Endorsements, I am not talking about the motoring kind (UK thing) in fact I am not sure they even exist or have they been replaced with something?

No, I am talking about product endorsements, more importantly, I am talking about surreptitious product endorsements from within shooting. We all know it is rife amongst the showbiz types however I am disappointed to see it becoming more and more common place within the gun trade.

As I see it, if you are a retail outlet selling a product and you believe in it then tell people. In fact if you do not believe in the product why are you selling it? As an example, I use a particular brand of dog slip lead and I reckon they are brilliant, I do sell them as well, however even if I did not sell them I would still use them.

Just like I believe in our own things because we are responsible for the design, machining, testing and further development of our own products. If they do not tick all of our own boxes you will never see them and believe me when I say things do go in the scrap bin never to see light again, equally some are improved until they satisfy us, then they can be released to you guys.

Back to endorsements. I notice public figures on Instagram have to put #Ad or something similar within posts if they are advertising or endorsing them for gain. Social and public medias are powerful tools, as an example, everything I know about the Kardashians is involuntary as much as I try to ignore them. However if someone I consider to be a credible information source within our shared interest (Shooting) is extolling the benefits of a product that is not their own I pay attention. So I feel it is rather unfair if the rave review is because the manufacturer /distributor or wholesaler has given the reviewer the product or they have it on a long term loan or incredibly discounted price.

I have reviewed products good and bad on occasion, only because I felt they were worth commenting on and I have also declined to promote a friend’s products because they were worthy of more development at the time.

It seems to be happening more and more.

So please, if you are telling us all about a product and you have not paid for it or you have an association with the supplier please mention it. It does make a difference and I, for one, will appreciate the honesty and continue to read and probably accept the review at face value. I am equally sure many other shooters will feel the same way.

At the end of the day, there are not that many of us so let’s at least be honest with each other because nobody else will be.

The legality of 410 Folding shotguns

410 Folding shotguns, Belgian things, we have all seen them haven’t we?

They are a hoot to shoot, can be held on a Shotgun Certificate, fold away to a very discreet size and break clays/knock down rabbits when needed. I am sure you know someone who owns one  🙂



They can also get you a mandatory 5 year prison sentence!

The Firearms Act 1968 states:
(3)This section applies to every firearm except—

[F1(a)a shot gun within the meaning of this Act, that is to say a smooth-bore gun (not being an air gun) which—

(i)has a barrel not less than 24 inches in length and does not have any barrel with a bore exceeding 2 inches in diameter;

The key part we are interested in is ‘not less than 24″ in length’ People often talk about S2 shotgun barrel lengths as 24″ or 60cm or more and they are not the same, 60cm is 23.62 inches and that .38″ or around 3/8″ is actually quite a lot in the eyes of the Law. Certainly enough to render a shotgun Section 1 (FAC)

So what has this got to do with the ubiquitous .410 folder? Well many of them came out of the factory with 60cm/ 600,0mm barrels and are instantly a fail when it comes to our UK Firearms Act definition of a shotgun barrel. Worse still, many internet sources, people and even gun shops on occasion will glibly tell you a shotgun barrel minimum length is 24 inches and/or 600 mm which is wrong.

Even worse, people unwittingly can hold these under a Section 2 certificate because nobody has ever checked the barrel length and it looks about right. Well ignorance is no excuse. Now I am fairly sure if you checked and found you had one that did not hit 24″ and advised your local FEO, (You can even point out this article) He would probably/hopefully just take it away and that would be the end of it. There are, however, circumstances which most definitely could see you in court so beware.

I also see this quite often with 9mm garden guns which are actually Section 1 however they can be held under a Section 2 exemption as long as they are smooth bored and have a barrel length of not less that 24″ Out of interest, does anyone know what the other example of this exemption is without looking it up?

So if you have a folder, or a garden gun, or even a ..410 bolt action such as a Webley, pop a tape measure against the barrel when you get home tonight. The measurement you are looking for is the overall barrel length, or in the case of a bolt action the distance from the bolt face when closed to the other end of the barrel.

…and why am I telling you this? Because you need to know.

An unusual Whitaker Special Target Rifle (Updated)

This was walked in earlier today, a Whitaker Special chambered in 7,62mm with the sights removed, a good paint job, the most bizarre stock I have ever seen.

..and oh dear me it is ugly.

So ugly in fact that I refused to let it leave and it is now safely locked away in the armoury. This is a low serial Whitaker Special so in the first 20% of the rifles Bert built (117 in total) So I am guessing at 1973 or maybe early 1974. I am assured it has a Brindles trigger and I will check in the morning. The trigger is certainly not correctly set-up right now so it needs looking at anyway. I do wish it had come with an original stock as I doubt I will ever find one however I will ask around, same goes for some Brindles sights.

BTW, that stock has been superbly made and I will take some pictures in daylight.

The Whitaker Special Target Rifles were built by Herbert Whitaker between 1973 and 1976. Bert, as well as being a keen target shooter for Great Britain who won his fair share of silverware had also been a chief examiner and prototype advisor for RSAF Enfield and created his rifles mostly but not exclusively from Enfield 4(T) rifles which were heavily modified including conversion to a one piece stock. I will open this one up and document the changes made either in this or a later post along with some more pictures.

So, the burning question, does anyone recognise this rifle?

EDIT – Mick Kelly tells me:

OMFG! :o

No.23, original serial Number Y3159
Delivered to “Glenalmond”, possibly a school? on 20/4/1974 (I had left the army the week before!)

Bert Whitaker charged £75.75p for this one, which incidentally my register says it has been in Fultons for a service within the last ten years.

David, thank you for this little gem.

No Mick, Thank you 🙂

EDIT – Some more pictures.

The left hand side of the stock,  the finger inlet is big, even for my hands. The trigger is quite a long way forward however it is comfortable.



The butt form. Adjustable for length of pull, otherwise it is just plain odd to look at. (left of this image is top) I am quite intrigued by the design, it is actually quite comfortable when held in the prone position and a lot of work has gone into that butt pad.



The trigger mechanism. The blade itself is suspended within the stock and one of the two adjusting screws can be seen. I have always been a fan of the Brindles triggers on the P14 and have one on my own rifle plus some spares however this is not a nice trigger.


The very basic inlet details. I am surprised the receiver was not bedded to the new stock and/or pillars fitted.



The Action in the stock, the gaps to the sides are clearly visible.




The serial number, Bert’s stamp identifying this as a Whitaker Special #023, the 20 Ton proof marks and the chamber identification which is 7,62mm c 2.015″ which is 51,181mm. The crown over BNP means the Proof took place in Birmingham as opposed to London

That crown job… Originally this rifle would have been fitted with open sights. Someone has removed the sights and sleeved the end of the barrel where the sight would have sat. They have machined to size and it looks like a 90 degree crown, chamfered bore and a filed round to the outer edge. Not the hall marks of a rifle guns smith. I would probably add a stepped or 11 degree crown to such a rifle these days and only use a 90 degree crown for rifles that are threaded for and fitted with sound moderators and even then this is not a given for me.

So there you go, a bit more about this unusually stocked transitional target rifle rifle. Right now my view is fit a no gunsmith ‘scope mount and check it for accuracy at 600 yards. If it can hold better that 2 MOA without load development I will fit open sights and consider that stock and some decent bedding and use it as a target rifle for myself.

If the accuracy fails to hit the mark, well……….

The K1 Break action rifle continued

If you have been following the repair/return to operation of the K1 here:


This is the second part of what will probably be 3 or maybe 4 articles.

In the previous article I had got as far as machining the front half of the firing pin to confirm fit however it would need to be reduced in length and before that the safety required some attention.

The safety detent plunger was missing (Of course) This was ‘easily’ rectified with a 2,5mm ball bearing, a 2,25mm diameter by 3,5mm long compression spring and a 2,5mm by 3,5mm long cross pin. Yes, probably the biggest opportunity I have had for a real ‘Pingdammit’ in a good few weeks. For those of you that work in imperial, it was a handful of small fiddly bits.

The circled part is the pin that compresses the spring that forces the ball bearing down into a groove in the safety catch so giving a positive  lock in the safe position.

Back to the trigger and ignition system. This image is the firing pin part machined/guessed laid over the receiver with the position of the hammer marked to get an idea of how the two of them interact.

The cross slot which is upside down in this image needs to be reduced to 4,0mm wide from the front edge of the existing cut (I think!) I reduced the length of the rear section to 4,0mm so less than my initial sketch and promptly assembled it forgetting to take a picture, no matter as it needs to come out to be replaced with the final item. The primer strike is OK and the protrusion has been set to an initial 1,6mm however it does not sound as crisp as I would like, so I will shorten the rear of the pin back by another 1,0mm at the back end and test again. Yes, I have a feeling the rear of the firing pin should be machined at an angle to allow for a full strike from the hammer however that is a few stages down the line yet.

With the firing pin in place, I could at long last replace the top lever. I opted for putting the spring and plunger in place, compressing them with a suitably sized punch and sliding the lever in until the bottom diameter was holding the plunger in place, remove the punch and just push the lever all the way down.

At this stage the top lever was left of centre as the stop pin on the left hand side of the receiver was not in place, this was just a matter of hold the lever in the centre and punch the pin in with a brass drift.

At long last the rifle is assembled and ready to be dry fired. The .308 round is a dummy I have been using during the project. I have a very strict rule that no ammunition is ever out of the armoury when a firearm is being worked on or out of its slip or case. Equally all firearms entering the workshop are treated as live and checked for clear before they are fully out of the slips.

Before you ask, yes we do see loaded firearms come in on occasion and yes, I am never impressed.

Next job is to sort that front end out, it is currently held in position by a stainless M5 cap head and a couple of washers which is wrong in so many ways, so something more fitting will be machined and fitted.

That is my coffee finished so best get back to something more productive 🙂

To be continued…




90,000 Visitors

Since starting this Journal way back in 2002 I have had 90k unique visitors. In fact many more as in the near 8 years I went from no visitor count, to the first one with a total that I never made a note of, to this new counter system that now sits at 90,000 people.


Thank you for visiting my site and reading my ramblings, without you it is just a diary on a shelf  🙂