Westley Richards article about Exploras / capable or compromise ?

PerH

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A very good article into whether or not it was a good versatile piece or a compromise that was not so good .
Thanks for sharing. Hadoke has a well deserved reputation for knowing a bit about which he writes.

I sadly do not own a WR, but my William Evans Paradox is a remarkable gun. I wouldn't try two or three-hundred yard shots with it, but using Ross Seyfried's loads, it will put a LxR/LxR four shot group into a couple of inches at 100 yards. I have only taken it to Africa once, quite a few years ago, but there one afternoon it rolled two warthogs for leopard bait and created quite of pile of sand grouse. My friend Tony Makris killed buffalo with both his Explora and Fauneta. Amazing wonderful things.

William Evans Paradox 12 bore
 
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Thanks for sharing. Hoke has a well deserved reputation for knowing a bit about which he writes.

You rarely make a mistake in your writings. I hate to nit pick but "Diggory Hadoke" deserves proper recognition.
 
You rarely make a mistake in your writings. I hate to nit pick but "Diggory Hadoke" deserves proper recognition.
Good catch! Typing too fast ( or too early).
 
I did some searching to find one of these models on the market and they seem to be pretty rare…Can anyone else find any?
 
I did some searching to find one of these models on the market and they seem to be pretty rare…Can anyone else find any?
There are 2 in Brisbane . A WR Super Magnum Explora with hand detachable locks ex Indian Maharana and a 20g WR Fauneta with detachable locks . Superb weapons . I think the Super Magnum is better characterized as a rifle which can be used as a shotgun . Brilliant for buff . The Fauneta is certainly capable of taking a red deer . The owner thinks 100 yards is a maximum practical range for both .
 
There are 2 in Brisbane . A WR Super Magnum Explora with hand detachable locks ex Indian Maharana and a 20g WR Fauneta with detachable locks . Superb weapons . I think the Super Magnum is better characterized as a rifle which can be used as a shotgun . Brilliant for buff . The Fauneta is certainly capable of taking a red deer . The owner thinks 100 yards is a maximum practical range for both .
Would you care to share where?
 
Thanks for sharing. Hoke has a well deserved reputation for knowing a bit about which he writes.

I sadly do not own a WR, but my William Evans Paradox is a remarkable gun. I wouldn't try two or three-hundred yard shots with it, but using Ross Seyfried's loads, it will put a LxR/LxR four shot group into a couple of inches at 100 yards. I have only taken it to Africa once, quite a few years ago, but there one afternoon it rolled two warthogs for leopard bait and created quite of pile of sand grouse. My friend Tony Makris killed buffalo with both his Explora and Fauneta. Amazing wonderful things.

William Evans Paradox 12 bore
A very interesting weapon. Always fascinated by the idea of a 12 gauge (or 16 gauge) for ducks, and a short-range rifle for anything else for meat.

I watched that episode with Tony Makris taking a buffalo with his Explora. A real hunt. Got my blood flowing.
I think these would be a magnificent gun in the upper and lower Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana, the canebrakes along the Mississippi around Natchez, east Texas, hills of Tennessee, Alabama bottomlands, and many other places within a 100-yard range.

Is it possible that a modern day gunmaker can make these at a reasonable price?
(reasonable) $5K.
 
I recently shot a WR 12 bore Explora...it shot cast 735 grain hollow points..owned by a friend of mine..
I think these were always a compromise..at least for thick skinned game like elephant, buffalo (african/asian) and rhino.. However on the cats they were probably ok..

Perhaps the 8 bore paradox was also fine on pachyderms..ie Tony Makris..what is the bullet weight of an 8 bore paradox..?

But the large bore double rifles made them obsolete at an early stage...fun to shoot though with little recoil.. The one I shot was sold by a Singapore firm (engraved on the barrels)..came from India with several other weapons..
 
Paradox or Explora, certainly highly interesting and beautiful collector's items, but in 2024 you should not equate it with what it has proven itself by hunting big game nowadays. At that time, these rifles were also quickly replaced by much more efficient ones. The last hunter and author who recommends its use for big game hunting is C.E.M. RUSSEL in his book BULLET AND SHOT in INDIAN FOREST, PLAIN AND HILL / Edition from 1900.
 
When thinking about Paradox and Explora weapons I think we also need to understand that they were mainly intended for India and not Africa . I have seen quite a few and not one was originally sold to Africa . The high end H&H and WR weapons were to Princes and the less high end ball and shot guns were to British public servants and soldiers stationed on the sub continent . My guess is they were intended for big cats , buff/ gaur but certainly not elephants .
 
That's right, you hear more about such rifles from India than from Africa. I don't know exactly why some rifles from this times in lasted longer in India than in Africa. It is probably due to the differences between hunting and the hunters in Africa and that in India at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Upon request, DR caliber 500 Express were still produced for customers in India in the twenties.

As for the Paradox and Explora rifles, in the book I quoted, the author recommends the use of such rifles of caliber 8 or better 4 for buffalo and elephant hunting.

Classic battery of an India hunter before 1900:

A pair of double .303 sporting rifles
One double 577 Express taking the long case and 6 1/2 drams of powder
One double 12-bore Paradox gun
One double 8-bore Paradox gun


The author speaks only about Paradox gun which seems to be more used than the Explora gun by Westley Richards.
 
Can rifled choke tubes, if fitted to modern shotgun be compared to paradox or explora gun?
Same question for paradox slug ammunition, can it be compared to shotgun slugs, or sabot slugs (on rifled chokes)?
 
When thinking about Paradox and Explora weapons I think we also need to understand that they were mainly intended for India and not Africa . I have seen quite a few and not one was originally sold to Africa . The high end H&H and WR weapons were to Princes and the less high end ball and shot guns were to British public servants and soldiers stationed on the sub continent . My guess is they were intended for big cats , buff/ gaur but certainly not elephants .

I concurr...as Holland & Holland said in their catalouge "..everything from snipe to tiger.."
 
Anyone have a link to the Tony Makris episode with the Explora ?
 
That's right, you hear more about such rifles from India than from Africa. I don't know exactly why some rifles from this times in lasted longer in India than in Africa. It is probably due to the differences between hunting and the hunters in Africa and that in India at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Upon request, DR caliber 500 Express were still produced for customers in India in the twenties.

As for the Paradox and Explora rifles, in the book I quoted, the author recommends the use of such rifles of caliber 8 or better 4 for buffalo and elephant hunting.

Classic battery of an India hunter before 1900:

A pair of double .303 sporting rifles
One double 577 Express taking the long case and 6 1/2 drams of powder
One double 12-bore Paradox gun
One double 8-bore Paradox gun


The author speaks only about Paradox gun which seems to be more used than the Explora gun by Westley Richards.
I think the Fosbery patent for the Paradox gun had not lapsed in 1900 so consequently H&H were the only maker to offer such weapons . Explora sand Collindians etc started to appear circa 1905 once the patent had lapsed .
Anyone have a link to the Tony Makris episode with the Explora ?
 
Can rifled choke tubes, if fitted to modern shotgun be compared to paradox or explora gun?
Same question for paradox slug ammunition, can it be compared to shotgun slugs, or sabot slugs (on rifled chokes)?
I have seen rifled chokes fitted to an old Victor Sarasqueta shotgun . I have no idea where they came from . I only shot clays with it so can’t comment from personal experience . The owner had only used it to shoot targets but apparently it shot OK .
I think the Fosbery patent for the Paradox gun had not lapsed in 1900 so consequently H&H were the only maker to offer such weapons . Explora sand Collindians etc started to appear circa 1905 once the patent had lapsed .
 
My old A&N Jungle Gun works on fur & feathers but I need to find a good Bullet load to take on bigger game.

Need a few more like this to load.
IMG_6287.jpeg

IMG_5880.jpeg

IMG_4738.jpeg

IMG_4741.jpeg

IMG_4743.jpeg
 
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I think the Fosbery patent for the Paradox gun had not lapsed in 1900 so consequently H&H were the only maker to offer such weapons . Explora sand Collindians etc started to appear circa 1905 once the patent had lapsed .
Just the opposite. WR used those names because they still could not use the still patented Paradox name itself.
 

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