Tel: +44 (0)121 369 1855

Tel: +31 43 569 0040


Tel: +44 (0)121 369 1855

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A fool and his money are soon parted.

We provide a gun sourcing service to clients who wish to own a fine English (or Scottish) shotgun or pair, the conversation generally starts with the client expressing an interest in one of the ‘big’ gunmaking names of Boss & Co, Purdey or Holland & Holland. That is understandable as those brands have built an image unlike any other in the gunmaking industry, however the clients budget and expectations don’t always align. The power of the internet in modern times means we now have an army of experts who are all knowing, right? No.

For those of you who read my posts on a regular basis will know that I often offer up analogies and refer to motorcars. I do that as a leveler, most of us drive, have varying budgets and requirements, so not too dissimilar to guns. So, keeping with that theme, most people wouldn’t dream of watching a 10 minute YouTube Range Rover car buying guide and then heading down the car auction armed with £30k and all the knowledge they need to get a bargain would they? So, it drives me literally bonkers when people do exactly that with guns. Yes you CAN pick up a bargain at auction but you have to know exactly what you are looking at, otherwise you will be firmly bitten in the derriére. The latin term ‘Caveat Emptor’ (buyer beware) are the terms of any auction for pity sake and the cars/guns are often (not always) in auction for good reason. Any gun from a good maker that is in mint condition will fetch close to, if not over retail value for good reason.

Like clockwork, after every single auction, the telephone rings…. ‘Hello is that the Gunsmiths? I’ve just bought xyz from the auction, I only paid X but it isn’t working’. I could literally scream! Then they often want me to not only diagnose the issue but also give them a fixed price for putting it right. Would you buy a knackered Range Rover from auction and then call a Land |Rover specialist expecting triage over the phone and a fixed price for putting it right? NO! So why do it with guns? STOP.

We have been in the gun trade for years and we employ the services of several gunsmiths who collectively have 250+ years of experience. So before you get carried away buying a ‘bargain’, give us a call, tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll gladly help, be prepared for a thorough interrogation and a bit of no nonsense chat, we want to get it right for you. We have to consult thoroughly, what do you want these guns to do? Odd farm shoot or 40 x 300-500 bird days? Do you know your stock measurements? etc etc.

Here is one example of the service we offer. In February this year a prospective client called looking for a pair of sidelever Boss & Co 12 gauge shotguns with 30 inch barrels, budget of c£30k. He shoots 15-25 days a season on 200-300 bird days and currently owns a pair of Lang shotguns which he loves. The first question I asked is why Boss? His reply was very typical of most people who call, ‘well its a good brand and they’ll hold there value and I’ve always liked the look of sidelever guns’. He’s right, but for £30k you’ll be buying a problem if you can find anything, that specification is not exactly easy to find. His budget would need to at least double that amount to get something close to what he wants/needs. Anyway, we found him a pair of Henry Atkin sidelever guns at the latest Holts auction, they’ve been made on the Beesley patent spring opening action with the improved ejector system so they’ll be reliable too (in all but name, they are a pair of Purdeys). We are restocking them to his measurements, giving them a complete overall and putting them in a newly upcycled case for a lot less than his original budget. The client is over the moon and is now contemplating another purchase, a pair of Stephen Grant shotguns, he then has the full complement of Atkin, Grant and Lang.

Image with thanks to Holts


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