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September 6th, 2018

A Shotgun Fit for Royalty — Westley Richards 12 Gauge SxS

Westley Richards 12 gauge shotgun Princess Diana Spencer Princed Charles wedding shotgun gift

Here is some eye candy for fans of fine firearms. Made for the 1981 nuptials of Lady Diana Spencer and HRH Prince Charles, this Westley Richards & Co. side-by-side, 12 gauge shotgun was engraved by the Brown Brothers with gold crests and floral accents. The British royal seal and other heraldic emblems of the couple are included in the decoration. This amazing piece is now in the NRA Museum Collection.

Westley Richards 12 gauge shotgun Princess Diana Spencer Princed Charles wedding shotgun gift

Princess Diana’s Westley & Richards Shotgun
It’s not an uncommon practice for people who like firearms to be given one for a big occasion, such as a graduation or a birthday. Today’s GOTD was given to a very special person on a very special occasion that took place 35 years ago today. This 12 gauge Westley Richards side-by-side shotgun was given to Lady Diana Spencer when she married Prince Charles on July 29, 1981. The gun was engraved by the Brown Brothers — Paul and Alan — and features a variety of artistic elements, including the royal seal and the couple’s wedding date.

Westley Richards 12 gauge shotgun Princess Diana Spencer Princed Charles wedding shotgun gift

Westley Richards 12 gauge shotgun Princess Diana Spencer Princed Charles wedding shotgun gift

Photos courtesy NRA National Firearms Museum,

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
February 12th, 2016

Getting Started in F-Class Competition (F-TR and F-Open)

Vince Bottomley Target Shooter F-Class F-Open F-TR

Our friend Vince Bottomley in the UK has written an excellent article for Target Shooter Magazine. Vince offers “solid-gold” advice for new F-TR and F-Open shooters. Vince reviews the cartridge options, and offers suggestions for a shooter’s first (and hopefully affordable) F-Class rifle. Vince also reviews various bipod choices for F-TR and discusses optics options (from $300 to $3000).

Here’s a short sample from the Target Shooter Magazine article:


Permalink - Articles, Competition 4 Comments »
July 10th, 2015

Brits Build Wicked Tikka T3 Tactical Rifle

Osprey Rifles Tikka T3 Tactical Third Eye Chassis Stock Cerakote Camo

Tikkas are boring, nondescript hunting rifles right? Wrong. Check out this Tikka T3 tactical with “attitude”. For the British Shooting Show in 2014, the folks at Osprey Rifles placed a Tikka T3 action into a modern modular chassis: “A standard factory Tikka T3 was fully Cerakoted and dropped into a Third Eye Tactical chassis stock which also had the Cerakote treatment. It certainly pulled a crowd and was sold on the Show’s first day! We have been commissioned to do another one straight away.”

Click Photos to see larger version.
Osprey Rifles Tikka T3 Tactical Third Eye Chassis Stock Cerakote Camo


Permalink New Product, Tactical 4 Comments »
April 14th, 2015

New Trends: Civilian Service Rifle Competition — UK Style

Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Report by John Morgan-Hosey
Civilian Service Rifle (CSR) is a shooting sport in the United Kingdom shot with bolt action rifles and ‘Straight-Pull’ derivatives of semi-auto centerfire rifles. Why do the UK shooters use manual-operating versions of popular self-loaders? Well, that’s because of legal restrictions. Civilian ownership of semi-auto centerfire rifles was banned in the United Kingdom in 1987.

Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Give credit to the ingenuity of competitive shooters in the UK. The ban on semi-autos has not stopped shooters from adapting modern rifles such as the AR15. In fact, CSR is the UK NRA’s fastest growing shooting discipline. There are four classes for competitors:

1. Historic Class — Vintage Rifles, mostly Lee Enfields with iron sights.
2. Iron Sights Class — all non-Historic Rifles with Iron (open) sights.
3. Practical Optic Class — Rifles with bipods (and scopes 4.5X or greater magnification).
4. Service Optic Class — Rifles without bipods (and scopes with no more than 4.5X power).

Surprisingly, shooters in the Service Optic Class dominate these matches. So you don’t need a high-magnification scope or a bipod to do well. The most popular rifles are modified AR-platform rifles. These are set-up in the UK with no gas system to ensure they comply with our laws. Side-charger cocking handles are fitted to allow the rifles to be operated easily while in the shooting position. You can see in the photo above a modified AR with the Union Jack on the buttstock. Notice the bolt handle on the right. This opens and closes the bolt.

This video clip shows the side-charging ARs in use.

Note the side bolt handle that cycles the action on this non-semi-auto AR.
Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Here shooters advance 100 yards to engage the targets at the next firing line.
Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Competitor uses classic Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifle.
Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Dave Wylde Sets Impressive Record at the Civilian Service Rifle League Match.
The last matches in the 2014/15 CSR League took place on Sunday, 5 April. With final places in all four classes up for grabs, the fine weather and light winds made for some impressive scores, none more so than Dave Wylde in Service Optic Division. Dave scored a mighty impressive 246 (of a possible 250) in the PM Match. Breaking 235 is tough enough and scoring over 240 a rarity with the match includes standing snap shooting at 100 yards, a sitting rapid at 200 yards, and prone snap shooting at 300 yards with and two run downs to raise the shooters heart rate.

The most popular class, Service Optic, had Peter Cottrell retaining the trophy for the fourth consecutive year with a score of 993. Adam Chapman pushed him hard all season to finish a close second on 987 points, with Bill Ellis, one of the most consistent CSR shooters, third with 972.

Civilian Service Rifle Grows in Popularity
As CSR continues to grow in popularity, the sale of ‘Straight-Pull’ AR-platform rifles is increasing year after year. Accordingly, the United Kingdom NRA is allocation more range space at the Bisley National Shooting Centre to accomodate the increasing number of competitors.

Britain England United Kingdom civilian Service Rifle Straight pull AR15

Permalink - Videos, Competition 13 Comments »
July 2nd, 2014

’03 Springfield vs. Enfield vs. Garand Shoot-out with the “Gunny”

Here’s a fun and entertaining video feature from our Daily Bulletin archives. In this USA vs. UK smackdown, “Gunny” Ermey pits his m1903 Springfield and M1 Garand against a British Lee-Enfield. Watch the video to see who comes out on top.

In this entertaining video, retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant and popular TV host R. Lee Ermey, challenges Gary Archer, a British ex-pat, to a shoot-off with classic military rifles. In Round One, Ermey employs a Springfield m1903 while his opponent shoots the British 1907 Lee-Enfield No. 1, MK III. The quick-cycling bolt of the .303-caliber Enfield, and its larger internal magazine, give the Brit an advantage and Archer beats Ermey decisively.

But the Gunny doesn’t give up. For Round Two, Ermey replaces his 1903 with an M1 Garand. The Gunny then proceeds to show why the .30-06 Garand was a superior combat weapon. Gary Archer protests that it’s “hardly sporting” to pit a bolt-gun against a semi-auto like the Garand, but Ermey quashes that complaint saying: “Hey, Churchill, it’s my show. Besides… this is war, I love my M1 Garand… and all’s fair in love and war.”

Permalink - Videos 7 Comments »
August 5th, 2010

Brits Ban Starter Pistols — Five Years Mandatory Jail Time

starter pistol Britain BanGovernment officials in the UK have banned blank-firing starter pistols, claiming they can be converted to fire live rounds. As of June 4, 2010, possession of an Italian-made, bright orange Olympic .380 BBM starter pistol is now a criminal offense (whether or not the pistol has been converted), with a mandatory 5-year jail term. Approximately 1500 of the Olympic starter pistols have been imported into the UK since 2006, and they are widely used in other countries.

UK officials announced an amnesty during which the starter pistols could be surrendered to police in Britain and Wales. But the amnesty has expired. Now, if prosecuted, those who did not give up their starter pistols will be locked up for five years. According to BBC Online: “After 4 June the weapon will be prohibited under the 1968 Firearms Act and anyone caught possessing it faces a mandatory prison sentence of five years.” Note that possession of the starter pistols is now illegal whether or not the pistols have been converted to fire live ammo. Imagine being jailed for FIVE YEARS for having a noise-making device, which is all an unmodified starter pistol really is.

The purported reason for the starter pistol ban is that a few of the pistols have been converted to fire live ammunition. Law enforcement officials in London claim that black-painted, converted starter pistols have been “linked” to a handful of serious crimes.

Yorkshire Post Story on Olympic Starter Pistol Ban | BBC Online Story on Starter Pistol Confiscation

Sporting groups in Great Britain have protested the draconian ban on starter pistols. David Brown of UK Athletics equated the banning of starter pistols with taking whistles away from football [soccer] referees. As quoted in the Yorkshire Post, Brown said:

“The implications for our major Olympic sport in the lead-up to 2012 should not be underestimated. The guns are the only thing that give a dual signal, a flash and smoke, to the athletes in front of you and the timekeepers. There is nothing else [to use], except at the Olympic Games level where they have electronic guns.”

Permalink - Articles, News 6 Comments »
April 7th, 2010

FREE April Target Shooter Magazine is Full of Great Content

Congratulations to Carl Boswell, Vince Bottomley, Andy Dubreuil, Laurie Holland and all the staff at Target Shooter online magazine. Target Shooter has released its April 2010 First Anniversary issue, and it may be the best yet. The hardware photography is high quality and there is something for everyone — from Benchresters to Tactical shooters. You can view the 110-page April issue for FREE at

Carl tells us: “Yes, this is our first anniversary issue and we have it packed with articles.” Here are some of the recommended articles in the April Anniversary Edition of Target Shooter:

  • Loading for the .308, Part 6 — Laurie Holland continues his informative reloading series.
  • SEB Neo Coaxial Rest — Vince Bottomley reviews one of the most impressive rests on the market. This is a very thorough review which compares the old SEB Coax with the SEB NEO side by side.
  • Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest — Carl Boswell looks at these rapidly evolving disciplines.
  • Gallery Rifle 1500 — Gwyn Roberts continues his course on Gallery Rifle Basics.
  • New GBR Custom Action — A New Rem 700-footprint action made in the UK.
  • Steyr LG110 Field Test — Tim Finley reviews the Steyr LG110 rifle for Field Target.

Definitely check out the latest edition of Target Shooter magazine. Laurie Holland is one of the best technical gun writers in the business, and when Vince Bottomley reviews a product, he delivers intelligent conclusions you can “take to the bank”. As a special bonus, this April edition includes exclusive reports from the IWA Expo in Germany — the “Euro Shot Show”.

Permalink - Articles, Gear Review 1 Comment »
September 7th, 2009

UK Scouting Assn. Bans Pen Knives — Triumph of the Nanny State

Boy Scout KnifeSorry folks, this is not a joke (or late April Fools’ story). The Boy Scouts Association for the United Kingdom has issued a “guidance” directive telling Boy Scouts not to bring knives to camping events. Prior to this ruling British Boy Scouts were allowed to carry penknives with blades of less than 3 inches.

A Scouts spokesman defended the new policy, saying: ‘We believe that young people need more places to go after school and at weekends, where they can experience adventure without the threat of violence or bullying and the need to carry weapons. Scouting helps to prepare young people with valuable life skills, while keeping them safe by not carrying knives.’

Boy Scout Knife

Hmmm, what will the UK Scout Association ban next? Pointed sticks? Ropes? Heck, those neckerchiefs could be pretty dangerous too — better get rid of them. Lord Baden-Powell is no doubt rolling over in his grave. One troop Leader from Kent, England wondered: “Whatever happened to the first Scout Law: a Scout is to be trusted?” Even the British Guardian website questioned the logic of the knife ban: “Scouts are so closely associated with pocket knives that the term Boy Scout knife is a synonym for penknife.”

READ MORE details about this story.

Permalink News 7 Comments »
July 23rd, 2009

News and Photos from F-Class World Championships in UK

F-Class competition at the Bisley Range in the UK is well under way. Currently, shooters from many countries are competing in the F-Class segments of the annual U.K. Imperial Meeting tournament. This will be followed by the actual F-Class World Championships, an event held every four years. The F-Class Worlds officially start with the individual championships next Monday and Tuesday (July 27-28) with the “main event”, the Team Championship, on Wednesday and Thursday (July 29-30). USA F-Class Open Team Vice-Captain Shiraz Bololia is providing regular written updates in his Bisley Blog. Here’s part of his latest report: “Today there was only one 300-yard match …. For me it was an early morning shoot at 8:00 am. The wind was dead. The weather was cool and overcast. Reminded me of the Plantation 300 yard range in Bellingham, WA where I shoot a lot of matches. First time since I got here the wind was less than 2 MPH. Less than ½ MOA change on my gun. It was a 15-shot match and I shot a perfect 75 with 15 Vs. As Coach Mead later said, even a blind Hog could have done that! Anyway that guarantees me a spot in the finals. Lot of US shooters in the St George’s finals.”

AK’s Great Bisley Photo Collections
In addition, British shooter “762AK” has posted fantastic collections of images from the World F-Class Championship, as well as the Imperial Meeting, which is being held concurrently. 762AK, a very talented photographer, is updating his Bisley photo collection daily. You should definitely check out these collections on Flickr. Click the links below to see hundreds of quality photos.

2009 F-Class Worlds | F-Class Worlds Slideshow

Imperial Meeting 2009 | Imperial Meeting Slideshow

2009 F-Class World Championships Bisley

Permalink Competition, News 2 Comments »
February 10th, 2009

Important Message from the UK and Australia

Whatever your politics, you owe it to yourself to learn more about the restrictive firearm laws adopted in the United Kingdom and Australia. These have effectively banned hand-gun and semi-auto rifle ownership in the UK. In Australia self-loading rifles and even pump shotguns were banned, and hand-gun ownership was severely restricted. In this 10-minute video, gun owners in the UK and Australia tell their own story. The message is clear–without unified, organized opposition by sportsmen and hunters, gun rights will be taken away. In the UK, even shotguns and 22LR pistols used by Olympic competitors have been banned. Think it can’t happen here? Well already in California, new sales of semi-auto AR15-style service rifles are completely banned.

To further highlight the absurdity of gun laws in the UK, Great Britain agreed to construct a new indoor pistol-shooting venue — in order to win the right to host the next Olympic Games. But Olympic authorities have announced the shooting range will be demolished (at public expense) at the close of the games. Why? Because Brits aren’t allowed to own or shoot handguns. Today, even Britain’s Olympic pistol shooters are prohibitied from shooting in the UK and are required to do their training abroad. When London hosts the 2012 Olympic Games, Parliament will have to pass legislation allowing the athletes to import and fire their target pistols.

This is a “must-see” video. Click on the image below to watch the video, hosted by YouTube. CLICK HERE to watch other NRA-produced videos.

YouTube Preview Image
Permalink - Videos, News No Comments »