Products

Alfa .357 Muzzle Loading Revolver

6" barrel, 4" barrel, 3" barrel and 2" barrel.

 

The Alfa is a section 1 firearm and can be held on a firearms certificate. To purchase one you will need a variation for a cal. .357" muzzel loading revolver and one for each extra cylinder you want.

 

 

 

So that I can manufacture Muzzle Loading Revolvers, Alfa supply me with part built .357 revolvers, that have never been completed and have no cylinders, thus they are not Section 5 prohibited firearms. I then carry out various modifications and fit a muzzle loading cylinder of my own design, the completed revolver is then proofed as a Muzzle Loading Revolver.

12th July 2023 I have just received a consignment of 6" , 4", and 3" Frame assemblies. Contact me to place an order.

Stainless Steel Alfa 3", 4", 6" & 2" Barreled  Muzzle Loading Revolvers: £1347.00
Extra Cylinders: £320.00 Each.                         (2" by special order)  Prices as at 12/7/23

Weaver sight rail:
The rearsight is removed and a weaver rail can be fitted in its place  £55.00 each.
Target Handgrips:
Target handgrips with an adjustable palm shelf as fitted to the sport model are available to special order, they cost £150.00 each.


 

 

The Sport version has a different shaped barrel shroud, fitted with larger "Target" type open sights, The sides of the shroud have a groove running along the top of the edges which form a "weaver rail" so that a red dot sight can be fitted without having to disturb the open sights. They come with an adgustable palmshelf target grip as standardand in a fitted case.

These are made to special order.

 

Alfa Sport Muzzle Loading Revolver: In the region of £1500.00 Current price to be confirmed on order.  Please specify left or right handed.

                                                         Extra cylinders: £320.00 each

 

 

Alfa MLR Availability as at 12 July 2023 Frames in stock

Now available to order

 

.357" Westlake Engineering Bullets

Rachel is now making bullets for use in our revolvers. They are available in the following types.

 

148 grain hollow base wadcutter.

148 grain solid base wadcutter.

148 grain solid base round nose.

 

They are packed in cartons of 144 bullets and cost £35.00 per carton.

Please note that on14/9/23 Rachel reviewed the costs etc. of making these bullets and found that she was now paying you to buy them. Thus the price increase.

 

They can be collected from the workshop or we can post them  at a fee of  £14.00 for 4 Cartons.

Please check for costs for different quanties.

 

To order bullets contact    rachel@westlakeengineering.com

 

Padded Gunslips

6" Revolver Gunslip                   £15.00           

Long Barrel Pistol Gunslip       £30.00

Postage                                       £5.00

Or made to your own design on request. Contact   rachel@westlakeengineering.com   to order.

 

Alan's problems with the Government. ( Again )

 

On the 25th November 2121 I had a visit from a member of the National Crime Agency who wanted to check what had happened to some Alfa ML Revolver Frame and barrel assemblies.

He gave me the serial numbers and I furnished him with the required information from my records. He left apparently happy with what he had seen.

On the 11th of March 2022      the next shipment of ML Frame/barrel assemblies was seized by an Officer of the Border Force at Manchester Airport. (Seizure Ref. E5618076) Since then, Border force have refused to say when they will be released.

They were being imported at my request by Merseyside Armoury, who are the Alfa Agents in UK.

Officer Lewis Believes they are section 5 prohibited firearms in spite of them never having been a complete firearm. They say they are waiting for a “Firearms Expert” to tell them the category of the firearms. I cannot understand what the delay is, unless they are trawling through all the Home Office “Experts” to find one that agrees with Officer Lewis and gives them the result the Home office wants.

As a result of this seizure my business has had no income, as I was waiting for the seized parts to complete orders for a list of waiting customers. This has meant that I cannot fund the development of the Britmark .22 Long Pistol, or complete the final parts for the Britarms .357 ML Revolver.

 5/8/22 I have managed to contact John Glen's Office in Salisbury and he has contacted Border Force, who say that they are Waiting for the National Crime Agency to complete their invesyigations. The NCA??? Do they really think that I am supplying the underworld with Firearms??? Someone has dug themselves into a hole and is still diggig.

The Gun Trade Organisation have not been able to get any answers from Border Force either.

12/01/2023

I placed an order for a further ten 6" Alfa Barrel and frame assenblies but without the barrel tube and shroud having been fitted. They arrived from Alfa  at Manchester Airport on 26th November 2022 and were seized by Border Farce on the 28th.

Terry will be taking Border Force to Court at the end of March, If we loose, then Border Force will destroy the first shipment. I then fully expect it to take another twelve months to get to court to determine the fate of the second shipment of 6" Alfa ML Frames and Barrels.

Two years without income should be enough to Bankrupt any normal business. But I never considered myself to be normal and I will be able to survive, but without the "nice" things I can have with a thriving business.

 

So. All in All, it looks like the small man being shafted by the Government. I cannot decide if they are delaying things in the hope that I will go Bankrupt, or if it is plain Incompetence.

If you would like an Alfa MLR please Email me and ask to be put on to the waiting list and I will contact you when I am able to resume production. If you are in a position to put pressure on the Government in any way, to help resolve this, then I would be most grateful, as will the long list of people waiting for their Alfa ML Revolvers.

13/2/2023    GOOD NEWS !

The ten 6" Alfa frame and Barrel assemblie, supplied without the barrels fitted have been released to us and I am now in the process of building them up to supply people that have been waiting for a year or more. I will now put an order in to satisfy the remainder of the people on the waiting list.

Things seem to be moving again so place your orders if you want an Alfa ML Revolver.

 

3/4/2023  Not Good News

I had hoped to include a piece on the court case between our (Westlake Engineering’s) importer for Alfa, Merseyside Armoury, and Border Force, but this has now been postponed until November as they declined to let firearms, on the day we appeared at court, into the court building.

 

Everyone involved in the case are agreed that the firearms, as the exhibits, must be present in the court room, to enable proper discussion and assessment of the various points being argued. Our forensic expert did apply to the court in advance, and received written permission from the court, to bring firearms to the court. But on the day we were stopped at the door.

 

The court official who had given permission was over-ruled by her boss, who then passed it up to the regional boss. He in turn said he could not make a decision and passed it up to the national boss.

The national boss said “NO”. The national boss said “it is unprecedented to have firearms in court”, and it is policy not to have firearms in court, and a risk assessment must be done.

 

A copy of this policy was requested on the day, but could not be produced, and had never been seen by the court official that initially gave written permission. The court had known that the case was coming for months, so if a risk assessment was required why was it not done? Unprecedented to have firearms in court – well I think the barristers on both sides would disagree, as would the police and border force. Even Merseyside Armoury and Westlake Engineering have been expert witnesses in cases involving firearms, where the firearms were the exhibits in court.

 

The armed Police did an on the spot risk assessment but this was not acceptable to the national boss, despite the court officils stating that the armed police knew far more about firearms and were much better placed to comment on risk than they were.

 

It was a complete farce. So we wait and see what happens in November.

 

Border Force V Merseyside Armoury

A report by Rachel Westlake

 

On 4/11/23 the hearing finally took place, in Manchester’s Magistrate’s Court, which had been suitably risk assessed for 9 people excluding court officials, to have firearms present as exhibits. I counted 14 of us present, but no-one seemed to mind.

Putting aside all the delays from the initial seizure administration, and the courts administration in March this year, the mislabelling of evidence photos between the LBR and MLR, the failure to provide the defence with images of the LBR and MLR in jpeg format until instructed to by the Judge on day 1 of the hearing, the failures of the lab to follow standard procedures in the storage and custody of evidence, and a few other factors involving the marking of firearms on importation which had been resolved, the long awaited hearing began. By the end I was left with more questions than answers, and I had absolutely no idea which way the Judge would rule, as the evidence was so muddled. Or is that just my personal in-experience of court cases?

On 1/3/22 a consignment of 25 Alfa Proj .357 Barrel and Frame Assemblies, along with an assortment of 3”, 4” and 6” barrels and barrel shrouds were seized by Border Force, and declared liable to forfeiture as they were section 5 firearms and components. Along with these, Border Force also retained an Alfa Carbine .38 special/.357 magnum Long Barrel Revolver from the same consignment, the other LBR’s were released to Merseyside Armoury as they were declared section 1 firearms. But why retain this lone LBR?

Under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 items mixed, packed or found with a thing liable to forfeiture are all liable to forfeiture. As the Judge put it, section 5 items are “infectious”, if just one item is found to be prohibited, all the items are found to be prohibited. So why did the Director of Border Force use their discretionary power to restore from S5 to S1 all but one of the LBR’s? Also, if 20 consignments of identical items have already been imported by Merseyside Armoury, with no problems, why seize this consignment?

Since then, two more consignments of the same items have been received, but with the barrels not fitted to the frames, these have been cleared as section 1 firearm components.

Merseyside Armoury are the UK Agents for Alfa Proj in Czech Republic, and Westlake Engineering take the Alfa .357 Barrel and Frame Assemblies and modify and complete them to make a short-barrelled muzzle loading revolver which is compliant with UK Firearms Law. The Barrel and frame Assemblies have never been a completed or proofed firearm, and the serial numbers are prefixed with MLR, indicating their designation as Muzzle Loading Revolvers on completion.

In November of 2021 an officer from the National Crime Agency visited Westlake Engineering to examine the procedures used to modify and complete the .357 Alfa MLR, and to check on the recording in the firearms register of a selection of serial numbers from previous shipments. He describes the Alfa MLR as “novel” but fully compliant with UK firearms law and there were no faults in our records. None of our MLR’s have ever been used in a crime.

It was the next shipment that was seized by Border Force, and it was the same NCA officer that selected the MLR barrel frame assembly, 2 short barrels and shrouds, and the LBR for “official categorisation”. The officer recommended to Border Force that for “such a complex firearms classification issue” it would be appropriate to seek independent classification advice from a firearm forensic specialist. Hence the items were delivered to a Eurofins, a forensic laboratory in Leeds.

The opposition are clumsy on the stand in their description to the Judge of how the MLR is loaded, they talk of patches, ball, wads. The MLAGB describe the Alfa MLR as a Modern Muzzle Loader. It uses a target load of nitro powder, a .357 148gn soft lead wadcutter bullet (unless shooting indoors where we use round nosed solid base bullets) and a 209-shotgun primer, to replicate the .38spl cartridge, as far as is possible under UK firearms law. But the officer clarifies in court that he requested that the forensic lab determine the classification of the items at the “point of import” and that the seized LBR was included for comparison to the MLR barrel frame assembly.

This now makes sense. The LBR has been completed, and proofed. The MLR has not. Neither have the barrels and shrouds. A direct comparative examination between the LBR and MLR, barrels and shrouds should prove that. But is that what was done at the lab?

In essence, at the point of import, the LBR and MLR have the same component parts with a few differences. The LBR has a 12” barrel and an extension to the rear of the frame to give an overall length of 2 feet, the MLR has a short barrel, no extension and no cylinder. So, what should we compare?

Both the LBR and MLR have been produced in the same factory, on the same assembly line. Exposed to the same machinery, tools, processes and chemicals, and worked on by the same smiths/engineers, so much of what you see on the LBR should be replicated on the MLR, with the exception of the fitting of a cylinder and the proof firing and marking of a completed revolver.

Photos of the LBR and MLR were taken, and in many of them there are similar markings, discolourations and wear patterns in the aperture where the cylinder would be, on the hand, the index pin, the cylinder stop, the breech faces, top strap and on the crane, which the forensic examiners claim are indicative of a cylinder being fitted and fired. We dispute this and suggest that normal manufacturing procedures can explain all, and that it makes no sense for Alfa to make a completed short barrelled revolver and fire it, to only remove and throw away the cylinder.

Discolourations the Complainant (Border Force) claim is evidence of fouling we attribute to the normal staining of investment castings, and in the case of the index pin, heat treatment.

Sooty marks they attribute to the item being fired, and pink circles on the standing breech face they attribute to the pink lacquer from a discharged cartridge, but both the sooty marks and “engineers” pink can be attributed to hand fitting and filing techniques.

One of the forensic examiners stated in court that there would be no need to file and hand fit anything in the aperture where the cylinder fits as it has been machined. Mr Geary, owner of Merseyside Armoury, produced in evidence photographs he had taken at the AlfaProj factory showing a gunsmith hand filing the breech face of a revolver frame . A video showing the frame being removed from the CNC machine and taken immediately to a workbench where it is mounted into a vice for “precision grinding and manual adjustment”. About us - ALFAPROJ - www.alfaproj.cz/o-nas/

 

Wear marks from the index pin, on the bolt, the cylinder stop and the frame which they attribute to a cylinder being fitted and fired can all be explained by manufacturing processes involving files, a gauge used to check the alignment of the barrel with the bolt in the centre of the standing breech face, a dummy cylinder to check the functioning of the moving parts and the gap between the barrel and standing breech face. Hands being filed before fitting as you can’t get to them with a file once fitted, and there is probably just a large bin of pre-filed hands ready and waiting for the production line.

So, what is left to compare, in order to ascertain whether the MLR has ever been a completed and fired firearm prior to import?

Well, a forensic scientist did try to remove the cylinder from the LBR presumably to fit it into the MLR. Now, had the forensic scientist been successful in removing the cylinder from the LBR, then yes it would have fitted onto the MLR barrel frame assembly as it is at the point of import. It would have also automatically changed the classification of both the items to s5.

Whilst I understand the forensic scientist’s curiosity, this was not a requested procedure by the NCA, nor a comparative process, and would have irreversibly changed the evidence. Whilst people in general think cylinders are interchangeable, especially between the same model, this is only true within certain tolerances. Smiths match cylinders and frames to each other, and check for clearance fore and aft of the cylinder to ensure proper and safe function.

At Westlake Engineering once we have modified the MLR barrel and frame assembly and fitted the MLR cylinder it would not be possible to easily interchange the cylinders between the MLR and LBR. There are too many parts to be removed, reversed engineered, and the cylinders are of different lengths, so acceptable and safe tolerances are just not there.

To my mind this only leaves Gun Shot Residue analysis as the deciding factor. Swabs were taken at the lab in Leeds from the barrel of the MLR, and the two short barrels. But not from the LBR, so where is your ability to compare?

All the items have come from a factory where firearms are proofed on site, component parts/parts are cleaned and packed in one area, and completed and partially completed parts are cleaned and packed in a separate area.

All the items have been in the lab at Leeds where firearms are routinely tested, and a huge collection of reference firearms are just a few meters away. This is referred to as a ‘dirty lab’, and as I indicated at the start, there were errors in procedure in the storing of evidence, as in tamper bags were not sealed, and evidence was stored for 6 months in personal offices, not secure lockup.

The GSR samples were sent to a lab in Tamworth which has the accreditation for testing, and then onto another forensic lab, with the same accreditation to actually be tested.

GSR is very easily transferred, and contamination of the items is possible, especially at the factory where the same cleaning brushes are used for proofed and un-proofed items at the point of packing.

So, what were the GSR results for:

  1. The LBR – unknown they did not take a swab.
  2. The MLR – a very high amount of characteristic GSR, two types - potentially from two different types of ammunition, and large numbers of indicative particles were found to be present. In the forensic report it states the sample was very heavily loaded with particulate material.
  3. The 2 shrouded barrels – no characteristic GSR, and only a single particle of indicative GSR present. Again, the sample was heavily loaded with particulate material. These were identified as iron and chromium.

Characteristic GSR – produced when primers that contain combinations of lead, barium and antimony are fired.

Indicative GSR – produced by most ammunition, but not limited to fired ammunition. Not considered significant in isolation.

For the MLR, the final explanations by the GSR specialist were that either ammunition had been discharged through it, or something very heavily contaminated with GSR had been introduced into the barrel. He agrees that the GSR findings are “not conclusive evidence that the item has ever been fired”, as the second explanation does not require that ammunition has ever been fired through the barrel.

He agrees that it is highly unlikely that the 2 short barrels have ever been fired.

The different results for the MLR and the 2 short barrels can be explained by the different locations in which they are packed at the factory.

Since fouling is found on several different parts of a revolver on firing, why were no GSR swabs taken from say the firing pin, or the top strap on both the LBR and MLR for comparison.

Was a visual examination of the barrel rifling undertaken on any of the barrels for comparison. I know from experience that after proofing it takes us an age to clean the lead from the barrels of the MLRs. Were there any noticeable differences in the potential leading of the barrels to indicate whether they had been fired or not.

Alfa Proj were asked by Border Force how the manufacturing process was conducted. They categorically deny fitting any cylinders to the barrel frame assemblies designated MLR, this is also reflected in their invoice to Merseyside Armoury as there is a distinct 100-euro difference in the cost of a completed revolver and those supplied for completion as MLR’s.

The Border Force barrister was most insistent to press home to the Judge that the burden of proof lay with Merseyside Armoury, and when questioning Merseyside Armoury pressed the point that since Mr Geary was not present at the factory at the time they were manufactured he can not categorically say no cylinders were fitted to the MLR barrel frame assemblies. Not to be too flippant, neither was this barrister or the forensic scientists.

In a civil case, such as this, there is more leniency too on the type of evidence that is admissible, and that is worrying when so much of the forensic examination was not done to accredited standards, or even in person, as the lab is in Leeds, and the chief forensic examiner in this case works from home in Kent the majority of the time, according to lab staff.

The Judge had an unenviable job picking through what is and isn’t relevant, and gave a verbal ruling, followed by a written ruling on 11/12/23. He ruled in our favour.

The Judge was kind in his description of Mr Geary & Mr Westlake and said “both men have worked in the firearms business for many years, and each has an excellent reputation within that industry”. He accepted the evidence given by both, and by Alf Proj as honest, and that all three were fully aware of the risks to Mr Geary should he try to illegally import either a completed cartridge revolver or the component parts of a previously completed cartridge revolver.

The Judge describes all the other evidence presented as “circumstantial” and that in choosing between the scenario that all the “features observed result from manufacturing” is a simpler and more likely answer than the scenario that “the weapon was tested or proof fired for no apparent reason”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Britarms .357" Muzzle Loading Revolver

Keep your eyes open for the new Britarms muzzle loading revolver which is currently being designed.

 

We are currently making test components and the tooling to make them during production. The pictures show the test frame being machined.

 

8th November 2017

 

These pictures show the progress so far. Aluminium frame and barrel shroud prove the machining fits and tolerances.    Most small parts are made and working correctly. It has fired primers and the trigger shows great potential.                      The adjustable front sight gives 3 pre-set elevation settings. The rearsight will be adjustable for elevation and windage.

 

March 18th 2020

I now have a functioning prototype and am in the process of getting all the production parts in place so I can make a second revolver using production parts. Once that is done and I am satisfied with its performance, then I will be making the first small production batch and I will know how much I need to charge for them.

 

June 2021

 

As I have decided to re-design some of the internal components we are sort of back to stage one, until I get them in production format and can test their function. Frustrating but necessary I'm afraid.

 

                                                                                                  April 2022

I'm still waiting for the final production parts. so that I can check out the final design.

 

                                                                                                 February 2023

Due to the seizure of the Alfas and the lack of funds due to no sales, the Britarms ML Revolver is on hold until I can afford to spend more money on it.

 

 

 

Using the Alfa Muzzle Loading Revolver

To load the revolver the cylinder is removed by sliding it rearwards off of the open yoke, spent primers can then be ejected by using the pricker provided through the flash hole.

 

A measured charge of Powder is poured into the chamber and a bullet inserted into the chamber. The press provided is then used to press the bullet in, seating it just below the chamber mouth.

 

When all six chambers have been loaded the cylinder can be fitted back on to the yoke, and the primers may then be fitted into the primer pockets, seating them firmly home with finger pressure. Once this is done and the yoke has been closed the pistol is ready to fire.

 

Charge size, using a 148 Gr. Soft Lead Bullet

 

Suggested Charge startpoint     Maximum safe Charge

Green Dot      2.3 Gr.                         Green Dot      2.9 Gr.

Unique           2.6 Gr.                         Unique           3.3 Gr.

Herco             3 Gr.                            Herco             3.5 Gr.

Blue Dot         3.8 Gr                          Blue Dot        5.3 Gr.

 

Use more than the Maximum listed above or with other powders I will accept no responsibility for damage caused by overpressure.

 

Generally you will get the smallest groups using soft lead hollow base wadcutter bullets. However I suggest that you use solid base bullets until you are familiar with the gun, to eliminate the chances of leaving a hollow base in the barrel, because you inadvertently used too powerful a charge.

You will find that as you decrease the charge one tenth of a grain at a time, the group size will decrease, until you start to get the occasional flyer because they don’t all stabilise properly; Come up a couple of tenths and this is your "standard" charge. When you change something, you will need to check again.

 

I use .38 fired cases with the necks "belled" to hold the measured charges, using a wadcutter inserted in the neck as a stopper. On the range you pull out the bullet, pour the charge into the cylinder and press the bullet in on top.

 

Your local gun dealer should be able to get wadcutters for you. Edgar Brothers will supply them with Sellier & Belliot wadcutters. I can supply bullets made to my specifications but carriage is very expensive, so you would need to pick them up from Salisbury or buy ten boxes at a time and get free carriage.

 

Comparative measurements of one .22 LR Case full of powder

Green Dot      2.5Gr.             Max Charge 3.5Gr.

Unique           2.8Gr.             Max Charge 3.3Gr.

Herco             2.9Gr.             Max Charge 3.5Gr.

Blue Dot         3.7Gr              Max Charge 5.3Gr. 

Anvil Conversions Measure with CD Plunger

Green Dot      2.3 Gr.

Unique           2.6 Gr.

Herco             2.9 Gr.

Blue Dot         3.6 Gr.

 

The Revolver is designed to use a 148 grain soft lead Bullet of .357” Diameter, propelled by large grain slow burning powder such as Green Dot, Unique, Herco or Blue Dot. Ignited by a 209 Shotgun primer. (Do not use Magnum primers). These large grain powders will not leak from the flash hole during loading, and, with the large flash from the shotgun primers, will give a more progressive burn than obtained with fine grain powders, where all the powder can ignite before the bullet starts to move. This causes a spike in pressure which can fracture primers where the firing pin dents it, causing gas leakage and a build up of copper deposits on the firing pin. The build up of these deposits can cause the firing pin to fail to retract. This will jam the cylinders rotation.

 

The Revolver has been proofed to .38 S&W Spl. pressures, so use the powder manufacturer’s data for .38 Spl with a 148 gr lead bullet when selecting a charge weight to use. Do not exceed the service load laid down, as excessive pressure causes an increase of burn rate which can cause severe overpressure and damage to the revolver.

If using Hollow base wadcutter bullets use a small charge to reduce the pressure, or the base of the bullet may separate from the head and possibly cause a bulged barrel when the next shot is fired.

 

When you buy the Alfa it will come with the loading guide above and also with a coaching guide on how to use the firearm safely and accurately.

Browning Buckmark .22 Long Pistol

Due to Browning no longer manufacturing the Buckmark .22 rifles, we can no longer get new rifles for the conversion to long pistols. However if you can find a used rifle I will convert it for you. Contact me for more details.      alan@westlakeengineering.com

 

However, as I have decided that the Ruger 10/22 is a non starter for a LB pistol,

I am working on making some Browning Buckmark frames and barrels to produce the "Britmark .22 Long Pistol".

 

 

 

 

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