.318 Westley Richards

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Red Leg, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Have seen a couple of .318 WR's over the years and finally had the opportunity to buy a circa 1920 one this weekend. It is as classic an English light express rifle as one can imagine. Curious if anyone has had any field experience with the round. BC must be terrific with the heavy and long for caliber 250 grain bullets at 2400 fps. Westley Richards and Kynoch load that ammunition, and I can't wait to take this wonderful old rifle back to Africa next summer as my light rifle.
     
  2. pinotguy

    pinotguy AH Member

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    Now we're cooking with gas! The 318 W-R has to be one of the all-time great African PG cartridges ever developed. I'm in the process of having one built on a commercial Mauser 98 action. I had intended on taking it with me to Namibia earlier this year but some obstacles came up and that didn't happen. Things are back on track now and, hopefully, it will be completed some time in '10.

    The W-R and Kynoch loads should work well for you, but they are spendy. I was very surprised to learn that reloading components are fairly easy to obtain and there is actually a selection of bullets out there. My guess is that it's right there performance-wise with the standard 8mm's and 338's.

    Congrats and some pics would be appreciated.
     
  3. FFemt5287

    FFemt5287 AH Senior Member

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    I would love to see some pictures, also.

    Pinotguy, who is building yours for you?
     
  4. doubleoctagon

    doubleoctagon New Member

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    pics would be nice.
     
  5. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH Senior Member

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    Pic's are mandatory.

    Von Gruff.
     
  6. Oldsarge

    Oldsarge AH Member

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    Well, here's mine, a W. W. Greener "African Game Park Warden" model. I bought it direct from Kynoch and took it to Mozambique back in 2006. Let me tell you, the exit wounds are awesome!

    [​IMG]

    I replaced the original express sights with a Lyman 48 from about the same period. I love that caliber!
     

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  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hey pintoguy,

    Your opener reminded me of a saying my dad who is 87 used to say, "Steam is on the beam, and the janitor's cooking with gas!" Never heard anyone else say something similar.
     
  8. Pheroze

    Pheroze BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    A revival! I was lamenting that my British heritage (on Mum's side) has been let down by my use of the 30-06 when I understand that, but for the war, the 318 WR may have been destined for greater things. With a 250 gr bullet it seems to be close to the 35 Whelen and 338-06. But then I read that it is smaller than the Whelen, slower than both, and maybe not a versatile as the '06. So, did the American calibers best the British fairly or is the 318 a victim of history?
     
  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    So Red Leg, where are the pics???!?!?!?!? Been almost 5 years man!
     
  10. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Red Leg, Pinotguy and Oldsarge,

    You three ought to be ashamed of yourselves, waving those .318 caliber Mausers under a junkie's nose like this.

    Now I'm going to have to keep my sponsor up all night crying about how badly I'm getting the shakes for a .318 WR.

    If I do fall off the wagon, I plan to use the excuse that the 9.3x62 I had built on a 1950s FN commercial 98 action, sleeved multiple leaf express rear sights, flip over "moon" front bead, etc., is the closest thing to a .318 that I have ever owned and it is probably getting quite lonely.

    Shaking and hallucinating,
    Velo Dog.
     
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  11. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Pheroze,

    It is the ballistic twin of our .338-06.

    IE: Both launch a .33 caliber / 250 grain bullet at about 2400 fps.

    Although the .318 uses .330 diameter projectiles and the .338 is actually uses .338 diameter like its name implies.

    I have fired a .338-06 and really enjoyed it but if I ever decide to have either of those built to my specs, I likely will choose the .318 for the nostalgia factor.

    Bell is famous for taking many elephants with the .275 Rigby, AKA the 7x57, but in reading his book "Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter", it seems clear to me that his favorite was the .318 Westley Richards / 250 gr RNS.

    (Incidentally, there seems to be paper record indicating Bell purchased two .416 caliber Mausers from Rigby and at least a thousand rounds of ammunition for same, loaded with "solids", during his ivory hunting years. Hmmm).

    Last but not least, my favorite PH in Africa (Limpopo / South Africa) once told me that for his own personal stew pot and braai rifle, if he lived where the laws were not so tight, he would have a Mauser built to his specs in caliber .338-06, as his Number One Go To PG Rifle.

    Blah, blah, blah,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
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  12. Oldsarge

    Oldsarge AH Member

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    For years it was difficult to get proper bullets to reload the .318 but now you can get .330 200 gr. bullets from Graf. I've yet to take game with them as it's been ages since I last safari'd but I'm quite sure that loaded up to, say, 2600 fps they would perform admirably. Eventually, I will relocate to Oregon where a fine elk caliber like this will see plenty of use. In the mean time I just take it out and pet it now and again.

    In any case, I agree with Velo Dog's PH. One could not find a better meat gun if your life depended on it and since my next safari (whenever it happens) I will be basically pot hunting and enjoying Africa, I suspect that it will be the gun I carry.
     
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