Dickson & MacNaughton and David McKay Brown offer some of the best in Scottish gunmaking – find out why these guns are coveted across the country
Dickson & MacNaughton
In the late 1800s, Edinburgh was a core hub for gunmaking excellence with such names as Daniel Fraser, Mortimer, Alexander Henry, James MacNaughton and John Dickson all based in the city. Time has whittled down the number of quality gunmakers in Edinburgh as it has elsewhere, but Dickson & MacNaughton retains an unrivalled position in Scottish gunmaking.
In the early 20th century John Dickson acquired the assets of Dan’l Fraser and in the late 1960s it acquired control of Mortimer, Alexander Henry and Alex Martin. This made the company a true powerhouse in gunmaking, with the combined experience of several respected gunmaking firms all under one roof.
“John Dickson and James MacNaughton had crossed paths before they joined forces”
John Dickson and James MacNaughton had crossed paths before they joined forces. In around 1880 the two companies met in court over a patent dispute: James MacNaughton claimed that John Dickson’s round action design infringed on his ‘Edinburgh’ Patent Hammerless Ejector Gun, first shown at the Great Edinburgh Exhibition in 1886. Though Dickson’s patent was filed after MacNaughton’s, the court found in his favour, and the definitively Scottish round action design resumed production under the Dickson name.
Fast forward to 2000 however, and ‘John Dickson and Son’ (as it was then called) had been bought out by James Macnaughton. On 21 August 2000, Dickson & MacNaughton was incorporated and the most successful names in the last 225 years of Scottish gunmaking history were united under the same banner.
Today the firm offers three signature shotguns: the Dickson round-action and MacNaughton bar-in-wood side-by-sides, and the Dickson round-action O/U. Clearly the company’s range benefits from the best of both firms but its bespoke handcrafted guns will set you back more than £37,000. However, the company also offers a number of professionally restored secondhand guns from all makers in its repertoire – exquisite, superb-quality guns at more affordable prices.
If you’re heading to Scotland for a spot of shooting this year you’ve no doubt seen to it that your gun is in perfect working order, but if not, Dickson & MacNaughton, drawing on hundreds of years’ gunmaking experience will perform all restoration and maintenance work, from general servicing to barrel replacement. Or, if you own a gun by any of the gunmaking names united under Dickson & MacNaughton, the company will gladly research its history and origins for you (for a small fee, of course).
If you do decide to make a trip to the historic premises you’ll find much more than exquisite shotguns on offer. The company also stocks new and used rifles, a huge range of metallic ammo and every accessory a shooting enthusiast could need. Its Dunkeld workshop is also situated very near to the first-class sporting layout at The Park in the grounds of the Hilton, so you can treat yourself to a new handcrafted gun made by one of the most respected gunmaking firms left in Scotland and take it next door to shoot.
For more information visit www.dicksonandmacnaughton.com or call 0131 225 4218