Our History

1831 – William Rochester Pape was born in Amble.

1850s  – W.R Pape opened his shop in Westgate Road Newcastle

1857 – W R Pape produced his first shot gun

1858 and 1859 – W.R.Pape wins the Field Trials.

1859 – W.R.Pape organises the first dog show in Great Britain and the prizes are Pape shotguns.

1860s – W R Pape bought further shop premises at 29 Collingwood Street Newcastle

1866 – W.R.Pape wins the Field Trials.

1866 – Invented choke boring in Shotguns (British Patent No. 1501) 1867 – W.R.Pape provisionally patents a system of mechanically retracting firing pins (#594[p] 2/3/1867). Later in the same year Pape improves upon this system (#2488 3/9/1867). This patent also includes a description of an extractor.

1870 – W.R.Pape patents yet another improvement of mechanically retracting firing pins (#752 15/3/1870).

1875 – W.R.Pape wins a prize of ten guineas awarded to “the original inventor” of choke boring. The prize was the idea of a Mr. Lane and was awarded to settle a dispute taking place in the correspondence column of “The Field” newspaper over the origins of choke boring. THE FIELD organised a trial to compare the merits of the new choke bored guns over the traditional cylinder bores. Pape finished 2nd and 3rd in class 1 for choke border guns and 1st in class 2 for cylinders (Pape had entered three guns in his own name and three in the name of Davison of Morpeth). The trials left no doubt as to the superior patterns and penetration of choke bored guns.

1887 – W.R.Pape wins a prize medal at the Royal Mining Engineering and Industrial Exhibition.

1889 – W.R.Pape retires, leaving the business to his son, Victor.

1889 – W.R.Pape guns win a diploma of merit at the Glasgow exhibition.

1923 – W.R.Pape dies following a road accident.

1935 – W.R Pape’s business was bought by his shop managers who changed the name to Bagnall & Kirkwood (Late with W.R.Pape) and the shop relocated to 31 Westgate Road

1949 – Sidney Guthrie was employed by Mr. Kirkwood as a junior assistant.

1954 – Mr. Guthrie took over the business.

1969 – Bagnall & Kirkwood moved to 52 Grey Street.

1973 – Mr. Guthrie’s wife joined the business and became joint owner.

1981 – Mr and Mrs Guthrie’s son Alan joined the business.

1993 – Sidney Guthrie died in April of this year and the business premises moved to 28 Grey Street in October.

To date Alan continues to run the business with his wife Claire, son Richard, daughter Catherine and a further 4 staff members

Please find below a list of  W.R.Pape Gun Serial Numbers:

1857   –   100 1884   –   4061 1911   –   11721
1858   –   140 1885   –   4094 1912   –   11872
1859   –   159 1886   –   4152 1913   –   12072
1860   –   500 1887   –   4236 1914   –   12260
1861   –   586 1888   –   5515 1915   –   12394
1862   –   803 1889   –   6010 1916   –   12495
1863   –   994 1890   –   6543 1917   –   12568
1864   –   1042 1891   –   6738 1918   –   12630
1865   –   1087 1892   –   7122 1919   –   12658
1866   –   1200 1893   –   7434 1920   –   12687
1867   –   1380 1894   –   7564 1921   –   12829
1868   –   1454 1895   –   8135 1922   –   12940
1869   –   1511 1896   –   8324 1923   –   12944
1870   –   1680 1897   –   8448 1924   –   13085
1871   –   1771 1898   –   8607 1925   –   13149
1872   –   2025 1899   –   8783 1926   –   13231
1873   –   2091 1900   –   8949 1927   –   13359
1874   –   2350 1901   –   10119 1928   –   13389
1875   –   2477 1902   –   10326 1929   –   13408
1876   –   2658 1903   –   10524 1930   –   13419
1877   –   2726 1904   –   10656 1931   –   13446
1878   –   2879 1905   –   10785 1932   –   13487
1879   –   3103 1906   –   10881 1933   –   13509
1880   –   3488 1907   –   11117 1934   –   13522
1881   –   3553 1908   –   11245 1935   –   13528
1882   –   3586 1909   –   11456 1936   –   13541
1883   –   3639 1910   –   11621 1937   –   13546