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Shotgun News

have an interest in shotguns and films and when Assetsure announced they would be launching a special policy to cover Shotgun Insurance, natually i was very keen to become involved, here is some of my own personal knowledge and information about shotguns, some you may know, some you may not, i hope you find it an interesting read.

Oldest gun makers

J Purdey & Sons is one of the oldest gun makers in the country, dating back to 1814. A new Purdey gun today will cost as much as a small house. It is likely that the antique guns featured in Guy Ritchie’s film ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ were Purdeys, their price at auction appeared to be £250,000 for the pair. Based in London the Company has provided guns to many members of the Royal family since its early days. Queen Victoria is said to have owned a pair of Purdey pistols.

In 1994 the Company was sold to a Swiss Company Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, the third largest luxury goods company in the world.

Most collected shotguns


from the 1930s are often thought of as the best shotguns to buy as a collector. In 1928 Purdey made 300 guns but in the early 1930s production fell to around 100 a year as tough economic times took their toll. Then the Second World War broke out and many shotguns stayed unused in their cabinets for years while their owners were at war. Many owners failed to return. Guns from this period have a rarity value combined with generally good condition due to lack of use.

Skyfall shotgun faux pas

In Skyfall Albert Finney plays the grizzled old family gamekeeper from Bond’s childhood home estate “Skyfall”. The controversy is that as a gamekeeper he doesn’t appear to know the difference between a rifle and a shotgun. He carries a 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun to help defend Skyfall but refers to it as a rifle.

Bond on the other hand is carrying his Dad’s old hunting rifle which is a rifle said to be made by luxury gun makers of Mayfair London, Anderson Wheeler. Anderson Wheeler describe the rifle used in the film as ‘ built to embody many of the qualities normally associated with the man himself; classic taste and style coupled with a no – nonsense approach to getting the job done.

So what is the difference between a shotgun and a rifle?

Rifles are designed for long distance, very accurate single shots. The barrel of a rifle has grooves cut into it internally, which makes the bullet spin as it travels down the barrel. This makes the bullet travel in a straighter line once it has left the barrel, making for greater accuracy. Rifles often also have front and rear sights for more accurate targeting. Shotguns on the other hand are designed for moving targets, the bore inside is smooth and shotgun ammunition consists of multiple pellets of steel or lead shot held in a capsule called a slug. Once the slug containing the shot leaves the barrel the shot is dispersed over a large cone-like area making it much easier to hit a moving target at short range.

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My parents are in their fifties, work in town and live in the suburbs, but they both own shotguns and not just one each. To them shotguns are things of beauty, with their smooth carved wood, and engraved metal pictures, often featuring birds. Each gun is different and they both have their favourites. My parents use their guns to shoot, mostly clays, but some collectors keep shotguns for nothing other than the pleasure of owning them....

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