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Film Shorts - Stocking & Stock Finishing at Westley Richards

It is without doubt that Westley Richards is a world leader in creating the highest quality imagery of guns and bespoke gunmaking. In the spirit of constant innovation, over the last 12 months the company has embarked on bringing a new dimension to these celebrated images with the exciting medium of film.

Not an easy task with the equipment and new knowledge required. However, with a background in moving image and the photographic department's enthusiasm for new challenges we developed a distinct Westley filmic style to compliment our imagery.

Our inaugural series is the gun trade films that have been well received on Instagram Reels and are now available on Youtube Shorts. Below are two popular films focussed on the trades of stocking and stock finishing.

In the coming months we will be looking to expand our horizons with all things film, in pursuit of bringing you, the audience, closer to our unique world.



Stocking at Westley Richards


Stocking a best shotgun or rifle requires the meticulous shaping of a well-seasoned walnut blank, so that every wooden surface fits the adjoining steel surface perfectly.

A perfect fit ensures that there are no areas of movement or stress between the two materials. If these are tolerated, the life of the stock will be reduced and the stability of the firearm affected.


Externally, the stock is shaped to be both aesthetically pleasing and ergonomically efficient, with every British gunmaking firm having a ‘house style’ that differs slightly from every other.

This short film from the Westley Richards stocking workshop shows work in progress. Our stockers use the same tools, and practice the same skills their forebears did a century and a half ago.





Stock Finishing at Westley Richards


Unlike painted or sprayed-on surface finishes, a traditional oil finish on a best gun or rifle from Westley Richards is applied by hand and given time to air-cure before being hand-buffed. This way the finish lives ‘in’ the wood, rather than ‘on’ it.

The oil-finishing process takes several weeks to complete. Each walnut blank behaves differently and varies in the amount of oil it absorbs and the time it takes to dry.

This short film from the stock-finishing shop shows the process in real time, as a bare stock develops the beautiful depth of colour and long-lasting sheen that makes a bespoke gunstock so beautiful and resilient.


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.


  • Paul Phelan on July 29, 2023 at 5:58 am

    Awesome workmanship creating a wonderful stock.

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