The British sporting firearms books include general works on British rifles and shotguns, plus some individual British gun manufacturers.
Game Guns & Rifles, Percussion To Hammerless Ejector In Britain by Richard Akehurst (1969) is an authoritative and readable account of one of the most inventive periods in British gunmaking, from 1830 to 1900.
Classic Sporting Rifles by Christopher Austyn (1997) includes the characteristics, origin, best British and American makers (in separate chapters), collecting and auction price information and more.
Modern Sporting Guns by Christopher Austyn (1994). For more than two centuries English gunmakers have built the finest shotguns and rifles. This tradition has continued to the present day. Austyn discusses problem areas that a collector should look out for, these occur mainly as material or structural flaws. He notes however that there is almost nothing that cannot be repaired on a sporting gun. Those who shoot will find the chapter on accessories of interest.
Heyday Of The Shotgun: The Art Of The Gunmaker At The Turn Of The Last Century by David Baker (2000). British craftsmen brought forth the finest guns ever made. This overview looks at all aspects as well as the ammunition available for these guns. Appendix lists the gunmakers of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in business in 1900s.
Thomas Horsley: Gunmaker Of York by David Baker (2006) is a detailed account of the life and career of one of the nineteenth century's most notable gunmakers. Ever innovative, Horsley registered a number of significant patents in the nineteenth century, expiring only in the 1950's.
The Royal Gunroom At Sandringham by David Baker (1989) with foreword by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The Royal Collection of guns at Sandringham is known for its examples of fine craftsmanship, technical excellence and exquisite decoration. This collection has been specially photographed and published here for the first time.
The British Over-And-Under Shotgun by Geoffrey and Susan Boothroyd (1996). Frederick Beesley, Tomas Boss, Robert Churchill, William Greener, Holland & Holland, James Purdey, James Woodward and Westley Richards, the great names of British gunmaking, have all played a notable part in the development of fine over-and-under shotguns during the twentieth century. Geoffrey Boothroyd and his daughter, Susan Boothroyd, trace the histories of these and other celebrated British gunmakers. Geoffrey Boothroyd outlines his theory that the over-and-under descends from the German Bockflinte, combination small-game rifle and shotgun, developing an idea first put forward by Major Hugh Pollard in his book Shotguns of 1926.
British Gunmakers: Volume One - London by Nigel Brown (2004) is an invaluable and informative reference contains a rich collection of facts and anecdotes about the London gun trade.
British Gunmakers: Volume Two - Birmingham, Scotland And The Regions by Nigel Brown (2005) sets out the history of the Birmingham, Scottish and regional gun makers and specialist trade workers throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries with individual histories of 60 businesses and where known, details of their serial number records, many of which have never been published before. Kindle Version
London Gunmakers: Historical Data On The London Gun Trade In The 19th And 20th Centuries by Nigel Brown (1998) is a history of the London gun manufacturers in the 19th and 20th centuries. Includes an alphabetical list of all gunmakers and related trades, with dates, addresses and changes of name, together with 48 individual business histories.
Rigby: A Grand Tradition by Silvio Calabi, Steve Helsley & Roger Sanger(2012). This is the fascinating story of John Rigby & Co., which details the legendary exploits of famous Rigby owners Jim Corbett, W D M Bell, Field Marshall Mannerheim and others. It is the story of colonial adventure, of the world's most famous big-game hunters and their rifles. Extensively illustrated and including a thorough treatment of the development of the technology behind Rigby rifles and ammunition, this book provides substantial insight into the people, adventures and rifles behind big game hunting in the early 20th century. Recent Addition
The British Shotgun: 1850-1870, Volume 1 by Ian Crudgington & David Baker (2011) is a tribute to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the British gun trade. Many unrecorded designs and artifacts, including the single trigger, the over and under gun, and the single barrel or the classic side-by-side gun. The complete story of the evolution of the British shotgun.
The British Shotgun: 1871-1890, Volume 2 by Ian Crudgington & David Baker (2011). The continuing story of the complete evolution of the British shotgun.
The British Shotgun: 1891-2011, Volume 3 by Ian Crudgington & David Baker (2011). The third and final volume of story of the complete evolution of the British shotgun. Recent Addition
The British Sporting Gun And Rifle: Pursuit Of Perfection, 1850-1900 by Donald Dallas (2008) details the many changes that occurred in the latter half of the nineteenth century. He describes at length the pinfire, centre-fire and hammerless developments along with all the ancillary changes made to sporting guns. He also outlines the many developments in rifles: the superseding of the two groove muzzle-loading Express rifle by the multi-groove, breech-loading rifle of smaller calibre with higher velocity and greater power, propelled by nitro powder.
David McKay Brown: Scotland's Gun And Rifle Manufacturer by Donald Dallas (2011). In 1967, David McKay Brown set up his own business, initially repairing guns. He was very impressed with the merits of the round action and in 1974 built the first McKay Brown trigger plate round action. In the 1980s he designed a round action over and under gun, the first such gun being completed in 1992, much admired for its design and elegance. Since 1974 he has built 578 round action guns and rifles both in side-by-side and O/U configuration. The history and development of the round action and the new O/U gun are described in detail for the first time. There are several chapters on the building of McKay Brown guns that go into great detail about their construction.
English Guns And Rifles by J N George (1947). "Being an account of the development, design and usage of English sporting rifles and shotguns - from their introduction during the 15th century until the advent of the metallic cartridges in the 19th century - together with notes on muskets, service rifles, blunderbusses and other arms. Including also various historical notes and accounts regarding individual makers and users of these arms."
English Pistols And Revolvers by J N George (1938) "An Historical Outline of the Development and Design of English Hand Firearms from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day."
The British Falling Block Breechloading Rifle From 1865 by Jonathan G Kirton (1985) is he full story of this popular group of British rifles. The mechanical and artistic details are fully illustrated in the patent drawings and photos gathered from around the world. The author, a mechanical designer himself, has filled in important gaps in action construction and markings with his own drawings. Also added are the biographies of inventors and makers as well as lists of the rifles by each producer.
Atkin, Grant And Lang by Don Masters (2005) are the stories of gunmakers Henry Atkin, Stephen Grant and Joseph Lang. Also includes Hussey, Grant & Woodward, Lancaster, Watson, Harrison, Beesley, Hellis and Wright. A very comprehensive and detailed study.
One Man's Gun Quest: 50 Years Of Gun Collecting by Peter McManus (2005) is a well-illustrated book with a wealth of detail covering English guns and gun trade.
Westley Richards & Co: In Pursuit Of The Best Gun, 1812 - 2012 by Jeremy Musson (2012). Westley Richards & Co is the oldest prestige gun-maker and this book was written to commemorate the company's bicentennial. It covers the richly illustrated history of this English gun-making company. Recent Addition
Great British Gunmakers: Forsyth And Co. Patent Gunmakers 1806 - 1852 by W Keith Neal and David H L Back (1995)
Great British Gunmakers: 1740 - 1790: The History Of John Twigg And The Packington Gun by W Keith Neal and David H L Back (1975). The authors have succeeded in re-assembling an important eighteenth century family armoury at Packington Hall, the home of the Earls of Aylesford, which contained eleven firearms by John Twigg. Detailed photographs illustrate the mechanism and decoration of the important pieces from the Packington collection.
British Gunmakers: Messrs Griffin & Tow And W. Bailes 1740 - 1790 by W Keith Neal and D H L Back (1980)
Great British Gunmakers: 1540 - 1740 by W Keith Neal and David H L Back (1984) completes over twenty years of work by the authors. It places on record the names of men who in their day were craftsmen and unsurpassed in the quality of their work.
British Single Shot Rifles by Wal Winfer (2004) in various volumes covering Jeffery, Farquharson, Gibbs and Holland & Holland.
Shooting The British Double Rifle: A Modern Guide For Load Development And Use by Graeme Wright (1999). In this revised edition, the load data section has been greatly expanded, giving load data for most nitro double rifle cartridges. The pressure tests have also been expanded and all chapters updated. The chapter on paradox guns now also includes information on how they perform as shotguns. Secondly, shooters interested in loading large cartridges in both smokeless and black powder form will benefit from this reference. Those loading large British cartridges even for single shot or magazine rifles will find it of particular interest as well. Thirdly, those interested in internal ballistics will find the pressure tests done at the Birmingham Proof House and the Kynamco factory particularly valuable. Lastly, this reference book contains useful reference information. There are dimensional tables, lists of component suppliers, extracts from old cartridge catalogues, powder burning rate charts and club shooting events and rules. An excellent reference.