Proof Houses

Services of the Proof Houses

The information within these pages form a small extract of the services available from the two Proof Houses. Advice on the following matters is also available:

  • The proof of guns for magnum cartridges
  • The use of welding in the repair of guns
  • The repair of gun barrels by the sleeving method
  • Information as to barrel enlargement and details of proof sizes
  • Information on pimple bulges in shotgun barrels


A comprehensive booklet is also available, at a small charge, on the "Proof of shotguns and other small arms". It contains details and illustrations of most foreign and British proof marks and would prove invaluable to the shooting enthusiast.

If you are in any doubt as to the condition of a firearm possessed, or intended for purchase by yourself, the Proof Houses are there to help you. A gun may have a number of faults not apparent to the inexpert eye. Examination by the Proof House can determine:

  • Whether the gun has been proved, bears the relative marks and is suitable for use with modern cartridges
  • Whether the bores have been enlarged since the barrels were last proved, and if so to what extent
  • Whether the barrels are in good condition generally, i.e. free from rust, pitting, dents and bulges
  • Whether the chambers have been altered to accept a longer case since the gun was last proved
  • Whether the action is "off the face" of the barrels or otherwise loose
  • Whether the action is in good safe working order
  • Whether the gun patterns well at normal distance


It is regrettably true, and commonplace, that there are guns offered for sale by irresponsible persons which would not pass examination satisfactorily on any one of the points listed above. Such a gun may well be unproved, unsafe and expose any user and nearby spectator, to extreme danger.

The shooting public are given protection by the Gun Barrel Proofing Acts of 1868 to 1978. The Proof Authorities and the Proof Houses were established for public security and closer co-operation between the shooting public, gunmakers and the Proof Authorities must result in a reduction of the risks involved in the purchase of second hand shotguns and small arms from chance acquaintances, unscrupulous dealers or misinformed friends.

British Proof Authorities


The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers of the City of London,
The Proof House,
48 Commercial Road,
E1 1LP

Telephone: 020 7481 2695
Fax: 020 7480 5102


The Guardians of the Birmingham Proof House,
The Gun Barrel Proof House,
48 Banbury Street,
B5 5RH

Telephone: 0121 643 3860
Fax: 0121 643 7872