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Serial Number 13673
A Westley Richards & Co. 10g No. 4 Highest Quality Anson & Deeley Patent Hammerless Double Barrel shotgun. This is a very early and 100% usable example of the highest-grade gun offered by Westley Richards & Co. in the latter part of the 1800's and in sequence with our Best gun serial numbers, still used today.
This gun features each option listed for this grade (e.g. Highest Quality) in adverts of the period. The gun has a very early shape to the patented Snap Lever top bolt and solid steel extension rib fastening (e.g. Model "C" Doll's Head rib extension) which was the only fastening bolt used on the A&D action at the time. According to the factory ledgers, this gun was finished in 1882 for J. Palmer O’Neil & Co. of Pittsburgh, PA.
J. Palmer O’Neil & Co. was an early American agent for Westley Richards who originally marketed Westley Richards made guns under the trade name J. Palmer O’Neil & Co. After Westley Richards & Co. rose to international fame through its many contributions to modern gunnery, J.P.O & Co. still marketed their guns, but under the actual maker’s name.
The action sides of this gun feature an early example of the house engraving still used on our Best guns today, with small scroll pattern surrounding the Maker’s name in flowing banners and a running hare on the trigger bow. The cover plate and bottom of the action are fully engraved with a small scroll and seashell motif; a popular engraving theme on fine guns of the time.
The gun is fitted with 32” Fine Damascus Steel barrels with “Extreme” Choke, as the ledger states, in each barrel (about .050” in each). A flat smooth rib is engraved with the firm’s 170 New Bond St. Address and “Highest Quality” denoting the grade of the gun.
The gun retains its original semi-pistol grip stock with checkered side panels and traditional drop points and a horn butt. The original gold grip cap or stock oval is mounted in the tip of the pistol grip (as prescribed in early company literature) and is engraved “G.F. McC Pittsburgh, PA”.
The splinter forend has the traditional horn forend tip and is fitted with the patent Deeley & Edge forend fastener.
This gun has been stowed away as a family heirloom for decades but somewhere along the way, the barrels had been blued. Otherwise, and remarkably so, the gun remained very high condition. There remains some blue finish on the cover plate and trigger bow, which is probably traces of a re-blue from when the barrels were done, however he engraving remains sharp and the action appears to never have been polished. The receiver"s colors have all but faded to a nice silver patina gained only with the passage of 100 plus years. The breach face shows little signs of use and no signs of pitting.
The original stock remains unaltered, matching the dimensions and configuration the factory ledgers state from 1882.
The barrels are excellent and remain in original proof, (never re-proved) and only show a very small sign of some old pitting, but are in overall excellent condition inside and out. The bores measuring .785” in each barrel with .040” minimum wall thickness. The barrels move ever so slightly on the face, but it is hardly noticeable without close inspection. The stock is crack free and the barrels display no dents or bulges. The only work done to the gun, that I can see or speak to, is the barrels were re-browned by Buck Hamlin of Missouri.
Simply a wonderful example of a very high quality, late 19th Century Westley Richards for the collector and vintage gun shooter.
According to the ledgers:
#13676 Shipped Sept. 20 1882 by J. Palmer O’neil & Co. “Double BL 10g, Horn Heel Plate, Half Pistol Grip, Extreme Full Choke, 14 1/8”, 1 3/4” comb and 2 3/4” Butt, 32 inches, Half Pistolgrip”
No. 4 Highest Grade
|Rib||Flat Smooth Rib|
|Choke Right||Extreme Choke|
|Choke Left||Extreme Choke|
|Stock||Semi Pistol Grip|