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Westley Richards 12g and .500 BPE 562 Grade Cape Gun
Westley Richards 12g/.500 3" BPE 562 Grade Combination Shotgun and Rifle or "Cape Gun". Made between the two World Wars and remaining in remarkably high original condition.
Westley Richards & Co. offered multi-barreled rifle and shotgun combination guns for much of the first half of the twentieth century. These were offered in two barrel side by side "Cape Gun" configurations as well as three barrel drillings. In a supplemental list from 1912 of items offered by Westley's at the time, these guns were listed as: "...made in all bores, suitable for Indian, African, and Colonial sports. Special attention and care are given to the most essential features, viz:-durability, boring, fine cutting of the rifling, the fitting and adjustment of the sights, and regulation of the shooting. Every gun is guaranteed accurately sighted and shot.".
This is a 562 Grade completed November 14, 1924 for Mahomedally Noorbhoy, Bombay.
The combination shotgun and rifle is built on an A&D fixed lock, non-ejector action with a Greener type cross bolt, listed in our ledgers as a "treble bite with tang lever". The color hardened action has two triggers, automatic beetle back safety, and is absent any engraving save for the Maker's name and an engraved thin-line border with "cut-away" fences.
The dovetailed lump, 28" barrels are of Westley Richard's Special Quality steel and bear the "Golden Triangle" trade mark. The full length matted rib has a slightly raised quarter rib, fitted with two folding leaves and a Tangent sight and a ramp front sight with a low profile brass beaded sight blade. The sight leaves are platinum lined and engraved (100, 200, 300-1,200 yds) respectively.
The barrel is also engraved: "Westley Richards & Co. Birmingham", "562 Grade" and ".500 Express 3 Inch Case Black Powder".
The walnut stock has nice straight figure, a semi-pistol grip, and a 14 1/2" LOP over a smooth steel butt. The splinter forend has a matching steel forend tip with a Deeley latch.
The rifle is finished with traditional sling eyes and the stock oval remains blank. On the bottom of the butt stock, just behind the pistol grip, the wood is correctly stamped "Made in England".
Gun retains nearly all of it is original color hardening and it remains vivid still protected by the original lacquer. The stock and barrels remain equally well preserved, retaining nearly all the original oil finish on the stock and nearly all of the original barrel black. The bores remain perfect, in both the shotgun and rifled barrels and are dent and rust free and all original.
These combination guns from Westley Richards are quite rare today in any condition. And this gun is in as nice a condition as any collector could ask for. But for a gun made to a price point and intended to be used in the World's most demanding environments, the overall quality and handling of the gun is superb and to find it so well preserved, is nothing short of a miracle.