Reference articles for students of firearms, target shooting and associated history.

Barrel Markings Found on Provincially Made British Firearms
In the following three articles, The Crossed Sceptres & Crown Mark, Why The Tombstone?, and English Provincial Makers’ Marks, the authors discuss and illustrate the barrel markings found on provincially made British firearms. They have attempted to summarise the present state of knowledge and have drawn a few inferences. Clearly there is much more work to be undertaken. It is hoped that their efforts may encourage others to investigate the subject further, thereby adding to the history of British gunmaking.
Ref Title Subject
001 The Crossed Sceptres & Crown Mark Proof marks on English firearms made outside London and the developments which led to the establishment of the Birmingham Proof House in 1813, with its familiar “V” and “BPC” marks under crossed sceptres.
002 Why The Tombstone? Some arms proved in Birmingham after 1813 show additional stamps which take the form of “tombstone” shaped impressions with a variety of numbers and symbols enclosed therein.
003 English Provincial Makers’ Marks Provincial makers’ marks, i.e., those struck by gunmakers who were not members of the London Gunmakers Company. The fundamental question is whether these marks were struck merely to identify the maker of the piece, or whether they also signified that the item had actually passed a proof test successfully.

British Gunmakers
The below document contain a list of English and Welsh gunsmiths and gunmakers from around 1550 to about 1850, but excluding London gunsmiths/gunmakers. The list has been compiled from free on-line sources such as County Record and Archive Offices and The National Archives, but it must not be considered a definitive list, as new information is added from time to time.   
Ref Title Subject
004 English and Welsh Gunsmiths and Gunmakers, 1550 – 1850 A List of English and Welsh Provincial Gunsmiths and Gunmakers from 1550 to 1850. [224 pages]

The following documents are studies of British gunmakers and the gun trade.
Ref Title Subject
005 The Gunmakers of Oxford - Part 1 The development and growth of the gun trade in Oxford during the 17th and 18th centuries.
006 The Gunmakers of Oxford - Part 2 The development and growth of the gun trade in Oxford during the 19th century.


Brian Godwin: