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#6578 - 10/02/04 11:44 PM Selous plates
hammerback Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 299
Loc: Erie, Colorado
Were rifles made by Westley Richards with Selous plates on them made for Selous himself? Or were these plates offered to the general public as an option. I came up with an engraved WR single shot rifle on a Martini action with a Farquharson trigger assembly. It has a solid rib with express sights,even an ebony tip. At the wrist are well fit Selous plates. I thought that such a high end gun may have been ordered for a special client. Thanks, Paul

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#6579 - 10/03/04 12:40 AM Re: Selous plates
David Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 02/28/02
Posts: 1087
Loc: North of the Arkansas, South o...
As I remember the story, F.C.Selous had a stock break during heavy recoil and smack him hard in the face. He was bruised and cut. Some time later while visiting London, he blew his nose and found wood fragments from the broken stock. He then designed the plates to prevent a repeat performance. The Selous plates were then available to anyone who wanted them. The presence of them do not automatically place the rifle in question in Selous' hands. Earlier in his African career, Selous had a muzzle loading rifle with wrist reinforced with hide from an elephant. The raw hide was stitched in place on the stock wrist and then wetted. When it dried it was like steel.

Best,
David

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#6580 - 10/16/04 01:52 PM Re: Selous plates
gaugedrifles Offline
Member

Registered: 09/29/03
Posts: 45
Loc: Missouri
Hello hammerback, I love these history lessons. Tremendous wisdom on this site. For info only: In discussing Selous Grips (with the niece of the late Mr. R.Rodda) it was common for African Hunters to order this option for wood-cracking protection, proportably due to the high humidity/temperatures and constant wet/rainy seasons in Africa. Therefore, it is probable that your rifle was made or modified for use in Africa. Best Regards, Wes.

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#6581 - 11/01/04 05:27 PM Re: Selous plates
kutenay Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 23
Loc: british columbia
I have seen these on quite a number of British firearms brought here to Canada by Brits retreating from the disintegration of the "Raj". In fact, an older collector I know well, had a Gibbs Farquharson with these in .461 Metford and this rifle actually DID belong to Frederick Selous and he had the provenance to prove this. I think that this rifle was featured in an article in DGJ last summer, but, it may not have been the same one, I did not get to read the article, only had a quick glimpse of it.

When I was young, in the '50s and '60s, there were dozens of these fine British guns around B.C., then the Yanks got enthusiastic about them and now, even a junker is worth big bucks....at least to some people.

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#6582 - 11/09/04 11:04 PM Re: Selous plates
fnb25 Offline
Sidelock
*

Registered: 12/14/03
Posts: 1515
Loc: fort worth, tx
the way i read that article (ross seyfried, summer 2004 DGJ), that rifle is actually one selous owned and seyfried took it back where it belongs on safari. there is also an article in a recent "sporting gun" issue on a writers rifles (this is in england) and one of his is also a Gibbs in identical configuration and caliber. if i understood right what is implied, gibbs only produced "approximately 35" rifles w/ the sideplates tho no doubt other makers did as well. somewhere i've an article by elmer keith w/ a pic of some of his singles and my recollection is one or more of them had the sideplates. the topic of those sideplates came up in another article i've come across and whichever brit maker was discussing them said today the "....cost would be prohibitive.." meaning to do them up and fit them right of course. in a close-up photo of selous' rifle, the screw heads, all 49 per side (near as i can tell, could be 50) have their slots aligned w/ the local tangency of the stock plates outer edges. try to find somebody today who'd tackle that chore.

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