Acclaimed gunmaker and award-winning finisher Ian Sweetman has forged a highly successful career within the industry, working for some of the most prestigious names within the London and Birmingham trade.

But, armed with so much experience, it was probably only a matter of time before he struck out on his own, a couple of years back, establishing I S Sweetman Gun & Rifle Makers.

Ian began his career at Atkin Grant & Lang, where he worked as an apprentice, undertaking repairs and restoring heritage English guns.

From there he moved to Westley Richards and then later took a position at James Purdey & Sons. where he completed a second apprenticeship in finishing and gained his papers from the London Proof House.

In 2017 Ian was presented with a McMillan Award for Excellence in Gunmaking for his outstanding work on a 20 bore Purdey. 

After seven years in London, a number of which were spent establishing and managing the James Purdey Bolt Action Rifle department, Ian made the decision to leave the city and set up his own company, I.S Sweetman Gun & Rifle Makers.

With a traditional workshop in rural Hertfordshire, Ian now builds bespoke, best quality rifles and shotguns under his own name, as well as offering a full range of renovation and repair services with his team.

The driving force to start the company was Ian’s precise attention to detail and desire to take ownership of every aspect of the build process, ensuring that each gun is crafted to the very highest standard possible. 

Renowned for his rifle work, Ian is currently undertaking some exciting projects including a .280 Rem Bolt Action, designed to be an ‘all-rounder’ for UK deer species, that is suitable for non-toxic ammunition, and a .500 Jeffery Bolt Action that will be completed for a dangerous game hunt in 2022.

A keen deer stalker himself, having hunted in the UK and abroad, with years of hands-on experience building best quality rifles, Ian has a unique ability to understand exactly what his clients require and to develop and craft a rifle that is perfectly suited to their individual tastes and needs. 

Ian’s aim for his business is to be a gunmaking company that puts the client first, keeping them involved with every aspect of the build process.

Clients are welcomed into the workshop to see exactly where their gun will be built and receive regular updates as things progress. There are no showrooms or salesmen, simply Ian, his team, and his workshop.

His name may not go back centuries but it is one you will certainly be hearing more of, as the quality of his guns speak for themselves.

Ian will be showcasing some if his guns at World Gunmakers’ Evening on Wednesday, November 3rdat the Tower of London.

Book tickets for World Gunmakers’ evening here: