Join us in Creating a Lockyer

Lockyer of England specialises in bespoke artwork made from original, deactivated sporting arms. Sourced from all over the country, we select the finest and most historic shotguns to use as the basis for our artwork.

When we fall in love with a vintage shotgun, the team here at Lockyer begin the process of re-creating it as a piece of Lockyer gun art.

First of all the original gun is made completely safe, so that it can’t fire at all.  The barrel is actually blocked, this process is called “de-activation” and it makes the gun legal and safe for you to own and display in your home.

The gun is then granted a De-activation Certificate by the Government.  If you look closely at the barrel of every Lockyer you will see a small stamp mark which proves that is has been deactivated, inspected, and passed by an authorised Proof House here in the UK.  You will never need to apply for a shotgun certificate or any other document to own your own Lockyer, and there is no police involvement.

This is just the beginning of the creation of the art gun.  The team at Lockyer recognise the individual beauty and unique heritage of every gun we discover, and now it is time for our craftsmen to go to work to enhance those qualities.

First of all the gun is stripped down to its three main parts: the lock (the original operating part of the gun); the stock (the wooden part of the gun); and the barrel.  This is where the phrase “lock, stock and barrel” originally comes from.

The most beautiful part of a heritage gun is the hand-engraved steel plate that houses the original “lock”.  This is called the lock-plate.  On all Lockyers the lock-plate is a highly prized element of the gun, where the art of the engraver is seen.  Working more than a hundred years ago, these little-known craftsmen etched beautiful images of dogs, birds, country scenes or decorative scrolls onto the lock-plates, and these are very collectible today.  Our experts restore and enhance this delicate work so that you can enjoy and appreciate these pieces of art.

The next stage is to strip back the stock down to the wood and repair any damage before re-finishing it for display.  As a Lockyer purchaser you can join in the creation at this stage – you can choose how you want the finished stock to look.  Maybe you want to stick with the original grained walnut? Or perhaps you would like artwork to appear on the stock? Or if you plan for the Lockyer to be a presentation piece you may want some sort of personalisation.  Check out the Commissions page to discover what you can do.

Finally, the barrel is taken back to its original steel.  Any damage is repaired and the barrel is given a Lockyer finish.  You can have a choice of barrel finishes: original steel; graphite black; burnt bronze; or even matt gold.

Now that every element is restored and re-finished, a process that takes many weeks, the newly-created Lockyer is assembled and packed in its beautiful presentation box and display stand, ready to be delivered to you. When you receive your Lockyer you will be able to open and close it and pull the triggers – just as if it was a functioning gun.  So you can demonstrate “dry-firing” your sporting arm as well as displaying it where you want.

At Lockyer, we would love you to get involved in the creation of your art gun. Get in touch and find out more about what you can do.