About the HBSA

The fundamental aim of the HBSA is to encourage the preservation of historical breech loading firearms and ammunition and to foster the study of all aspects of the subject, from the aesthetics of sporting guns and the engraver’s art, to the functional aspects of firearms used by the soldier, target shooter and the sporting shooter. The HBSA considers that the private collection and use of historical arms and ammunition is essential to facilitate historical research, and to achieve preservation of these heritage artefacts for future generations.

The HBSA was founded in 1973.

The founding group of academics, students of arms and collectors were concerned with the threat to the preservation of privately owned historical firearms, which represent an irreplaceable part of our social, industrial, military and sporting heritage. We are a national organisation with branches and membership groups that provide a regional presence in Wales, Northern England, and the South West. The HBSA is the primary body for collecting, researching, preserving, shooting, and all aspects of historical breech loading small arms within the United Kingdom.

As well as advising on care and conservation, and acting as a forum for the exchange of information, the HBSA pursues the study of historical smallarms through a combination of lectures, research reports and shooting activity. Monthly lectures are held in London and other venues. We have close relationships with the Imperial War Museum in London and the Royal Armouries, where we are acknowledged as a specialist group. We are also given access to arms and documents held in certain reserve collections.

We liaise with Home Office, Police, NRA, other shooting/collecting organisations in UK and abroad and are members of British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC). We maintain close links with other European collecting organisations through the Federation of European Societies of Arms Collectors (FESAC).

Research papers, extracts from historical documents and articles written by HBSA members and others are published in our annual Journal. The proceedings of our meetings and other activities are published in a quarterly newsletter Report.

British Shooting in Figures

  • Shooters spend £2.5 billion each year on goods and services
  • Shooting supports the equivalent of 74,000 full time jobs
  • Shooting is worth £2 billion to the UK economy (GVA)
  • Shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of the rural land area
  • There are 4 million (est) airgun owners – of which 1.6 m shoot live quarry
  • 600,000 people in the UK shoot live quarry, clay pigeons or targets
  • Shoot providers spend nearly £250 million a year on conservation
  • Shooters spend 3.9 million work days on conservation – that’s the equivalent of 16,000 full-time jobs
  • Two million hectares are actively managed for conservation as a result of shooting

Source: BSSC


  • Our NEWS page for more information and recent competition results
  • Our CALENDAR for forthcoming events
  • Our COMPETITIONS page for details of this year’s events


HBSA acts exclusively as a media host and neutral intermediary for exchanges between interested posters on this site: HBSA does not and cannot reasonably be expected to verify the accuracy or safety of posted comments. HBSA has no responsibility or liability in law or otherwise for the accuracy or safety of any information contained in posts, particularly but not limited to posts relating to the handloading of ammunition, or related third party links exchanged between posters or others through posts on this site.