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#596808 05/12/21 05:03 AM
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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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Some years ago I was browsing in one of the more expensive book shops in Charing Cross Road, and was thumbing through a book by Lord Dunsany who was a keen snipe shooter as well as being the Irish chess champion and revolver champion.

I cannot even remember if it was one of his fantasy works, or (more likely) a tale set in Ireland. Anyway, as I looked through it I came across about a page and a half in which he sets out how the sights on Rook rifles should be set up and why he considered most gunmakers were doing it wrong.

The book was not otherwise of great interest to me, and went back on the shelf, but it has since irritated me that I failed to make a mental note of the title.

Are any of you familiar with the book?

Keep Well

Parabola

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Here's a list of his writing.

https://www.bookfinder.com/search/?author=Dunsany&title=&lang=en&isbn=&new_used=*&destination=us&currency=USD&mode=basic&st=sr&ac=qr

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I hesitate to ask, because I know that the ecosystem in the UK is the quite different than the one here in the US, but how is it that there can be so many crows?

We have plenty of them here, but really don’t have big rookeries, where a rook rifle could be taken advantage of.

Perhaps in other regions, but in my region, the ecosystem balances out with small flock of crows, and excluding their migration, not thousands.

Any ideas?

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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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Gentlemen, thanks for your contributions. Drew, that one could well be the book I was looking at.

“If you see one Rook, it’s a Crow. If you see a lot of Crows, they are Rooks”is like most generalisations not totally accurate but closer than many.

The two birds, both Corvids, are vey similar although the Rook has a slimmer beak and in adult birds a bald area around the base of the beak. They are distinct species.

Rooks are gregarious, live in densely packed Rookeries with dozens of nests in a clump of trees. Crows nest in splendid isolation.

About 50 years ago I knew a retired Officer, a veteran of both the Boer and First world wars (and Home Guard in the Second) .

He told me that when stationed in Ireland before WW1, he used to go Rook shooting with a pair of Webley-Fosbury revolvers.

I don’t know what the locals made of the gentle rain of 265 grain bullets falling from the sky, unless they put it down to “the gentlemen down the road having a political discussion “.

At the time I had never heard of Lord Dunsany, I wish I’d asked if they had ever met,

Keep Well,

Parabola

Last edited by Parabola; 05/12/21 01:24 PM. Reason: Typo
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I have two unmolested Rook rifles in original .255 caliber. Although they were probably made in Birmingham, both were finished in London. One is cased with accessories and is in pristine, unused condition. I had some cartridges made up for them and they are extremely accurate at 100-125 yards. I am able to connect with a squirrel-sized target over and over at that distance with the original iron sights. Really neat. Imagine the sportsman willing to invest in a best single-shot centerfire ejector Rook rifle over the cheap, readily available and popular .22 rimfire. I never knew him, but I appreciate his taste in firearms and truly enjoy being the custodian of his rifle.


Owen
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Sidelock
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Owen,

Does your cased example have any owner’s name on the lid or case ends?

If so it may be possible to dig up some biographical details.

.255 Rook Rifles were generally retailed by W J Jeffery as it was one of his proprietary cartridges. I know someone who makes his cases from .25-20 Single Shot cases.

In those days a best quality Rook Rifle, might retail for £12 to £15, whist a good quality.22 single shot might be £3 to £4. Whilst even the latter was then a lot of money to a working man, I suspect that these days the differential would be a lot greater (assuming that you could find someone to build you a good quality Rook Rifle).

Greetings,

Parabola

Last edited by Parabola; 05/12/21 03:09 PM. Reason: typo
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Whilst even the latter?? What does that mean in English?? I thought Whilst was a Limey card game similar to Bridge. You chaps sure have a strange way of speaking.. RWTF


When The Man In Black Comes Around- Rev: 6-8
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Parabola, as you can see I have only the remains of a label on the end of this guncase. The name has been removed, but despite the reference to New Bond st., the rifle is engraved South Audley St.

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

Unfortunately, the proprietor of S. Audley St.did not maintain suitable records of Rook rifles sold and I was unable to obtain further information.


Owen
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I am aware of a .22 Hornet of recent S. Audley build, their first in 85 years.


Owen
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