Sarcoma UK Charity Day

This organic farm in Pewsey Vale, run by Rachel Rivers (also known as Doug’s mum), is a heavenly spot, and a great day was had by all who attended her charity clay shoot on 8 June. Congratulations to Rachel on raising £7,000 in aid of Sarcoma UK.

Sim days down on the farm

Thanks to everyone who came to the first Sim day on 18 May at the farm where Charlbury Guns is based. About 20 guns turned up that sunny morning, including Patrick Galbraith, editor of Shooting Times, and Chris Warren, the brilliant field sports writer and photographer, who recorded the day. Shout out to the trappers from Barbury Shooting School, who did great work.

Congratulations to our friends Sarah White and Chip Smith on outstanding performances at FITASC 41st World Sporting Championship yesterday. Sarah won a bronze medal as part of the GB Ladies team and Chip, as a senior, came 19th in the world. We helped by drinking champagne with them, while waiting for the scores to come in. You’re welcome, guys

Strip and clean

A job that’s keeping Doug busy right now is stripping and cleaning. This is the vital annual health check for your gun. Over the season, the action may have got wet or debris may have got into the lockwork, which can block springs and lead to damage. Doug has fully stripped this 1902 Holland and Holland Royal, checking each component of the lock. He found the tumblers, bridle, sears and springs were all in good condition. All this one needs is a good clean and regrease and it’s ready for next season

Daisy’s puppies

Doug’s labs, Daisy and Paddy, have had a litter of nine puppies. The new additions to the Charlbury Guns family started arriving Sunday night, and by the time the last two pups appeared, mid-morning on Monday, Daisy was sleeping soundly. She is taking motherhood in her stride, and says she intends to return to work next season.

A shooting party at Highclere Castle

A photograph of a shooting party outside Grotto Lodge at Highclere Castle from 1895.

The Prince of Wales is in the centre at the back next to the 5th Earl of Carnarvon.  The Earl later financed Howard Carter when he found Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.

Many thanks to Lady C for having Nigel and Katrina to stay at the newly refurbished Lodge last Saturday, and for the tour of the Castle.  After a fantastic dinner at The Blackbird in Newbury, it was back to London to pick up Stan!

Visit by Game Bird Shooting

Sarah White (CPSA Coach of the Year 2015) and Chip Smith of Game Bird Shooting came for a visit to the workshop last week.

After half an hour in the Gun Room playing with the guns, Sarah and Chip chose a couple of side by sides for them to shoot in the British Side by Side Competition at the AGL Shooting Ground on 25 August.  Unless we sell them first …

We are really looking forward to working with Game Bird Shooting and their clients.  One of the things we’ll be doing together is gun fitting and alterations.  We have set up a pattern plate, so Chip and Sarah can bring a client to the workshop, fit the gun properly, and then Doug will take the measurements straight from the try gun.  Once the customer’s gun has been fitted, it’s back to the pattern plate for any final adjustments which we can make there and then.  It should ensure a perfect fit!

Paddy and Daisy

We can’t work all the time, and Doug needs to let Paddy and Daisy have a ‘comfort’ break during the day.

Here they are looking uncharacteristically well behaved!

Dave’s Beretta and a stock extension

Over the last couple of weeks Doug has been doing a lot of stock work (and not just on Nigel’s Boss!).

Here you can see what Dave’s Beretta looked like after Doug had sanded it down and applied lots of coats of oil to give it a lovely English finish.

Doug also fitted a long wooden extension to a customer’s sidekick and refinished it.  We hope you think it looks as good as we do!

The Workshop

This blog is called ‘In the Workshop’ so we thought we’d post a few photos of how the workshop used to look, and Doug working on it before the finished building.

As you can see, it was in a pretty sorry state when Julian suggested we convert his old milking parlour into the workshop and shoot room.  It hadn’t been used for 17 years, and still had the old milking equipment in it.

With such an old building, there were bound to be problems once we started the works.  Perhaps the biggest surprise was taking the roof off the front and discovering it was holding the wall up at first floor level!  A few concrete blocks, and it was as good as new.  Well, apart from the pretty hefty steel beam which you can see Doug sitting on …

Now it’s all finished, we’re delighted with the result.

Nigel’s Boss

Before he got too busy with customers’ work, Doug fixed Nigel’s Boss.  The ejector on the right had barrel had not been ejecting properly.  Doug soon diagnosed it as a loose loop which was not allowing the ejector spring to site properly.

He heated up the loop and re-tinned to fix.  After cleaning it up and checking, the ejector worked perfectly.

Now that the season is over, the Boss is going to get a through overhaul – the rib had come a bit loose so it’s being stripped and relaid.  That means that the barrels will have to be reblacked, and Nigel is taking the opportunity to get Doug to put a few layers of oil on the stock so that it gleams with an English finish again.

Once it’s back from the blackers, we’ll post some photos of the shiny new gun!