Traditional Gunmaking and Gunfit

If you are a traditional game shot who prefers to shoot a traditional handmade sidelock side by side shotgun, then Grulla is a brand you should consider when you decide to change your gun.

Each Grulla gun, like any AYA, Holland & Holland or Purdey is handmade using traditional methods. However with the addition of modern barrel technology, you get the best of both worlds. The Merkel guns and rifle process while they produce very traditional guns and rifles, they use a different manufacturing process.

The service you get from W Horton & Sons is still very similar to what you’d have expected from any London or Birmingham Gunmaker 50+ years ago. When you visit us, you will see similarities to the old Pathe video below. Watch the Grulla guns promotional video on the home page and see the similarities for yourself.


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  • Daniel says:

    The advantage that the best Spanish makers offer is that they are making guns of such high quality that without spending five times the money, there is no practical comparison. A manufacturer such as Grulla and even AYA can produce a weapon of such high quality, that it makes owning a good matched pair an affordable possibility and will handle rough treatment better than a London gun.

    Purdey, Holland & Holland, Boss & Co, William & Sons and the other best quality English makers certainly are the pinnacle of their craft, but the days when Spanish guns were considered inferior are long gone. The difference is in the main related to the labour cost, manufacturing overhead and economies of scale and output. After all, many of the gunsmiths employed by English makers are of French, Spanish and German extraction. They after all, are still investing in the skills future of their trade.

    Viva Espana old boy, what!

    • Steve Horton says:

      Thanks Daniel and I couldn’t agree more. All the English makers offer great apprenticeship programmes but all differ in exactly what they teach, equally what the apprentices learn is very narrow in specialism. The likes of Grulla and AYA do it slightly differently and aren’t frightened to change a process/method if it improves costs and improves the quality of the guns they produce. Like our Football team, the English makers train free thinking out of the workforce meaning nothing changes/improves.

      • Daniel says:

        There are still gunmakers in the UK other than Holland & Holland, Purdey, Boss & Co etc. Although they are much smaller in output than the friends of Shooting Times etc. Although of course even the smaller to medium continental manufacturers dwarf their output of hand-built guns.

        Here in the UK there are: Holloway & Naughton, Greener, David McKay Brown, Cogswell & Harrison, L. W. Butler, Atkin Grant & Lang, Bozard & Co, F. F. Whyman, Frederick Beesley, I. M. Crudgington, Westley Richards and William Evans. Admittedly, some of these guys are really small and are essentially very good quality repairers and adjusters. Some such as B. E Chaplain in Winchester are still capable of making a gun every bit as good as the best of Mayfair!

        Now I think of it your own firm still makes best Birmingham guns (an accolade, not a slur) and like Chaplain’s, they will endure and reward for a lifetime’s service.

        Gunmaking here in the UK isnt dead, or dying, it just suffers from the 21st Century Amazon inspired thinking of the general consumer, who would prefer to spend £1 pound twenty times in a lifetime on a screwdriver instead of £5 once. I am delighted to have inherited some interesting and beautiful quality guns. Of course, they are seldom up to surviving the season, unlike the Spanish sidelock, which satisfies and performs faultlessly. Can it really be Catholic??

        • Steve Horton says:

          Thanks for your kind words regarding our Horton guns. You’re quite correct in what you say. Given that the Grulla guns are made in the traditional manner that you expect from any of the English makers you list. Superb value purchase for any discerning shot.

  • […] W Horton & Sons, each Grulla shotgun comes with free gun fitting and consultation to get you your perfect gun. As do all side by sides from Rizzini, Chapuis and […]