Heritage Guns Update 30th January 2019
Well, the British game shooting season is all but at an end and I, along with many thousands of other UK Shooters, are already wondering how we will fill our Saturdays until next September and the whole merry-go-round kicks off again. Of course foreshore duck and geese continue for another few weeks, the wonderful wood pigeon continues to be available year round, deer stalking continues with both sexes of most of our species (Roe bucks the notable exception), winged vermin (mainly corvids), rabbits and the wily fox are all on the menu but somehow it’s just not the same. It’s the social event, the dressing up, the picking-up etc that makes it special and I’ll just have to dream of next season.
I finished my personal shooting season last Saturday with the ‘Round-up’ day on my local estate: a hugely enjoyable ‘walk & stand’ day laid on by the estate owner for all those who had put time into this year’s shooting, complete with a lavish ‘elevenses’ and excellent hot lunch washed down with one’s favourite beverage. Think ‘beaters’ day’ with attitude! I was very fortunate to be a standing Gun on several drives and surprised myself by shooting rather well.
Tilly has had a pretty good season without any significant injuries. She did get a horrid tummy bug a few days before a shoot and spent several days on three legs due to a soft tissue injury but fortunately recovered from both in time to have her day out picking-up. On two occasions she did near miraculous retrieves from the river that flows through the estate which was very rewarding after the hours put in to training. I will now spend the next eight month trying to stop her getting fat and keeping bad habits at bay!
The weather here has finally got a lot colder and some serious wintery stuff is forecast (well, as serious as it ever gets in East Anglia!). This morning we woke to a fair covering of snow and Tilly thought it was wonderful. I was less convinced but I must admit it is great fun to watch her cavorting in the white stuff.
As many of you will already be aware, I have missed the 2019 January Beinfeld Antique Arms Show in Las Vegas in favour of exhibiting at the British Shooting Show in a few weeks’ time (15th-17th February). This is going to a very exciting new venture, not having exhibited in the UK before and so never exposed to the great British sporting masses!
In preparation for this, I have been working hard to get new stock ready to exhibit there and details of the first two have just been uploaded to my web site.
First is a very cute pre-1896 28b boxlock by E&G Higham of Liverpool: 28” beautifully figured damascus barrels, reproofed for 2 ¾” nitro cartridges and a spectacular walnut stock.
Second new gun is a really lovely 1880’s 12b hammergun by John Lyell & Co of Aberdeen: 30” boldly figured damascus barrels, reproofed for 2 ¾” nitro cartridge and lovely original tiger-stripe stock.
Following closely will be a cased Holland & Holland Royal 12b SLE no 14495, a cased William Powell & Sons 12b SLE with non-functioning hammers (!?), a Joseph Lang & Sons 16b bar-action hammergun and a Frederick Beesley 12b SLE and I’ll send you all details as they become available.
Of course, once the British Shooting Show is behind me, I will start work in earnest on preparations for the Southern S/S Spring Classic in Sanford NC, USA. Bob Nay of MacNab Fire Firearms and I are being joined on our stand by Donald Dallas, the author of many great historical gunmaking treatises and he will be exhibiting examples of his books and looking forward to talking with interested gun owners and taking orders for his books.
We will also be hosting JP Daeschler who has just become the new owner and chief executive of John Dickson and Son. He has important appointments with prospective new gun orders but has promised to make some time to meet people at our stand/booth and talk about his plans for the famous gunmaking names that he now owns. He stressed to me that although the company is aiming to produce a number of new guns under the various names, he is also keen to support owners of older guns in any way he can.
JP, as he likes to be called, is a very talented stocker and has been closely associated with the Holts Auctioneers where he regularly holds demonstrations of his skills during auction viewing days.