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Purdey factory

Behind the scenes at the new Purdey factory

The new Purdey factory, which opened in June 2015, looks a bit like a Farrow & Ball version of the CERN supercollider. It’s part science lab, part artists’ workshop and part private members’ club. Chequered leather banisters and sepia-tinted pictures suddenly give way to orderly, well-lit rooms filled with hulking electromagnetic discharge machines or…

lead ammunition

The end of the lead ammunition debate?

On 12 July, just before she left office as Secretary of State at DEFRA, Elizabeth Truss wrote to John Swift, chairman of the Lead Ammunition Group (LAG). She thanked him for his report but said that it “did not show that the impacts of lead ammunition were significant enough to justify changing current policy”, and that she did…

garden airgunning

Garden airgunning

Anyone who has a moderate sized garden probably has sufficient space to set up a shooting range for an air rifle, and there is no better time to do it than in the summer. Provided the weather plays ball, long warm evenings mean there is often time to sneak in the odd session after work, which is very…

Black powder ammunition

Is it difficult to get a licence to buy black powder?

David says: Provided the guns remain in black powder proof there is no reason why you should not use them. Your firearms licensing department issues explosive licences for what are known as shooters powders. You must demonstrate a good reason for having one. Possession of, and intent to use, a gun that is only proofed for black powder…

Back to basics with an airgun

Back to basics with your airgun

“The more I practice, the luckier I get,” is a saying most commonly attributed to golfer Gary Player; but whoever said it first, the principle is just as important for those of us who shoot rifles. Particularly powerful rifles. We all pay lip service to the need for practice, practice and more practice but very few of us…

Secondhand game guns

Second-hand shotguns for the season ahead

  Beretta 486 Parellelo Purchasing a gun in July will enable you to shoot a few summer clays to get used to your  acquisition, and get any handling tweaks sorted out, before the serious stuff begins. The choice will be between a traditional side-by-side and a more modern over-and-under, and if you take the first…

love semi-autos

Why you should love semi-autos

What do Marmite and semi-auto shotguns have in common? The similarity is that they both divide opinion! Some people love both, some won’t touch either. I think the Marmite division is truly just a matter of taste, but unfamiliarity and lack of awareness does contribute to some shotgun users having an unreasonable phobia where autos are concerned. I’ll nail my colours…

cleaning gun

How can I protect my guns in storage against rust?

Mike says: A thorough clean, followed by a wipe-down of the metal parts with a lightly-oiled cloth should be quite sufficient for guns in storage, providing your friend is going to examine your guns reasonably frequently. If the guns have chromed bores – and most modern guns have – there’s no need to leave the tubes…

man and woman gun manufacturers

English gunmaking – is there room for a completely new gunmaker?

Elaine and Jim Longthorne Stewart were complete unknowns when they launched Longthorne Guns in 2010. Their background was in precision engineering and they had nothing to do with the gun trade. They ran a successful engineering company in Australia but decided to return tothe UK in 1998, eventually settling in Lancashire. The pair…

cartridges for clayshooting

Our latest round-up of cartridges for clayshooting

Clay pigeon or competition cartridges are a manufacturer’s delight because they are the big seller, more so than dedicated pigeon or game cartridges. They can represent, on average, as much as 60 per cent of total production because, unlike gameshooting, clays can be shot all year round. Just think of the number…

Best shotguns featured image

Six of the best shotguns

Lewis Potter rounds up the best shotguns he has tested in recent years from hammergun to semi-auto and ranging from the affordable £500 price mark up to the high end £18,800. Akkar Triple Crown The Akkar Triple Crown is not a shotgun you would ever be likely to forget. Anything…

Midland Gun Co shotgun

How to find bargain British side-by-side shotguns

It is not surprising that even those shooters brought up on the modern imported over-and-under sometimes cast an appreciative eye at British side-by-side shotguns, because they are fine and distinctly attractive pieces of work. Usually lighter and handier than most over-and- unders they are for many shooters still the ideal game…

air rifle

Own an airgun? Planning on visiting Scotland?

  A:  The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 comes into force on 1 January 2017. After that date, a visitor to Scotland who wants to bring his or her air weapon with them must apply to the Chief Constable of Police Scotland for a visitor permit and will have…

air rifle

Shooters decry airgun licence fee

The Scottish Government has finally confirmed that the new airgun licence fee will be £72 for new applications. Visitor permits will be £20, while there will be a £5 charge for existing shotgun and firearm certificate holders. Shooting organisations, which opposed the introduction of the new legislation, have once again voiced concerns. “While…


Zoli of Italy: a story of success

It’s not surprising that Zoli of Italy has built an excellent reputation. The company has a 400-year history of gunmaking in Brescia and its 40 staff show a passion and enthusiasm for their work that helps their employer and its products stand out from an increasingly crowded market. The company’s history…

.22 centrefire ammunition

Ammo options for .22 centrefire

Those of us who like rifles and rifle shooting often develop an interest in calibres and cartridges that are a bit out of the ordinary. It also gives us something else to talk about. However, it is a huge subject, so for today’s purposes we’ll just look at .22 centrefires…

Scottish air gun licensing

Airgun licensing campaign is inadequate, warns BASC

 BASC says the Scottish  Government’s new campaign to raise awareness about the licensing of airguns is inadequate, amid concerns that individuals could unwittingly become criminals by possessing forgotten airguns. From 31 December, it will be an offence to use, possess, purchase or acquire an airgun in Scotland without holding the new…

Medalist Sporter

Three value-for-money second-hand Sporters

Medalist Sporter More than 30 years ago, the UK Browning importers could offer an impressive range of guns – everything from £1,000-plus competition and game guns to exotic and expensive hand-built examples of John Moses Browning’s immortal B25. But one thing they didn’t have was a “starter” gun retailing under…

Best airguns

Nine of the best airguns

In the market for buying a new airgun? Look no further, we have rounded up the nine best airguns on the market. Weihrauch HW100 K, HW100 TK Length: 96cm Weight: 3.3kg with moderator What it offers: This impeccably finished pre-charged air rifle combines refined performance with rugged build quality. The HW100…

man buying air rifle

A buyer’s guide to airguns

Taking the second-hand route when buying an airgun can save you a small fortune. But if you don’t know what to look out for, it can also end up leaving you out of pocket and stuck with a useless piece of scrap. Fortunately, there are a plenty of clues to steer…