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 E-Mail  bland@epix.net     Phone  570-864-3242

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 HISTORY OF THOMAS BLAND & Sons
Gunmakers Ltd.  Established 1840

    

    The number of gunmakers who are still in business today and who can trace their ancestry to the days of the muzzleloader are very few indeed and rather far between. One such firm is Thomas Bland & Sons Gunmakers Limited. ex of New Row St. Martains Lane, London England. Thomas Bland is now located both in London England and Benton Pennsylvania USA.

   Although Bland has been in business in London for over 150 years, the firm started life in Birmingham England. They were founded there in 1840 but the earliest record of them as Gunmakers is from 1862. James and Edwin Bland were in business as Gunmakers as early as 184o. Edwin being the brother of Thomas who founded the firm that was to bear his name.

   Thomas Bland prospered at his original premises 41 Whittle Street. By 1867 they expanded into numbers 42 and 43, next to the Kings Arms Public House at the corner of Steelhouse Lane.

   In 1872 the firm expanded even further, Thomas Bland Junior the son of the founder opened a branch at 105 Strand London and in 1886 they also acquired additional premises at 430 Strand. The original London premises were then closed.

   The following year saw the death of the founder, the business being conducted by son Thomas. Up to the First World War Bland made not only shotguns but a wide range of rifles for Big Game. Thomas took out a Patents for rifle sights and with William Cashmore also of Birmingham a Patent for a special four barreled pistol was obtained.

   The 1880's brought interest in three barrel guns and Bland produced one of their own. They were also responsible for the manufacturing of the "Field" Patent gun. Field guns were also made by Greener of Birmingham and Green of Cheltenham. Of the three Bland was the only firm who persevered with the design and produced the gun in all sizes up to a massive 4 - Bore which saw use in India and Africa. In the 1880's the firm opened premises in Liverpool at 62 South Castle Street. Guns with the Liverpool address are difficult to find and are great collectors items. They then advertised the "Keepers Gun" at 6 guineas and a "Wildfowlers" gun a central breechloader in 4-Bore with nickel silver furniture, Silvers recoil pad and a weight of 14 pounds for 21 guineas. The firm offered a nickel plated full choke "Cripple Stopper" at 8 guineas and made a special breech loading "Punt Gun" as well as "Harpoon Guns". All guns were available in special custom configuration including wood, cases and accessories.

  In 1900 the firm moved the London Premises to 2 William IV Street and four years later T. Clifford Bland, the only son of Thomas Bland Junior became the third generation to join the firm after leaving Harrow. He concentrated on the wildfowling side of the business, so much so that the name of Bland became synonymous with wildfowling guns.

   Changed circumstances following the First World War which had found Bland involved deeply in the War effort manufacturing everything from pistols, shotguns, rifles to trench scopes eventually saw the end of the Birmingham business close. In 1919 the London end of the firm moved from No. 2 and No. 4 to Numbers 4 - 6 William IV Street London. The firm then remained there for over 23 years.

   Throughout the inner war years Bland continued to offer a wide range of sporting guns especially wildfowling guns including the " Magnum" ejector gun, a 3 inch 12 - Bore Anson & Deeley action gun with side panels and sold under the name "Greylag".

   In 1943 with the firm again seriously involved in another War Effort, this time World War II T. Clifford Bland dies and the business was continued under the direction of Mr William Caseley. A particular favorite of Mr. Caseley was the development of the "Brent" wildfowl gun  which was introduced in Post War 1948. The Brent was originally manufactured as a non-ejector. Like the "Greylag" the Brent was chambered for the 3 inch cartridge and pistol grip weighing in at about 7 1/2 pounds. The Brent was made again to order and could and did often end up as quite fancy guns indeed.

   The firm moved in 1973 again, this time to New Rowe Street where the firm prospered. However in 1989 Mr. Caseley  faced with a 100% increase in the rent, advancing age and a Son who did not wish or was not able to continue the business the central London offices were closed. In 1989 the Firm of Thomas Bland & Sons
Gunmakers Ltd. was taken over by C. J. Baker and G.O. Baker of Benton Pennsylvania, USA. The firm is now registered both in the UK and the USA. Bland continues making the best English sidelock and boxlock game guns and rifles in England with the bolt action rifles being manufactured primarily now in the USA.

   Thomas Bland & Sons
Gunmakers Ltd. have been manufacturing by hand best quality sporting arms for over 150 years and looks forward to the next 150 years in the guntrade manufacturing bespoke sporting arms.

   The Bland Shooting Schools have been moved to the USA where expert tuition and gun fitting is still offered by fully Certified Shooting Coaches.

   Please contact us by clicking on the following link for the answer to any questions which you may have.   
bland@epix.net



THOMAS BLAND
Record Check

$55.00 US

Bland Trade Labels

Leather  $55.00

Card  $20.00
   

We accept             &    Master Card

     

  

BLAND DOUBLE RIFLES

  Thomas Bland & Sons Gunmakers Ltd. have had a long and storied history of manufacturing some of the finest double rifles in the world and are continuing this tradition to this day. Following is a bit about the rifle which is being produced entirely in England and has British Proof.

  Our rifle is a double barreled boxlock ejector designed to deal with dangerous game while offering 100% reliability, it is very strong and trouble free, has two independent firing systems and non automatic manual safety catch.

  The action is constructed of special steel and has "Holland" type scroll fences for added strength and is fitted with disc set strikers in case of needed replacement in the field without having to completely strip the rifle. A removable joint pin is also fitted to help re-joining and is available in different sizes so that any future tightening can be done with ease anywhere in the world.

  The action has a head design suitable to fit sideplates should they be desired, either with or without a detachable pin.

  The large trigger plate conceals two simple firing mechanisms powered by unbreakable coil springs for safety, internal safes include hammer block and rebounding hammers, trigger pulls are set on the high side for safety.

  Barrels are chrome molly and target quality fitted to a monoblock system, this means that any tubes may be fitted. Normal caliber is .470 NE but 375 H&H, 416 Rigby etc. are no problem. They can even be fitted with a shotgun barrels in 20 or 16 bore should this option be desired. They are zeroed in at 60 yards, barrels are normally 24 inches long. The sights are blade front and triple ladder rear sights. The guns will receive Birmingham Proof.

  The design may also include scope mounting, a zero wedge is provided.

  The stock is typical with cheek piece and recoil pad. Spares may be fitted beneath the pad. The weight will be about 12 pounds. The figure of the wood may be ordered as desired.

  Every effort is being made to produce a versatile gun, it can be manufactured in most caliber's, set up for a left handed top lever, sideplated, plain or ornate. Engraving may be as desired, the action may be colour hardened. The standard model is " The Cape " which will include best colour hardened action and related hardware, best blacking, 40% engraving, medium stock fitted in a leather trunk case is £18,000.00 plus shipping and US Customs. Delivery time is about 6 to 8 months at the moment. Better figured wood and more engraving may be provided at an additional cost if desired. The deluxe model is " The Cape II " is fitted with chopper lump barrels and will cost £4,000.00 extra and will require an additional 4 months to manufacture. The Cape II will also be fully engraved, fitted with side plates if desired and a very well figured stock.

Call us and discuss your requirements in having a bespoke gun manufactured and you dreams can come true in approximately a year.

   Thomas Bland Gunmakers Ltd. urge you to support The National Rifle Association, Safari Club International plus Join your local Sporting and Conservation Groups.  

Become Involved   Show You Care!!

 E-Mail   bland@epix.net 

ENGLISH SHOTGUNS BETWEEN THE WARS

A BUYERS AND SELLERS GUIDE

  The most comprehensive publication available, listing over 1,500 English gunmakers in alphabetical order. This publication has taken Mr. John B. Friedman over 20 years to compile and has been published by Woodcock Hill Inc. Press. It allows you to know with some degree of certainty that the gun you may be examining is indeed of English manufacture. If you are seriously interested in English Sporting Guns this is one of those must have publications. 72pp wraps $31.00   

Limited Edition Hard Backed numbered copies are available at $105.00

  If you are serious about English guns this is a must have reference publication.

                                       

 British Association for Shooting & Conservation

Trade Members & Certified Instructors

 


 

We accept             &    Master Card

       

To Return to our Home Page or Visit Another Page Click On one of the underlined  Links Below

 Home Page     Try-Gun Service      Shooting School      Visiting Us 

Gun Work    Driven Shooting      Books A to L     Books M to Z

Cartridges    New Items & Links     Accessories 

Hammer Guns      Guns 12-Bore       Guns 16 - 20 - 28 - .410

     Shooting in Africa   Rifles

 E-Mail  bland@epix.net     Phone  570-864-3242

 

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