By Donald Dallas
Established in 1820 and renowned as the builder of the iconic Round Action gun, John Dickson & Son, the oldest working gunmaker in Scotland, recently came under the ownership of Jean-Pierre “J-P” Daeschler.
The Round Action is one of the most graceful guns ever built, and little has been improved on its triggerplate-lock design. Fewer than 2,000 Dickson Round Actions have been made since the patent was filed in 1880.
Daeschler entered the trade in 1988, when he was apprenticed to a Scottish gunsmith, and soon he came across the firm of John Dickson & Son, developing a passion for the elegant Round Action. In 1997 he opened his own gun-stocking and restoration business in London, and by 2016 he was building guns under his own name. When he learned that Dickson’s was looking for a new owner, it was an obvious choice. According to Daeschler: “This was the opportunity to fulfill my lifelong ambition.”
As a fully trained gunmaker, Daeschler will oversee the building of Dickson Round Action guns and rifles in the workshop in Dunkeld, Scotland. And with the experience and skills of Dickson’s three other gunmakers, the future of Round Action production is in good hands.
The Round Action gun has a devoted and loyal following, and Daeschler is very aware of this. “I will ensure that I respect this great name and that under my tenure the Dickson gun will be second to none,” he said. In addition to building the Dickson Round Action, the MacNaughton Edinburgh Gun—with its “skeleton,” or “bar in wood,” action—also will continue to be built. Because of strong demand for smallbore guns, the firm already is building a number of 28-gauge sidelever Round Actions, a first for the company, taking the firm into the future.