We're proud of our shooting heritage, and the experience of our family-run team here at The Oxford Gun Company.
Not many people can boast 40 years in the gun trade. Yet, in 2022, Doug and Shirley Florent are celebrating their 40th anniversary in the business!
Doug and Shirley were drawn into shooting quickly, and with a lot of encouragement from Michael Rose (who was the senior instructor at West London Shooting Ground) they travelled together all over the world shooting F.I.T.A.S.C, Trap and English Sporting, and competed with some of the greats including Paddy Howe, Wally Sykes and AJ Smith.
Throughout the late seventies and early eighties Doug and Shirley continued to become more involved with the industry, working closely with the British Airways Gun Club and West London Shooting School to develop an A.B.T layout which eventually became the start of The Gun Club at West London Shooting School. Driven by passion, hard work and support from the Richmond-Watson family. The Gun Club became one of the busiest clubs in the country, welcoming thousands of new people into the sport and supporting existing shooters in developing their technique and style, as they cut their teeth in the world of instructing.
Having worked with Holland & Holland, Bill Lees at Boss’s Shooting Ground and with Chris Craddock, The Oxford Gun Company was started in 1988. Their careers in the industry have undoubtedly been a steep learning curve, but it has given them a clarity of insight into the industry. From retail to instructing and events management, if it happens in the countryside Doug and Shirley have mastered it. At The Oxford Company they have created a community which works closely with local businesses, nurturing both established and novice shots. To add to the growing success of the business, their son David started The Schools Challenge to encourage youngsters to take up clay shooting - this has now become the largest young shots organisation in the country. A further progression from this has been The Shooting Channel on YouTube, which in 2 years has gained a massive following.
The Oxford Gun Company is first and foremost committed to rewriting the stereotypes attached to shooting, and showing the world that shooting is a sport for everyone...
Born into the industry, David has been shooting since he was 8 years old, and perfecting his technique ever since. His passion for the sport goes back to his school days, where he opened a shooting ground at Bredon School, aged just 14, opening up shooting to his teachers and fellow pupils.
His competitive shooting career started young, when in 1999 he took his team to the National Prep School Championships, and won!
His legacy and continued involvement with the school has helped make Bredon the UK’s leading school for clay shooting. After leaving school, David took up double trap as a discipline, competing for Great Britain, enabling him to travel all over the world.
David is hugely committed to bringing shooting into the 21st century, ensuring the sport is preserved for future generations. In addition to his competitive career, and instructing at The Oxford Gun Company, David took his drive and passion to introduce youngsters to shooting to the next level, founding The Schools Challenge over a decade ago. Encouraging young guns (aged 12-25) into country sports, The Schools Challenge has been going from strength to strength since 2005, and is a natural way for The Oxford Gun Company to secure the future of the sport.
Nicky keeps the wheels of The Oxford Gun Company machine turning with ease. Her ‘all hands on deck attitude’ makes her a bit of an organisational mastermind - she heads up the planning and execution of The Oxford Gun Company’s world class corporate days, events, and private parties, whilst also managing the partnership programme in the local community, helping make The Oxford Gun Company a warm and welcoming family destination.
Nicky is fully immersed in the countryside, with country sports and animals being her first passion. She's bred her own line of working dogs and has been picking-up on various estates since she could walk.
Nothing is too big or too small for Nicky to take on - the shooting school certainly wouldn’t run in the same way without her!
Charlotte is PA to Doug and David Florent, helping with the day-to-day running of the Oxford Gun Company business.
Charlotte also runs The Schools Challenge (TSC) and Oxford Gun Company events, ensuring their continued success and making it all happen!
Working with David, Charlotte's always exploring new ideas and opportunities to innovate in the shooting industry, and driving to constantly move the Oxford Gun Company forwards with a passion for the countryside and the rural world!
Robert joined The Oxford Gun Company in 2008 and is a very keen competitive clay shooter with over 25 years’ experience in shooting clays and game. He's now available on a part-time basis for lessons on a Thursday or Saturday.
Robert's passionate about spreading the word about our sport and is able to instruct anyone - from the complete novice right the way through to the experienced game shot.
Geoff has been part of The Oxford Gun Company Team for over 15 years, and has over 30 years’ experience shooting clays and grouse.
Teaching beginners is his forte, but intermediate and experienced shots can also learn a lot from his expert tuition.
He's in high demand as an instructor, so book in advance if you want to benefit from his expertise!
Toby manages the air gun side of The Oxford Gun Company, as well as helping with the day-to-day running of the shop. With experience in many different types of shooting, Toby brings an all-round knowledge of the shooting world, with answers to most of your shooting needs, whether target, pest control, hunting or much more.
He has a passion for teaching youngsters, helping them into the shooting sport and into the outdoors - repeating what others did for him when he was a youngster himself! If you`d like to give air rifle shooting a go, or just have a general chat about our amazing sport, ask for Toby - he'd be more than happy to help!
Steve joined the Oxford Gun Company team in February 2022 to help out in the gun room, and to work as a shooting instructor with a speciality in game shooting! Steve has gone far and wide with his game shooting (starting when he was 11 years old!), and is experienced in all types of game shooting, double gunning, loading and beating. In recent years, he has really taken to accompanying beginners on their first day game shooting, and enjoys giving his advice to more experienced clients on their big days.
Aside from game, Steve is quite accomplished at sporting clays and simulated game days, though most of his passion lies in bringing people into shooting as a whole. Steve would love to see you at the shooting school for game shooting, gun fit or simply just for a chat about our amazing sport!
Nick joined The Oxford Gun Company in 2019, working on a part-time basis, and has been shooting since the age of 12. As well as rifle shooting, he's a keen clay shooter and occasional game shooter, combined with fly fishing for both trout and salmon - he can often be found at the lake or riverside.
He shoots on a regular basis at various shooting grounds and club grounds, and his favourite discipline is sporting clay shooting. He enjoys passing on his knowledge and experience to other shooters, whether experienced or those just starting out.
David Elliott-Smith (or just Des, as he`s known here at The Oxford Gun Company) has been a customer here for over 4 years now, primarily bringing his son, "Munch", to clay shoot and take part in The Schools Challenge. Des has been a shooter since the age of 9, and still shoots now whenever he gets the chance.
He started working at The Oxford Gun Company in June 2021, initially to help out Doug; but later found himself drawn to the air rifle side of the business. He works alongside and supports Toby in the sale of air rifles, with the setting up, and also thoroughly enjoys giving lessons to both young and older shooters that are new to the sport.
In his spare time he`s involved in vermin control for a number of local landowners, with both air rifle and full bore firearms, protectecting crops and livestock. At the start of the first lockdown, Des started his own YouTube channel (Predator Protection UK) and although he doesn`t yet have that many subscribers, he`s producing new informative content in every video - one to watch!
Des would love to welcome you to the Air Rifle Centre to see our ever changing stock, or to pick his brains for advice, or for help with finding solutions to any problems you may have.