Donald Dallas tells the fascinating story of Holland & Holland from its very beginnings, and the history of the family is revealed for the first time. The terrific variety of the firm's guns and rifles is described in great detail and set within the historical context of their eras. From punt gun to boy's gun, from rook rifle to elephant gun, Holland & Holland supplied sporting firearms to every corner of the world. In May 1885, Holland & Holland advertised their new trademark as the 'Royal,' which the firm intended to apply to best guns and rifles only. Royal guns and rifles have been in production since that date, the choice of name symbolizing the excellence of the firm's output. And yet, gunmaking played no part in the early history of Holland & Holland. The founder of the firm, Harris Holland, was a musician and entrepreneur with an interest in live-pigeon shooting. Turning this interest into a business venture, he began to retail guns in the 1830s. His nephew Henry Holland joined the business in 1860 and made an outstanding contribution to the field of gunmaking with forty-seven patents to his name. Several of these inventions are still used today, including the 1883 Royal hammerless action, the 1904 belted rimless cartridge case, and the 1922 self-opening mechanism. In 1876 the uncle and the nephew created a partnership, and Holland & Holland was born. By that time, riflemaking had become the specialty of the firm, with the firm's prowess becoming obvious to all after winning every class in the Field Rifle Trials of 1883. The twentieth century saw the firm's tradition of innovation and experimentation continue. Jack Holland, a decorated officer of World War I and Henry Holland's son, ran the firm in the difficult pre- and post-World War II years. After Jack's death in 1957, the Holland family interest in the business declined, and from the early 1960s new owners and a fresh approach took over. The company continued to expand, doing research and producing very high-quality sporting guns and rifles revered throughout the world. Several appendixes will be of great help and interest to enthusiasts and owners. All fifty-one patents are described, the dating of Holland serial numbers is given from 1855 to the present day, all the trade labels are illustrated, and the rifle cartridges are examined in detail. The book is profusely illustrated with 112 color and 355 black and white photographs, mostly unpublished. In addition many rare guns and rifles are described and illustrated. 300pp.