Holland & Holland


Holland & Holland

Holland & Holland is a prestigious British gun-maker based in London, England of hand-made sporting rifles and double-barreled shotguns, holding two Royal Warrants.

History

The firm was founded by Harris Holland (1806-96) in the year 1835. He may have had a wholesale tobacco business in London. He was often seen at live pigeon shoots around London, as well as shooting grouse on a moor he leased in Yorkshire. Recognised as an accomplished shot, he was convinced to start his own gun-making business. At first the guns bore the inscription "H. Holland". It is not known when Harris started his own manufacturing operation, but it is believed to have been in the 1850s. Having no children of his own, he took on his nephew Henry, also a Holland, as an apprentice in 1861. In 1867 Henry became a partner and in 1876 the name of the firm was changed to Holland and Holland, although his uncle still kept a tight rein on the running of the company.

The company's guns and rifles were made in the trade and by Birmingham makers in the Gun Quarter up till the year 1898 when they established their own factory in London.

In 1883 Holland and Holland entered the trials organized by the magazine "The Field", and won all of the rifle categories. This set a new standard of excellence for the competition among English gunmakers. In 1885 patents were granted to Holland and Holland for their Paradox gun, a shotgun with rifling in the front two inches of the barrel.

In 1908, they patented the detachable lock feature with small lever, for sidelock shotguns. The last major development in the evolution of the sidelock side-by-side gun occurred in 1922, when the H&H assisted-opening mechanism was patented. This gun, the self-opening Royal side-by-side, has been hugely influential in gun-making throughout the world.

Prudent business decisions helped the company through lean times in the gun industry in the early 20th century. During the depression years Colonel Jack Holland, son of Henry, sold valuable school property in Wembley and bought land in Northwood, which is still in use by the H&H shooting school today.

In the period after World War II, under the leadership of new owner and Managing Director Malcolm Lyell, the company made sorties to India, where guns from the famous collections of the princes and maharajahs were bought back, developing an important market for second-hand pieces. In 1989, all remaining shares in H&H were bought by the French cosmetics group Chanel. Since then, the factory building, in use since 1898, has been extensively renovated and equipped with modern technology. Guns such as the Royal Over & Under or side-by-side double-barreled shotguns were improved and reintroduced, and they are available in 12, 20 and 28 bore and .410 inch. A hand-built gun from H&H can cost around 60,000 pounds for a shotgun and close to 100,000 pounds for some rifles, with prices roughly doubling with luxury engraving, and there is a waiting period of 2 - 3 years between ordering and delivery.

In the 1990s, Holland and Holland started on a major program of expansion. The company has stores ("gunrooms") in New York City and Moscow. The company's London flagship store on Bruton Street has been completely renovated and expanded.

The company celebrated its 165th anniversary in 2000.

Calibres

"Holland & Holland" has created some of the world best known calibres. Their entire line of cartridge has been developed with hunting (or sporting shooting in British parlance) in mind and has been associated romantically with the last part of the golden age of safaris and dangerous game hunting.Fact|date=July 2008

These calibres are:

.240 Apex - introduced 1920, known also as .240 Belted Nitro Express and the .240 Magnum Rimless. Used for deer and plainsgame.

.240 Flanged Nitro Express - is a variation of the .240 Apex created for the safari double rifles and intended for medium size game.

.244 H&H Magnum - introduced 1955, as a cartridge suitable for long range deer hunting in Scottish Highlands. Based on the extremely successful .375 H&H but with 6.2 mm and bullets weighting between 75-100 grains.

.275 H&H Belted Magnum - created in 1912, is basically a 7mm caliber with a 140-175 gr. bullet. Original cartridges used cordite as propellant powder.

.300 H&H Magnum - second most popular calibre invented by Holland & Holland, was introduced in 1925. It is meant to tackle large plains game, particularly African like zebra, giraffes or heavy antelopes but also a favourite of North American moose and elk hunters. While not as popular, it is fairly similar to .30-06 Springfield, to which, though, the .300 H&H Magnum is superior in performance.

.375 H&H Magnum or 375 H&H - is the first most-popular calibre invented by Holland & Holland, and was introduced in 1912 as a Nitro Exress cartridge using cordite, but worked its way into becoming also the world's most popular safari calibre to date, due to its versatility. Bullet has a 9.5 mm diameter, and weights between 235-300 grains. While a medium-bore cartridge that some consider too big for medium game and too small for big or dangerous game, the .375 H&H has nonetheless become the official minimum cartridge for hunting dangerous game throughout much of Africa. While big by modern standards, it remains a popular cartridge for Canadian and Alaskan bears, seeing heavy use by outfitters and professional hunters.

.375 Flanged Nitro Express - is a cartridge for use in breach loading and double rifles and therefore popular in the tropics, Africa, but in the past also in Asia, was considered an effective tiger cartridge. It has almost the same specifications as the .375 H&H Magnum.

.400 H&H Magnum - is a recent cartridge introduced in 2003, based on the .375 H&H but beefed up and using a 400 grain bullet.

.465 H&H Magnum - introduced in 2003, is a modern big bore cartridge from Holland & Holland. This cartridge was created to be in big and dangerous game hunting, following into the great safari tradition of this brand.

.500/450 Nitro Express - created 1890s, used a 480 grain projectile. Due to its low pressure and considerable power it was used almost exclusively for dangerous game in tropical climate in the former British Empire, like East Africa or India.

.600 Nitro Express- started in 1903 and remained the quintessential elephant stopper until the christening of .700 Nitro Express, made eighty five years later by the same Holland & Holland. A fierce recoil is generated by shooting its up to 950 grain bullet, regardless of the 15 lbs or more weight of rifles in such calibre. After almost becoming obsolete this calibre has lately see a revival, by hunters like Mark Sullivan and his controversial "Nitro Express Safari" videos.Fact|date=July 2008

.700 Nitro Express or short 700 NE - created 1988, likely the largest hunting cartridge commercially developed in the world, with a notable stopping power and known for its recoil, firing a 1000 grain bullet. One .700 Nitro Express cartridge retails around US$100 (2008).

List Of Clients

Holland & Holland is regarded as a quintessential luxury sporting gunmaker enjoying a select reputation in the world similar to other British made luxury marques such as Bentley, Rolls-Royce or Burberry. Together with James Purdey & Sons, regarded as the their primary competitor, they are the only British Royal Warrant holders. Their clientele, since the 19th century, have included many people of fame, such as Frederick Courteney Selous, Prince Charles, Duke of Edinburgh and other sporting royalty, nobility, and numerous admirers of a quality firearm.

External links

* [http://www.hollandandholland.com/home.htm Holland and Holland - corporate site]


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