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Historical Firearms, Long Range Target Shooting & Military History

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Hex Bore

These pages are dedicated to the memory of
William (Bill) Scott Curtis

Research Press manages two facebook groups that may be of interest to readers

Whitworth Rifle enthusiasts

Long Range Target Shooting with the
Black Powder Rifle

Research Press

Hex Bore blog

Hex Bore is a project by Research Press for the study of Whitworth rifles and artillery.

This blog includes project news, updates, information and anecdotes. (Chronological contents list)


Whitworth 2 cwt Deck Gun

This piece, one of a pair, was held by Royal Air Force Calshot until its closure in 1964. It was handed to the Royal Air Force Andover for display at Headquarters Maintenance Command.

Whitworth, number 315, is now part of the Royal Armouries collection at Fort Nelson, UK. Number 316 is part of the George Wray Collection at the Atlanta History Centre, USA. The latter is mounted on a replica brass mounted naval carriage, copying the original held by the Royal Armouries.

It is probable that the pieces were manufactured for use on a privately owned yacht.

Whitworth 2 cwt Deck Gun


Whitworth rifle of 1858

Lock plate on early Whitworth military rifle, dated 1858. This pre-dates the establishment of the Rifle Volunteer Movement and of the National Rifle Association by a year. The later use of the Whitworth rifle by Rifle Volunteers and others in competition organised by the NRA(UK) kept the rifle in the public gaze.

Whitworth rifle dated 1858


To Working Gunmakers, 1860

“WANTED - TO WORKING GUNMAKERS – Wanted several Screwers and Finishers by the Whitworth Rifle Company, Sackville-street, Manchester. Apply personally or by letter. The best London prices are given.” ~ advert in Birmingham Journal - Saturday 1 December 1860. Mr. Whitworth appears to have been looking far and wide for skilled workmen. This advert also appears in Scottish and Irish newspapers in December 1860.


Sir Joseph Whitworth & Company, 1888

Following Sir Joseph Whitworth's death in 1887, 'Sir Joseph Whitworth & Company' was restructured. The objectives of the Company in 1888 included; "To carry on the trade or business of manufacturers of and dealers in ordnance of all kinds, including in the term ordnance all kinds of guns, torpedoes, arms and weapons for military, naval, sporting, or other purposes, and in all kinds of ammunition, gunpowder, shot, bullets, cartridges, ball, shell, or other missiles, and explosives for warlike, sporting, or other purposes, and all cases, carriages, fittings, or other things for use in connection with the above, and to purchase, sell, deal in, adapt, and use any ordnance, whether manufactured by the Company or not."


Miscellaneous Papers, 1870

Always nice when a rare book appears, even better when it is Whitworth related!!

'Miscellaneous Papers on Mechanical Subjects", by Sit Joseph Whitworth (privately published in Manchester 1870). This leather bound and gilt edged collection of Whitworth papers arrived in the post a little while ago. Much of the content relates to Whitworth cannon.

Miscellaneous Papers 1870


Joseph Whitworth

Joseph Whitworth was born at Stockport in 1803 and was to become the foremost manufacturer of machine tools of his time. He was approached in 1854 by Lord Hardinge to investigate 'the mechanical principles applicable in the construction of an efficient weapon.’ Unwilling to commit to the design of a complete set of machinery for manufacturing rifle muskets, Whitworth was asked to undertake the construction of the machinery for the rifle barrel only. His experiments revolutionised rifle design. 

Joseph Whitworth