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Modern Sporting Gunnery by Henry Sharp.

If were asked 'if you were allowed one book on guns' what would it be question, it would have to be Modern Sporting Gunnery by Henry Sharp. This is a book I seem to buy endless first editions of, and which always get given away or 'walk' from my shelves.

Modern Sporting Gunnery

Those of you who are not familiar with the book will see from the cover that it is perhaps a little 'biased' to Westley Richards, the detachable lock  being a feature of the front cover. It is indeed so and with reason that Leslie Taylor assisted Sharp a great deal with technical aspects of gunmaking in the initial chapters of the book.

Here is a book which in a 'no nonsense' manner covers most of what you want to know on shotguns, rifles and their use in the field. All of the information is as relevant today as it was when written in 1906, after all, we are making very much the same guns and rifles now as we were at that time so the process of having a gun made has changed very little in the time that has passed.

Chapters include, Modern shot-guns, shot-gun ammunition, modern sporting rifles, new accelerated express rifles, ball and shot guns, sighting of rifles, sporting bullets, gun fitting, game shooting, wildfowl shooting, shooting abroad and ladies in the field. The writing is technical but in an informative way to the layman, explaining the process of building best guns, the difference between the types of guns, other things that should be made aware of like chokes and gun weights, fitting and all the other options that are available like single triggers and stalking safety, sighting arrangements on rifles etc. It is an excellent, profusely illustrated book and one for every gunroom!

The best place to look for a copy of the book is on and the first editions seem to go from £100 - 200 depending on condition

H Sharp Modern Sporting Gunnery


  • Gary Duffey on May 28, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I could not agree more about this book. Not only a good read, but a reference work as well. I think it is a good foundation book for building any sporting gun library.

  • Stephen Coker on June 7, 2015 at 3:56 am

    Modern Sporting Gunnery is one the most prized additions to my sporting library. It is the book most often asked to be borrowed by my friends and clients, and for good reason. Mr. Sharp may have a bias in his writings towards Westley Richards, but that comes well-deserved. The plethora of illustrations alone make this book worthwhile; the addition of Mr. Sharp's technical and historical information on the subject, truly make it a must have. I have read my copy many times over, and each time found something new to learn.

  • MJM on October 6, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Enjoy the book for free as an ebook from the

  • Claire Booth on September 23, 2023 at 11:35 am

    My great great grandfather wrote this book and I have a signed copy that he gifted to his sister Fanny B Sharp for Christmas 1907. It's lovely to hold it and know that they both did too.

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