WORLD’S LARGEST SPORTING RIFLE TO GO ON DISPLAY IN LEEDS - Friday, 6 July 2012
The world’s largest and most powerful genuine sporting rifle is set to go on permanent display in the Hunting Gallery at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.
Commissioned by Royal Armouries to mark the Second Millennium, the 2-bore forms part of a set of three – including the Raven Shotgun and Tiffany revolver.
Although it’s never been fired in anger, the gun is capable of taking down not just an elephant – but creatures on the scale of a Tyrannosaurus Rex!
Weighing 26lbs, the weapon was made by renowned English gunmaker Giles Whittome and took several years to complete, due to unforeseen manufacturing delays and safety issues.
He presented the rifle to Mr Wes Paul, Chairman of the Royal Armouries’ Board of Trustees, in a handing-over ceremony at the Tower of London.
Wes said, “This rifle illustrates why British sporting gun making remains the very best in the world. Its design harks back to a time when, not much more than a century or so ago, large parts of the world remained unexplored.
“The adventurer, hunter or explorer would travel to these wild, remote and dangerous places prepared for anything that may endanger life, facing huge personal challenges but comforted by the knowledge of the quality of the technology at their disposal. It is a tribute to the likes of Frederick Courteney Selous and other pioneers and heroes of the past.”
Giles – who has fired the gun – said, “When you pull the trigger, it’s like presiding over your own personal earthquake and you want it right first time.
“I used to control elephants in Tanganyika many years ago with the Game Department. Experienced control officers would always tell me that when being charged by six tons of angry elephant, any gun you are holding would appear too small. Well this gun is not designed to take down an elephant – but a Tyrannosaurus Rex!”
The two-bore rifle is made of British steel, decorated with traditional English scroll engraving, a figure 2 to mark the Second Millennium, and the famous Royal Armouries “horned helmet” on the knoxform.
Giles added, “The inspiration for this gun came from a Henry harpoon gun in the Royal Armouries’ collection, which I repaired many years ago. Only a reasonably fit and strong man can fire it safely. The biggest and best, always fires the imagination – and this gun does not fail on any count.”
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Notes to editors
- Royal Armouries is the national museum of arms and armour and has sites in Leeds, HM Tower of London, Fort Nelson and Louisville, Kentucky. It is the first British national museum to open a permanent presence in another country
- Admission to the museum is free. However, there may be a small charge for some special events.
- Open all year daily, 10am-5pm. Closed 24-25 December
- Information Line: 0113 220 1999
- Website: www.royalarmouries.org
- The Royal Armouries Museum should not be confused with Royal Armouries International plc, the private sector corporate hospitality business.