The title of the video and this Thread amount to rash generalizations that are meaningless apples to oranges comparisons. The very best hand made custom rifles and shotguns produced by Americans compare favorably with guns made anywhere. And our mass produced machine made guns stack up quite nicely too, when compared to mass produced guns built elsewhere. Comparing a hand made Boss or Purdey to an Ithaca or Stevens is just as ridiculous as comparing a Chevy Cobalt to a Formula 1 car. And it wouldn't be fair to compare a cheap Birmingham working man's gun to a Lefever Optimus or John Nichols shotgun either. But there is no question that the gun making trade in Great Britain reached an overall higher level of refinement, while ours was generally geared toward mass production and mass marketing. You could say our talent for mass production saved the British trade from being conquered by Adolph Hitler & Co. And you could also say that we have now outsourced and off-shored that capability today, and morphed into a nation where too many people would rather stay home and collect Government money hot off the printing press. I'm blown away by the number of businesses I see that are closed or have reduced operations because they don't have enough employees, while millions are collecting unemployment checks. This must certainly be a factor in recent ammunition shortages.
And once upon a time, there was active and frequent international competition to determine which nation had the best shooters in all of the various disciplines. Now international shooting competition has dwindled, and it is hard to find, even when there is an Olympics, because the shooting sports have been demonized. So we are largely left with opinions. We have some guys right here who could outshoot George Digweed, to hear them talk. I'm mainly concerned with how well I can shoot. And gun reviews are largely a matter of personal taste. I read a lot of good things about Turkish shotguns, but haven't been moved to buy any yet.
Well, let us see. As a financially strapped student i did not own my own property. I lived in a room in a house in which other students (studying accountancy, medicine and architecture, all professions requiring a spotless record for future employment). I lived in the same room, same house when I got my certificate. Come renewal time the police, and I am guessing this one, regarded my location as an insecure premises.
I hunted at a farm called Bury farm near Bedford. The farmer was the only one out of many I had asked who would allow me to hunt. Rabbits, pigeons and some times he would insist that I contribute to seagull cullilng. Cost was one pound per visit. And the police did ask for written proof that he would allow me to shoot there. Whether they had the legal right to do so or not is a moot point.
The guns in question were a Greener single shot, a Mossberg 410 bolt action with tubular magazine, a 9mm Glatt garden gun. Total value back then around 30 pounds. Spending hundreds, at best, to retain 30 seemed like a futile strategy. The check was for fourteen pounds.
I was not the only shotgun owner targeted by the Hornsey police. One of the refusals made it to County Court and the police were obliged to state the reason for exercising their discretionary power to refuse a certificate renewal. The case was mentioned in the Times Law Report I think. The owner had secure premises, a reason to own a shotgun, but the owner's brother who lived outside London had a criminal record and occasionally visited the applicants home, this was revealed in court as the reason for the refusal. The judge deemed it insufficient and the man retained his guns, but did bear heavy legal fees.
There was a silver lining to this cloud. It encouraged me to leave the UK, get employed by a major US multinational, marry a wonderful girl from Illinois, and eventually get into publishing a successful hunting magazine. Beats becoming a crusty London solicitor anytime.
SKB, I lived in England for 14 years, started my "shooting" career there. I left when the police refused to renew my shotgun certificate because I could not produce a written agreement showing that I had the shooting rights over some piece of private land. Public land did not count as no shooting is allowed there.
The certificate having lapsed, due to their delay, I was told that if I moved the guns out of the house to a shop to sell I would be arrested for illegal possession. A "kind" police sergeant agreed to buy my guns. We agreed on a price, he picked them and handed me a folded check. I did not look at it, he was a trustworthy police officer. The check was for a lot less than we agreed.
We each have our experiences in life. Mine lead me to smile when I read a comment attributed to Bob Brister "if you have not been diddled by an Englishman, you haven't lived"
The epitome of fine guns is a late, bar in iron, Purdey pigeon gun with, of course, outside hammers. It encompasses strength, reliability, competition readiness, quiet elegance, quality of manufacture, and a name that needs no apology. Other guns share this model of Purdey's characteristics and quality, but the tiebreaker is always the name.
I find it hard to recognise the description of fieldsports here in Britain from the above negative posts and can only assume that it is a reflection of experiences gathered from commercial shoots where you get what you pay for and probably pay dearly for the experience that is commercial driven shooting. Thankfully our sport is freely available to residents through syndicates for a yearly cost less than one days driven shooting. Deer stalking is not hard to come by at little if any cost and wildfowling is available through the right to shoot in Scotland in the area covered by the high and low tides. Our seasons are long, we have geese ducks and other wildfowl in great numbers and syndicate shooting for game is easily obtainable with little effort or cash.
I can’t see how shotgunlover failed to have his shotgun certificate renewed when there is no need to have access to private land or game shooting to qualify. Clay pigeon shooting is good reason as is wildfowling over the previously mentioned tidal areas which are public lands. His tale of being swindled by a police sergeant with a folded cheque seems to me to reflect more prejudice than anything else and begs the question why did he not return with the cheque to rectify the matter. Britain isn’t a police state and officers are accountable for their actions.
Quite a bit of this thread seems to indicate that there is little real knowledge on this forum of fieldsports in Britain. I have shot here over fifty years and have enjoyed predominantly rough shooting ,coastal and inland wildfowling ,deer stalking and driven shooting ,none of my personal experience is reflected in the views expressed by many contributors to this thread. I can only assume that they have little personal experience of something that they seem to hold very strong opinions on. Perhaps accessing articles in the British Shooting Times or Sporting Gun magazines would provide a valuable insight into British fieldsports that seems to be lacking in some of the contributors here.
Did you drag your best gun to Olde Blighty to shoot the deer? Did you do this last year? Will you do it again, this year, or, next? Why not? 20 years ago, I inquired about doing some hunting in France. My hosts, gracious, but honest, informed me that while it might not be technically illegal, it might as well be. As gunmakers, they had to score an invite from a landowner, and they would have a day out, surrounded by strangers, and they might get a shot at a duck, or not. The event usually ended as a party, and the guest of honor was most often a large boar that had been hit by a car, or shot on a hunt, but, usually, hit by a car. The pigs were a huge nuisance in that part of France, and getting worse. There were fees, of course, but, those fees promised them nothing, save they would be on the property that day.
They considered themselves lucky if they got out every five years. They were well connected, opposed to say, mostly anyone else. I was dumbfounded at how few options there were to this, and how they expected to produce hunting weapons in a culture that had almost no legal public hunting available to the masses.
As long as you have a pile of money to give them, them being the landowners, local enforcement agencies, and whatever government perfunctory is standing with his hand out, you are right, you can technically hunt, in Europe. Sometimes. What we have, here, is hugely different. The situation in Europe is most certainly not improving.
Good guns are much like gentlemen. Where you find them. Already pointed out, the good gun that is walked up to a peg in a slip, might not be all that great sitting in a duck boat for 40 seasons. Yes, I know guys that do that with a gun, and it is not an English gun.
Ted, I've dragged a shotgun to Scotland several times to shoot driven birds. Also have done a few walk up days. The place where we shoot takes care of the necessary paperwork with the local police and sends me my certificate. One year, I took a Merkel sidelock. I forgot to specify, when I provided the information for my certificate, that the gun was a sxs and not an OU. So my certificate was incorrect. The driver waiting to collect us at the airport had the corrected version. But the young Scottish woman who asked me to open my case didn't notice the discrepancy.
I haven't gone now for 3 or 4 years. But I went on an annual basis for several years. And in spite of having completed the necessary paperwork with US Customs, I was held up every time by Customs on my return from the UK. The last go round, a Customs officer told me that he saw they'd run me through the process repeatedly, and said he'd make sure it didn't happen again. Haven't gone since, so I'm not sure whether the problem has been corrected. But never the slightest problem on the UK end.
That is a surprising remark coming from a gunsmith. We are obviously judging things from different points of view and apply different criteria.
Baker managed to make an action that can be made from flat stock, uses one single coil spring to power tumbler, trigger and give a rebounding action, and employs a safety bent to prevent accidental discharge.
In this you see a Yugo, I see genius. Doing more with less is an engineering ideal, or so I have read.
He is the same Baker that gave us the Lancaster 12/20, the Baker ejector, and numerous other patents that were employed by the big names without much recognition being given to the inventor.
Interesting that the Lancaster 12/20 comes from the same brain as the shotgun equivalent of the Yugo!
My experience has been that more unites than divides fieldsportsmen but I find sweeping ill founded statements normally with a political bias alien to the common bond we share.
Variations of this comment have been used by Liberal Left gun owners for decades to justify their support and defense of anti-gun Liberal Left politicians. But the hard truth is that any gun owner who votes for and who supports anti-gunners is deceiving us when they claim we have some common bond. In reality, they are helping to pave the way for the erosion and eventual complete loss of our Gun Rights.
They all make the claim that their politics is based upon much more than being a single issue supporter of gun rights. But they never attempt to get their progressive Liberal Left politicians to modify their near universal disdain and hatred for private ownership of firearms.
I'm glad Shotgunlover took the time to explain how he lost his firearms certificate, and essentially lost his rights to own firearms, or to even lawfully dispose of them for a fair price. We could go on for days detailing similar abuses against law abiding firearms owners wherever progressive Leftists and Democrats rule. Smith & Wesson is now moving it's headquarters and operations to Tennessee because of new restrictive laws in Democrat Massachusetts.
I reject any foolish and dishonest notion that I share any commpn interest with those who are helping anti-gunners in any way, shape, or form. Accepting such lies only emboldens them to continue undermining us.
Don’t worry Keith I think you are the exception that proves the rule anything we may have in common regarding fieldsports is overshadowed by your ad nauseum political rhetoric.
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