Brand New Westley Richards Drop lock vs Brand New Searcy Classic

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by NITROEXPRESS, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. NITROEXPRESS

    NITROEXPRESS New Member

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    I know the comparison might seem strange ( due to to price difference), but I was wondering what would make a more accurate and more reliable rifle of the two? I'm only taking into consideration accuracy and rugged reliability/dependability. I know many say Butch's rifles are the most accurate and toughest doubles around, which has impressed me. There's also just something about the drop lock that captures the romance of the good ol' days though. I guess I've decided that someday I hope to have one of each regardless, but I was just curious what some of you think (for fun).Thanks so much and it's good to be here on the forum.
     
  2. richteb

    richteb AH Enthusiast

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    As far as I have read, one difference is that Searcy regulates his doubles for 100 yards as opposed to 50 for WR. If this correct, then that to me is a plus for Searcy. It means I could use my double to hunt other game as most of us don't go on safari every week.
     
  3. NITROEXPRESS

    NITROEXPRESS New Member

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    That is a nice feature. . . Has anyone on the forum ordered a new WR recently? Due to the price point it's hard to find those with first-hand experience with the new ones. I know the factory has been updated and apparently they are still producing top-notch guns....I am very intrigued by the David Mckay Brown round action as well. My only concern has to do with how much experience he has in regulating double rifles. It may be a non-issue, but I'm just not sure and since they are so rare I've never even heard of anyone who knows an owner of one.
     
  4. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Nitroexpress welcome to the forum.

    from what i have read both are very good rifles...

    I do not know what your time frame you are looking at, Searcy double rifles are usually finished with in a year of ordering depending on your options. WR are taking a little longer to come out the door.

    If you are planning for a future hunt then make sure you fit this into your memory bank.
     
  5. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Perhaps in the Classic model Butch regulates at 100 yards, but I know the Field Grade is regulated at 50 yards (or so the letter he sends with the rifle says). He includes some very good information on care, dealing with recoil, the load and bullet information used during regulation, etc .... He turned mine (Field Grade) around in 5 months, but I ordered a month before he made it to the SCI convention, which I believe is where most of his orders get placed.
     
  6. .416 Rigby

    .416 Rigby AH Member

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    I went to London last fall and visited all the great gun houses. A gentleman at Purdy's told me that if I was looking for an excellent working double, he suggested that i take the train to Birmingham and visit Westley Richards. He highly recommended the Westley Richards boxlock as a great working rifle. This is from Purdy, mind you.

    Based on my investigations, I agree with him. However, even a WR costs almost what a Big Four safari does, so I'll stick with my Krieghoff .470, which has served me well over the course of several safaris.

    If I win the lottery, I'll buy a WR boxlock.
     
  7. richteb

    richteb AH Enthusiast

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    Who wouldn't.
     
  8. 505ED

    505ED AH Veteran

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    I have owned one Searcy. It was a fine and accurate rifle, but the WR drop lock is a "fine"gun and will always bring a premium. I would own one in a heart beat. It will be sought after this year and a 100 years from now.

    If you would like WR quality with a cheaper price--check out FAMARS Africa Express. They start about 28K and go to 40K and build quality is first rate.

    Ed
     
  9. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    A mate had a new WR go through his shop the other month. Cant get the vision of his and our Gun Smiths look on their faces when I asked if it was nice. To explain, they where almost drooling over it!
     
  10. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    Me too;)
     
  11. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Nitro EXP, First let me say that Westley Richards are my favorite name double rifle from the UK. But the least favorite of the WR doubles is the æ³¥ROP LOCK featured double action. The reason for this is the convenience for cleaning and lubricating of the locks is over shadowed by the amount of steel that has to be removed from the action body to accommodate the drop locks! That being said the WR rifles seem to just point themselves, because I find WR rifle to be balanced as well or better than most other Britt double rifles, regardless of price!

    On the B.Searcy doubles, and especially the CLASSIC are what they are and Butch will tell you himself that he is not trying to compete with WR, H&H, PURDEY or any of the old names in the world, but what he will tell you is the his rifles are the only brand in the world that carries a life time warranty, and that is not the life of the original buyer but the life of the rifle! That is a very big plus for the B. SEARCY! In my experience there is no double rifle name in the world that is MORE accurate than a Searcy double rifle!

    Below in this post you will see a couple of quotes that indicate a real problem that shows it ugly head in, not only amateur hunter shooters but many very well respected gun smiths, and gun writers, the misconception that the advertised phrase by makers of THIS RIFLE IS REGULATED AT 100 YARDS , OR 50 YARDS This only is in reference to the sights only, doesn't mean the rifle barrels were regulated to hit the same spot on the target at that range! This only refers to the distance that the SIGHTS were cut to be dead on at that range for windage, and elevation, and just like any rifle with fixed iron sights one holds over for longer range, and under for closer range! Most flatter shooting rounds like a 9.3X74R, or 375 Flanged magnum will be cut for 100 yards, and most big bore stoppers like 450NE up will be cut for 50 yards!

    MORE below the quotes to answer the question these quotes have brought on BARREL REGULATION!



    The two quotes above give the mistaken impression that the barrels are regulated to both hit the same hole on the target at the range engraved on the standing rear sight! This is one of the things so often posted not only by the layman but by long time gun writers who should know better!

    The barrels on a double rifle are not regulated to cross at any range, and if a bullet from both barrels are hitting the same ragged hole at any range, then the rifle is crossing at that range! This doesn't only apply to a side-by-side double but an over-under double as well.

    This thinking is born of peoples knowledge of single barreled rifles, and a complete ignorance of how a double rifle is regulated to shoot! That single barrel is supposed to hit the same hole as much as is possible, but this is not the case with a double rifle regardless of barrel configuration. If the centers of each barrels bores are 1 inch apart, then the center of each barrels group should be inch on away from the aiming point on its own side of that aiming point for the S/S double rifle. In other words the barrels are regulated to shoot SIDE-BY-SIDE, with the aiming point half way between the centers of each barrels individual group on the target. The only difference between the O/U, and the S/S is in relation to the aiming point! The barrels are still regulated to shoot One over the other the distance between the bore centers of each barrel, but the iron sights are different. The sight on the O/U is set so the top barrel hit where the sight is pointed at the sight regulation range, but the bottom barrel is regulated to hit the distance between the centers of both bores below the top barrel, but still shooting parallel no matter the range .

    The double rifle makers are responsible for this misconception by stating that the rifle is regulated to so and so range with out explaining this only applies to where the sights are cut not the barrels regulation. By using the word REGULATE in relation to the cutting of the iron sights and with the convergence of the barrels both leads folks to think it applies to both the same and it doesn't. A better way to say this is to use regulation for only the barrels physical regulation, and say the sights are SET dead on at so-and-so range!

    The second thing that makes for the confusion about barrel regulation is that the barrels must CONVERGE, so they will shoot SIDE-BY-SIDE! Now I know that sounds silly to the unschooled, but is true nonetheless!

    In this regard simply take a barrel set off the action on a S/S double rifle and lock the under luggs in a padded vice with the muzzle end of the barrels supported! Now line the sights on an aiming point at the range engraved on the standing rear sight! Now with an empty cartridge case with no primer, chamber this case in the right chamber of the rifle and look through the primer hole. What you will see is, the line of sight through the right barrel will be pointing to a place on the target that is LOW, and on the LEFT of where the sights are aligned, and vice-versa for the LEFT barrel with will be pointing LOW and ON the RIGHT of where the sights are pointing. Without thinking one would think the barrels are that way so they will cross but that is not the case! They are that way so they will shoot side-by-side! This is because of the way the barrels move while the bullet is traveling down the bore! This is called "BARREL TIME" ! Barrel time in conjunction with the way the barrel move under recoil is the reason for the convergence and low pointing of the barrels. When the trigger is pulled on the right barrel the sights are aligned with the aiming point on the target, but as the barrel moves down the bore of the RIGHT BARREL, the barrel is moving UP, and to the LEFT away from the other barrel, and by the time the bullet exits the muzzle it is pointing at a point that is just RIGHT of point of aim, and at the right elevation printed on the sight, and is just exactly the reverse for the LEFT barrel. With this in mind now it should become clear in you mind that the double rifle is designed to shoot parallel from muzzle to infinity and is just as accurate as any iron sighted rifle of the same chambering, with only hold over for longer range just like an iron sighted single barrel rifle! This is the reason the changing of the powder charge will destroy the regulation, because it chamber the recoil movement of the barrels!
     
  12. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Dugaboy1,

    Thanks for characterizing my post as a "real problem" that shows its "ugly head", and later describing my obviously limited knowledge as "complete ignorance".

    There's no question that I'm new to double rifles, and since you're so willing to point out problems and ignorance, perhaps you can devote a bit more time to educating me on this subject?

    In Graeme Wright's "Shooting the British Double Rifle 3rd Edition", he describes regulation for a rifle manufacturer or gunsmith as adjusting the muzzles of the barrels so that the two barrels "fire into a good composite group". Later he says "for all practical purposes, in a correctly regulated rifle, you can imagine the bullet paths from the individual barrels as two straight lines starting at the muzzles and converging at some distant point. In reality, the bullet paths are quite complicated, but this does not concern us practical shooters. What does not happen, or at least should not happen, is that the bullet paths cross at some close range and then continue to get further apart".

    Following your description of regulation, not only are the muzzles adjusted to fire into a good composite group, great pains are taken to ensure the right barrel stays a fraction of an inch right of the point of aim, and the left barrel stays just left of the point of aim. The barrels never "converge" at some distant point, they remain perfectly parallel from the point of muzzle exit (after the rifle has recoiled up and away, assuming the bullet path is this simple) until the bullet plows into the earth. Since I don't know, I'll ask: at what distances (at least two are required, and they need to be sufficiently far apart to matter) are barrels checked to make absolutely certain the right stays right and the left stays left? Do the DR manufactures all check this at a minimum of 2 respectable distances? If the rifles are checked with proper holding techniques (hand-held) with express iron sights, are individual barrel groups routinely small enough to measure fractions of inches left or right of the point of aim?

    Is the above the standard method of regulation, or is regulation more often done at one distance, say 50 yards, with the goal of producing a "good" composite group at that distance and making sure that the bullet paths don't cross at some close range. A "good" composite group may mean right stays right, left and right hit basically the same point, or right and left cross slightly. Regardless, at 50 yards the barrels are hitting nearly the same point, and at 100 yards, if someone was so inclined to shoot, the bullets would not be that far apart.

    Regardless of the answers, I consider the parallel path from muzzle to infinity to be physically impossible. Because double rifles recoil up and away, each bullet still has a component of this movement, although it pales in comparison to the forward velocity, as it exits the muzzle. For practical DR shooting distances, this is of little concern. To make the statement that "the double rifle is designed to shoot parallel from muzzle to infinity" is an entirely different story. That may have been someone's design, but due to the recoil motion inherent to a double rifle, it is not reality.
     
  13. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    First off I'm sorry if you took my post as a personal affront at you! That however is not the case. In this case you are taking the word IGNORANCE as an insult to you intelligence, and that is not the definition of the word. IGNORANCE simply means a person has not been made aware of something he was not aware of before, The word only becomes a sight on a persons intelligence when he is made aware of something and chooses to ignore it, then and only then does it reflect on his intelligence!

    As far as the regulation of barrels shooting parallel being impossible you are certainly wrong no matter where you got the idea. This is what I meant in my post about GUN WRITERS, and so-called perfect gunsmiths. They print misconceptions simply because they dont know better! There is a big difference in shooting a lot of double rifles, and knowing how to physically regulate a double rifle!

    On the regulation being 50 yards of 25 yards or 1000 yards, those distances have only to do with the sights being filed so the center of a COMPOSITE GROUP at that range is dead on with the standing rear sight and front beat, nothing more! How ever what you must realize is the physical barrel regulation is done first to shoot parallel then the sights are cut for the distance one is likely to use the rifle most often, just like any fixed irons sight on any rifle.

    I think what Mr. Wright is saying is that even though the centers of each barrels individual groups remain on its own side of the aiming point, as with any rifle single barrel or double barrel in that barrel is shooting a one minute of angle group at for example 100 yards, mathematically it will shoot a two minute group at 200 yds. Because of this some of each barrels individual group will spill over into the other barrels individual group! In that since some DO cross over but the centers of each barrels individual groups will remain on its own side of the aiming point! What this means on the target is, a good composite group will be slightly egg shaped along the horizontal plane, with the aiming point being exactly half way between the centers of each barrel individual group! The center of each barrels individual groups do not cross at any range, but remain parallel!

    If you look at a very expensive double rifle from one of the top names in the makers ranks that has a standing blade on the rear sight multiple flip-ups for down range shooting, you will notice that the center line to the "V" in each sight are all in line with each for windage regardless of the distance the flip-up is cut for. NOW, if the rifle were regulated to cross at say 50 yds, then the shots would get wider the farther it went down range, and the down range sights would be useless! This is not the case however those sights were not put on that rifle for decoration but to be used!

    Shakey you may believe what ever you want, but believing that double rifles are properly regulated if the cross at the range on that standing rear sight is patently WRONG! A properly regulated double rifle shooting properly loaded ammo does not cross the centers of the barrels individual groups at any range, and the center of the composite group of both barrels the aiming point will be half way between the centers of each barrels individual group!
     
  14. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Since I'm stuck in hotel room in Wyoming right now, might as well have some fun with this ?

    Let's examine a few comments. First will be my original post:

    "Perhaps in the Classic model Butch regulates at 100 yards, but I know the Field Grade is regulated at 50 yards (or so the letter he sends with the rifle says)."

    In the letter Butch sent with the rifle he says: "Our rifles are regulated so that they will shoot a right barrel and a left into a 2-inch circle at 50 yards".

    Butch is man of few words. I guess what he meant to say was the rear sight is cut for 50 yards, and the right barrel will stay right of the point of aim and no more than an inch from it, and the left barrel will stay left of the point of aim and no more than inch from it, at all distances.

    Next is from your post above:

    "I think what Mr. Wright is saying is that even though the centers of each barrels individual groups remain on its own side of the aiming point, as with any rifle single barrel or double barrel in that barrel is shooting a one minute of angle group at for example 100 yards, mathematically it will shoot a two minute group at 200 yds. Because of this some of each barrels individual group will spill over into the other barrels individual group! In that since some DO cross over but the centers of each barrels individual groups will remain on its own side of the aiming point! What this means on the target is, a good composite group will be slightly egg shaped along the horizontal plane, with the aiming point being exactly half way between the centers of each barrel individual group! The center of each barrels individual groups do not cross at any range, but remain parallel!"


    That is not what Mr. Wright said, and I suspect if it was what he wanted to say, he would have said it. What he did say is: "for all practical purposes, in a correctly regulated rifle, you can imagine the bullet paths from the individual barrels as two straight lines starting at the muzzles and converging at some distant point." He then goes on to say "In reality, the bullet paths are quite complicated, but this does not concern us practical shooters".

    There's a reason why he says "for practical purposes" and "practical shooters". That reason is explained in his other statement "In reality, the bullet paths are quite complicated".

    Simple, perfectly parallel bullet paths from muzzle to infinity certainly don't fit this description.

    One of the reasons the paths are complicated is very well explained in your first post on this thread.

    "What you will see is, the line of sight through the right barrel will be pointing to a place on the target that is LOW, and on the LEFT of where the sights are aligned, and vice-versa for the LEFT barrel with will be pointing LOW and ON the RIGHT of where the sights are pointing. Without thinking one would think the barrels are that way so they will cross but that is not the case! They are that way so they will shoot side-by-side! This is because of the way the barrels move while the bullet is traveling down the bore! This is called "BARREL TIME" ! Barrel time in conjunction with the way the barrel move under recoil is the reason for the convergence and low pointing of the barrels. When the trigger is pulled on the right barrel the sights are aligned with the aiming point on the target, but as the barrel [bullet] moves down the bore of the RIGHT BARREL, the barrel is moving UP, and to the LEFT
    away from the other barrel, and by the time the bullet exits the muzzle it is pointing at a point that is just RIGHT of point of aim, and at the right elevation printed on the sight, and is just exactly the reverse for the LEFT barrel."​


    The next statement is where it falls apart: "With this in mind now it should become clear in you mind that the double rifle is designed to shoot parallel from muzzle to infinity and is just as accurate as any iron sighted rifle of the same chambering, with only hold over for longer range just like an iron sighted single barrel rifle!"

    The reason it falls apart is because of the lateral movement of the barrels during recoil while the bullet is traveling down the barrel. In the case of the right barrel, for instance, it should be recoiling up and away from the left barrel as the bullet travels down the bore. The lateral component of that movement imparts a lateral velocity on the bullet while it is traveling down the barrel. This lateral velocity, albeit probably very small compared to a forward velocity of say 2,150 fps, does not magically go away once the bullet clears the muzzle. It continues to affect the path of the bullet from "muzzle to infinity".

    To say that it doesn't would be like saying someone traveling at 25 mph due north in a car decides to throw a rock due west out the window at a thrown speed of 45 mph, and the instant the rock clears the window, it magically ceases all movement north and only travels due west. Try it sometime. You'll have a hell of a time hitting anything with that reasoning.

    Obviously where the bore is pointing as the bullet reaches maximum velocity and exits is the most critical factor due the forward velocity of the bullet, but the lateral velocity that has been imparted on the bullet as the fired barrel recoils away from the other barrel continues to impact the flight of the bullet. Not only does it affect the path of the bullet, the lateral velocity imparted on the right bullet is in the opposite direction as the lateral velocity imparted on the left bullet (right recoils away from left barrel, left recoils away from right barrel).

    This lateral velocity in opposite directions makes achieving bullet paths that are "parallel from muzzle to infinity" from the two barrels impossible, period.

    The last comment to examine is: "As far as the regulation of barrels shooting parallel being impossible you are certainly wrong no matter where you got the idea. This is what I meant in my post about GUN WRITERS, and so-called perfect gunsmiths. They print misconceptions simply because they dont know better! There is a big difference in shooting a lot of double rifles, and knowing how to physically regulate a double rifle!"

    I didn't get the "idea" from any gun writer, gunsmith or rifle maker. It's called Physics 101. If you can remove the lateral component of the recoil movement, then perhaps you can start to describe bullet paths that remain parallel. Until then, your simplistic view of double rifle bullet paths cannot exist.​
     
  15. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Shakey believe what you want, but if you will look at your own writing you may not know it but you are agreeing with me all the way!

    We are not discussing cars and rocks, we are discussing the way regulation works in a double rifle! I have no idea how old you are but I suspect young, or how much actual experience you have with the actual use and/or work on double rifles but again I suspect little other that reading books and articles in gun rags.

    I on the other hand am in my 75th year of life, and have been continuously involved in owning, hunting with, hand loading for and building double rifles since the age of 21 years in 1957. Have owned over 40 double rifles and have never been without at least two in my vault or on my workbench in the last 54 years.

    Your post is exactly what my statement was all about that the wives tales constantly repeated by gun writers, is still being repeated by their readers as fact in regard to double rifles and leads those who know no better to believe that double rifles are designed to cross they flight paths at the SO-CALLED regulated distance. That is simply not true! The centers of each barrels individual groups never cross if the rifle is properly regulated, and loaded with proper regulating ammo!

    I'm telling you once again that what Graeme Wright was referring to is the fact that each barrels individual groups get larger as they go down range, so that the right side of the left barrels group spills over into the left of the right barrels group, and left side of the right barrels group spills over into the right side of the left barrels group. All this means is, both individual groups get wider as they go down range, but the centers of both those groups remain on its own side of the aiming point! The above is fact, and if you choose to disbelieve that you will never understand fully the way regulation works in a double rifle!

    NOW post till your fingers get sore, I'm finished trying to get through to you!

    ????????Enjoy your stay in the motel!
     
  16. David W. Kropelnicki

    David W. Kropelnicki AH Member

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    There is no comparison at all! You are talking apples and oranges. The Westley droplock is a beautiful and desirable rifle if you want to step up to the price. I know of one for sale with 375 and 470 barrels for 58,000. It is in the makers, oak and leather case but has 28# barrels and a single trigger. If it was not fir those two things, it would probably be 80,000. Pure art that never goes out of style.
     

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