Westley Wildcat

Spooksar

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No need to do this Quality Cartridge has brass in stock. In the past I tried Bertram but it’s garbage, then I modified 80 404 Jeffery cases and that worked well. Now I have sufficient number of cases that I can take to Africa and not worry about head-stamp going through customs or case failure on a DG hunt.
 

Cervus elaphus

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@Cervus elaphas
You could neck to anything from 17 cal to 470 if you want.
Bob

No need to do this Quality Cartridge has brass in stock. In the past I tried Bertram but it’s garbage, then I modified 80 404 Jeffery cases and that worked well. Now I have sufficient number of cases that I can take to Africa and not worry about head-stamp going through customs or case failure on a DG hunt.
Thanks for the info on Quality Cartridge
 
D

Deleted member 53080

Wow, that is some rifle! methinks the 300gr A-Frame puts it in the big bovine class. Seems strange that I've hadn't come across this caliber before. Thanks
(y) I imagine recoil is a little sporty. I discovered it the other day while killing some time on cartridgecollectors.net
 

Cervus elaphus

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Among other classic big bore rifles, the Westley Richards .425 Magnum Express grabbed by attention.
A cartridge that initially delivered a 410gr bullet at 2350fps is worthy of respect.
Both Woodleigh and Hawk make bullets for this caliber.
Apparently good brass is hard to get in the original rebated rim so some handloaders roll their own from the parent cartridge, the 404 Jeffery (and others probably). I've read that the bolt face of the .425 can be opened up to fit the .404J base - I don't know of anyone who has done this.
Q. if the Jeffery was rebarreled to .425WR using the necked up .404J brass and no rebate, would anything else need modifying?. In theory the WR cartridge should feed and eject as it is has a shorter case and overall length compared to the Jeffery.
(WR case=2.64" overall length=3.30" Jeffery case=2.87" overall length=3.53")
If this was feasible, would this rifle now be a .404 Jeffery wildcat or a .425WR wildcat?
Apart from Westley Richards, is anyone else making new 425WR rifles?. I cant find any on the net, Montana has gone under iirc, which is a crying shame, and CZ are not listing any that I'm aware of, I think their last one was the CZ550.
 
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Apart from Westley Richards, is anyone else making new 425WR rifles?. I cant find any on the net, Montana has gone under iirc, which is a crying shame, and CZ are not listing any that I'm aware of, I think their last one was the CZ550.
@Cervus elaphas
You could try Bruce Bertram at Bertram Brass.
Bob
 

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Among other classic big bore rifles, the Westley Richards .425 Magnum Express grabbed by attention.
A cartridge that initially delivered a 410gr bullet at 2350fps is worthy of respect.
Both Woodleigh and Hawk make bullets for this caliber.
Apparently good brass is hard to get in the original rebated rim so some handloaders roll their own from the parent cartridge, the 404 Jeffery (and others probably). I've read that the bolt face of the .425 can be opened up to fit the .404J base - I don't know of anyone who has done this.
Q. if the Jeffery was rebarreled to .425WR using the necked up .404J brass and no rebate, would anything else need modifying?. In theory the WR cartridge should feed and eject as it is has a shorter case and overall length compared to the Jeffery.
(WR case=2.64" overall length=3.30" Jeffery case=2.87" overall length=3.53")
If this was feasible, would this rifle now be a .404 Jeffery wildcat or a .425WR wildcat?


The reason .425 WR is not a copied and produced caliber today is that it was notoriously underpowered over alternatives of the era. The reason 425WR guns are valuable is because they were Westley Richards guns.

Would I set out to create a wildcat of such an obscure caliber when there are superior options available that don't require custom brass? Heck no.

Not sure what you're trying to solve? If you can't get a 404J to feed, fix the feed. If you want a 400 class gun, get a 404J or 400HH. The bullet selection for 425WR is not favorable, hawk being very soft bullets and Woodleighs being no cheap date, subject to whims of one company's supply chain.
 

Cervus elaphus

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The reason .425 WR is not a copied and produced caliber today is that it was notoriously underpowered over alternatives of the era. The reason 425WR guns are valuable is because they were Westley Richards guns.

Would I set out to create a wildcat of such an obscure caliber when there are superior options available that don't require custom brass? Heck no.

Not sure what you're trying to solve? If you can't get a 404J to feed, fix the feed. If you want a 400 class gun, get a 404J or 400HH. The bullet selection for 425WR is not favorable, hawk being very soft bullets and Woodleighs being no cheap date, subject to whims of one company's supply chain.
The question I often ask myself is, yes it's practical and sensible, but is it fun?. You can apply the same to movies, yes it was a dog and should never have seen the light of day, but was it entertaining?. 2 classic examples, The Postman, and Waterworld. We are always trying to create a better mousetrap, not always for practical reasons. When the time comes, I'll get a .425WR and leave it original because I like the caliber and what it'll do. Cheers
 

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The reason .425 WR is not a copied and produced caliber today is that it was notoriously underpowered over alternatives of the era. The reason 425WR guns are valuable is because they were Westley Richards guns.

Would I set out to create a wildcat of such an obscure caliber when there are superior options available that don't require custom brass? Heck no.

Not sure what you're trying to solve? If you can't get a 404J to feed, fix the feed. If you want a 400 class gun, get a 404J or 400HH. The bullet selection for 425WR is not favorable, hawk being very soft bullets and Woodleighs being no cheap date, subject to whims of one company's supply chain.
I never knew the .425WR was notoriously underpowered over alternatives of the era - 410 gr at 2350 FPS. I believe some game departments used it, possibly because it was less expensive than the bolt action rifles requiring magnum actions. In my first hand experience, it just plain works.

“I have often thought that a battery consisting of an open-sighted double .425 (26-inch barrels) and a ‘scope-sighted .425 magazine (25-inch barrel) would take an immense amount of beating for general all-round work amongst dangerous game, and am seriously considering just such a battery when it is possible for me to order a new one.”
 

Cervus elaphus

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I never knew the .425WR was notoriously underpowered over alternatives of the era - 410 gr at 2350 FPS. I believe some game departments used it, possibly because it was less expensive than the bolt action rifles requiring magnum actions. In my first hand experience, it just plain works.

“I have often thought that a battery consisting of an open-sighted double .425 (26-inch barrels) and a ‘scope-sighted .425 magazine (25-inch barrel) would take an immense amount of beating for general all-round work amongst dangerous game, and am seriously considering just such a battery when it is possible for me to order a new one.”
Uganda game wardens, before independence, used the .425WR for dangerous game.
 

rookhawk

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The question I often ask myself is, yes it's practical and sensible, but is it fun?. You can apply the same to movies, yes it was a dog and should never have seen the light of day, but was it entertaining?. 2 classic examples, The Postman, and Waterworld. We are always trying to create a better mousetrap, not always for practical reasons. When the time comes, I'll get a .425WR and leave it original because I like the caliber and what it'll do. Cheers

I understand your pursuit of the obscure. And I don’t hate 425WR, if you had a Westley Rifle, I’d be willing to suffer its limitations and difficulty in finding good brass, good bullets, etc.

Since you’re looking for something off the beaten path and you want a 400 class gun, have you considered a 450 rigby? It’s a 416 rigby necked up to 458. Plenty of bullets, plenty of brass, plenty of power. It’s a new caliber, only about 20 years old, and to my knowledge only factory manufactured in Rigby rifles. You‘d love the power and reliable feed if it will fit in the action you’re thinking of using.

Other new arrivals would be the 400H&H that is a necked up 375HH and brass is super easy to form and it has plenty of punch.

Down the memory lane but also cool is the 400 Whelen which I suspect could be made from 30-06 brass in many steps, or from 35 whelen in fewer steps. This gets you the 400 caliber, plenty of punch, and a bit less difficulties with brass.

Finding brass isn’t a trivial consideration these days either. Some of these esoteric vintage calibers had Bell brass, Bertram, Jamieson, and Qualcart. Most are no longer made, many do re-supply orders once every 5-7 years so when you find it, you must hoard it. With the examples I listed above, there is no world crisis that would deny you the ability to get brass or bullets as we can scrounge for 30-06, 375hh, and 416 rigby brass to use for forming pretty easy, same for the bullet diameters they use.

Beware the uniqueness of the .435” bullets of the WR though. Hawke bullets are notoriously soft and that really leaves you with two SKUs made by Woodleigh. God forbid something happens to Woodleigh, the gun has no alternatives in a soft or a solid. With the others, there are many, many options.

Just some alternatives and considerations to keep in mind for your build.
 

Cervus elaphus

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I understand your pursuit of the obscure. And I don’t hate 425WR, if you had a Westley Rifle, I’d be willing to suffer its limitations and difficulty in finding good brass, good bullets, etc.

Since you’re looking for something off the beaten path and you want a 400 class gun, have you considered a 450 rigby? It’s a 416 rigby necked up to 458. Plenty of bullets, plenty of brass, plenty of power. It’s a new caliber, only about 20 years old, and to my knowledge only factory manufactured in Rigby rifles. You‘d love the power and reliable feed if it will fit in the action you’re thinking of using.

Other new arrivals would be the 400H&H that is a necked up 375HH and brass is super easy to form and it has plenty of punch.

Down the memory lane but also cool is the 400 Whelen which I suspect could be made from 30-06 brass in many steps, or from 35 whelen in fewer steps. This gets you the 400 caliber, plenty of punch, and a bit less difficulties with brass.

Finding brass isn’t a trivial consideration these days either. Some of these esoteric vintage calibers had Bell brass, Bertram, Jamieson, and Qualcart. Most are no longer made, many do re-supply orders once every 5-7 years so when you find it, you must hoard it. With the examples I listed above, there is no world crisis that would deny you the ability to get brass or bullets as we can scrounge for 30-06, 375hh, and 416 rigby brass to use for forming pretty easy, same for the bullet diameters they use.

Beware the uniqueness of the .435” bullets of the WR though. Hawke bullets are notoriously soft and that really leaves you with two SKUs made by Woodleigh. God forbid something happens to Woodleigh, the gun has no alternatives in a soft or a solid. With the others, there are many, many options.

Just some alternatives and considerations to keep in mind for your build.
Thanks for the info and yes I've fired a 450 Rigby - it just about laid me on the ground, and then I watched a video of a 15yr old Swedish girl using one in a competition, put me completely to shame, but I have seen bigger men than me reel back in shock and awe. As far as the bullets go, it would be easier to create solids e.g. CE style than softs. Woodleigh here in Australia will continue to make .435 dia bullets because I would probably keep them in business. Cheers
 
D

Deleted member 53080

I understand your pursuit of the obscure. And I don’t hate 425WR, if you had a Westley Rifle, I’d be willing to suffer its limitations and difficulty in finding good brass, good bullets, etc.

Since you’re looking for something off the beaten path and you want a 400 class gun, have you considered a 450 rigby? It’s a 416 rigby necked up to 458. Plenty of bullets, plenty of brass, plenty of power. It’s a new caliber, only about 20 years old, and to my knowledge only factory manufactured in Rigby rifles. You‘d love the power and reliable feed if it will fit in the action you’re thinking of using.

Other new arrivals would be the 400H&H that is a necked up 375HH and brass is super easy to form and it has plenty of punch.

Down the memory lane but also cool is the 400 Whelen which I suspect could be made from 30-06 brass in many steps, or from 35 whelen in fewer steps. This gets you the 400 caliber, plenty of punch, and a bit less difficulties with brass.

Finding brass isn’t a trivial consideration these days either. Some of these esoteric vintage calibers had Bell brass, Bertram, Jamieson, and Qualcart. Most are no longer made, many do re-supply orders once every 5-7 years so when you find it, you must hoard it. With the examples I listed above, there is no world crisis that would deny you the ability to get brass or bullets as we can scrounge for 30-06, 375hh, and 416 rigby brass to use for forming pretty easy, same for the bullet diameters they use.

Beware the uniqueness of the .435” bullets of the WR though. Hawke bullets are notoriously soft and that really leaves you with two SKUs made by Woodleigh. God forbid something happens to Woodleigh, the gun has no alternatives in a soft or a solid. With the others, there are many, many options.

Just some alternatives and considerations to keep in mind for your build.
Mauser chambers rifles in 450 Rigby as well.
 

Cervus elaphus

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RCC makes .425WR brass also
Thanks, noted. I don't think brass is a problem because we are good at scrounging if it comes to that and 404 brass is not hard to find. As rookhawk has pointed out, bullets may be a different matter if manufacturers like Woodleigh stopped making some calibers, so for some of the more obscure calibers, it might pay to stockpile (aka hoarding).
 

Cervus elaphus

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Among other classic big bore rifles, the Westley Richards .425 Magnum Express grabbed by attention.
A cartridge that initially delivered a 410gr bullet at 2350fps is worthy of respect.
Both Woodleigh and Hawk make bullets for this caliber.
Apparently good brass is hard to get in the original rebated rim so some handloaders roll their own from the parent cartridge, the 404 Jeffery (and others probably). I've read that the bolt face of the .425 can be opened up to fit the .404J base - I don't know of anyone who has done this.
Q. if the Jeffery was rebarreled to .425WR using the necked up .404J brass and no rebate, would anything else need modifying?. In theory the WR cartridge should feed and eject as it is has a shorter case and overall length compared to the Jeffery.
(WR case=2.64" overall length=3.30" Jeffery case=2.87" overall length=3.53")
If this was feasible, would this rifle now be a .404 Jeffery wildcat or a .425WR wildcat?
There's a rather nice video on youtube about a nostalgic trip to Africa for buffalo with a deceased friend's 425WR
The 425WR is up there with the 416Rigby and has a bigger diameter bullet by .19"
 
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