Eye Opening Beretta Gallery in London, UK

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While I was in London, last Saturday, I was doing the touristy thing by going to see the changing of the guard. A tourguide had recommended that I go to St. James Palace to see the guards up close. As I was walking to St. James Palace I stumbled across the Beretta Gallery. As an American in London, I had preconceived notions of firearms and their relation to the UK. What I discovered inside this store blew my mind.

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Being in London, I did not expect to find a gun store. When I saw the Beretta Gallery, I thought it was a clothing and accessories store for Beretta branded items. I went in to check it out anyway.

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As expected, it is a store for Beretta branded items.

 

Beretta silverware.

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Picture frames and other trinkets.

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Hunting clothing

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Beretta cutlery.

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There were shadow boxes with displayed ammo for sale.  IMG_3820 IMG_3821

 

This shotgun shell display is £250. So that is about $325!!!

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To my surprise, the top third floor is their gun shop and gallery. The gallery is locked behind a reinforced glass door and you need to be buzzed to get in. Once inside there are Silver Pigeons everywhere.

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They also carry many of their other brands such as Steiner optics and Burris Optics. They also had Franchi shotguns,  Stoeger shotguns and a couple Benelli shotguns.

London and most of the UK is the land of NO. You cannot carry a knife that has a fixed blade or even a folder that locks. You can technically own them but carrying them is illegal. Firearm ownership is just as strict and even more difficult. There are so many hoops to go thru, there are similarities to firearm ownership in NYC.

You can obtain a firearm but you need to express a “need” to have it. Such as being a member of a shooting club or pest control. You have to get a Firearm Certificate. You need to ask for permission basically from the local police department and you need to provide references. There are certificates for shotgun and rifle. Muzzle loaders are considered a long gun and are classified alongside rifles. Muzzle loading pistols are the only pistols a citizen can own in the UK. You need to keep the firearm in a secured location like a steel cabinet that is attached to a wall. Oh and the police can revoke your certificate at anytime they feel  you no longer have a good reason to own a firearm or ammunition.

Ok after ALL that, what did I not expect to see in a gun store in London? A suppressor.

 

In this display case, they have their line of bolt action rifles and this Tikka caught my attention. It clearly has a suppressor on it.

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It is an ASE UTRA suppressor made in Finland.

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I asked one of the employees if he could take the rifle out so I could see the suppressor.IMG_3830

 

I talked to the store employee about suppressor ownership, he informed me that “moderators” are legal in the UK. He then explained that when someone applies for their Firearm Certificate, to own a rifle, they can ask to own a suppressor at the same time. No extra steps required. No tax stamp, no additional background checks, no government regulations. Wow, of all the things you cannot do or have in the UK, you can have suppressors for your rifle.

According to this employee, firearm ownership only comes down to two types, sporting or hunting. I noticed that most of the shotguns in the gallery were some form of double or single barrel gun for clay shooting like an over under or side by side shotgun. I did not see any pump action and only one small cabinet of semi auto guns. He said most people, who get a semi auto, use it for pest control. Very few people have them for sporting purposes. He then told me about a special competition geared solely for semi auto shotguns. Most clay shooting games are either one or two clays in the air at a given time. In this competition there can be three clays in the air simultaneously and the semi auto shotguns are loaded up to three.

According to the store employee, the Beretta Gallery is the largest showroom in the UK.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • It is a very nice store, but the one in Dallas is nearly as nice.

    • Herr Wolf

      You could move the Louvre to Dallas but it’s still going to be Dallas

      • No fancy French museums needed. We are too busy being productive to fritter our time away staring at colors on canvas. Fine for the French and their 35 hour work week and 5 weeks vacations though.

        • iksnilol

          Eh, both will put you in a grave just the same. Might as well enjoy the trip there.

          Coming from a guy in Norway who was taught to do all the extra work possible (holidays are the best to work on, I don’t celebrate their holidays and they pay double). I still appreciate the long vacation time. I was negtavely surprised when I found out how little time off from work you get in the US.

          • We are born and bred to be focused on financial acquisition due to the longstanding traditions brought by the protestant work ethic instilled within the very fabric of our nation by our forefathers and the steady flow of protestant immigrants. As a land of immigrants and opportunity, you either worked hard and accomplished or fell to the wolves. That is how America was built. I have no problem with it and have been notified by many people abroad that they find people in the USA’s desire to work so hard strange. I find their ability to sit around idly equally strange.

          • iksnilol

            What generation are you? Did your parents immigrate? Grandparents? You can’t really wax poetic about working hard if your grandparents immigrated and then you were born into what they earned through hard work.

            It isn’t about work ethic or wanting to work, it is simply about not treating the worker like a human. Regarding work ethic; slaves had really good work ethic yet they aren’t an ideal to follow.

            Hope I am not rude or anything.

          • I do not take your comments as rude at all. It is not rude to be inquisitive!

            But one half of my family are recent Swedish immigrants while the other have lived here for 6 generations. Also it is worth noting that the United States work ethic is not limited to us.

          • iksnilol

            Recent? That’s good, I can relate.

            I came to Norway with my parents. So I have that firsthand experience with working hard for crappy pay. Still remember picking strawberries for what was essentially change. Now? Now life’s good. Living the Norwegian dream.

            As an immigrant: You can’t win with some people, either you are lazy or stealing jobs in the eyes of some people. And the third category don’t want to admit that they would rather starve than see you succeed. Which makes success extra satisfying ;).

  • Tom – UK

    Hi TFB as a UK gun owner it gets pretty tiresome seeing the continual incorrect statements/info regarding UK gun ownership and other “dangerous” things E.g.

    – “You cannot carry a knife that has a fixed blade or even a folder that locks. You can technically own them but carrying them is illegal.” Wrong, you can carry a fixed or folding blade knife anywhere any time without reason providing the blade is no more than three inches in length. You can also own and carry fixed/folding blade knives over this length in public so long as you have a reasonable reason to do so. E.g.”I am going to my friends house to practice our fire starting skills” is OK but “I am in a playground/shopping centre/street/cinema Etc. with a 9 inch combat knife/machete because I just want to” is not OK.

    -“There are certificates for shotgun and rifle.”, this is partially true but for example did you know that shotguns that hold more than three rounds (including one in the chamber) need to be on the “rifle” licence?

    – “Muzzle loading pistols are the only pistols a citizen can own in the UK” Wrong, we can own long barrel revolvers which have a barrel of 12 inches and a wire stock to meet the minimum length requirements. We also can own semi auto pistols/revolvers if you hunt (to finish wounded animals) or have it for testing/historical reasons.

    – “Oh and the police can revoke your certificate at anytime they feel you no longer have a good reason to own a firearm or ammunition” Yes and No, in the same way you must provide evidence that you need a firearm the reverse applies to the police if they are going to remove them.

    – “No extra steps required. No tax stamp, no additional background checks, no government regulations.” Again not true, you need to have proof they you are going to use the firearm for pest control/hunting purposes.

    – “He said most people, who get a semi auto, use it for pest control. Very few people have them for sporting purposes.” – This employee clearly doesn’t know about Practical Shotgun which is big in the UK.

    I have an idea, how about an article written in tandem with a knowledgeable UK gun owner or by a guest writer which outlines our system in full to help clear the air? Even UK gun shop owners/workers can have issues knowing everything and often only know about the area they specialise in.

    How about it TFB? Its not about the politics just the system in place.

    • Richard Scott

      I could not agree more with Tom, it is not that difficult to obtain firearms in the UK, there seems to be this believe that we are not allowed anything here, this is just not true, the paperwork can be a bind but it aint that bad!!! you do tend to see this attitude from our colonial cousins, perhaps you guys should do some research before posting.

      Ps i normally use a semi auto 12g for clays along with lots of others at the ground I shoot at.

    • Joe

      For someone who’s trying to correct someone else for inaccuracies you should make sure you are correct too!

      You do not have to prove you are going to use a firearm for pest control or hunting purposes to acquire a suppressor. You can get one for target shooting too and claim you fear hearing loss. I have yet to hear that fail.

      • Tom – UK

        Hi joe this is another issue with UK law, its dependant on which police force you are with!

    • UKShuggy

      Well said Tom. One minor correction though: it is perfectly straightforward to get a suppressor for target shooting as well. I have an Ase Utra SL7 on my 0.308 for just that purpose.
      Many US readers would be surprised just how common suppressors are over here. In fact, for low-powered airguns, you can purchase a suppressor with absolutely no controls, except for a requirement to conduct the transaction face to face.

    • Nicholas Chen

      Thanks for the clarifications. I did consult UK residents. And the information I reported is what was told to me.

      • Tom – UK

        No problem, please feel free to drop me an email when you are next in the UK and we can go shooting (I presume my email is recorded by TFB). I really do think a UK article would be a good idea though.

  • iksnilol

    The feeling when somebodys display case costs more than your rifle. #JustCheapSkateThings #JustAKThings

    In all seriousness, it is nice seeing the Ase Utra. I like them and the reflex design. Doesn’t force you to chop off much barrel to retain balance compared to conventional suppressors.

    • Tuukka Jokinen

      Hi,

      That particular suppressor is a muzzle forward one, the S series SL5. Adds c. 98 mm to the length of the rifle.

      So, not a reflex design suppressor.

      The UK is a very good market for us and it is nice to see them in the Beretta Gallery as well.

      Best Regards!

      Tuukka Jokinen
      Sales and Marketing Manager
      Ase Utra sound suppressors

      • iksnilol

        AW YEAH! Ase Utra responded to me! Now I know how fangirls feel.

        Cue the embarrassment of mixing up Ase Utra and BR Tuote.

        Don’t get me wrong, I still like Ase Utra (especially your rimfire suppressor, considering I mostly shoot rimfire it is the most used one) but I pretty much fell in love with the T8 Scout suppressor. Stupid question from my side: Do you make any over-barrel/telescopic/reflex suppressors?

  • Rob – uk

    You could have also gone to the Holland and Holland gun room down the road in Mayfair they would have had some very nice high end shotguns, double rifles and hunting rifles that whole area of London has a long history of gun sales and manufacture I have an 1890 Charles Lancaster side by side shotgun that was made on the same street as the berreta gallery.

  • Sigkim

    Beautiful photos Nicholas, definitely not what I would expect to see in jolly old England. Just as we assume about them, they assume about us…law wise.

  • Tom – UK

    I stand corrected! Chaps im heading off to hand myself in to the rozzers for immediate execution.

    Thanks for the source though its good to know, personally I can’t stand a knife that can’t lock.

  • Bal256

    I thought it was common knowledge among gun owners that the U.S. restrictions on suppressors is the opposite of how Europeans have it. Funny that for all the firearm freedoms we enjoy, suppressors are supposed to be the ultimate deadly assassination tools, and in Europe they’re just seen as good manners. Thanks, Hollywood.

  • Sean

    Ah, don’t forget MARS action rifles, loaded and cocked the trigger has a two pound pull, fire the shot and the bolt ejects the case and remains locked to the rear. Release the trigger and pull again, it now has a nine pound pull and releases the bolt to load the next round. Repeat ad nauseum. I have a 12″ Taurus revolver with counter balance to bring it in at a two foot wingspan but it’s not as ungainly as it looks.

  • Kindanyume

    Irony is suppressors are prohibited in canuckistan yet not in the UK.. despite them being a safety device and not what is portrayed in the movies etc..