Westley Richards: Bespoke Craftsmanship With Timeless Appeal

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posted on March 1, 2023
Westley Richards

For more than two centuries, Westley Richards has produced some of the world’s finest firearms, each wearing a timeless and classic look with bespoke flourishes. More importantly, everything it makes has the performance to match.

American owners of its finely crafted sporting arms throughout history include Kodak founder George Eastman—who undoubtedly posed for a photo or two with the prize possession—silver screen star Stewart Granger and author Ernest Hemingway. Of course, the fact that gun experts like Robert Ruark and Elmer Keith had at least one in their collection is higher praise than celebrity endorsement. They used them regularly and understood the foundation for unfailing reliability is built on craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Westley Richards gun parts gunsmith hands working artist customImage courtesy of westleyrichards.com.

William Westley Richards founded the company in 1812, and the firm quickly established a reputation for making some of the world’s finest guns. That legacy continues to this day, something made obvious the moment you visit the Westley Richards website. Underneath those attractive exteriors, however, beats a heart of innovation. Some of history’s most important developments were pioneered by the firm, including drawn-brass cartridge cases, the fore-end ejector mechanism, the Anson & Deeley hammerless gun and more. There were 115 patent applications that came out of his shop, and along the way, it received 22 special awards, medals and royal warrants.

The company makes its guns in Birmingham, England, but in 1996, it opened a stateside outlet. It is based in Gulf Breeze, Fla., where enthusiasts can witness the quality and beauty firsthand by visiting the 3,000-sq.-ft. showroom.

Westley Richards currently offers droplock and sidelock shotguns. It also makes droplock, sidelock and fixed-lock double rifles, as well as a magazine version. The company specializes in African dangerous-game calibers—a fitting choice, considering the artistry poured into everything it makes. Apparel and fine leather goods are also available.

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