothwell, near Glasgow, Scotland. From an early age David was always a keen gun and rifle enthusiast as well as an avid bird shooter, stalker and fisherman. After an apprenticeship with Alex Martin (Gunmakers) of Glasgow, David set out on his own producing his very first round action gun in 1974. Since then David has specialised in round action guns in both side by side and over and under configuration with an occasional and small output of double rifles over the years.

The double rifle here is one of only a handful built by David in .470 3 1/4" nitro express calibre, built on his round action design with double triggers, auto ejectors, automatic safety, 25" barrels, 14 3/4" pull over an exhibition walnut stock, weighing in at 11lb 5ozs. The rifle is engraved with full traditional scroll coverage and an elephant game scene, all executed by English engraver Martin Smith. The rifle was completed in 1999 and appears pretty much as new and unfired retaining nearly all of the original case colour hardening. The barrels have a wonderful, almost stepped breech which is not uncommon on Fraser double rifles and even early small bore Rigby double rifles.

For any David McKay Brown aficionado who fancies a tussle with the big game of Africa, this would make a great addition to the armoury. Few double rifles of his come to the market, especially in such a useful African calibre.

One of the nicest features of this .470 double rifle is the revolving combination foresight bead. Speaking with David earlier this week, it appears the concept was presented to him many years ago by none other than Simon Clode, Westley Richards former Managing Director! David thought the design was a good one and for "a not insignificant sum" acquired the prototype from Simon and adopted it for his own rifles. In truth a stroke of genius as it really is a very neat design!


  • Gary Duffey on January 25, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Trigger, a great and detailed description of this rifle and what a nice one it is. It appears that the foresight is spring loaded and it is pushed down to rotate it. What a great idea for a double rifle. D.W. King of San Francisco, CA produced a rotating sight many years ago but the works of it were exposed and not near so elegant as this. The debate to 'brush or not to brush' off cased colors is always a question with roughly equal fans on both sides. I would add that nothing brushes the guns off quite as nicely as use, a pair of leather gloves and a little grit and perspiration! I think this rifle is as good an example of this as I have seen. This one will surely not disappoint.

    • Trigger on January 25, 2018 at 6:49 am

      Hi Gary

      Many thanks for your truthful comments. It really is a super rifle and great to see. Benefit of my job I suppose!

      Best regards


  • Richard Brown on January 26, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Remember Donald Dallas' book on David Mackay Brown is available here :

  • Peter Buckley. on January 27, 2018 at 3:45 am

    Hi Trigger

    Isn't that just a 'cracking' double, to me so understated yet so elegant, the wood to metal fit, the subtle engraving, the stepped breech, glorious! Who wouldn't be proud to own one of Mr McKay Brown's guns!
    Am I right in saying that the 'foresight' rotates clockwise for one element then
    anti-clockwise to return it back to the original, the reason I say this is because the two flats on either side of the foresight don't appear the same width, once rotated one of the flats becomes a supporting surface?

    Another great 'post' we probably wouldn't get to see such wonderful guns that reflect the legendary skills of our most talented craftsmen and women if not for the "Explora".

    Kind regards. Peter.

  • Neill on January 29, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    A really elegant piece of work, I love his round bodied ou guns, this is the first time I have seen a ss rifle made by him.

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