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Fabulous New Westley Richards .450 3 1/4" Droplock

It is always interesting to build a rifle in one of the old, oft forgotten classics and so here we have one of our signature droplock double rifles in the .450 3 1/"4" nitro express cartridge. Now for those of you not familiar with the cartridge, its development can be attributed to John Rigby & Co. and with its launched in 1898 can be said to be the turning point in British big game rifles.

Why, you might ask? Well quite simply this cartridge was the first to use modern smokeless powders combined with steel jacketed bullets that could be propelled at then unheard of velocities delivering phenomenal penetration and considerable energy. Previous to this rifles were mentioned in bore size and anything below 10g being considered a small bore! These old brutes fired lead bullets propelled by black powder which had the rather annoying habit of obscuring the target after the first shot! Real men used 6 bores and bigger for the heavy pachyderms and the rifle could weigh in at a hefty 24lbs!

The engraving on this particular rifle was based on a vintage 1950's design that has a deluxe bold scroll full coverage.

The advent of the .450 3 1/4" nitro express completely changed all of that and led to what many, (including myself) believe was the golden age of rifle and ballistics development.

Double rifles could with the advent of the nitro express cartridges be built much lighter and sleeker than the monsters of old. At the same time by some irony Westley Richards iconic hand detachable lock (droplock) action design came to the market place and the rest is 'history' as we say.

Our latest incarnation using the cartridge weighs in at 10lb 10ozs with 25" barrels, which makes the rifle a comfortable hunting companion. Travel restrictions permitting, the rifle is destined for a trip to Africa in the not too distant future and we look forward to hearing how this cartridge once again performs in the hunting field.

The rich case colour hardening complements the scroll and woodwork presenting yet another iconic Westley Richards 'droplock' double rifle.

Whether for the discerning collector or the avid sportsman, Westley Richards firearms represent the epitome of excellence in the world of bespoke gunmaking. Known for the droplock shotgun, over and under shotgundouble barrel rifle and bolt action rifle, the company has achieved an illustrious 200 year history of innovation, craftmanship and artistry. As part of our best gun build, clients can choose from three levels of gun engraving: the house scroll; signature game scenes; and exhibition grade masterpieces. All Westley Richards sporting arms are built at their factory in Birmingham, England. Discover more about the gunmaking journey at our custom rifles and bespoke guns pages.


  • Christian on October 16, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    That is beyond stunning, wow can’t wait for the feedback from Africa.
    Thankyou for the story .

  • Keith on October 17, 2020 at 1:51 pm


    Having used my vintage Westley Richards.450 3 1/4” double on three successful safaris I know the proud owner of this new Westley.450 will be very pleased. Since it’s introduction it has always been an outstanding cartridge for big game. They got it right when when it was developed. Recoil is very comfortable and allows for quick recovery for a second backup shot with the double.

    Best of luck to the owner of this beautiful Westley Richards double on his next trip to Africa.


  • neil mcveigh on October 18, 2020 at 7:06 am

    Typical of the excellence we have come to expect of WR.Its my second favourite calibre (450/400 my first).I wish the very best to the new owner and hope he will get to use it in the near future as intended.

  • Paul Phelan on October 21, 2020 at 3:44 am

    It is magnificent and a beautiful all round big game calibre . Well done .

  • Chris on August 14, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks for the well wishes. I did in fact take a very old dagga boy at less than 20 yards this June. I couldn’t be happier with the rifle. Hopefully there will be many more buff to come! Thanks again to the WR team.

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