Is there a city called Preston somewhere else than UK ?
I know there was a gunmaker called W. Richards in it at the beginning of the 20th century


Yes, Preston is in Lancashire.,+Lancashire&gl=uk&ei=YRsqS8OSHIWS4gbRr7yeCQ&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CAsQ8gEwAA


[quote=“Falcon”]Yes, Preston is in Lancashire.,+Lancashire&gl=uk&ei=YRsqS8OSHIWS4gbRr7yeCQ&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CAsQ8gEwAA[/quote]

Preston is no more in UK ??
You made secession Falcon ???


Sorry, I misread your post.


There is a town called Preston in the state of Connecticut in the U.S. . Connecticut has certainly had some gun makers ever since the colonies were inhabited.


J-P: Forgive me if I am not understanding what it is that you are asking. I know you asked if “Preston” was a city anywhere else besides the UK. That I don’t know, but “W. Richards” was a firm in Western England. As I recall, they were in the last forty years or so at Liverpool. No, I am not confusing “W. Richards” with Westly Richards. W. Richards was our Agent in England, and we purchased, at British Government Auctions, hundreds of pistols and revolvers, and other guns, over the years thru them. They were the one that supplied the San Francisco with the famous shipment (famous amoung those that knew our store) of 32,000 brand new “BP” 7.63 Mauser Stripper Clips, a story in itself. Most of our English cartridge boards that we had on display at the store, now at the Cody Museum, were purchased from or thru W. Richards. Len Brown was our agent there. I assume he is gone now. He was much older than I.

I don’t know anything about the company itself, or any involvement with ammunition manufacture or sales.
We did, on occasion, get some “collectors” ammo from them, but never anything that I can recall with their own name on the cartridges. Most was Kynoch or Eley.

John Moss


Most provincial gunshops in Britain had their own names on their cartridges because several cartridge makers, most recently Hull Cartridge Company, would make cartridges with anyones name on them provided they ordered a certain quantity. It still goes on today.

Also, if you take any British named town you will find additional towns with the same name in countries like America, Canada, Austrailia, New Zealand, South Afria etc because settlers renamed their new homes after their town of origin. It can be very confusing. You will probably find Prestons in all of these countries if you search.
If as I suspect you are trying to identify some cartridges with names on them the first stage would be to try and identify the headstamp and ignore the name for the time being. Shops would come and go and they may not even have been a gunshop, even a hardware store could have had its own cartridges years ago.


Hello John,
thanks to have answered.
But , from what you say, if I understand, the company you are talking about is in Liverpol, not in Preston.
therfore it cannot be this one.
thanks anyway


Hello Vince,
You are right, the British gunshops used to order cases from manufacturers and ask for a writting or (and) a proprietary hstp on them.

I know where the guy in Preston ordered his cases : SFM

What I am doing now with all my questions, it to complete the file of the customers, because in my data base I only have the name and the city.
And not the country !!

Most of the anglosaxons customer were in England (or scotland aso) but some were fom Australia;
It is what I am trying to determinate.

With only the name of the city it could be anywhere, I agree, but sometimes giving also the name of the gunsmith someone can avoid the doubt



The main reference book is British Gunmakers vol 3 but you may be able to find a copy of Vol 2 if you try a book search.

I believe the term vol3 is misleading and it really means version 3 or 3rd edition so it would be an updated version of vol2 with all the same information as vol2 plus anything that has come to their notice since the previous version.

The only trouble is that the names you are looking for may not have been gunmakers for reasons stated above.

If I wanted to get hold of a copy I would probably go to the British library in London rather than buy it but I guess you do not have that option. Anyone in Britain can try ordering a copy from their Local Public Library and they will get it in for them but it takes months. Do you have anyone in Britain who might do that for you?


Helo Vince,
thank you for the info.
I will try to get a copy of this book.

I know only one British shotshells collector. (***)
He surely knows.
But I prefer to find the maximum of info on the forums than to flood him under hundred of questions.
(falconnz helped me recently for example with Perth)

*** : yes only one. The other have never answered my e mails.
They think the non british shells are of no interest.
They will be very disapointed when they will discover that 90% of their proprietary shells are french.



[quote=“jeanpierre”]Hello John,
thanks to have answered.
But , from what you say, if I understand, the company you are talking about is in Liverpol, not in Preston.
therfore it cannot be this one.
thanks anyway

W.Richards (Liverpool) Ltd, did have a branch in Preston. Look under company history on their website


W.Richards (Liverpool) Ltd, did have a branch in Preston. Look under company history on their website[/quote]

Thanks tanegashimatomurata !!
(You nickname is funny and looks to be Japonese . What does it mean ?)

  1. It looks to be this guy.

  2. Wm means William in english, doesn’t it ?
    I tought it was W.
    What is the difference ?

  3. Here is the source