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Blog Post Featured Image

Finessing the Westley Richards Rear Leaf Sight.

To many, a rear sight is just a bit of steel sticking up with a notch filed in the top.However the forensic attention to detail at Westley Richards requires something a little more thoughtful and sophisticated, even on the smallest detail.

Westley Richards Rear Sight Engraving

The process of finishing a rear sight for a Westley Richards rifle covers the stages of marking out, inlaying the gold, and finally matting the surrounding face.

The colours of yellow on black is the highest contrast colour combination as seen in eg. police warning tape, police vehicles, wasps and of course parking tickets.
This combination is chosen to give the clearest sight picture when aiming.

The gold, when inlaid is not highly polished which would give rise to reflections,but is left in a dull state so that it appears to be just 'yellow.' The 24 carat pure gold used is the richest and yellowest metallic colour available.

The matting that surrounds and contrasts with it presents a reflection free surface. To make it appear 'blacker than black' the matting cuts are angled downwards so that any light from above 'falls' into these microscopic cuts and cannot reflect outwards.

When the sight is finally blued to match the barrels, the view down the rib is of a high contrast yellow triangle against a dead black background.

The following photos show this process from start to finish on a rifle recently displayed on this blog.



  • Vance Daigle on April 22, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Thank you Peter I enjoyed reading this story. So many times we take for granted what appears to be very simple things on a Westley. What it comes down to, nothing on a British Best is simple. Thank you for another pebble of knowledge in my pouch.

    In Christ

  • Dewey Vicknair on April 22, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    I think that most gunmakers' work goes fully appreciated only by other gunmakers.
    This is a nicely done article that should give an owner some insight as to just how much work goes into even the smallest details of a best gun.

  • Neill on April 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Once again, craftsmanship at its absolute best, thanks for the post.

    Very recently, and for the first time in a few years, I shot a rifle over iron sights. The problem I had was that my sight now means the sights are blurred, but the target is fine. If I put on my specs then the sights are fine, but the target, well, that could be anywhere! Clearly if I'm to use open sights I need something special in the way of glasses, any suggestions from Explore bloggers gratefully received.

  • Matthew Schmidt on April 22, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Hi Peter good story and photos. Do you use a Recknagel sight as the basis or do WR make the sight from scratch.

    Matt Schmidt.

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