William Powell Viscount
The Field|October 2020
William Powell Viscount
So, the side-by-side has had its day, has it? Not if this bespoke model is anything to go by. Michael Yardley is happy to find a traditional gun that dares to be a bit different
Michael Yardley

THIS month’s test gun is a new, bespoke, back-action sidelock from William Powell built in association with respected Italian maker Batista Rizzini. It is more than a rebadging exercise, however; this gun has been built to a precise specification for the modern British market as laid out by William Powell and with much input from its own team. The long-established Banbury firm is not only well known for its guns but for its game agency and practical shooting nous.

This sort of Anglo-Italian exercise, meantime, often brings positive results. The Brescians are masters of gun manufacture now, especially with regard to computer-controlled machining and production methodology. But there is still a unique repository of gun making and finishing knowledge in the UK. In particular, I would say that we have a better understanding of stock shapes and fitting for game shooting. This is subtle but important stuff. The way a gun’s hand is shaped, or its stock comb, can make an immense difference to the way it shoots. Similarly, good regulation of triggers and ejector-work as much distinguish a best gun as fine engraving and stock finish.


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October 2020