Longthorne- Innovation- Excellence- Tradition
Despite being one of the newest English gun makers, Longthorne Gunmakers have rapidly established themselves in the marketplace and with an excellent reputation in a relatively short time period, ‘this doesn’t come easily’ Marketing Director Elaine Stewart states ‘you have to work very hard at it and be true to your cause, there will be stumbles along the way but you just have to pick yourself up and start running again’.
One of the things the company are totally dedicated to is a commitment to continually improve where they can and because of their toolmaking heritage and use of technology this is something they are very good at. It’s no good having a super marketing strategy if you don’t have the goods to back it up, people aren’t stupid, and they work out when they’re being duped.
10 years on from their initial design stage, the Company are now renowned for their innovative and ground breaking technology which Managing Director James Longthorne Stewart, a passionate Engineer, started developing in 2006. Longthorne already have UK and US patents on this technology with others pending.
To further explain, their two barrels are manufactured from one single piece of high specification steel, including the ‘forend loop’. This has several benefits, not least, the fact that ‘felt recoil’ and ‘muzzle flip’ are significantly reduced because of the rigidity and straightness of the barrels (which are also parallel rather than converging).
The manufacturing process involves taking one large block of high specification steel weighing approximately 27 kg and machining the barrels from this, they eventually weigh 1.3-1.4 kg and lighter for side by side barrels.
The resulting barrels are not only stronger, but lighter in weight than conventionally made barrels.
In eliminating the need for a heavy soldered centre rib, Longthorn Guns are able to add weight to the barrel wall thickness, which in itself is stronger than the average barrel because of the high specification material they use.
Despite their light weight, their barrels are chambered for 3” wherever possible, and can be ‘London’ proofed for Magnum steel (also known as Fleur De Lys or Superior steel proof) up to full choke. They believe that to date we are the only gun making company in the UK (at least) to have achieved this. Not only does this verify the strength of their barrels, it renders them ‘futureproof’
The small central I-beam between the barrels measures less than 2mm and this, combined with the fact that Longthorne barrels are honed to a very fine tolerance and are perfectly straight not unlike a finely tuned rifle, results in their guns shooting exactly where they are pointed. In contrast to this, conventional barrels are constructed from two tubes which are ‘pulled’ together and then soldered, which in itself causes heat distortion and softening of the base metal, and in effect are not perfectly straight, comparatively, meaning that the ‘shot’ is effectively being forced around a bend resulting in ‘recoil’ and the need to regulate the barrels
The most significant feature of Longthorne guns is that they have negligible recoil even with the heaviest loads, they quite often demonstrate the guns capacity using 50 gram 4’s, this is attributable significantly because of our barrel design, but also their very low profile action (their 12 bore action is the lowest profile action on the market),and general rigidity of our guns, this also minimalizes ‘muzzle flip’.
They are able to tailor the barrel length and the top rib to requirements during the manufacturing process and can incorporate a rib more suited to game or clay shooting, whichever is preferred, and are also able to adjust the weight of the guns whilst maintaining balance.
The company are also able to use a ‘hot’ process to blacken the barrels because there are no soldered ribs and therefore no ‘seepage’ of chemicals which can cause premature rusting of soldered joins. This process is more resilient than the cold blacking process so often used on fabricated barrels and creates a wonderful blue/black sheen.
Another significant benefit with Longthorne Gun barrels is that they are parallel and, unlike converging barrels which often shoot apart after the point of convergence, our barrels ensure a consistent point of aim/point of impact.
Eliminating the centre rib also allows any heat to disperse more evenly and quickly, a vented rib is therefore not necessary because there is no trapped hot air causing heat ‘build up’.
Because the barrels are made from a much harder material than conventional barrels, they are much less likely to ‘dent’ in the event of an accident, however, should a small calamity occur, dents can usually be ‘raised’ in the normal manner but without having to remove the ribs.
The company started from humble beginnings in an old barn to the rear of the family home, housing several million pounds worth of sophisticated engineering equipment built up over the years for use within the company’s engineering business, they outgrew this and in October last year moved to a state of the art factory in Northampton and it has been onwards and upwards ever since, you can see their new video ‘Longthorne…A new beginning’ below.
Longthorne Guns currently manufacture true sidelock over/under models, however they have plans to bring out a boxlock and a side x side in the near future.