AN INTERESTING .451 WESTLEY RICHARDS MONKEY TAIL CARBINE BY R. HUGHES, CIRCA 1875, serial no. P4215,
with 25in. Birmingham proofed barrel stamped near the breech 'WHITWORTH RIFLING 450 BORE', fitted with block and blade front-sight and P61 pattern ladder rear-sight, the breech lever engraved 'MANUFACTURED BY / UNIVERSAL FIREARMS COMPANY / BIRMINGHAM', the lock embellished with the Queens crown on the tail and the makers name 'R. HUGHES' to the centre, iron mounted full walnut stock, the butt with trap for cleaning tools (tools missing) and stamped 'UNIVERSAL FIREAMS WORKS / ROBT. HUGHES / BIRMINGHAM', complete with sling swivels and original rod, it is an 'out of Africa' gun and has potential, dirty and untouched overall with some original finish, would improve with careful cleaning
Provenance: This is an interesting and rare variation of the famed Monkey Tail made in the configuration that was most popular and favoured by the Boers in South Africa - longer than a carbine, shorter than a rifle and easy to use on horseback. The maker was Robert Hughes of 100 Moland St. Birmingham, established in 1855, who adopted the name Universal Fire Arms Works in 1868. He specialised in military and export arms and purchased surplus military arms and parts which he modified or built up for the export markets. In the 1870's Westley Richards issued warnings and brought court actions against some members of the trade who were producing copies of his Monkey Tail for the South African market from government surplus parts with their name on
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