Historical Database

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NOTES: 1. All inputs are inclusive i.e. if you input a name and country the search will only return results that match both name and country. 2. Some entries in our database are not complete - therefore, it may be worth using 'Any Country' if your search results do not return any data.




Search Advice

Try searching initially simply by entering a surname or family name, or even a few letters of the name in the Surname box. It is best not to be too specific but you may want to specify the country. Please note that in business names "and" is usually recorded as "&". If searching for a partnership, we suggest you enter just one of the names.

Please do not be disappointed if the only information you find in this database is a name and address taken from a gun that has been sold at some time. Guns last much longer than paper records, and they may be the only record of the existence of a gun maker. Please note that gun case labels are dated by the information (such as addresses) shown on them; gunmakers sometimes used out-of-date labels so the dates given are approximate.

About this Database

Every day, facts about the world's gun makers are being lost. Many families had gun makers in them, but as generations pass knowledge of them is forgotten.

Of course, our primary interest is not genealogy, but if you know there were gun makers in your family please let us know by sending us a prepared text ready for publication.

The Internet is ideal for capturing all the history we can, analysing and distributing it. If you can add anything to our records, a new name, an address, any details, a photo or scanned case label, a catalogue, advertisement, leaflet, copy invoice, photograph - we would be pleased to add it to our archives. If you are certain about the date of manufacture of a gun please let us know the details and the serial number of the gun. If you have any info please e-mail archives@internetgunclub.com

We have attempted to record factual details in strict chronological order so that you can quickly see how the various firms started and developed. The histories are intended to be as concise and as clear as possible. In some cases we have additional unreliable or unverified information but, usually because it is too complicated to express concisely, we have not published it.

We have concentrated on firms and families, and have generally tried to trace the development of firms as family businesses. This is how most businesses developed in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

All gun makers had a "target" market, e.g. very high quality weapons for the wealthy (who seldom used them), serviceable weapons in a range of qualities (for those who did use them and whose lives often depended on them!), or military weapons. Usually, a gun maker changed his target market as economic and political conditions changed. Some gun makers were masters of creativity and quality, but we have tried to keep to the facts and avoid "gilding the lily". There were many gunmakers who could produce guns of extremely high quality, and not all the "Top" gunmakers made "Best" guns all the time.

Our researches have uncovered many "new" historical facts, they will uncover more but inevitably, most of the "known" facts have been previously recorded elsewhere. We are keen to acknowledge our sources and are very conscious of infringing the copyright of others; if we have done so, we apologise and will immediately remove/rectify any offending material. Below, we list our sources of information, and we will add to this list as and when we can:

Firms and Organisations

  • A A Brown
  • Atkin, Grant & Lang Ltd
  • B E Chaplin
  • Birmingham Central Reference Library
  • Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House
  • Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry
  • Bonhams & Brooks
  • Boss & Co Ltd
  • British Museum
  • Christies
  • Churchill (Gunmakers) Ltd
  • Cogswell & Harrison
  • Crudgingtons of Bath
  • Dickson & McNaughton Ltd
  • Edinburgh Museum
  • Farlows Ltd
  • Greenfields of Salisbury
  • Guildhall Library, London
  • H M Stationary Office
  • Holland & Holland Ltd
  • Holt & Co
  • Imperial War Museum
  • James Purdey & Sons Ltd
  • John Rigby & Co Ltd
  • John Wilkes
  • Johnsons Barrel Browners
  • Parker-Hale Ltd
  • Royal Artillery Library
  • Sothebys
  • The Patent Office
  • The Royal Armouries
  • The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • W W Greener Ltd
  • West London Shooting Grounds
  • Westley Richards & Co Ltd
  • Wilkinson Sword Ltd
  • William Evans Ltd
  • William Ford Ltd
  • William Powell & Son Ltd


  • A Century of Guns - H J A Blanch
  • A Dictionary of London Gunmakers - Howard L Blackmore
  • A History of Firearms - H B C Pollard
  • A Treatise on the Snider - I Skennerton
  • Abridgements of the Patent Specifications relating to Fire-Arms and other Weapons, Ammunitions and accoutrements 1588-1858 - Holland Press Ltd
  • Adams Revolvers - W H J Chamberlain & A W F Taylerson
  • Ancient Scottish Weapons - J Drummond
  • Antique Guns - H W Bowman
  • Antique Pistol Collecting - Jas. Frith & R Andrews
  • Atkin, Grant & Lang - D Masters
  • Automatic Pistols - H B C Pollard
  • Bicentenary of a Gunmaker - J E Peskett
  • Birmingham Gun Trade - D Williams
  • Birmingham Gunmakers - Douglas Tate
  • Boothroyd's Revised Directory of British Gunmakers - Geoffrey Boothroyd
  • Boss & Co - Donald Dallas
  • British Gun Engraving - Douglas Tate
  • British Gunmakers - W Keith Neal & D H L Back
  • British Gunmakers (Vol II) - Nigel Brown
  • British Gunmakers (Vol III) - Nigel Brown
  • British Military Firearms 1650-1850 - Howard L Blackmore
  • British Pistols and Guns 1640-1840 - Ian Glendinning
  • Canadian Gunsmiths - John A Belton
  • Cartridges - H C Logan
  • Cartridges for Collectors - Fred A Datig
  • Classic Sporting Rifles - Christopher Austyn
  • Cogswell & Harrison - Cooley & Newton
  • Collecting Shotgun Cartridges - C Ken Rutterford
  • Colt Firearms - James E Serven
  • Colt Pistols 1836-1976 - Nigel Brown
  • Complete Guide to Gunsmithing - C E Chapel
  • Deane's Manual of the History and Science Of Firearms - J Deane
  • Debrett's Book of Game Cards - Lord Ralph Percy
  • Digest of Cartridges - W A Bartlett & D B Gallatin
  • Early American Firearms - Robert Abels
  • Early Loading Tools and Bullet Moulds - R H Chamberlain
  • Early Percussion Firearms - Lewis Winant
  • Elements of Shooting - Eric Parker
  • English Gunmakers - De Witt Bailey & Douglas A Nie
  • English Guns and Rifles - John Nigel George
  • English Pistols - Howard L Blackmore
  • English Pistols and Revolvers - John Nigel George
  • English Springer Spaniels - Frank Warner Hill
  • English, Irish and Scottish Firearms Makers - A Mervyn Carey
  • European Firearms - J F Hayward
  • Experts on Guns and Shooting - G T Teasdale-Buckell
  • Game Guns and Rifles - Richard Akehurst
  • Great British Gunmakers - Forsyth & Co - W Keith Neal & D H L Back
  • Great British Gunmakers - The Manton Supplement - W Keith Neal & D H L Back
  • Great British Gunmakers - The Mantons - W Keith Neal & D H L Back
  • Gun Collecting - Charles Chapel
  • Gun Trade Handbook - Birmingham and Provincial Gunmakers Association
  • Gundogs: Training and Fieldtrials - P R A Moxon
  • Gunfitting: The Quest for Perfection - Michael Yardley
  • Gunmakers of London 1350-1850 - Howard L Blackmore
  • Gunmakers of London Supplement - Howard L Blackmore
  • Gunnery in 1858 - William Greener
  • Haandskydevaabens Bedommelse - J F Stockel
  • Heer Der Neue Stockel - J F Stockel; Eugene Heer
  • History and Development of Small Arms Ammunition - G A Hoyem
  • History of Firearms - W Y A Carman
  • History of the Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House - C Harris
  • History of W & C Scott, Gunmakers - J A Crawford and P G Whatley
  • Holland & Holland - Donald Dallas
  • HRH Prince of Wales's Sport in India - B C Ellison
  • In the Gunroom - Major Sir Gerald Burrard Bt
  • Instructions to Young Sportsmen - Lt. Col. P Hawker
  • Inventory and Survey of the Armouries of the Tower of London - Charles J Ffoulkes
  • Irish Gunmakers - Richard J Garrett
  • King Edward VII as a Sportsman - A T Watson
  • List of Gunmakers - W H R Robson
  • London Gunmakers - Nigel Brown
  • London Gunmakers and the English Duelling Pistol - Keith R Dill
  • Modern Breech Loaders - W W Greener
  • More Single Shot Rifles - James R Grant
  • Notes on the Proof of Shotguns and Other Small Arms - British Proof Authorities
  • Old Guns and Pistols - Noel Boston
  • Pennsylvania Gunmakers - Roy F Chandler and James B Whisker
  • Pistols and Revolvers - Julian Hatcher
  • Pollard's History of Firearms - C Blair
  • Purdey: The Definitive History - C Donald Dallas
  • Purdey's - The Guns and the Family - Richard Beaumont
  • Remington Hand Guns - C L Carr and C B Carr
  • Rifles and Volunteer Rifle Corps - L Jewitt
  • Scottish Arms Makers - Charles E Whitelaw
  • Shooting - its Appliances, Practice and Purpose - J D Dougall
  • Shooting the British Double Rifle - Graeme Wright
  • Shotgun Marksmanship - Percy Stanbury & G L Carlisle
  • Shotguns - H B C Pollard
  • Shotguns and Gunsmiths - Geoffrey Boothroyd
  • Sidelocks and Boxlocks - Geoffrey Boothroyd
  • Single Shot Rifles - James R Grant
  • Sir Charles Ross and his Rifle - R Phillips & J J Knap
  • Small Arms Makers - Col. Robert Gardner
  • Small Arms of the World - W H B Smith
  • Smith & Wesson Hand Guns - R C McHenry and W F Roper
  • Sporting Guns - Richard Akehurst
  • The Art of Shooting - Charles Lancaster
  • The Badminton Library - Shooting - Lord Walsingham & Sir Ralph Payne Gallwey
  • The Big Game Rifle - Jack O'Connor
  • The Book of the Pistol and Revolver - H B C Pollard
  • The Book of the Rifle - T F Freemantle
  • The British Shotgun Vol I & II - I Crudgington and D Baker
  • The Cape Gunsmiths - B M Berkovitch
  • The Craft of the Gunsmith - G W Spearing
  • The Diary of Col. Peter Hawker 1802-1853 - Col Peter Hawker
  • The Early Purdeys - L Patrick Unsworth
  • The Eley Story - D Thomas
  • The English Springer Spaniel - Mary C Scott
  • The Greener Story - Graham Greener
  • The Gun - William Greener
  • The Gun and its Development - W W Greener
  • The Gun Collectors Handbook of Values - Charles Chapel
  • The Gunsmiths of Manhattan - Michael H Lewis
  • The House of Churchill - D Masters
  • The Kentucky Rifle - John Dillin
  • The Modern Shotgun - Major Sir Gerald Burrard Bt
  • The Muzzle Loading Rifle, Then and Now - Walter Cline
  • The Rev. Alexander John Forsyth - A J F Reid
  • The Rifle - S R Truesdell
  • The Rifle and How to Use It - H Busk
  • The Royal Gunroom at Sandringham - David Baker
  • The Science of Gunnery - William Greener
  • The Shooting Field - 150 Years with Holland & Holland - P King
  • The Shotgun - Geoffrey Boothroyd
  • The Webley Story - Wm C Dowell
  • The Westley Richards Firm 1812-1913 - L B Taylor
  • Under Five Flags - The Story of the Kynoch Works, Witton, Birmingham - Kynoch Press
  • Winchester: The Gun that Won The West - H F Williamson
  • Wm C Dowell - C Thurlow Craig & E Bewley