A .451 WESTLEY RICHARDS MONKEY TAIL CAPPING BREECH LOADING MILITARY MATCH RIFLE, CIRCA 1861, serial no. 486,
with 36in. barrel and engraved 'WHITWORTH PATENT', dovetail adjustable front-sight and reversed pattern ladder rear, the breech stamped with Birmingham proofs together with the chamber size of .480in. and the bore size of .452in., together with the serial number 486, the breech lever engraved 'WESTLEY RICHARDS / PATENT', plain detented lock signed by maker to centre 'WESTLEY RICHARDS & CO. / 1861', iron mounted figured full walnut stock, the butt-plate with trap still containing its original flexible breech cleaner, complete with sling swivels, rod a replacement
Provenance: The Monkey Tail was the most successful of all British capping breech loaders, this is a very early example, the 486th one made and has some of the early features such as the intermediate nipple bolster. The formation of the rifle Volunteers in 1859/60 generated a great interest in target shooting, this is a long range military match rifle made for that market. Rifles of this type achieved great success at the Wimbledon matches and rifles made to this style are quite rare as few were made
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