April
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30
Bonhams Auction 2014
Who's Online
9 registered (JohnfromUK, OH Osthaus, Birdog, Ken Nelson, 3 invisible), 38 Guests and 7 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
11930 Members
9 Forums
26466 Topics
340297 Posts

Max Online: 286 @ 02/18/13 06:38 PM
Google Ads
Topic Options
#213328 - 01/15/11 11:58 AM Westley Richards - or not...
martinibelgian Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 10/09/08
Posts: 63
Recently, I purchased at a sealed bid sale in the UK a Westley Richards ZAR carbine - my 2nd one.

Basically, the Westley Richards ZAR, as many of you undoubtedly will know, was sold by the famous gunmaker to the "Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek" (Transvaal) just before the 2nd Anglo-Boer war. In all, Transvaal bought 10450 of the "No. 2473 Westley-Richards improved Martini-Henry rifle with indicator in block and side screw", of which 2000 were carbines. it is not sure how many actually arrived in Transvaal, but most of them probably were delivered to the buyer.

Matter of fact, the actions are of the Francotte patent - and even of Francotte manufacture. Unsubstantiated rumour also has it that Francotte made the complete rifles for WR... These rifles actually sport 2 serial nos - A Francotte one on the subframe, and the Westley Richards Serial no., which usually can be found in several places.
As these firearms were given long and hard service during and after the war, and a goodly number would have been destroyed at the end of the war by the British troops, finding one in decent condition is pretty hard. Actually, just finding one already isn't easy - especially at a decent price, and most of them usually are in pretty poor condition and/or have been sporterized.
While rifles are difficult, finding a carbine is even harder - one must be plain lucky, and just pay the price, because one never knows when another one will show up.

These Francotte-actioned rifles are a bit the centerpiece of my collection, so when I found this one for sale, I jumped at it. It is by no means in mint condition, as it has some surface corrosion, and the wood probably has been refinished. Still, for a ZAR it is in pretty good condition, and with a bit of TLC I believe it will look even better. Below a few pics:








As you can see, there is only a single barrel band - the rear of the forend is pinned to the barrel Mk II-style. In the pic, the rifle is cocked - the cocking indicator is sticking up through the block.

Another difference with the 'standard' Martini is the 9-groove Henry rifling, instead of 7-groove as standard on the Britsh military Martini.

In essence, this is a large cadet action for the 577-450 cartridge, and probably the last word in Martini development.

This is my 2nd ZAR carbine, and I also have another Francotte carbine (not Westley Richards), as well as 2 WR ZAR rifles. Another one I bought for the action alone - it was too far gone to restore the rifle, so I used the action as a base to build a ZAR BP match rifle in #2 Musket. It currently is at the stockmaker's to get the wood done, then maybe som engraving, and blueing...
Then there is that other Francotte sporter action (non-ZAR, but basically the same action with a -non-present- safety)that I rescued form a re-enactor rifle, waiting for a project...
If you're under the impression that I really like my ZAR's, then you just might be right. The rifle is not yet in my hands, and this will take some time, as I will probably pick it up next time. But patience is a virtue...

Top
#213331 - 01/15/11 12:39 PM Re: Westley Richards - or not... [Re: martinibelgian]
joelblack88 Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 03/03/10
Posts: 252
Loc: Wisconsin
That's one of the best examples I've seen.

Top
#213336 - 01/15/11 01:48 PM Re: Westley Richards - or not... [Re: joelblack88]
J.D.Steele Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 09/14/08
Posts: 1153
Loc: deep South
I envy you and your splendid find!

I like Martinis, especially the Francotte-patent actions. Have been seeking a ZAR at a realistic price for a long time with no success, probably my upper limit isn't so very 'realistic'......(grin).
Regards, Joe
_________________________
You can lead a man to logic but you can't make him think. NRA Life since 1976. God bless America!

Top
#213344 - 01/15/11 03:25 PM Re: Westley Richards - or not... [Re: J.D.Steele]
martinibelgian Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 10/09/08
Posts: 63
Joe,

If you have the right stuff to trade, who knows? As I mentioned, I still have a commercial action stashed away for future purposes (but the safety is missing) - Then again, I also have a Swinburn, and some Martini's...
Tip of the week - for a not too expensive ZAR at a decent price, check in the UK. I know of a Sporterized one (shortened forend, hole through buttstock) at under 500£ (that's less than 800$). Of course,you would still have to get it over.

Gert

Top
#213349 - 01/15/11 04:07 PM Re: Westley Richards - or not... [Re: martinibelgian]
J.D.Steele Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 09/14/08
Posts: 1153
Loc: deep South
Originally Posted By: martinibelgian
Joe,

If you have the right stuff to trade, who knows? Of course,you would still have to get it over.

Gert

And therein lies the rub. Thad Scott was my main source for Martinis, he was the only importer whom I knew personally and he was local. We miss him.
Regards, Joe
_________________________
You can lead a man to logic but you can't make him think. NRA Life since 1976. God bless America!

Top
#213461 - 01/16/11 11:02 AM Re: Westley Richards - or not... [Re: martinibelgian]
tomc Offline
Sidelock
*

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 202
Loc: centeral Indiana
Joe
What happened to Thad Scott? He was one of my favorites also. My Mk11 and the 310 action for my 30/30 Wesson came from him. He had good stuff.
Tom

Top
#213467 - 01/16/11 12:03 PM Re: Westley Richards - or not... [Re: martinibelgian]
joelblack88 Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 03/03/10
Posts: 252
Loc: Wisconsin
Sadly for all of us Thad died from ALS. He was one of my closest friends in the gun world.

Top
#213470 - 01/16/11 12:11 PM Re: Westley Richards - or not... [Re: martinibelgian]
Alvin Linden #1 Offline
Sidelock
*

Registered: 01/07/09
Posts: 231
Loc: Georgia U.S.A.
He's been gone since May of 09. I knew and liked him, he was a fair man and was always willing to deal. Rest in Peace
_________________________
The Sons of Alvin Linden

Top



doublegunshop.com home | Welcome | Sponsors & Advertisers | DoubleGun Rack | Doublegun Book Rack

Order or request info | Other Useful Information

Updated every minute of everyday!


Copyright (c) 1993 - 2013 doublegunshop.com. All rights reserved. doublegunshop.com - Bloomfield, NY 14469. USA These materials are provided by doublegunshop.com as a service to its customers and may be used for informational purposes only. doublegunshop.com assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in these materials. THESE MATERIALS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. doublegunshop.com further does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links or other items contained within these materials. doublegunshop.com shall not be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including without limitation, lost revenues or lost profits, which may result from the use of these materials. doublegunshop.com may make changes to these materials, or to the products described therein, at any time without notice. doublegunshop.com makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. This is a public un-moderated forum participate at your own risk.

Note: The posting of Copyrighted material on this forum is prohibited without prior written consent of the Copyright holder. For specifics on Copyright Law and restrictions refer to: http://www.copyright.gov/laws/ - doublegunshop.com will not monitor nor will they be held liable for copyright violations presented on the BBS which is an open and un moderated public forum.