Category Archives: Britain and the UK

British Weapons including the Sten and Sterling submachine guns

Old World Craftsmanship – Firearm Making at Holland and Holland

As you know, I tend towards modern military arms but I also have a deep appreciation of craftsmenship and history. While surfing the web one day, I happened across a video about “gunmaking craftsmanship” at Holland & Holland (H&H). It was probably in the mid- to late-1980s when I encountered my first H&H double rifle and it was a functional work of art and I have seen more over the years. So, I added the video to my list of things to watch.

H&H was founded in London in 1835 by Harris Holland and he started manufacturing sometime in the 1850s. His nephew, Henry William Holland, joined in 1860 and became a partner in 1876 leading to the Holland & Holland name we know. (Click here to visit their website’s history page.)

Today, H&H continues the firearm craftsmanship of fine hunting arms – that is their niche. When you watch the video, you will see some automation, such as in the machining of the action, but you will see a tremendous about of handwork. What they turn out are absolutely stunning firearms.

The video steps you through barrel making, the stock, fitting and finishing. It’s really neat to watch them at work. If you appreciate fine arms, you really need to watch.

Here’s the Video

Please note that all images are extracted from the video and remain the property of their respective owner(s).

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Video: Forgotten Weapons: British Submachine Gun Overview: Lanchester, Sten, Sterling, and More!

I have lately become very interested in sub machine gun class weapons, or SMGs.  I’ve built a number of 9mm ARs over the years and while they are interesting and fun to shoot, there’s not much history to dig into.  So, I have been researching British Stens for a while now and the history that led up to them and the thinking behind “good enough” to get the job done vs. perfection is fascinating.  It’s really intriguing when you see what folks can create when expediency is the name of the game.

To launch the series, I am posting this awesome video from Ian over at Forgotten Weapons.  He always does an excellent job researching what he is going to cover and then walking the viewer through what he is presenting.  In this video he provides an overview about the British Lanchester, Sten and Sterling.