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We asked some keen Guns for their ultimate Christmas gift. Here’s what they told us …

From a day's shooting with the Duke of Windsor to a pair of Purdeys ... what would be your dream Christmas present?

Tim Bonner

Tim Bonner

Tim Bonner – Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, obsessive rough shooter, wildfowler and game shot

I’d like a pair for my Cogswell & Harrison boxlock 16-bore please. The gun used to belong to my great grandmother who was a very good shot, especially on grouse, in the days when ladies didn’t really shoot. I inherited from my great aunt who was an equally sporting lady. It was built around 1906 and weighs in at 5 ¾ lb. I cannot conceive of a better all-round game gun and together we have hunted practically everything on the quarry list from Cornish woodcock to Sutherland ptarmigan. A pair would allow me to rest the old girl on days where I might be getting through a few cartridges, and to use them on those rare and special occasions when I’m asked to fill a grouse butt.


Claire Zambuni

Claire Zambuni

Claire Zambuni, Director of Zambuni, fan of yoga, Arsenal, guns, rods & wellies

The absolute next thing on my bucket list is Mongolia – to hunt for an ibex, hunt with birds of prey and fish for taimen. I’m hoping to either go next year or at the latest 2020.


Tom Payne

Tom Payne

Tom Payne, professional shooting instructor, avid pigeon shooter and author of ‘The Pigeon Shooter’s Diary’

A grouse moor, a wild grey partridge shoot, a productive flight pond and a good classic undulating pheasant shoot. Securing the future of British field sports. Oh and a lifetime subscription to Shooting Times.


Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1991 film 'Terminator 2'

Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1991 film ‘Terminator 2’

Lady Melissa Percy, founder of ladies shooting clothing brand Mistamina

My ideal gift would be a shooting day at the family home of Alnwick castle with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the line.



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Bod Griffiths, owner of Vale House Kitchen, a gameshooting and cookery school near Bath

My dream Christmas item would be a Purdey over-and-under Damascus shotgun. They are simply a work of art and are meant to be be just the most wonderful gun to shoot with. They are forged with over 100 layers of Damascene steel and each one has a very unique pattern because of this.


Maharaja Duleep Singh in 1854

Maharaja Duleep Singh in 1854

Patrick Galbraith, editor of Shooting Times

I am quite interested in how today’s top shots compare to the top shots of years gone by. Therefore, I would like to share a pigeon hide with the Maharaja Sir Duleep Singh, Tom Payne, George Digweed, Ralph Payne Gallway with Tim Maddams too to cook lunch.

Liam Bell, chairman of the National Gamekeepers Organisation

I would like a Matched Pair of Self-Opening Sidelocks from Purdey’s – and a stocking full of invitations from well-heeled friends to use them. Made to measure of course, nicely balanced and tastefully engraved, with my initials on the gold ovals. If they could be delivered in their hand-made oak and leather travel case, all the better. Equally happy to collect from South Audley Street.

Aidan Hartley, Kenya farmer and author of Spectator ‘Wild Life’ column

I think I would like to go shooting with my late father in the old Africa which he knew a long time ago. In the 1930s, long before the Serengeti was a national reserve and wildlife was as common as starlings, he was driving across those savannah plains when his old Ford ran out of fuel. He put a note on the bonnet asking whoever might pass for some fuel, plus a few coins. Then he walked off into the Serengeti by himself with one chap to hunt and camp for a few days. After shooting game and enjoying himself he sauntered back, found the note and the coins gone and a full tank of fuel. He drove on up to Kenya. What a world that must have been. I have a few others stories like that about him and I so wish I had seen that Africa.

John Sugden and his wife Nicola

John Sugden and his wife Nicola

John Sugden, owner of Campbells of Beauly

My dream 100% would have been to shoot with the late Duke of Windsor. A style icon, and history suggests a devilishly good shot at the same time (I suspect he got plenty of practice!). We could have discussed our shared passion for menswear, be it Fairisle knitwear, wonderful tweed for which we held his Royal Warrant, as well as tailoring in general. Hierarchy considered, I think it would be best to have been his loader, and then we’d have been able to maximise air time on our shared passions!

Ed Wills, deputy editor of Shooting Times

My dream wish this Christmas is to shoot in a 50 brace day of wild English partridges.