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Guns & ammunition

Browning B15 Beauchamp

Marcus Janssen is very impressed with the Browning B15 Beauchamp over-under.

There can’t be many gunmaking companies with a more confusing history than Browning. They’re an iconic American brand, and yet almost all of their guns are manufactured in Europe and Japan. In order to understand why this is, one must go back to the beginning. The company was founded in 1878 to market the sporting (non-military) designs of John Moses Browning, an American gunmaking genius and one of the world’s most prolific firearms inventors (he is credited with 128 US patents). But...

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Copper-coated shot demystified

Is the recent surge in the popularity of copper-coated lead shot a result of clever marketing, or are these cartridges as good as some claim? Matt Kidd asks the opinion of various manufacturers and respected game Shots.

Whether shooting pigeons, grouse, pheasants or partridges, game Shots often have a preferred cartridge brand and load – some are even die-hard loyalists who will buy them in huge quantities. As with many other pieces of kit and fieldsports paraphernalia, fads and fashions come and go. But is the latest trend of using copper-coated lead shot here to stay? The technology has been around for many years now; the first examples of coated shot (with copper, nickel and even gold) date back to the...

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Watson Bros. Gunmakers

Author: Marcus Janssen

Marcus Janssen visits Watson Bros., the last independently-owned and run London gunmaking firm, where a pioneering spirit lives on.

I wonder how many people, when asked to name as many London gunmakers as they can, would mention Watson Bros.? Despite being founded almost 150 years ago and boasting an excellent reputation for best sidelock shotguns (both over-unders and side-by-sides), I would wager at least a tenner that Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman would give them an impressively low score on Pointless. I wonder why that is? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that everything they produce is...

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Sixteen bore shotguns

Author: Chris Batha

A closer look at why there’s a resurgence in popularity of the 16 bore shotgun in both the UK and the USA.

From the early to mid 20th century, in the USA, Europe, and the UK, the 16 bore was a popular choice among game Shots. In the USA it was widely considered to be ‘the gentleman’s gun’ and in the 1950s accounted for almost a quarter of all shotgun sales. Why then did it fall so far from favour in the years that followed? Initially the demise of the 16 bore was probably due to its close proximity to the 12 and 20, both of which offered the game Shots a greater variety of cartridge and...

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Entry level guns

Author: Vic Harker

After considering the many variables parents must think about when acquiring the right gun for a young Shot, Vic Harker identifies two suitable and affordable off-the-rack options.

For most shooting parents, finding suitable guns for young people has always represented something of a problem. With sufficient funds it is a little easier, but for the majority, something safe and suitable can be hard to identify. Choice in part is dependent upon age and physical development; in my view, any kind of gun is best kept out of the hands of children under the age of 12 – even after that the strictest supervision should be maintained. As to the type of gun best suited to...

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T. R. White & Co. Gunmakers

Author: Matt Kidd

A visit to the family-run T. R. White & Co. gunmakers in Staffordshire who have big plans for the future.

Whatever the industry, whatever your background, venturing away from a secure income as an employee to set up your own business takes some serious courage. Of course, only time will tell if the risk is worth the reward, but as a 30-year-old, married with two young children, most would let their dreams fall by the wayside. This scenario was not going to stop Staffordshire-based Tony White from starting up his own gunmaking firm in 1989, though. “Without doubt, the biggest challenge I faced...

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