Longthorne, one of the exhibitors at this year’s World Gunmakers’ Evening in London on November 3rd, is a name synonymous with luxury and innovation.

The company actually hails from engineering heritage rather than the usual gun trade route and started making its shotguns in a small barn in rural Lancashire in 2006.

Longthorne has come a long way since then, having ‘morphed’ into a fully-fledged, manufacturer of luxury firearms, offering a varied and exciting range of innovative, 100 per cent English-made shotguns for a not unreasonable cost. Indeed, its trigger plate range starts at £11,995 including VAT, which is comparable to imported brands.

The company now occupies a 14,000 sq ft factory in Northampton – only an hour away from London by train – where it continues to innovate on what seems to be a monthly basis.

Renowned for its shotgun barrels which are fully machined – sculptured even – from a single piece of high specification steel, Longthorne’s latest creation is a set of barrels fully sculpted from titanium… not the easiest substance to sculpt!

The first set, having been proofed in October this year at The London Proof House, is 32in long with ramped rib and weighs 930 grams, contrasting with its already lightweight steel barrels with the same length and rib weighing 1,550 grams. This represents another world first for Longthorne and the company will have these on display at the World Gunmakers’ Evening next month.

One would be mistaken for thinking that these would ‘kick like a mule’ however, this is not the case. In keeping with the rest of the range, these offer the same negligible felt recoil and muzzle flip qualities as its steel barrels and are ideal as a very lightweight game gun.

Recent testing has shown them to be extremely pointable and stable. The company plans to release a series YouTube videos soon, showing the gun in action.

Ideas in action

This is not the first innovation in the past 12 months for Longthorne. Earlier this year the company manufactured a set of barrels completely machined from a solid rectangular piece of Damascus, which it had purchased several years ago, much to the delight of the customer, who currently has the only set in existence.

The company has also recently released a range of more off-the-shelf trigger plate models to complement the original range of bespoke ‘true sidelock’ models.

Every cloud has a silver lining and, despite the negativity surrounding Covid and the subsequent lockdown, Longthorne was able to concentrate its efforts on the new range together with its SXS model, which has also recently been released.

The past 18 months has been challenging for many businesses and Longthorne is no exception, however it is very optimistic about the future which looks extremely rosy and has recently employed a Business Development Manager, whose job it is to liaise with its dealers, who are now starting to stock Longthorne. It is also looking to recruit and train other staff members as soon as possible to keep up with orders.

You really need to try a ‘Longthorne’ to appreciate its claim that its guns just don’t have the same ‘felt recoil’ and ‘muzzle flip’ issues often experienced with other guns – this is not just its ‘sales patter’.

For this reason, the company now has demonstration models at several dealers throughout the UK and these are listed on their website.

Longthorne is not a company to rest on its laurels, especially where R&D is concerned and it is currently also developing a range of luxury pistols for the US market and hopes to have the prototypes finalised early next year.