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Westley Richards Centerfire Monkey Tail Carbine

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The Westley Richards “Monkey Tail” was a popular capping breechloader first designed in 1858. It was finally adopted by the British cavalry in 1866, and served until 1881. It was also a popular commercial rifle, especially in remote places like Australia and South Africa. It was named for the long lever on top of the action used to open and close the breech. In 1868, Westley Richards designed a centerfire version using a self-contained paper cartridge (somewhat like a Chassepot cartridge). Only 600 of these were ever made, and only 13 are known to still exist – including this one.

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