Prior to selling the rifle, we took all the key measurements from it, had it drawn up and the India and Africa rifles were concieved . Like most things in the gun trade this all took time, especially as it was at the time an 'in house' project, I was in effect the customer, and the least important one on the order book at that! Some years later however the first rifle was ready and the decision on the engraving came about. In the factory everyone knew that this was to be a big engraving commission, sort of like what we had done with the Boutet gun in the 80's, something different, something extravagant, the rifle had to reflect the heady days of the Raj.
I had a meeting with 2 of my regular engravers about the engraving commission and they came to my office with no drawings or anything, no ideas or suggestions just a price for the work and a very large one at that. I decided immediately to decline and called Paul Lantuch in USA who was working on another rifle for us at the time and offered the commission to him. I described the project, that it must reflect the gift giving of the Raj with tiger hunting scenes, opulance, elephants and howdahs, Paul was immediately enthused and excited, firing back ideas, he said he would go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in the morning, do some research and send his sketches, which he did. Some weeks of discussion followed as the design developed before the work began. It took Paul almost a full year to complete this job, but having shown this rifle at 5 exhibitions now in UK & USA I can safely say I have never had so many generous and favourable comments on a gun in my 27 years. Some people may not like it, perhaps the design is not to their taste, but even so they all admire it for the quality and unique work that is involved.
A fellow gunmakers owner in the USA comes up to me every year and tells me with a touch of jealousy how amazed he is I allow Paul to engrave my guns saying 'he uses a Dremel to shift the metal you realise'. Frankly I don't care if he uses a road drill as long as the unique and creative work continues to flow!
Below you will see a short timeline with the sketches as the design for the rifle was passed back and forth across the Atlantic. These are accompanied by some new photos of the rifle which I took today and have already called Paul this evening to apologise for, they don't do his work the justice it deserves.
oleg cherkassov on April 3, 2014 at 5:37 pm
i have no Words to desribe this wonderfull rifle
its a true masterpiece
it is possible to see a full foto of this rifle in profile,from butt to muzzle?
i mean a full Picture bcz its not a rifle but high art
my compliment to engraver and westley Richards
i visit London ,if i have time i surely visit you westley Richards
scott bruce on April 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm
this rifle look like a copy of an karl hauptmann rifle from 1999
that rifle was a 500 nitroexpress sidelock,
its a good looking gun but a copy offcourse of an older hauptmann from ferlach
freedom to scottland
land of the free and brave
Simon Clode on April 9, 2014 at 7:53 am
No doubt you will be happy to share with us some photographs of the Karl Hauptmann rifle or at least direct us to them so we can post them and let everyone enjoy the rifle we have supposedly copied!
sam mcdonald on April 10, 2014 at 3:28 am
we have better gunmakers in scottland
much better than any from England,there are many customer from usa and europe who says Scottish gunmakers are the best in the entire world,i agree With Scott Bruce
freedom to our beautiful and proud scottland