Daryl Greatrex

Daryl Greatrex

Over the counter with managing director of world famous gunmakers Holland & Holland.

Have you always been in the gun trade?

Yes, since 1979 when I started at Holland & Holland as errand boy and deputy packer at 13 Bruton Street.

When did you become MD?

2004

What is your favourite aspect of your role?

Meeting such a variety of interesting clients and being associated with a company that makes such a timeless and high quality product.

What are the most noticeable changes since you started?

Things move faster and are much more competitive.

What percentage of the guns made by H&H are sold to overseas buyers?

Around 65 per cent.

In what way are you different to other gunmakers?

We produce all of our own components in-house and make own barrels in our factory. We also have our own shooting grounds with a great team of experienced instructors who will help fit a client for their gun or rifle.

Are there other H&H shops apart from Bruton Street in London's West End?

We have stores in New York and Moscow where we are the only British gunmaker to have a stand alone store.

What is your proudest achievement?

Helping to establish our showrooms in New York and Moscow and becoming MD.

Which do you make the most of - side-by-side or over-under?

If you include double-barrelled rifles then it's side-by-sides. In shotgun terms it's over-under, but only just.

Have you noticed a trend for smaller bores?

Definitely, for both 20 and 28 bore.

Or are people ordering heavier guns for high bird shooting?

Yes and longer barrels.

Did you inherit your love of the sport from your father?

My boyhood in the country was typical of the time and revolved around fishing and air rifle shooting - no play stations in those days. I was fortunate in that when a good friend left school to become a gamekeeper I used to join him rabbit and pigeon shooting. That really was the beginning. Though not a shooting man, father was very supportive and provided a taxi service to shoots.

Which gun do you prefer to use?

I would love to say a Holland & Holland Royal self-opening side-by-side but the truth is I don't shoot that well with one! However, I still have the privilege of using a Royal but it's an over-under.

Your favourite type of shooting?

I have been lucky enough to shoot driven grouse on a few occasions and this to me is the ultimate. But I love all forms of game shooting.

Your favourite shoot?

Because of Holland & Holland's long association with it, I would say Molland in Devon.

Your role must present you with unusual and different opportunities?

It has - we have a clientele which brings with it many interesting and varied invitations. I have met heads of state and royalty and famous entertainers, all of which makes life very interesting.

Are you optimistic about the future of the sport?

Very. Shooting is definitely becoming more popular, and attracting people from a wider audience than once was the case.

What do you least enjoy about shooting?

I don't like unsportsmanlike or dangerous behaviour in the shooting field and you have to respect your quarry. I don't like getting wet and cold either!

What do you most enjoy about shooting?

Undoubtedly, the company on a shoot day and the environment that you find yourself in when shooting. I always take time to look around me and enjoy the wonderful scenery.

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