Traditional and modern engraving technology combined at H&H

23rd February 2012 - Fine Cut

The importance of new technology has been championed by historic gunmaker Holland & Holland (H&H).

Humans Invent reporter Leo Kent described how the firm, which has two royal warrants and has been in operation since the 19th century, uses microscopes to help apply ultra-fine engravings to the steel on its bespoke creations.

But precision engraving and all the technical advantages that modern technology affords the gun manufacturer are still combined with traditional techniques, according to a representative from the organisation.

An H&H spokesperson said: "We use CAD-CAM (computer aided design and computer aided manufacture) to make high-precision components. This enables us to make better use of our skilled craftsmen, who no longer have to fashion parts from crude forgings but we also retain many of the traditional methods."

The company still uses the same gun factory on Harrow Road in London that was built in 1898, but modern innovations have allowed it to improve the way the firearms are put together.

For gun collectors, the intricate engravings on such items can make them highly sought-after and command high prices at auctions. Antiques and the Arts Online reported that a Smith & Wesson Model No.1 revolver with engraved brass frames sold for $9,400 (£6,000) last month.

At the same event in Pennyslvania, a rare, engraved Colt 1855 sidehammer 'root' revolver with walnut grips and an elaborate rosewood case sold for $7,050.

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