William & Son isn’t London’s most oldest or most famous gunmaker. But they are one of its best, and in this video you can see a bit of what goes into making one of their side-by-side shotguns.
Here’s a bit about these guns from the Chairman & Founder, William Asprey:
“..These are truly the ultimate in bespoke pieces and our London guns are considered to be some of the finest. While our craftsmanship and excellence in this field is second to none, our prices are better than many. Indeed, William & Son goes one better: it considers the whole experience that investing in a handcrafted shotgun entails and matches the customers commitment to an age old sport with our dedication to service. Our gunmaker, Paul West, is able to discuss the best gun for your needs, and meet any special requirements you may have.”
Beretta is one of the world’s oldest gunmakers, and for hundred years they’ve used the innovative techniques to build their firearms. In this video, you can see the techniques the company is using to build their SO-series O/U shotguns.
Beretta’s SO-series over-and-unders are one of the world’s great doubles. Introduced around 1933 as the model S1, Beretta’s sidelock over-unders were the Italian maker’s response to Browning’s then new Superposeds.
Beretta’s in-house firearms designer Tullio Marengoni considered Browning’s O/U “..very high, heavy and ugly.” He set about to create a low-profile over-and-under similar to a Boss or Woodward that could also be mass produced in a factory like Beretta’s.
One thing that struck me: How much handwork Beretta has cut out of the gunmaking process.
Other than on the stock most of the gun’s part are machine made, and it looks like most of the work is done by programmers and machine operators rather than gunmakers. If the end result is best-quality work, I don’t know if this is good or bad.