For Sale Whitworth Express .458

baxterb

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Having had the chance to see this rifle in person and also see the proofs as Tom is showing above, I have zero doubt this rifle was proofed in Birmingham. There are three marks, one on the barrel as shown, one on the receiver, and one underneath the barrel - also shown. These marks mate perfectly with known British proof marks as shown on Hallowell's site (below). Given the date of the rifle is 1974, it fits right in the 1954-1989 time frame.

 

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CoElkHunter

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Having had the chance to see this rifle in person and also see the proofs as Tom is showing above, I have zero doubt this rifle was proofed in Birmingham. There are three marks, one on the barrel as shown, one on the receiver, and one underneath the barrel - also shown. These marks mate perfectly with known British proof marks as shown on Hallowell's site (below). Given the date of the rifle is 1974, it fits right in the 1954-1989 time frame.

Not trying to be facetious (this time), but what do the “proofs” prove? Proof vs. not proofed? What does it all mean? Quality? Rarity? Please explain. Thanks!
 

baxterb

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Not trying to be facetious (this time), but what do the “proofs” prove? Proof vs. not proofed? What does it all mean? Quality? Rarity? Please explain. Thanks!

Proofing is a process in which the integrity of the rifle is proven (proofed) by intentionally firing an over-pressure cartridge “proof load.” If the rifle does this with no damage, it is considered proofed. only then will the proof
House (in this case Birmingham) strike the rifle.

In general, having British proof marks does make a rifle more desirable than an equivalent rifle that does not. For example, in the double gun world, proof marks often tell the lineage of a rifle, especially is it were ever rebarelled, rechambered, etc.

We (sadly in my opinion) do not have a proof house in the US. Several very top-end makers i know here wish there were. One i know uses the heaviest factory load as the proof load during building.
 
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sestoppelman

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I understand you have 6,390 more posts than I do on this site but at 67 years old this isn't my first rodeo either. As you can see from the included picture I too have a few I've collected over the years.

View attachment 339525

I posted what an employee that worked in the barrel department told me. This wasn't some pimple faced kid but someone with enough time with the company that he was asked to manage all sales for the retail and on line business.

To be clear, I am not saying "this one rifle" has a Shaw barrel. That would imply that it was rebarreled. It has the factory barrel and I was told it came from E.R. Shaw. Why in the world would he tell me that? He has nothing to gain by telling me that.

As far as "evidence"? If the owner was still alive I might ask him but I am not going to ask the current owners for a signed affidavit to prove it. Sorry, but that is the best I'm going to be able to do.

If you are interested in purchasing this fine Manchester made rifle please let me know.

Thanks
Well you know what they say, opinions are like ***holes, everyone has one. (y) I perhaps misread your earlier assertion regarding Shaw. You stated the 1974 rifles as having been Shaw barreled. That does not seem impossible, I was reading it as all Whitworth rifles, my mistake.:)
That being a probable first year rifle, they may have outsourced the barrels when just getting started.
Your rifle has barrel markings that I have not seen before on a Whitworth, the pressure stampings in particular, so that is another indication of its very early build. Were it not for the date stamp on the receiver I would wonder if Zastava even made the action.
The NP would be nitro proved, the B could be British or Birmingham. I looked in some reference books and didn't find the BNP together as shown. I suspect someone more well versed in proof marks may be able to clear that up.

EDIT. I posted without seeing the proof chart which does show the BNP together. I am familiar with the chart but don't have one at hand.
 

Thomas G. Vogt

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Well, like the saying goes, You learn something new every day.

Funny how we sometimes read something but don't really read it huh?:A Bonk:

Thank You Baxter for posting the chart. That is the same one I found when researching the stampings.
 

flatwater bill

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There's a lot(Lott?)to like about the Whitworth. I own a 375, and have owned a 458. A little gunsmithing often needed.....like on a CZ, but the result is very nice. I would think the Lott conversion would be fairly simple on this gun, although I did not have it done. I was loading my 458 to approx Lott power at times, and recoil would be very stout. I didn't think I needed anymore, and when I bought the Whitworth 375 I felt that alone was plenty for me. This is a good offer, best of luck with the sale..................FWB
 

Surgeon1

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I have a 375 with a slightly lower serial number and bought it in 1975! It has always shot well! In the late 80's I added a 458 and the quality isn't as good! Proof marks on the 375 is identical to this gun! When I first got a bore scope I looked at virtually ever gun I owned and remembered the 375 barrel had very few imperfections while the 458 was more like current Remington barrels! Bedding was better too! If I get time I'll pull them both out and compare later this week! Haven't shot either in years after Brown Precision built me both a 375 & 458, but have no interest in selling my Whitworth 375!
 

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