Westley Richards 1874 Monkey Tail .45 Cal Single-Shot Percussion Rifle 1874

SOLD FOR: $2040

LSB#: 210722TS86

Make: Westley Richards

Model: 1874 Monkey Tail (Made for South African Boers)

Serial Number: 10821

Year of Manufacture: 1874

Caliber: .45

Action Type: Breech Loading Percussion Rifle

Markings: The left shoulder of the barrel is marked “450”, the top of the barrel is marked “WHITWORTH PATENT”, and the right shoulder is marked “483”. The left side of the breech is marked with several British proof and inspection stamps along with the serial number, “10821”. The breech lock is marked “MANUFACTURED / BY / WESTLEY RICHARDS” forward of a triangle. The lock plate is marked “1874” in a triangle and “WESTLEY RICHARDS”.

Barrel Length: 25” Approximately

Sights/Optics: The front sight is a blade integral to a rectangular base that is fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a flip up sliding escalator that is a v-notch in both configurations.

Stock Configuration and Condition: The stock is a one-piece smooth wood with forend cap, ram rod groove (ram rod included), forward barrel band, straight grip, straight comb, and steel buttplate. There are sling swivels on the belly of the buttstock and on the barrel band. The wood is dark in appearance and appears weathered in spots such as the end of the buttstock and the forend. There is a mended crack that runs from the rear most screw to the breech. Light nicks, dings, and scuffs can be seen throughout the wood. The LOP measures 14 1/4” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has moderate surface oxidation throughout along with light scuff wear at  the heel. Overall, the stock rates in Good-plus condition, as antique.

Type of Finish: Blued

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is only semi-bright with well-defined octagonal rifling. There are spots of minor erosion dotted throughout, and moderate stubborn fouling throughout.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 0% of its metal finish. The barrel has mostly gone to white, and has spots of light surface oxidation throughout. The breech and breech lock have light surface oxidation throughout. The screw heads are lightly tool marked with strong slots. Markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in Good condition, as antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: The ram rod mentioned above.

Our Assessment: On offer here is the storied Monkey Tail rifle made by Westley Richards of Britain. More specifically, this is a late-era version made specifically for the Boers of South Africa, who saw it as an ideal and practical weapon. Rifles such as these saw use in the first Boer war of 1881, where the Boers handily defeated nearly 700 British soldiers. And is it any wonder, with the act of flipping the rifle over for relaoding removed from the equation, a shooter had a twenty shot per minute rate of fire. This rifle pattern was in its time highly regarded, and prior to its use in South Africa, other versions were used by all manner of shooters and riflemen. This example is in overall Good condition for an antique. While most of the finish is gone, the build is still strong, and mechanically, things seem quite good. This is a highly sought-after rifle, so do not miss out! Good luck and happy bidding!

Westley Richards 1874 Monkey Tail .45 Cal Single-Shot Percussion Rifle 1874
Westley Richards 1874 Monkey Tail .45 Cal Single-Shot Percussion Rifle 1874