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News from John Dickson & Son - October 2021

October 2021
News from John Dickson & Son - October 2021

New shop hours

Macnab Challenge - Mission Accomplished!

Dickson gun reunited with its owner 50 years later

The Godfather of Gun Engraving - Ken Hunt

New shop hours for John Dickson & Son

From Monday 4th October we will be returning to a five day week, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

If you intend to visit us, may we please remind you that:

There will be no public access to the workshop. We will only be available to meet with customers through the main shop.

It is strictly one customer at a time in the shop and we will be observing a 2-metre social distancing rule with the customer at all times. All staff will have hand sanitiser, wipes and masks to hand.

Please bring a face mask as it is mandatory in Scottish retail premises to wear one - if you don't have one, we will happily provide one.

If we can assist with anything in advance of your visit, you can contact us here

Macnab Challenge - Mission Accomplished!

John Dickson & Son are extremely pleased to have been able to provide the sporting equipment to support Delaney & Sons trip to the Isle of Harris in pursuit of the Macnab Challenge.

The Macnab Challenge has its roots in the 1925 novel John Macnab by John Buchan. The story follows three protagonists: Sir Edward Leithen, John Palliser-Yeates and Lord Lamancha, all desperate to relieve the boredom that has engulfed them. The solution can only be something devilish, with a dash of daring. Under the mantle of John Macnab, they issue a warning to three Highland estates: within 48 hours they will remove a salmon or stag, undetected, and present it at the door of the house. On this, they stake their reputations and the danger proves part of the thrill of the pursuit of the quarry.

John Buchan was born in Perthshire (also the home to Dickson's today) and was an owner of a pair of vintage Dickson's made in 1887, pictured above.

The modern Macnab challenge involves bagging a salmon, stag and brace of grouse within one day between dawn and dusk and is a thrilling test of sporting skill, with a huge serving of luck thrown in.

Dickson's were able to supply a new Daniel Fraser stalking rifle, a vintage Dickson Round-Action gun and a pair of new Alex Martin fishing rods and reels, thus making us the only gunmaker in the world able to equip the team with a rifle, gun and fishing rod/reel from three of the greatest Scottish gun, rifle and fishing tackle manufacturers.

Taking place over five days at the fabulous Amhuinnsuidhe Castle, a remote seaside estate on the Isle of Harris, in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, two Macnabs were achieved by the team.  

Would you like to try the Macnab Challenge? 

Then please contact the team at Delaney & Sons here

Dickson gun reunited with its owner 50 years later

Dickson's recently acquired a vintage hammer gun made in 1886 for James Carnegie, the 9th Earl of Southesk, but we soon learned that the gun had in fact been in ownership of a young man, some 50 years ago, who goes by the name of Donald Dallas. 

Donald is a long-time friend of Dickson's and so it was planned to reunite him with the gun at the Scottish Game Fair. Donald said "What a bonnie gun and I cant remember why I sold it, probably to fund another gun purchase!" The gun will be returned to Dunkeld and held in Dickson's Heritage Collection.

The Godfather of Gun Engraving - Kent Hunt

Dickson's Managing Director, J-P Daeschler, was privileged to visit with Kent Hunt, who is regarded as the greatest gun engraver in the world and the man that developed and pioneered many of the engraving techniques that is common place today. Ken very kindly explained his career in detail and the discussion quickly led to the subject of Harry Kell, who Ken was apprenticed to, but also the man who did the majority of Dickson's special order engravings. Kell engraved Dickson's attract a premium due to the rarity of his beautifully executed game scenes and scroll engraving patterns. 

Dickson's have only ever produced two gold-inlaid Round-Action guns in 141 years. The reason for this was John Dickson believed the guns were to be used in the foul Scottish weather and there was no place for a gold covered gun on the hill. The first gun was a 20 bore with very fine gold ribbons around the scroll and was made for Baron Moncreiff of Tulliebole in 1887. The second gun was special commemorative gun completed by Ken Hunt in 1989, pictured above.