BSA SKB

From BSA to early 20th century Snowies, read our reviews of the guns that make you feel nostalgic for your first gun or rifle. And if nostalgia gets the better of you there are tips and advice for finding them on the secondhand market. Prices can start as low as £20 so you can get a classic gun at a bargain price.

Miroku MK 6000 SP-1

Looking at the Miroku MK 6000 SP-1 – a timeless classic

Visit any clayshooting lines or look more closely at the guns being used in international competitions and you will almost inevitably encounter the name of Miroku. This should not come as a surprise as it is one of the undisputed world leaders in firearms manufacturing. That the company would achieve…

BSA Mercury

BSA Mercury airsporter reviewed

In the 1970s, when I was a teenager and mad keen on air rifles, there were two camps you fell into. You were either a British BSA or Webley shooter or a German Weihrauch or Feinwerkbau user. I was defi nitely in the Teutonic camp as my Weihrauch HW35 went everywhere I did. However, as pocket…

Mannlicher-Schoenauer bolt action

Mannlicher-Schoenauer

This rifle is one of those items in which classic charm marries with modern-day custom design. The Mannlicher-Schoenauer bolt action is indicative of a bygone era when German Imperial gunsmithing skills were afforded mythical status due to unrivalled levels of quality and demand. It is such that many a custom rifle maker seeks out such actions…

Contender G2 Carbine

Contender G2 Carbine

I have always had a soft spot for the Thompson/Center single-shot firearms because I cut my teeth on long-range handgun shooting with its long-barrelled pistol variant. The Contender G2 Carbine’s origins lie in a single-shot pistol for silhouette shooting derived from the Mexican Senderos in the 1960s. In 1965, Warren Center, its inventor, teamed up with a toolmaker…

Anson & Deeley

The first Anson & Deeley Boxlock

The Anson & Deeley (A&D) boxlock was a revolution in design that changed forever the world of the side-by-side shotgun. Simple and sturdy with a minimum of parts, it is still in production today by different makers, more than 140 years after the original patent was filed. The subject of this article is a special example because…

John Blanch

A “sleeper” by John Blanch and Son

The John Blanch shotgun is that ultra-rare item, a shotgun that has lain unused for most of its existence; what is called, in the trade, a “sleeper”. In more general terms “barely shop-soiled” would be an accurate description of condition. What is a sleeper? Why is it that often a fine gun is put away…

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…

Midland Gun Company

Midland Gun Company Single-Barrel .410

The Midland Gun Company was formed in 1889, making it in some ways a relative newcomer to the Birmingham gun scene. It grew to become quite a large business and manufactured a broad range of worthy, if sometimes rather substantial, shotguns as well as carrying out subcontract work for the trade…

Webley Stingray Express LE

Webley Stingray Express LE

Webley & Scott was one of our oldest gunmakers but sadly it ceased manufacturing in Britain in 2005 and all its airguns are now made in Turkey. It is a shame because the penultimate years bore some classic air rifles. This was largely influenced by the merger of Venom Arms…

Lee Enfield No. 4 Skeleton

Lee Enfield No. 4 Skeleton (SKN)

Many of those who did military service will be acquainted with the skeleton Lee Enfield No. 4 bolt-action rifle action used as a training and demonstration aid. I first saw one as a teenager in the early 1960s when I joined the Army Cadets which, I admit, was much more for the…

Diana Model 48

Diana Model 48

The Diana gun-works in Germany is one of the oldest air rifle makers in Europe. Formed in 1890, it celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2015, when it was taken over by German Sports Guns. Diana has always produced air rifles for both the common shooter and the enthusiast, as well as offering…

Miquelet Muzzle-Loader

Miquelet 8-bore muzzle-loader

For those who still inhabit the world of muzzle-loading, there is always a keen interest in something different. The stranger it is, the more interest it generates and the Miquelet 8-Bore Percussion Muzzle-Loader does sport some unusual features. A noteworthy lock Its lock work follows an early and truly classic…

Harper Classic

Harper Classic .25 HW90

Steve Harper is one of the old-school airgun makers in Britain. Famed for his innovative Harper classic guns, his fortes were his precision-made air canes and air cartridge firearms and pistols, many bearing his electronic triggers. Based in his Buckinghamshire workshop, Steve now spreads his time between classic one- offs…

Belgian 12-bore sidelock

Before World War II, if you could not afford to buy an English gun there was the option of an economy Belgian alternative. Of course, not all shotguns proofed in Liège were cheap; the Belgians produced some stunning examples, if not always quite to the British taste, and they were major world…

Feinwerkbau 300SU Air Rifle

Feinwerkbau 300SU air rifle

Feinwerkbau (FWB) — or Feinwerkbau Westinger und Altenburger to give it its full name — is based in Oberndorf at the head of the Neckar river and was started after World War II by two engineers. Ernst Altenburger and Karl Westinger had to start slowly, because after the war their machine…

Drilling 16B/ 8mm

Drilling 16B/8MM

This Classic Gun is a drilling, manufactured circa 1920. It is a combination gun I know well because I once owned it, having bought it from local farmer friend at the end of the 1970s for £40. When I had it on my firearms certificate, there was a condition added that “only…

Weihrauch HW 55T

Weihrauch HW 55T

To me, Weihrauch are the epitome of classic quality air rifle manufacture and the standard that most other airguns are judged by. All Weihrauch air rifles are made the old-fashioned way with well-engineered metal parts and good-quality stocks that are designed to last a lifetime. Over-engineered in some respects — like the HW 35 and HW 80,…

Webley and Scott

Webley & Scott .410 and 9mm Bolt-Action Shotguns

The turn-bolt would not seem to be the obvious sort of action on which to build a shotgun. It rings to mind something clumsy and awkward such as the Belgian conversions of old military rifles. It was, however, a choice of action sometimes favoured for budget shotguns built around the smaller vermin control cartridges. The most popular,…

TT Proctor Mauser Rifle

TT Proctor Mauser Rifle

T Proctor is one of Britain’s premium classic riflemakers of the old school. Gunmaker Trevor Proctor is based in Wilmslow in Cheshire and produced the finest-quality bespoke rifles for stalking and big-game hunting. His business was established in 1976 and he undertook all work himself, except fine engraving. Now that he has retired, his rifles are sought after,…