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Three Famous Westley Richards .577's

When discussing vintage nitro Westley Richards rifles there are three in particular that always end up dropping into the conversation somewhere along the line.  Not only were they used by three very famous individuals, but all were of the same calibre - .577 3" Nitro Express.

These rifles were owned by professional ivory hunter Capt James Sutherland, hard man actor Stewart Granger, and legendary writer Ernest Hemingway.  All three men suited this iconic calibre as their personalities were certainly of the larger than life variety.

James Sutherland .577Captain James Sutherland's .577 now on display at our factory.

Sutherland's rifle resides here at the factory and although well used it still has crisp rifling and great condition.  Luckily we have the case and spare locks to go with it.  This rates as my own all time big game rifle particularly as it has all the great Westley Richards features, including our single selective trigger!

Stewart Granger .577Stewart Granger's .577 with tallies of game hunted inlaid in stock.

The Granger and Hemingway rifles now reside in private collections and are both cherished by their respective owners.  Each is a great historical rifle in terms of our own legacy and that of the two men who owned them.

Ernest Hemingway 577Ernest Hemingway's .577 complete with original case.

Both of these rifles retain lots of original finish as they were 'client' as opposed to 'professional' use rifles.  I always like Grangers inlaying of Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo in the stock with the tally of each hunted, those marked with a 'c' having charged him!

I was lucky enough myself to hunt buffalo with a brand new Westley Richards .577 hand detachable lock double rifle last year in Tanzania with Danny McCallum safaris.  Not only was it a privilege to hunt my buffalo with Danny himself, but I was able to take one at under 15 paces in typically long grass.  Whilst there are many that would deride the use of such a heavy calibre rifle I have to say that it was certainly very comforting in the thick stuff and as Danny himself said 'it speaks with authority'.  Need I say more!

6 Comments

  • Vance Daigle on September 16, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Good Story Trigger,

    These guys are part of the reason I am having a .577 built by Westley Richards now. My double rifle will also have a single trigger, if a single trigger was good enough for those great hunters, it is more than good enough for this ole asphalt man. Even though it went against my grain when I first thought about not having two triggers!!! Thanks for a good Story Trigger!!!

    In Christ
    Vance,

    • Trigger on September 16, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Hi Vance

      These big guns are always favourites of mine and the .577 is great to use. Be quick to use with that single trigger!

      Best regards

      Trigger

  • Keith on September 17, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Trigger,
    Having used my Westley Richards .577 on several hunts and having been backed up by my PH using a .577 I must say the caliber is truly a "real Elephant Stopper". I believe the caliber made the difference on the two charges we drew. If the rifle is of the proper weight, about 13 1/2 pounds, it has very manageable recoil and hits with the hammer of Thor in the full 750 gr. 3" load. I always thought what would make a great Buffalo rifle would be a double .577 2 3/4" 650 gr weighing about 11 1/2 pounds. Easy to carry and would make a good stopper.

    Reading Elmer Keith's stories of doubles and .577s started my life long desire to have one and hunt with it. As you now know it is a comforting pleasure to have one in you hands when closing on dangerous game. l always enjoy reading anything about the .577. Thank you for the story.
    Keith

    • Simon Clode on September 17, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Keith we are actually just completing a Gold Name hand detachable lock .577 built specifically for the 650gr load. It will be featuring on the blog no doubt as soon as complete with full details.

      Simon

    • Trigger on September 17, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      Hi Keith

      The .577's have always been great favourites of mine. As Simon has responded we are currently finishing a gold name lightweight load .577. Been an interesting project and we have developed the load up to suit. Developing 1950 feet per second with Woodleigh's 650 grain Weldcore.

      All the best and keep up the good work with the .577.

      Trigger

  • Keith on September 17, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    I am sure the person who ordered the .577 with the 650 load will have an excellent dangerous game rifle that should be easy to carry and quick on recovery for a second shot if needed. Look forward to seeing it posted on the blog.
    KF

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