Watch & learn: T. R. White Son & Co, Gunmakers …

Watch: T R White & Co Gunmakers, a film  by Matthew Jopling

For 30 years now, T. R. White Son & Co, Gunmakers has been building its reputation as one of Great Britain’s top gunmakers. a background that includes time spent at W. & C. Scott.

T R White & Co Gunmakers, a film by by Matthew Jopling
T. R. White & Co Gunmakers, a film by Matthew Jopling

Established in 1989 by Tony White, whose background includes time spent at W. & C. Scott, the business includes his son, Matthew White, and gun maker Edward Atkinson. Together, they build SxS and OUs, boxlocks and sidelocks. In this video, you can learn a bit more about what drives them to create such beautiful firearms. Watch: T R White & Co Gunmakers, a film  by Matthew Jopling

Boxlock by T. R. White Son & Co, Gunmakers
Boxlock by T. R. White Son & Co, Gunmakers

Filling up fast: The London Gunmakers Tour…

Audley House, James Purdey & Sons, one stops on this tour
Audley House, James Purdey & Sons, one stop on this tour

If you love fine shotguns, you need to make a pilgrimage to London. For 200+ years, it has been home to many of the world’s finest gunmakers.

This year, Delaney & Sons 2018 London Gunmaker’s Tour makes it easier than ever for you to visit London and experience all the fantastic shooting and gunmaking history located there.

To create the London Gunmakers Tour, Delaney & Sons joined with James Purdey & Sons’ Stephen Murray and put together an insider’s glimpse into this world.

This 7-day trip includes:

  • Visits to seven of the world’s most famous gunmakers: James Purdey & Sons, Holland & Holland, William & Son, William Evans, Boss & Co, John Rigby & Co and Watson Brothers
  • A visit to Wimbledon Commons, the birthplace of modern clay shooting
  • A visit to West London Shooting School
  • Exclusive access to the London Proof House and the British NRA Museum
  • A visit to the Hurlingham Club, home of world-famous pigeon shoots in the 18th and early 19th century
  • Accommodations, ground transportation, meals, and entry into all venues
  • And much more…

The cost: Just $3,750 per person, double occupancy. Discover more about this trip to learn it’s such a great deal.

The best of the British gunmakers, by Douglas Tate…

Here’s a bit from an interesting article I found online. This piece ran in The Field and was written by Doug Tate, author of several great books on gunmakers and gunmaking.

Westley Richards Boxlock with Detachable Locks (Droplocks)
Westley Richards Boxlock with Detachable Locks (Droplocks)

British Gunmakers

The Field, Tuesday, 03 April 2012

British gunmakers are the blue bloods of the industry. Douglas Tate picks the best of British gunmakers

The beginning of the British gunmaker Westley Richards & Co story belongs to that classic British equation – a combination of skill and enterprise that characterises so much of the British Industrial Revolution. The early 19th century was a period of ferment when rank individualism, competition and disciplined industrial method all met together…

Read the entire piece now. Learn more about the history of British gunmaking, and find out which makers are Mr Tate’s favorite.

Fantastic gun alert: an A.A. Brown & Sons sidelock 12 gauge…

A.A. Brown & Sons is not well known. Even though their Supreme de Luxe double barrel was just named one of the best British guns of the last 60 years, few people have heard of this gunmaker’s name.

A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, matthewbrownphotography. c. 2012.
A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, www.matthewbrown-photography.com. c. 2012.

This is understandable.  Since opening 1938, many of A.A. Brown & Sons’s double barrels have been made for the trade. Through the 1950s-1960s, side-by-sides “made” by firms like Holland & Holland and E. J. Churchill were manufactured in Birmingham by A.A. Brown & Sons. This Westley Richards sidelock was also made by by them.

Today, A.A. Brown & Sons makes best-quality side-by-sides under their own name. The Supreme de Luxe is their sidelock. It’s hand made to the highest quality and almost all the work is done in house. Only the raw bbl tubes and the engraving are farmed out. A.A. Brown & Sons even makes their own locks and does their own color case hardening.

Currently, the base price for new Supreme de Luxe is £38,000 (+ engraving) — expensive, but cheaper than the £62,500 that Holland & Holland wants for a new Royal. A.A. Brown & Sons builds just a few Supreme de Luxes a year and the wait list for them is long. So when a nice used one comes up, it’s usually sold before pictures of it can be taken.

A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, matthewbrownphotography. c. 2012.
A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, www.matthewbrown-photography.com c. 2012.

This nearly-new 12g was just available. It’s price —  £24,000 — is steep, but more than 50% below the price of a new one.

Images by Matthew Brown Photography, c. 2012

A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, matthewbrownphotography. c. 2012.
A.A. Brown & Sons, 12g shotgun, www.matthewbrown-photography.com. c. 2012.

 

 

Top guns: Fine doubles on the market right now…

If you’ve have cash to spend, now’s a great time to be looking for a double barrel shotgun. There are more fine side-by-sides and over-unders on the market right now than ever before.

W.W. Greener 28 gauge sidelock double barrel shotgun
W.W. Greener 28 gauge sidelock double barrel shotgun

Of these, this W.W. Greener 28 gauge, best quality side by side is on of the very best.

Even though W.W. Greener built their reputation on boxlocks, they’ve always made top-quality sidelocks. This 28 gauge represents the new generation of those best-quality Greener shotguns.

It was made in the last 15 years by the gunmaking team of David Dryhurst and Richard Tandy. It’s right up there with the finest double barrels the company has ever produced. Right now, W.W. Greener has closed the books on new orders. So if you want one of these new sidelock, you’ll have to pick one up on the used market. To date, I’ve only seen two on the market: this 28 gauge and a 16 gauge with a Prince of Wales grip.

A few thoughts about fences…

The first thing most guys look at when they pick up a double barrel is the wood. Some guys will pay attention to the make and the engraving. The guys who collect will inspect the condition. Very few guys ever glance at the shotgun’s fences.

Like toplevers and triggers, a side-by-side’s fences are often overlooked. But when it comes to creating a double’s look and defining a maker’s style, the fences are a big deal.

First, a definition: The fences are the part of the action that meets the breech end of the bbls. When you close a shotgun, the barrels meet up against the fences. The term “fences” comes from the muzzloading era when makers added a curve of metal behind the percussion cap to create a “fence” to protect the shooter’s eye’s from sparks and debris. There are good pics of all this here.

Boss & Co., Holland & Holland, and J. Purdey & Sons all file up their fences in different ways. The differences are slight, but the way they alter the gun’s look is substantial. Check out the pics below to see what I mean. Of the three, I like the fences on a Boss the most. They’re bigger, more bulbous, and more substantial than the fences on most other sidelocks. BTW: these images are from Matched Pairs Limited. If you’re looking for a British double, they’re a good place to check out.

Small, round fences on a Purdey double barrel shotgun
Small, round fences on a Purdey double barrel shotgun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big, bulbous fences on a Boss double barrel. Check out that engraving, too.
Big, bulbous fences on a Boss double barrel. Check out the engraving, too.
Flat, cigar-plug like fences on a Holland & Holland Royal double barrel
Flat, cigar-plug-like fences on a Holland & Holland Royal double barrel
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