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Westley Richards features in Great British Brands 2024

Each year the team behind Country & Townhouse launch their compendium of the UK's finest companies. For the 5th year in a row Westley Richards has been selected to feature in the Great British Brands coffee table book for 2024.

This year we sit amongst British greats like Cunard, Edward Green, Harrods, Penhaligon's, Royal Shakespeare Company, Vivienne Westwood, as well as our friends in the trade, James Purdey & Sons and Holland & Holland.

Below is the article I wrote with the Country & Townhouse team in response to the 2024 topic on the advent of artificial intelligence, and how luxury brands may or may not wish to embrace the proliferation of the digital age.


"We are on the cusp of extreme change, much of it still unimaginable. Yet, the uncompromising pursuit of excellence will always resist the erosion of quality that a digital age might usher in."

Charlotte Metcalfe - Editor Great British Brands




Long-established specialist maker of unrivalled sporting goods


Westley Richards has been making guns in Birmingham since 1812 so we have a long history but we have nonetheless embraced 21st-century technology, where appropriate, in many ways. In the manufacture of the guns, modern engineering techniques produce the basic action of the weapons. This enables us to produce more guns at a greater level of precision, with finer tolerances, something which is near impossible to achieve – or to replicate consistently – in a handmade gun. Then the skill, experience and artistic soul of the gunmaker – the human element – comes into play to create the beautiful finished product for which Westley Richards is famous.

This marriage of modern technology and traditional gun-making skills allows us to maintain the high standards of workmanship while increasing production. We now make 25 guns a year; a few years ago it was 20 and we are planning to make 30 a year. At present the waiting list for a Westley Richards gun is five years. The latest technology – computer-aided design, virtual testing and modern smelting techniques – have helped us perfect our custom-made brassware, which is such a distinctive feature of our bags and other leather goods. Last autumn we launched the annual special edition of our travel bag collection in walnut suede which, being an unrepeated one-off, will no doubt become a classic.

"As well as guns, Westley Richards also crafts fine leather goods and outdoor apparel for serious sportsmen"

Likewise, we use digital media but are aware of the importance of using it in a way which respects its audience. Our Explora blog is immensely successful and is a great way of building the brand. Similarly, Westley Richards is well known for the quality of its gun photography, skills which are now utilised making short films for the company. Our guns and leather goods are expensive and rarefied objects so it is essential that the films reflect this and the very specific world they inhabit.’

"Reflecting its long connection with Africa, the company now sells safari-wear, launching the successful Selous Safari Jacket in 2021."

What have you learnt during your time at Westley Richards?


- Harness the passion of your customers with truly desirable and authentic products and marketing.

- Constantly strive for a quality standard that exceeds customers’ expectations and raises you above your competitors.

- Be mindful about adopting modern media and themes into your communications to attract new audiences, which may deter your existing community.

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.

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