Hemingway went to Africa in 1933 and 1954. On his second trip, the .577 Nitro Express Westley Richards you see here and in the video above was the gun he carried.
The .577 Nitro Express is one of the most bad-ass hunting rounds of all time. Hemingway’s rifle fired a 750 gr. bullet, and generated a crushing 7,010 ft⋅lbf. By comparison, a .30-06 Springfield shooting a 220-gr bullet generates a wimpy 2,981 ft⋅lbf.
Famous Africa hunter John “Pondoro” Taylor wrote that the .577 Nitro Express was “a magnificent killer – it literally crumbles up an elephant”. Unfortunately, it could have the same impact on the man shooting it.
Over the last few months, William Larkin Moore & Sons has posted some of the finest vintage double rifles I’ve ever seen. There’s quite a range of them, including these two droplock Westley Richards with a ton of killer original condition:
Here’s a cool look at hunting Cape Buffalo with a SAFARI IMPERIAL .700 Nitro Express boxlock side-by-side double rifle made by the gunmaker Verney-Carron.
The 700 Nitro Express was created by Holland & Holland in 1988. It shoots a 1,000 gr (65 g) bullet at 2,000 ft/s (610 m/s) and with about 8,900 foot-pounds of muzzle energy . In an 18-pound rifle, this load pushes back with 160 ft·lbf — 10X more recoil than most .308s. Ouch.
F.lli. Rizzini R1 20 gauge: Sidelock double. Serial # 1308. 2 3/4″ chambers. 26″ chopper lump bbls, IC/Mod. hand matted rib, Stunning deep ” sculptured ” engraving by Sosta Gianfranco (deceased). Straight hand stock with highly figured turkish walnut, dropper points, and splinter forend. Checkering is perfect 32 LPI. Stock dimensions are 14 1/8″ LOP to center of checkered butt from a single trigger. 1 1/4 ” – 2 1/4 ” drop at heel without cast. 6 1/4 lbs. This beautiful R1 Rizzini was made for Ambercrombie and Fitch in 1974 ( letter from Rizzini ) both names lettered in gold on barrels. Gun remains in “as new” condition. The overall fit and finish and handling qualities of this Rizzini indicates the degree of hand work that was performed on their “best” guns during this period. A fantastic bird gun. Leather VC case with makers label. Price:$31,500
John Rigby & Co. .470 Nitro Express Double Rifle in completely original condition with EXCELLENT bores:
Here we have something special: A totally original, untouched John Rigby in .470 Nitro Express. What makes this one unique is CHARACTER: This thing has been CARRIED… The black on the floor plate being worn away to silver, and the same for the barrel black around the quarter rib – just where your hand would carry for many long hikes. Look at the checkering – none missing, but many worn down flat from being carried… This thing has LOTS AND LOTS OF MILES on it…
Yet look again at the underlying condition: The bores are excellent – no pitting, no staining, no erosion whatsoever. Barrels ring true. Most of the screw heads being aligned and their slots clean and unbuggered… What this tells me is that someone carried this for years, yet they took great care of it each and every night. Try and find another with half as much “personality”! Harder yet, try holding this rifle and NOT ask yourself “If only you could talk…” I don’t think this can be done!!!
The specifics: Serial number 17964, circa 1921-22. Boxlock Ejector action with extension. Disk set strikers. Class C engraving. Harvey lever forend as seen on many fine Henry and Rigby rifles. 26” barrels. The barrel rib is marked “John Rigby & Co. 43.Sackville St. London.” The top of the left barrel is marked “Special . 470 Bore . Big Game Rifle” and the top of the right barrel is marked “For Special Cordite Cartridges & Bullet 500 Grs.” Excellent bores. 100 yard standing site with 200- and 300-yard folding leaves. Sling swivels (missing forward loop). Stock is 14 3/8” LOP over 1/8” black spacer. No cheek piece and minimal cast so would work great for a left hand shooter (I shoot left handed and this rifle shoulders very nicely for me). Silver escutcheon engraved “J. McK”. Cased in canvas case with brass hardware, leather trim and leather straps. Outer lid of case is marked “H. G. INGLE. / KOLHAPUR, / INDIA.”. The canvas is stained and worn through in several spots. The leather strap on the right side has torn but the piece is retained. Interior of case includes Rigby Sackville Street trade label, a second Rigby label to caution against leaving the action cocked, and many original accessories including Rigby tool for removal of striker discs, turnscrew, leather muzzle cover, snap caps, striker pot with strikers, and the foresight hood. What this does need is a new recoil pad as the current pad is dried and hardened. The front swivel is missing the loop for the sling (presumably to allow usage of leather muzzle cover by sliding leather thong strap through the front swivel post). If you wanted, you could have the checkering refreshed and barrels reblacked but if you ask me, that’s like repainting a vintage Corvette that’s been discovered with its original paint… I’d vote to keep it like it is – and be the envy of every PH in camp the next time you are in Africa! Price: $26,500
PIOTTI BSEE SXS 12 GAUGE: #98XX 28″ 007 AND 014 2 3/4 DOUBLE TRIGGER EJECTORS SPLINTER FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT UPGRADE WOOD TEST FIRED ONLY 6LBS 10 OZ X 2 1/8″ X 1 7/16″ X 14 3/4″. Price:$18,500
Parker DHE Grade 3 Side by Side Shotgun 12 Gauge Two Barrel Set Pistol Grip Stock Splinter Forearm: #146041. This Parker has one set of 26” barrels and one set of 32” barrels. Both sets have 2 3/4” chambers and single beads. The 26” set has what measures .004 right and .004 left constrictions on the chokes. The bore diameters measure .7295 right and .7295 left. These barrels retain 90% original bluing with some small spots of surface rust and have a single ivory bead. The center rib is marked PARKER BROS. MAKERS. MERIDEN. CONN. TITANIC STEEL. The bores are clean and shiny. The 32” set has what measures .036 right and .036 left constrictions on the chokes. The bore diameters measure .7285 right and .728 left. These barrels retain 90% original bluing with some minor surface rust near the muzzle and have a single silver bead. The center rib is marked PARKER BROS. MAKERS. MERIDEN. CONN. TITANIC STEEL. The bores are clean and shiny. There is only one forearm. The 2 frame retains 10% original color. The trigger guard retains no bluing and has some surface rust in spots. It has double triggers and ejectors. The pistol grip stock and forearm are original and are in very good condition. The length of pull is 14 1/4” to the front trigger over a skeleton buttplate that has no finish and surface rust on it. Drop at comb: 1 3/4″, Drop at heel: 2 3/4″, weight: 7.9 lbs with the 32” barrels. Price:$10,000
LEFEVER ARMS Co C-GRADE 10 GAUGE SXS SHOTGUN: 30″ BARRELS WITH NEAR PERFECT DAMASCUS DOUBLE TRIGGER EXTRACTORS SPLINTER FOREARM PISTOL GRIP EXCELLENT ORIGINAL CONDITION WITH CASE COLORS 8LBS 1 OZ X 3″ X 2″ X 14 1/4″. Price: $7,500