Arms Heritage & Traditional Gunmakers at the British Shooting Show.
Firearms have a history and heritage that can be traced back hundreds of years, right back to when the Chinese invented gunpowder in the 9th century and followed this with the invention of the Fire Lance in the 10th century.
Modern day industry and business still utilises practices that were brought to use by the manufacture of firearms.
Samuel Colt not only changed the firearm industry, but industry in general with the use of interchangeable parts, thus enabling him to have the first “production line”, something that is now seen across all industries. This wasn’t the only thing that Samuel Colt gave us. He was the first to use celebrity endorsement to promote and market his guns. We see the celebrity endorsement of hundreds of products on a daily basis these days. The firearm industry, and Colt in particular, was the first to name products to draw customers to particular products. The Peacemaker, Buntline Special; now iconic names from history, but this had never been done before.
However, not every gun made today comes off of a production line. Traditional handmade guns are still being made by skilled makers using age old methods. These days the materials might be modern but the craftsmen that are holding and shaping them possess a lifetime of knowledge and skill to “oil black” and action and then hand file it. To hand shape a stock and checker it and then combine this beautiful woodwork with hand struck barrels and hand engraved side plates can take as many as 1400 man hours.
At the British Shooting Show you have the opportunity to see the finest hand engravers and finishers creating pure works of art. However. What is a shotgun or rifle without its barrel, or barrels? The finest barrel makers in the business are at the British Shooting Show demonstrating their skills. Observe, listen and breath in the smells of traditional gun making as these pioneers of perfection demonstrate their craft.