First impressions are encouraging. This is a beautifully finished, classic London side-by-side, sidelock game-gun. The decoration is unusual but there is nothing radical about the mechanical specification (and nothing wrong with that, as everything conforms to classic, time-proven pattern). The gun is of “carriage trade” quality in all departments. Barrels are chopper lump and impeccably presented, with a concave rib. There is a smaller than average metal sighting bead shaped rather like a chess pawn.
The action is machined from billet; a bar-action sidelock powered by leaf springs. There is an auto safety. It has double triggers but a mechanical single trigger is an option. The ejectors are the reliable, Southgate type. The stock is of classic form, too, with an elegantly tapered comb and straight hand grip, oval in cross-section rather than diamond pattern. The fore-end is the standard splinter. All the wood is impeccably finished with well-cut chequering and hand-rubbed oil.
The thing that is most striking about the gun is the extraordinary attention to detail. This is not surprising when one discovers that it has been made under the direction of the experienced gunmaker Paul West. A veritable who’s who of the British gun trade have had their input, including Mick Kelly (barrels), Mark Sullivan and John Craven (actioning), Stephane Dupille (stocking), Colin Orchard (finishing) and Peter Cusack (engraving) – all of them masters of their respective crafts.