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At the HBSA stand you will find a splendid display of heritage arms. HBSA are also ready to assist with advice on licensing and in particular in relation to historic arms.

The fundamental aim of the HBSA is to encourage the preservation of historical breech loading firearms and ammunition and to foster the study of all aspects of the subject, from the aesthetics of sporting guns and the engraver’s art, to the functional aspects of firearms used by the soldier, target shooter and the sporting shooter. The HBSA considers that the private collection and use of historical arms and ammunition is essential to facilitate historical research, and to achieve preservation of these heritage artefacts for future generations.

The HBSA was founded in 1973.

The founding group of academics, students of arms and collectors were concerned with the threat to the preservation of privately owned historical firearms, which represent an irreplaceable part of our social, industrial, military and sporting heritage. We are a national organisation with branches and membership groups that provide a regional presence in Wales, Northern England, and the South West. The HBSA is the primary body for collecting, researching, preserving, shooting, and all aspects of historical breech loading small arms within the United Kingdom.

As well as advising on care and conservation, and acting as a forum for the exchange of information, the HBSA pursues the study of historical smallarms through a combination of lectures, research reports and shooting activity. Monthly lectures are held in London and other venues. We have close relationships with the Imperial War Museum in London and the Royal Armouries, where we are acknowledged as a specialist group. We are also given access to arms and documents held in certain reserve collections.

We liaise with Home Office, Police, NRA, other shooting/collecting organisations in UK and abroad and are members of British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC). We maintain close links with other European collecting organisations through the Federation of European Societies of Arms Collectors (FESAC).

Research papers, extracts from historical documents and articles written by HBSA members and others are published in our annual Journal. The proceedings of our meetings and other activities are published in a quarterly newsletter Report.

Contact Information



The Great British Shooting Show: 17th, 18th and 19th of February 2023.


The National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham, B40 1NT.

Contact us

Call: 01258 857700

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