History & Certification

History & Certification

Discovering the origin of your gun.

William Powell has a rich heritage in the Gunmaking industry, having been founded  in 1802. Once a powerhouse of the famous Birmingham Gun Quarter, William Powell has always been a family run business, which has consistently been influential in the progression of gunmaking and the development of the shotguns that we know today, as well as playing an active role in the creation of the Birmingham Proof House, one of only two in the country.

With this heritage, comes not just interesting stories of generations past, but also record books of the guns our firm has built. We are proud to hold the original ledgers recording details of William Powell guns built as far back as 1802 and, providing you know the serial number of your gun, we may be able to find out when it was made, who it was built for and the details of the original specification.

We can provide a certificate of authenticity for your gun which is not just a wonderful keepsake as well as a glimpse into its past but may also add value.

Your certificate will be emailed to you in a PDF format with a transcript of the record details and an image of the original record ledger entry.

The cost of this service is £48.00.

*Please note, unfortunately some of the ledgers have been damaged or lost over the last two centuries and therefore some records are incomplete.

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Is your gun capable of shooting steel shot?

Is my Gun capable of shooting Steel Shot?

As we move away from lead shot, steel is probably going to be the most convenient and cost-effective alternative, for most shotguns. However, not all guns are suitable for use with steel cartridges.

If you shoot an older gun, have chokes that are tighter than half or have thin barrel walls, then your gun may not be safe to shoot using steel. If your gun is still in proof, it may be ideal to shoot Bismuth cartridges through.

There are two types of modern steel cartridges, Standard and High Performance. Please read our detailed Briefing Note on this to get you up to speed on the latest information.

Some guns can be altered and even re-proofed to safely shoot steel cartridges, and we can look at your gun and give you, our recommendations. William Powell is one of the few firms who have carried out much research into the use of steel and other non “toxic” cartridges, all of which is contained in our Briefing Note.

Our Gunroom Team can offer guidance and advice on the condition of your gun and the best options to ensure you are ready for the future of shooting.

Contact us to find out how we can help

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