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This November, some of the world’s best-known gunmakers will descend on London
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There can be few readers who have never, while consuming the pages of the latest issue, allowed their idle mind to drift into an alternate reality where they down tools, leave behind their responsibilities and devote themselves to visiting the top gunmakers all over the world in order to configure their very own bespoke shotgun or rifle. If you appreciate fine wood and steel, chances are this fantasy trip is on your bucket list. The daydream sees you spending months drifting in and out of plush showrooms, browsing oak cabinets, sipping whisky in leather chairs and chatting with craftsmen until you finally sign on the dotted line. The road trip allows you to meet and greet the actual gunmakers, get a real feel for the personality of the brand and of course handle the guns themselves.
The reality for most of us is sadly quite different. Modern life means we are time poor, so the idea of visiting multiple gunmakers in person will not be remotely possible. And for this particular transaction, online Zoom calls just doesn’t cut it and leave us feeling robbed. For something like a shotgun or rifle, an old-fashioned face-to-face meeting is needed. There is a simple solution to this quandary, however. Step forward World Gunmakers’ Evening, which is being held for one night only on Wednesday 8 November in London.
Originally founded in 2015, the four-hour event brings together the very best gunmakers and shooting brands from around the globe under one roof along with 500 guests for an elegant, intimate evening of drinks and game canapés. So in between dry mounting the latest creations from the most celebrated gunmakers, guests will be simultaneously treated to delights such as venison tartare, slow cooked pheasant and potted smoked trout.
Designed to be a one-stop-shop, confirmed exhibitors include English heavyweights William Evans, Purdey and Holland & Holland, Italian gunmaker Zoli, Spanish gunmaker Kemen, German behemoth Blaser and Austrian gunmaker Karl Hauptmann. Plus, new for this year is Gunwerks and Christensen Arms, two American brands that specialise in long range hunting rifles.
Held in The Armoury House, a listed 18th century manor house that’s home to The Honourable Artillery Company. The World Gunmakers’ Evening will be hosted in The Prince Consort Rooms, an impressive vaulted-ceiling former drill hall.
This year, the headline sponsor is Decant, a world-leading drinks brand that enables anyone to buy, sell and invest in fine wine, whiskies and spirits. Other sponsors include NFU Mutual Barnstaple & Bideford, INEOS Grenadier and GunsOnPegs.
Event director James Gower commented: “We recognise what an important purchase a new gun is. It could be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase or you may be a collector, but either way it is vital to meet the people behind the brand. World Gunmakers’ Evening is a very special event that connects master craftsmen from around the globe with British buyers who may not otherwise meet face-to-face. From a guest’s perspective, there is no other event that offers the same opportunity for information gathering and networking.”
Tickets cost £125 each
For more information, visit: worldgunmakers.com
Notable guns to see on the night…
JAMES PURDEY & SONS
From £153,000 exc VAT
HOLLAND & HOLLAND
Performance v-spring trigger plate O/U
£75,000 exc VAT
Nexus carbon fibre rifle with interchangeable barrels
Suprema 5 Fully customisable O/U with steel or titanium action
From £39,000 exc VAT
The Pall Mall
S/S sidelock ejector
From £19,750 inc VAT
Bolt-action rifle From £19,650 exc VAT
Hybrid switch barrel action From £5,649.99 inc VAT
Bespoke O/U round bodied boxlock From £5,499 inc VAT
R8 Ultimate rifle £4,764 inc VAT
Ridgeline FFT rifle
From £3,599.99 inc VAT
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