SOLD FOR: $7,025
Make: J. & L. Wilkins & Co.
Model: Big Game, Mauser Sporting Rifle
Serial Number: 69. The serial number is on the left side of the chamber ring below the stock line. The trigger guard is marked 4049.
Year of Manufacture: 1970s-2010s
Caliber: .404 Jefferey
Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine with Hinged Floorplate
Barrel Length: 24″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a beaded blade in-line dovetailed to a ramped base at the front of the barrel. The front sight base is finely stippled. The rear sight is an Express-style sight with one fixed and three folding “V”-notches, marked “100”, “200”, “300”, and “400” in ascending order. The folding notches each have a vertical line aiming reference. The rear sight assembly is dovetailed to a base fixed to the barrel toward the rear.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is one-piece checkered walnut with a steel capped pistol grip, straight comb, cheekpiece, nosecap, two recoil lugs, and a sling eyelet in the belly (there is a sling mount fixed to the barrel forward of the forend). The pistol grip cap has a hinged door and storage compartment. There are a few little dings in the wood and minor compressions, the most noticeable are on the sides at about the action. There are some scattered light handling marks. The checkering is strong. The LOP measures 14 5/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the brick red rubber buttpad. The pad has some light wear, no gashes or tears. Overall, the stock is in Fine Plus condition.
Type of Finish: Blued & Case Colored
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There are a few little spots of pinprick surface erosion. In my opinion, this bore rates 9.5 out of 10.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 95% of its current metal finish. The majority of the wear is finish loss and discoloration on the bolt knob from use. There are a few little spots of discoloration from previous oxidation. There are a few little areas of minor surface frost, mostly on the barrel shank and chamber ring. There is some operational finish wear on the bolt body. There are a few little spots of finish wear on the floorplate. There is some finsih wear on the edge of the muzzle. The screw heads are sharp to lightly used. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a leather sling.
Our Assessment: This is a J. & L. Wilkins & Co. Safari rifle chambered for .404 Jefferey. The company history is vague and not much seems to be available on them, but they appear to be a bespoke maker that builds doubles and bolt rifles. The brand is reportedly a brand owned by an American and another gentleman from the far east who had access to some pretty damn fine builders, and would make guns and then proof them in Britain. The Wilkins name was that of the American and was chosen because it sounded substantially more British than that of the partner. The barrels are marked “England“, and it would be easy to belive the guns are built there except for that they are not listed in “Boothroyd’s Revised Directory of British Gunmakers“, the definitive source on any companies building guns in the Isles. We have seen shotguns, double rifles, and bolt action rifles like this all with outstanding quality from this firm. This one is chambered for .404 Jefferey and has a 24” barrel fitted with express sights. The barrel is a deep rich blued and the reciever, bolt, and bottom metal assembly all feature beautiful case color. The barreled action is set in a checkered wood stock with a capped pistol grip, cheekpiece, and two engraved recoil lugs. The floorplate has lovely scroll engraving which is found again on the pistol grip cap. The screws in the stock are all timed and this is simply a beautiful piece, lack of information on J. & L. Wilkins & Co. be damned! The .404 Jefferey is a classic Safari round that is capable of taking The Big Five. This rifle will be right at home on your next safari or in the safe of a custom sporting rifle aficionado. Please see our photos and good luck!
Some are hot, some are not, but thankfully most can be shot!