The ‘Horton’ family has a long history of the Birmingham Gun trade going back to the 1750’s with Joshua James Horton. Son of Joshua, Isaac James Horton was one of the original Birmingham gun makers who part funded and lobbied Government for the creation of the Birmingham Proof House. Isaacs eldest son, John William Horton designed the Birmingham proof house in 1813. William James Horton (Grandson of John William Horton) completed his apprenticeship for William Ford back in 1846, he then worked for W W Greener and P Webley before setting up on his own in Birmingham’s Gun Quarter in 1855. William moved the business to Glasgow in 1863 and made some of the finest Scottish box locks on the market. William was supplied many of the lower grade guns from his two brothers still in the Birmingham trade (Joshua Horton (Actioner) and Joseph Horton (Barrels) who had worked in Bagot St in the Birmingham’s Gun Quarter. Both William and his son (Oliver) registered several patents (including the very first adjustable trigger and pinless top lever) and made high-grade guns for some pretty notable people such as Claude Bowes-Lyon (the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the current Queen of Englands maternal grand father) and even the Queen Mother had a pair of 16b box locks gifted to her for her 21st Birthday. Both William and Oliver strongly believed in the very best customer service and craftsmanship, striving to create the “Perfect Gun” and with many Horton guns still in existence and being used across the globe today, some would debate that they succeeded. Oliver had two daughters and sadly, in the 1920’s it was not the done thing to pass on a Gun Making company to a daughter! The stock was sold to Arthur Allen in Glasgow in 1924 and the records were passed to the son of Joseph Horton, James William Horton (who worked as a foreman at BSA until 1962), the great Grandfather to Steven James Horton (the current custodian and owner of W Horton & Sons). You will also find Kenneth William Horton (Steves father is in the shop most days). The Future It isn’t sensible to believe that having
It isn’t sensible to believe that having history within a trade or profession will guarantee you success in the future, whilst the name Horton has history it doesn’t have the brand awareness like brands such as Holland & Holland, Purdey, Westley Richards etc. The shop bears the name of one of the only ‘Horton’ who run a shop, William. We choose to offer our customers the very best in customer service and choice and much prefer to sell (AYA, Chapuis Armes, Grulla, Karl Hauptmann, Rizzini, Zoli) to order based on a consultative approach based on clients measurements. As a result, our repeat and referred customers are ever increasing with customers coming from every corner of the UK. We will always check fit and suitability of each gun sold, if it doesn’t fit we will tell you. We ourselves have made 11 guns ourselves since restarting in 2014, the ultimate goal is to grow this number to a sustainable 30-35 per year by 2028. Each gun made in the most traditional manner with as much work carried out in Birmingham as feasibly possible.