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Holloway & Naughton Britannia shotgun review

Holloway & Naughton Britannia shotgun.

A century after being founded, Holloway & Naughton Gunmakers are enjoying a renaissance under the ownership of well known shooting instructor, gun fitter and champion clay shooter, Andrew Harvison.

Since acquiring the company ten years ago Andrew has been living his dream of making best quality guns and after much blood, sweat and toil he has achieved his goal with two models of over-under ? the Premier and the Britannia.

The sidelock Premier is one that can hold its corner against any of the best guns coming out of London and other British gun making houses while the Britannia sidelock is a slightly more affordable gun built to a design that Andrew has enhanced and fine tuned.

The Britannia is also available with a trigger plate action and sideplates.

The Premier is particularly interesting as it is a very close copy of the Boss over-under in that it hinges open on revolving trunnions and the bolt locks precisely into the demi-blocked barrels.

Both features require the highest level of craftsmanship and Holloway & Naughton have also used their own design of single trigger to keep things as straight forward as possible, and reliable.

Both guns are built by a team of seven gun makers hand-picked by Andrew, a team that in the last year, produced 12 guns – a significant number at this level of quality gun making.

The barrels, actions and all mechanical parts are made by Holloway and Naughton in the UK and it’s their proud claim that the only imported part is Turkish walnut for the woodwork.

Both guns are built to order and the list of options you can choose from are just about endless:

» Choice of sidelock or trigger plate action.

» Game or Sporting clay gun.

» Barrel lengths from 27 ? 34 in.

» Choice of 12, 20, 28-bore or .410

» 2.3/4in or 3in chambers

» Fixed chokes or H&N?s own flush fit or extended multichoke system

» Single or double triggers.

» Manual or automatic safety catch.

» Wide choice of engraving styles.

The enormous flexibility in specification means you can have a truly custom gun built to your exact needs.

The H&N game gun has been designed to be carried easily, handles quickly and is highly pointable thanks to the weight of the barrels and a narrow rib that tapers from 7mm at the breech to 5mm at the muzzles.

The slim stock and fore-end sit in the hands a treat.

The Sporter version has a slightly heavier barrel set and 10mm top rib with a stock that’s suited to the job in hand.

This all sounds simple but a great deal of thought goes into the building of each gun to ensure the barrel weight, balance and rib are in tune with the overall weight of the gun.

There is no compromise on handling or ?dynamics? as Andrew calls it and these certainly are guns that come easily to the shoulder and point with a natural feel and balance.

Overall weight very much depends on the finished specification, but for a 12-bore it will be somewhere between 7lb and 8lb 2oz.

JASON’S VERDICT

Most of us can only dream of owning a sidelock of this quality but it needs to be remembered that the men who build these guns have served their time with all the best London makers so the workmanship is first class.

In fact it’s as good as it gets and the guns represent terrific value for money.

Andrew Harvison deserves our admiration and respect for breathing life back into an old name and restoring it to the highest level.

Build Quality 25/25

Handling 24/25

Styling 25/25

Value for money 24/25

TOTAL SCORE: 98/100

Holloway & Naughton Britannia shotgun

Around £44,000 depending on specification.

Holloway & Naughton

Tel: 0116 259 6592

www.hollowaynaughton.co.uk

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