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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Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide (Kindle Edition)

A hilarious, highly original collection of essays based on the Botswana truism: “only food runs!” With a new introduction and new material from the author

In the tradition of Bill Bryson, a new writer brings us the lively adventures and biting wit of an African safari guide. Peter Allison gives us the guide’s-eye view of living in the bush, confronting the world’s fiercest terrain of wild animals and, most challenging of all, managing herds of gaping tourists. Passionate for the animals of the Kalahari, Allison works as a top safari guide in the wildlife-rich Okavango Delta. As he serves the whims of his wealthy clients, he often has to stop the impulse to run as far away from them as he can, as these tourists are sometimes more dangerous than a pride of lions.
No one could make up these outrageous-but-true tales: the young woman who rejected the recommended safari-friendly khaki to wear a more “fashionable” hot pink ensemble; the lost tourist who happened to be drunk, half-naked, and a member of the British royal family; establishing a real friendship with the continent’s most vicious animal; the Japanese tourist who requested a repeat performance of Allison’s being charged by a lion so he could videotape it; and spending a crazy night in the wild after blowing a tire on a tour bus, revealing that Allison has as much good-natured scorn for himself.
The author’s humor is exceeded only by his love and respect for the animals, and his goal is to limit any negative exposure to humans by planning trips that are minimally invasive—unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way!

New story: People often ask safari guides about the experience that frightened them the most. In this story Peter Allison tells of the time he became aware of unseen danger, and knew that somewhere within meters of him was a hunting lioness. Peter Allison is originally from Sydney, Australia. His safaris have been featured in National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, and on television programs such as Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures. He travels frequently to speaking appearances, and splits most of his time between Botswana, Sydney, and San Francisco.



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