In 1976 at the young age of 14 my father brought me a Diana .22 Air Rifle and unwittingly changed my life forever. It was to start a passion that so far, has lasted my lifetime.
The shooting industry in the UK in the 1970’s was much larger than today and was very difficult to obtain a trade in, so at sixteen years of age I packed my bags and joined the British Army with one thing in mind, to be an Armourer. This started a career that was to span 12 years and cover most Western and Russian small arms of the period and I could not get enough of it. If their was a problem, it was that the Army wasn’t given me enough knowledge, I wanted to learn more and that meant getting into manufacturing.
In 1990 I left the forces and entered the private defence sector with defence manufacturing, range management and as a technical advisor to various international customers. Weapon systems included the FN MAG, Browning M2, Chain Gun and the Oerlikon 35mm Anti aircraft system to name but a few.
However good times were to come to a rapid end as a result of world politics and overnight the Berlin wall came crashing to the ground and with it the UK defence industry, I was redundant, hugely disappointed and no one needed a firearms expert.
So in 1992/93 I formed Thames Valley Guns, with it I brought a wealth of professionalism, experience and qualifications to the business, such as Class one Armourer, Weapons Technician trained by Oerlikon Contraves in Switzerland and the successful completion of Firearms and Munitions Design courses at the Royal Military College of Science at Schrivenham.
Like my firearms projects I wanted to be different, I didn’t want to be like other dealers who simply buy and sell on, I wasn’t going to learn that way. I restore and build as many rifles as I possibly can, by providing a high quality one to one service to my customers, I continue to learn and the customer gets the benefit of my honest, straight talking firearms knowledge and experience, its as simple as that.
I like to think that this website is an extension of that principle, selling firearms on this website is about providing badly needed resources to continue my principles, to learn, to take my ideas, design and build them. That is why two thirds of this website is about experience and not about how big the pound (£) sign is.