You don’t of­ten come across a truly fam­ily-run busi­ness nowa­days, but R Bam­ford Guns now has its fourth gen­er­a­tion of Bam­fords at the helm. It makes for a win­ning mix of ex­pe­ri­ence and pas­sion, with a touch of mod­ern in­no­va­tion to keep things mov­ing forwa

Sporting Shooter - - Contents -

R Bam­ford Guns in Lan­cashire


The shop, orig­i­nally a bi­cy­cle re­pair cabin, was founded by Ralph Bam­ford in 1920. His daugh­ter Alice mar­ried a lo­cal farmer, Alan Jones, who sold shot­guns as a side­line to his farm­ing. In the 1940s they started to in­cor­po­rate this into the bi­cy­cle re­pair busi­ness. Alice and Alan’s son, Lawrence, joined the busi­ness in the 1960s at the age of 17. His great pas­sion was shoot­ing, and so this was the di­rec­tion the busi­ness took over the next five decades. To­day, Lawrence’s daugh­ter and son-in-law (Sky and Rich) are tak­ing over as the fourth gen­er­a­tion to be in­volved in the busi­ness, and have made their own ad­di­tion to the shop in the form of a new cloth­ing and footwear sec­tion, mak­ing it a one-stop shop for all things shoot­ing.

The shop

There is a bright and airy feel to the new shop fol­low­ing the re­fit. As a fam­ily busi­ness the Bam­fords pride them­selves on a friendly and wel­com­ing at­mos­phere, and have also tried very hard to give the new shop a more up­mar­ket feel. It is ob­vi­ous that a lot of thought has gone into the de­tail, which gives the shop a unique char­ac­ter.

Brands and prod­ucts

The shop spe­cialises in shot­guns (also of­fer­ing a com­pre­hen­sive range of air ri­fles) and is a main dealer for Beretta, Brown­ing, Benelli and Cae­sar Guerini, amongst oth­ers. As well as guns, a wide range of shoot­ing ac­ces­sories, such as car­tridges, shoot­ing cloth­ing, and footwear, are stocked. Many of the lead­ing brands in the field can be found on the shelves, in­clud­ing Schof­fel, Dubarry, Bar­bour, Musto, Le Chameau, Hunter, and many more. The fam­ily are proud to be the only Schof­fel stock­ist in the area.

Spe­cial­ist ar­eas

Rich and Sky’s chil­dren – aged nine and 10 – have re­cently taken up shoot­ing, so the fam­ily have done quite a lot of re­search into the best shot­guns for the younger age group. The shop of­fers a ded­i­cated youth sec­tion and the staff have first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of in­tro­duc­ing young shots to the sport.

Rich and Sky also bring an­other busi­ness – Out of the city – into the mix. Sell­ing spe­cial­ist shoot­ing and coun­try cloth­ing and footwear on­line for the last 12 years, they have gained ex­ten­sive knowl­edge and de­vel­oped close re­la­tion­ships with some of the in­dus­try’s best-known names. After an ex­ten­sive re­fur­bish­ment to the gun shop in 2015, all of these brands are now avail­able in Bam­fords as well.

Gun fit­ting is an area that the staff have al­ways been able to give ad­vice on, and they are al­ways on hand to as­sist with choos­ing the right-fit­ting gun and hav­ing any nec­es­sary al­ter­ations made. An in-house stock al­ter­ations ser­vice (bend­ing, re-fin­ish­ing, etc.) and some mi­nor gunsmithing re­pairs are avail­able. Any­thing that can­not be done on the premises is out­sourced to a lo­cal gun­smith. Bam­fords of­fers fi­nance at af­ford­able rates on most pur­chases.

The team

It’s very much a fam­ily busi­ness, with sec­ond, third and fourth gen­er­a­tions of the same fam­ily all still in­volved in the busi­ness. Ev­ery mem­ber of the team is an ex­pe­ri­enced shot and very much in­volved in the shoot­ing com­mu­nity lo­cally.

Every­one in­volved shoots reg­u­larly. Even Alan, who is now 96, is still shoot­ing – al­though he’s had to swap his trusty 12-bore for a 20-bore these days! Be­tween them, they en­joy sport­ing clays, wild­fowl­ing, rough shoot­ing, driven game and air ri­fle shoot­ing.

Check out the shop’s web­site here www.rbam­ford­guns.

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