Here at the factory today we still have three of the original Westley Richards try guns, two 12g a single and double trigger version and one 20g single trigger, these are the guns we used before our departure from the old factory in Bournbrook. Fittings were done by Roy Hill who was the 'one armed' foreman of the gun factory, fondly remembered by many of our clients whom he started shooting to this day. Roy lost his arm during Field trials of the Westley Richards whaling harpoon gun in the early 1950's.
I have always found such guns an intriguing mechanical work of art with their concealed universal joint in the hand allowing adjustments. The gun had to be a fully functioning firearm but with the added benefit of a fully adjustable stock capable of taking length of pull, cast and drop measurements. The work that went into making such guns was clearly quite considerable, I have asked about making a new stock for many years but am yet to find anyone take on a modern version.
Westley Richards also had a barrel length try gun set so the various length barrels from 25" - 30" could be tested on the gun also. I have never seen this in the flesh but only in photographs. I have also fancied making a repeat of this but hard to justify at the cost of 7 pairs of new barrels today!
Fowad on August 25, 2016 at 3:40 pm
I have few catlogue of hunting weapons from my grandfathers time, possibly from 1920's to 40's. In most of these catlogues there is a seperate section for try guns! I think try guns were sold by english gunmakers specially in india, possibly because guns were ordered from companies like manton's and tahir arms etc.
Simon Clode on August 25, 2016 at 3:43 pm
Thank you. I am not sure if we actually 'sold' try guns, I imagine, as you say, that we possibly did supply the main agents in India as they were generating so much business. I have never seen a price alongside the try guns, I think they were in the catalogues as a means of showing customers how we went about making their guns 'bespoke'.
Gary Duffey on August 29, 2016 at 4:06 pm
So, we see two A&D try guns, and a WR scalloped non detachable. A very well thought out system and much work involved to create them. Interesting differences in the treatment of the holes in the extensions of each gun. I am guessing the medallions set in the extensions provide the finished length? Very revealing about the approach to put these kits together. Obviously this part of the process was taken very seriously! It really displays an effort toward excellence and customer satisfaction.
Michael Eugene Harrell on August 19, 2021 at 4:52 am
I own one. It's a 12 bore single selective trigger ejector. No safety. I bought it to save it from being forgotten.