A very rare cased “Baby” Whitworth rifle.
This is a Whitworth Hexagonal Bore “Baby” rook rifle with a hexagonal 1/15 twist bore. It is a 300 calibre miniature rifle or rook rifle.
The lock plate is engraved with Whitworth’s wheat sheath and coronet coat of arms together with Manchester Ordnance & Rifle Co. The serial number, F665, is engraved on the trigger guard tang and the underside of the barrel. The overall length of the rifle is 39” with a 23” barrel which is round and engraved with the Whitworth patent.
The rear sight consists of a fixed 50 yard sight with three folding leaves marked 100, 150 and 200. In addition this rifle is fitted with its own miniature long range sights. The stock is finely figured Walnut and has a pistol grip with fine chequering on the grip and a horn cap with a steel buttplate and vacant silver escutcheon. The forend is also chequered and there is no provision for a ramrod.
From British Single Shot Rifles (Wal Winfer & Tom Rowe) Volume 7 page 92…….”Thirty caliber Whitworths are extremely rare, with only about 5 known. They were probably made on an experimental basis as this small a bore with Whitworth rifling must have given serious fouling problems. The rifle a higher grade bar action slidelock with a four pin bridle for internal parts attachment. Sparsely engraved, the locks show Joseph (later Sir Joseph) Whitworth’s wheat sheaf trade mark. Amongst other achievements, Whitworth was partly responsible for standardizing the coarse thread system in Great Britain which even today bears his name.”
Serial Number: E665
Barrel Length: 23″