As with so many sports and hobbies, you can spend a fortune on innumerable ccessories. Good news for friends of guns is that there are plenty of options for Christmas presents and luckily you don’t have to spend a fortune. Fur Feather and Fin offers some of the best value for money in leather gunslips and cartridge bags of good quality. At the other end of the scale there are the Huntsman suits of shooting accessories: Westley Richards will make you a cartridge bag from the buffalo or zebra hide you hunted in Africa. Brett Parsons, who made leather goods for Asprey and Holland & Holland, now undertakes private commissions only. Each piece is handmade by him in the UK to the client’s exact specifications.
Gunslip and cartridge bag are just the tip of the iceberg, of course. Ear protectors are essential and range from army surplus for a couple of pounds to fully moulded digital plugs from Hearing Electronics. Paying a little extra to be able to hear and still be protected from a gun’s report is something most sportsmen are happy to do; you won’t miss out on gossip down the line and, most important, can hear pheasants getting up and beaters approaching.
William Powell is a great one-stop shop for shooting accessories including snapcaps and nip cups at mid-range prices though, of course, the big names will sell you Rolls-Royce versions such as ivory position finders from Purdey. Gloves protect you from hot barrels and cold weather. Find a well-fitting pair; as well as being dangerous, fumbling wastes time. A long woollen or fur cuff will keep you warm and hands unhampered. For greater coverage Barbour‘s neoprene gloves are great in the wet and Musto‘s leather version boasts a heat-resistant palm. Fit is especially important here as the trigger finger is not exposed.