Despatches

A rare helmet, two early sniper rifles and the medals awarded to one of the Royal Navy’s greatest gunnery experts surpass expectations

‘SHARPBIDDERS’ CLAIM SHARPSHOOTER RIFLES

A pair of Whitworth Rifles proved a highlight of a recent Wilson55 auction

Known as the most accurate firearm of its generation, the Whitworth was designed by Sir John Whitworth in 1854 and some 13,500 were produced. A single-shot, percussion cap, muzzle-loading rifle firing an unusual .451-calibre hexagonal round, Whitworths had excellent accuracy and were capable of precision well in excess of 1,000 yards – especially when used with a contemporary 4x Davidson telescopic optic.

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