TECH­NI­CAL

The Field - - Countr Estate | Gun Review -

Hol­land & Hol­land first used the Royal name as a trade­mark in 1885 and the gun is first il­lus­trated in The Field of that year. Fred­er­ick Beesley had stunned the gun trade with his self-open­ing side­lock de­sign in 1880. It was li­censed

to, then bought by Purdey. Hol­land & Hol­land wanted some­thing as good. It took a decade to per­fect. Early Roy­als have dipped edge locks rather than the stream­lined shape we see now (clearly in­spired by the Beesley de­sign). In the early 1890s the gun took on its mod­ern form. It was not rad­i­cal in ac­tual de­sign,

rather an amal­gam of all things good and combined with ex­cel­lent, sim­ple and re­li­able South­gate ejec­tor work. That’s why it has be­come so much copied. Gun­smiths will tell you it is an eas­ier gun

to reg­u­late than the Beesley-purdey. ‘Self-open­ing’ (by means of a coil spring

and plunger un­der the barrels) was added to the spec­i­fi­ca­tion in 1922. The main me­chan­i­cal dif­fer­ence, apart from that, is that the Hol­land cocks on open­ing

and the Purdey on clos­ing.

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