By Douglas Tate
Even before COVID-19 whacked the world’s economy, parts of the European gun trade were struggling. One victim was Spanish gunmaker Arrieta, which in 2017 declared financial insolvency. Arrieta’s bankruptcy in turn affected English gunmaker William Powell, which had planned to market a range of affordable side-by-sides made by the company. But where others might have panicked, Powell saw opportunity; now the company has introduced a brace of side-by-sides from Italian maker Battista Rizzini. Called the Sovereign and the Viscount, the guns were developed as the next generation of side-by-sides suitable for shooting high birds with lead and steel.
The Sovereign (pictured beneath the Viscount at top) is a sideplated boxlock ejector that comes in 12 or 20 bore with chrome-lined, steel-shot-proofed barrels. (A 16-gauge is available, but its barrels are not proofed for steel.) Barrel lengths are 28", 29", 30" or 32" and choked ½ and ½. The stock is beautifully figured, oil-finished Turkish walnut with a straight hand, and the engraving on the blued sideplates and bottom of the action is deep-cut scroll. Options include a single trigger, multi-chokes (on the 12 and 20), a variety of grips and custom measurements.
The Viscount is a high-quality sidelock built to customers’ specifications using the latest Italian technology and hand-finished by Powell. It is available in 12, 16 or 20 bore with 28", 29", 30" or 32" barrels. The coin-finished receiver features rose & scroll engraving, and the stock is hand checkered.
Both models come fitted in ABS travel cases with combination locks. The Sovereign is priced at £4,995 ($6,250) inclusive of VAT, while the Viscount costs £10,995 ($13,750).
For more information, visit williampowell.com.