Our History

Westlake Engineering's Target Pistols

Britarms 2000

In the year 1986 Alan purchased Britarms and brought the Britarms .22 target pistol back into production. Once Rachel finished college she joined the company and started making the Britarms .22 pistols. The Britarms .22 was a .22LR Five shot semiautomatic pistol. During this time they also converted Smith and Western revolvers for U.I.T (I.S.S.F) target shooting.




Minimum recoil prototype

Then came the infamous 1997 ban which destroyed the sport of target pistol shooting for tens of thousands and caused the demise of approximately half of the rifle and pistol clubs in Britain. Due to this Alan then started to manufacture the Pheonix for disenfranchised I.S.S.F pistol shooters. The Pheonix was a Cal.36 in line striker Muzzle loading pistol. The Barrel/Receiver is made from Stainless steel, the frame is Anodized Aluminium, The Grip is carved from Walnut and had an adjustable palmshelf. The Rearsight was adjustable for Windage and Elevation.

                                                                                                        The Pheonix

A simplified version, the Clubmaster, was also developed to make a less expensive pistol. One downside to the Phoenix was that it used black powder and the amount of cleaning the firearm required after use spurred Alan on to begin Nitro Powder Conversions.




The Clubmaster

The Nitro powder conversions of revolvers consisted of a new two part Stainless Steel cylinder of Alan's design in the original calibre, later came rebarreling in .38.  The first firearm to be converted this way was the .38 Remington black powder revolver which was then followed by the Ruger Old Army and the Rogers and Spencer. The Matchmaster Shroud was fitted to the Remington Army Revolver to give it a modern sight system and looks.




                                                                               The Matchmaster Shroud


Then Alan started to work with the Britarms .22 again, except this time he converted it to the Britarms .22 long pistol. The Barrel shroud got machined away in front of the frame mounting lug, up as far as the centre line of the Barrel tube. This left a spur at the top on which the front sight is mounted. The Barrel tube was 300mm long and 12mm in diameter. A 5mm Diameter Balance weight rod was permanently fitted to the rear of the frame, bringing the total length of the pistol to over 600mm. Other than that, it was identical to the original 5 shot semi auto .22 Britarms Standard Pistol.




Britarms .22 long pistol

Due to the high cost of making the Britarms Alan decided to start converting Buckmark .22 rifles into long pistols, into either the standard or the lightweight version. This was a Blowback action .22 LR Semi-Automatic Long Pistol. It had a ten shot magazine which the bolt locked back after the last shot. To bring the centre of gravity back for single handed shooting, a balance rod with adjustable weights was fitted. The lightweight model also had the barrel turned down and the muzzle end threaded facilitating the fitting of an aluminium nut and shroud tube. I spite of Browning having stopped suppling the UK with the Buckmark Rifles, in conjunction with Merseyside Armoury we are inporting Buckmark Rifles for conversion, so that the Buckmark Long Pistols remain available.

                                 Browning Buckmark rifle and long pistol


During the same time as making the Buckmark conversions Alan also converted the Taurus. The Taurus ML Revolver was converted from a Taurus .357 Magnum Long Barrelled Revolver. The cylinder was removed and a Yoke extension fitted, this contained the spring-loaded plunger that freed the action when the yoke was closed. As this extension cannot be removed it prevented the re-fitting of the original cylinder. The Barrel was shortened to approximately 5 ¼ inches and the wristbrace was removed. 




Taurus M/L Revolver

Alan then went on to the Armscore due to Taurus refusing to supply a smaller company with their wares. The Armscor of the Phillipines modified their .38 Spl Revolvers to Alans designs and manufactured for him, a Cal.357" Nitro burning Muzzle Loading Revolver, that fires .357" diameter 148gr Wadcutter bullets, using Herco smokeless nitro powder, ignited by 209 shotgun primers.






                                                                                     Armscor M/L Revolver

Britarms and the Home Office


Below are some details of the shamefull way the Home Office acted in trying to prevent the production of the Britarms Long Pistol.

Before I commenced work on resurrecting the Britarms as a Long Pistol, I contacted My local Firearms licensing department to ask their views on the pistols legality. They contacted the Home Office who could see no problems with the pistol. So I commenced work on making and testing the prototype Britarms Long Pistol.

When I sent my Firearms Certificate in for variation, I asked for something in writing from the Home Office, so I could tell my customers exactly what they should ask for, when requesting a variation to their FAC in order to be able to purchase a Britarms LP.

This prompted a change of heart from the Home Office who now "think" it may be a prohibited firearm under section 5 of the Firearms act.

Here are some of the relevant E mails

Email 18 May 2004 to Wiltshire Firearms Licencing Dept.

Further to our telephone conversations about the Britarms .22 Semi automatic Long Pistol.

Could you please confirm for me, what my customers should ask for, when requesting for a variation to put a Westlake Britarms 5 shot .22 semi Automatic Long Pistol, on to their FAC, in order to ensure that they are unlikely to have problems from other police forces.

Any references to relevant Home Office literature you could provide would also be of great help, should someone run into a less well informed firearms department in another county.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your help.
Yours sincerely
Alan Westlake.

Email 3rd. June 2004 from the Home Office

Dear Mr Westlake,
I am sorry it has taken so long to get back to you, but I have been discussing the status of the Britarm with senior officers and a final view has only just crystallized.
Although the Morini Pardini, a long barrelled single shot target pistol with counterbalance arms was recently held by a court not to be a prohibited weapon, the judge was careful to say that the judgment applied specifically to the Morini and nothing else. His determination was based, in part at least, on the fact that the Morini's counterbalance arms were not easily detachable. He went on to say that "if other pistols with other types of rods came to be considered, then other considerations might apply".

In the case of the Britarm, one of these other considerations might be firepower. The Morini is single shot whereas the Britarm offers five rounds without recharging.

In view of this, the Home Office is minded to play this on the cautious side and conclude that, unless proven otherwise, the Britarm is a weapon prohibited by section 5(1)(aba) of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended).

Of course, this is only an opinion. Ultimately, only a court of law can make a definitive judgement on the status of any particular firearm

Email 3rd. June 2004 To Home Office


It would be an understatement to say that I find your decision disappointing. I find it hard to understand the reasoning behind it. Before I spend time and effort on preparing a case, please ask your superiors to reconsider their decision and to take into account the enclosed picture. The upper firearm is a Ten shot.22LR Browning Buckmark Carbine, less the Woodwork, it is 27 inches long. The lower is the Eight shot Brno Kora .22 LR Revolver Carbine, less the stock. It is approximately 25 inches long.

If these are section 1 Firearms, how can you justify refusing the Britarms on account of Firepower? Furthermore, the pistol will be eligible for use in all the competitions that the NSRA are organising for the single shot Long pistols, and eligible for use in international Free pistol competitions. So you cannot say that there are no legitimate competitions for it. Also, after the 2004 Olympics the Rapid fire competition must be shot with .22 Standard Pistols. Our National Rapid fire squad would be able to train in this country with a Long Pistol, then use their Standard Pistol abroad.

If you can tell me how, in any way, this pistol does not comply with the Firearms Laws, I will see if it can be modified to comply. I thought I had manufactured a pistol that did comply and I will appreciate your advice on the matter.

I look forward to an early reply.

Alan Westlake.

Email 3rd. June 2004 From the Home Office

Dear Mr Westlake,

I was under the impression that my message of 3 June had answered your question. Our current opinion is that the Britarm is probably a weapon prohibited by s5(1)(aba) of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended). That will continue to be our opinion unless and until a court of law decides otherwise.


So there you have it. Perhaps if I had been a Bulgarian Business man things may have been different. As far as the Home Office is concerned I and the Wiltshire Police must fight it out in Court, please also note that Wiltshire Rate payers will foot the Bill, not the Home Office Budget. Oh, and me of course.

Sitrep on 10th September 2004

The Wiltshire Police have just refused to revoke my FAC in respect of the Britarms prototype. The force Armourer has inspected the pistol and it was taken to an ACPO meeting in the West Country. Nobody could say why it might be Section 5. So they say it is a Section 1 Firearm and I may have it on my FAC for Target shooting.

However the Home Office today reiterated their position that they "think" it "may" be section 5.I think the Moon may be made from cream cheese, but the facts indicate otherwise. The Home Office Ministers wishes don't necessarily make it so.

I am writing to all the police Authorities to ask if they will issue Variations for the pistol, I will let you know how I get on.In the mean time. If you want a Britarms Long Pistol, the price is £950.00.

 Contact your local firearms office and if they will give you a variation, send me a £50,00 deposit and I will commence to make you one.I look forward to hearing from you.Alan Westlake.

Sitrep at 24th September 2004

On my return from a trip to France I found I have received a letter dated 15th September from the Secretary of ACPO Administration of Firearms and Explosives Licensing Committee.

He tells me that the Sub Committee will be meeting on 23rd September and "The Chair Mr. Simon Taylor, would like to take the opportunity to discuss issues concerning the categorisation of this gun at this upcoming meeting"

So, I am waiting to hear what the result of their disscusions has been. I will let you all know as soon as I hear from them again.Keep taking the pills, Alan.

Sitrep on 12th October 2004

I had a Phone call from one of the ACPO members asking me if I was building the pistols from scratch or if I was adapting Britarms Pistols to Long Pistols...... I explained that I was using the "unfinished" parts that the Home Office refused to compensate me for, (They would only pay for parts completed and ready for sale in quantities of ten or more) and that I had asked to be returned to me. I then manufacture any parts I am short of to make the complete "Long Pistol"

Did they really think that I would convert a section 5 pistol into a Long Pistol ? Don't they realise that its against the Law ?

Anyway that was on the 27th or 28th I can't remember precisely. I have heard nothing since.

I got fed up waiting for an answer, so I have started work on a Prototype Britarms .22 Semi Auto Carbine. I hope to have it completed for you to look at during the Trafalger Meeting at Bisley on 23/24 October 2004.

I will let you know the results of the deliberations of ACPO as soon as they tell me.

I must get some more pills. Alan.

Sitrep on 21/10/04

I received the following letter this morning.

Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Simon P. Taylor B.Ed, M.A., Dip.App.Crim., FCMI

Assistant Chief Constable for the Norfolk Constabulary

Chairman of the Administration of Firearms and Explosives Licensing Committee

Date    15th October 2004
Dear Mr Westlake,

Britarms Long Arm Pistol

Thank you for your letter concerning the Britarms Long Arm Pistol which has been previously acknowledged-and also the information you provided to ACC Adrian Whiting which has been considered. I write in my capacity of Chair of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Firearms and Explosives Licensing Sub-Committee and therefore represent the views of ACPO.

The categorisation of the Britarms Long Arm Pistol was discussed at the last meeting of the sub­committee following previous examination of the weapon. It is my considered opinion that this weapon falls within the parameters that define a section 1 firearm as long as the gun has not at any time been a section 5 firearm.

I have informed all police forces in England and Wales of this decision. I stress that this is an opinion and ultimately the decision as to the categorisation of this weapon lies with the Courts. Obviously, the Courts will only be called upon should a chief constable feel it necessary to make a local decision to challenge this opinion by refusing to add such a gun to a firearms certificate.If you have any further queries then please contact my staff officer, inspector Kris Barnard, on DD: XXXXXXXXXXor
Yours sincerely,
Simon P Taylor

ACC Norfolk Constabulary

Chair, ACPO Administration of Firearms and Explosives Licensing Committee

So there you are folks,

It seems that we can prevail in spite of the blatant mis-use of power by the Home Office, to try to prevent this pistol from coming into production in spite of it complying with the Law as written, not as wished it was written by the Home Office.

They really are a bunch of XXXXXXXX arn't they.


Alfa and Border Force

Alan's problems with the Government. ( Again )


On the 25th November 2121 I had a visit from a member of the National Crime Agency who wanted to check what had happened to some Alfa ML Revolver Frame and barrel assemblies.

He gave me the serial numbers and I furnished him with the required information from my records. He left apparently happy with what he had seen.

On the 11th of March 2022      the next shipment of ML Frame/barrel assemblies was seized by an Officer of the Border Force at Manchester Airport. (Seizure Ref. E5618076) Since then, Border force have refused to say when they will be released.

They were being imported at my request by Merseyside Armoury, who are the Alfa Agents in UK.

Officer Lewis Believes they are section 5 prohibited firearms in spite of them never having been a complete firearm. They say they are waiting for a “Firearms Expert” to tell them the category of the firearms. I cannot understand what the delay is, unless they are trawling through all the Home Office “Experts” to find one that agrees with Officer Lewis and gives them the result the Home office wants.

As a result of this seizure my business has had no income, as I was waiting for the seized parts to complete orders for a list of waiting customers. This has meant that I cannot fund the development of the Britmark .22 Long Pistol, or complete the final parts for the Britarms .357 ML Revolver.

 5/8/22 I have managed to contact John Glen's Office in Salisbury and he has contacted Border Force, who say that they are Waiting for the National Crime Agency to complete their invesyigations. The NCA??? Do they really think that I am supplying the underworld with Firearms??? Someone has dug themselves into a hole and is still diggig.

The Gun Trade Organisation have not been able to get any answers from Border Force either.


I placed an order for a further ten 6" Alfa Barrel and frame assenblies but without the barrel tube and shroud having been fitted. They arrived from Alfa  at Manchester Airport on 26th November 2022 and were seized by Border Farce on the 28th.

Terry will be taking Border Force to Court at the end of March, If we loose, then Border Force will destroy the first shipment. I then fully expect it to take another twelve months to get to court to determine the fate of the second shipment of 6" Alfa ML Frames and Barrels.

Two years without income should be enough to Bankrupt any normal business. But I never considered myself to be normal and I will be able to survive, but without the "nice" things I can have with a thriving business.


So. All in All, it looks like the small man being shafted by the Government. I cannot decide if they are delaying things in the hope that I will go Bankrupt, or if it is plain Incompetence.

If you would like an Alfa MLR please Email me and ask to be put on to the waiting list and I will contact you when I am able to resume production. If you are in a position to put pressure on the Government in any way, to help resolve this, then I would be most grateful, as will the long list of people waiting for their Alfa ML Revolvers.

13/2/2023    GOOD NEWS !

The ten 6" Alfa frame and Barrel assemblie, supplied without the barrels fitted have been released to us and I am now in the process of building them up to supply people that have been waiting for a year or more. I will now put an order in to satisfy the remainder of the people on the waiting list.

Things seem to be moving again so place your orders if you want an Alfa ML Revolver.


3/4/2023  Not Good News

I had hoped to include a piece on the court case between our (Westlake Engineering’s) importer for Alfa, Merseyside Armoury, and Border Force, but this has now been postponed until November as they declined to let firearms, on the day we appeared at court, into the court building.


Everyone involved in the case are agreed that the firearms, as the exhibits, must be present in the court room, to enable proper discussion and assessment of the various points being argued. Our forensic expert did apply to the court in advance, and received written permission from the court, to bring firearms to the court. But on the day we were stopped at the door.


The court official who had given permission was over-ruled by her boss, who then passed it up to the regional boss. He in turn said he could not make a decision and passed it up to the national boss.

The national boss said “NO”. The national boss said “it is unprecedented to have firearms in court”, and it is policy not to have firearms in court, and a risk assessment must be done.


A copy of this policy was requested on the day, but could not be produced, and had never been seen by the court official that initially gave written permission. The court had known that the case was coming for months, so if a risk assessment was required why was it not done? Unprecedented to have firearms in court – well I think the barristers on both sides would disagree, as would the police and border force. Even Merseyside Armoury and Westlake Engineering have been expert witnesses in cases involving firearms, where the firearms were the exhibits in court.


The armed Police did an on the spot risk assessment but this was not acceptable to the national boss, despite the court officils stating that the armed police knew far more about firearms and were much better placed to comment on risk than they were.


It was a complete farce. So we wait and see what happens in November.


Border Force V Merseyside Armoury

A report by Rachel Westlake


On 4/11/23 the hearing finally took place, in Manchester’s Magistrate’s Court, which had been suitably risk assessed for 9 people excluding court officials, to have firearms present as exhibits. I counted 14 of us present, but no-one seemed to mind.

Putting aside all the delays from the initial seizure administration, and the courts administration in March this year, the mislabelling of evidence photos between the LBR and MLR, the failure to provide the defence with images of the LBR and MLR in jpeg format until instructed to by the Judge on day 1 of the hearing, the failures of the lab to follow standard procedures in the storage and custody of evidence, and a few other factors involving the marking of firearms on importation which had been resolved, the long awaited hearing began. By the end I was left with more questions than answers, and I had absolutely no idea which way the Judge would rule, as the evidence was so muddled. Or is that just my personal in-experience of court cases?

On 1/3/22 a consignment of 25 Alfa Proj .357 Barrel and Frame Assemblies, along with an assortment of 3”, 4” and 6” barrels and barrel shrouds were seized by Border Force, and declared liable to forfeiture as they were section 5 firearms and components. Along with these, Border Force also retained an Alfa Carbine .38 special/.357 magnum Long Barrel Revolver from the same consignment, the other LBR’s were released to Merseyside Armoury as they were declared section 1 firearms. But why retain this lone LBR?

Under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 items mixed, packed or found with a thing liable to forfeiture are all liable to forfeiture. As the Judge put it, section 5 items are “infectious”, if just one item is found to be prohibited, all the items are found to be prohibited. So why did the Director of Border Force use their discretionary power to restore from S5 to S1 all but one of the LBR’s? Also, if 20 consignments of identical items have already been imported by Merseyside Armoury, with no problems, why seize this consignment?

Since then, two more consignments of the same items have been received, but with the barrels not fitted to the frames, these have been cleared as section 1 firearm components.

Merseyside Armoury are the UK Agents for Alfa Proj in Czech Republic, and Westlake Engineering take the Alfa .357 Barrel and Frame Assemblies and modify and complete them to make a short-barrelled muzzle loading revolver which is compliant with UK Firearms Law. The Barrel and frame Assemblies have never been a completed or proofed firearm, and the serial numbers are prefixed with MLR, indicating their designation as Muzzle Loading Revolvers on completion.

In November of 2021 an officer from the National Crime Agency visited Westlake Engineering to examine the procedures used to modify and complete the .357 Alfa MLR, and to check on the recording in the firearms register of a selection of serial numbers from previous shipments. He describes the Alfa MLR as “novel” but fully compliant with UK firearms law and there were no faults in our records. None of our MLR’s have ever been used in a crime.

It was the next shipment that was seized by Border Force, and it was the same NCA officer that selected the MLR barrel frame assembly, 2 short barrels and shrouds, and the LBR for “official categorisation”. The officer recommended to Border Force that for “such a complex firearms classification issue” it would be appropriate to seek independent classification advice from a firearm forensic specialist. Hence the items were delivered to a Eurofins, a forensic laboratory in Leeds.

The opposition are clumsy on the stand in their description to the Judge of how the MLR is loaded, they talk of patches, ball, wads. The MLAGB describe the Alfa MLR as a Modern Muzzle Loader. It uses a target load of nitro powder, a .357 148gn soft lead wadcutter bullet (unless shooting indoors where we use round nosed solid base bullets) and a 209-shotgun primer, to replicate the .38spl cartridge, as far as is possible under UK firearms law. But the officer clarifies in court that he requested that the forensic lab determine the classification of the items at the “point of import” and that the seized LBR was included for comparison to the MLR barrel frame assembly.

This now makes sense. The LBR has been completed, and proofed. The MLR has not. Neither have the barrels and shrouds. A direct comparative examination between the LBR and MLR, barrels and shrouds should prove that. But is that what was done at the lab?

In essence, at the point of import, the LBR and MLR have the same component parts with a few differences. The LBR has a 12” barrel and an extension to the rear of the frame to give an overall length of 2 feet, the MLR has a short barrel, no extension and no cylinder. So, what should we compare?

Both the LBR and MLR have been produced in the same factory, on the same assembly line. Exposed to the same machinery, tools, processes and chemicals, and worked on by the same smiths/engineers, so much of what you see on the LBR should be replicated on the MLR, with the exception of the fitting of a cylinder and the proof firing and marking of a completed revolver.

Photos of the LBR and MLR were taken, and in many of them there are similar markings, discolourations and wear patterns in the aperture where the cylinder would be, on the hand, the index pin, the cylinder stop, the breech faces, top strap and on the crane, which the forensic examiners claim are indicative of a cylinder being fitted and fired. We dispute this and suggest that normal manufacturing procedures can explain all, and that it makes no sense for Alfa to make a completed short barrelled revolver and fire it, to only remove and throw away the cylinder.

Discolourations the Complainant (Border Force) claim is evidence of fouling we attribute to the normal staining of investment castings, and in the case of the index pin, heat treatment.

Sooty marks they attribute to the item being fired, and pink circles on the standing breech face they attribute to the pink lacquer from a discharged cartridge, but both the sooty marks and “engineers” pink can be attributed to hand fitting and filing techniques.

One of the forensic examiners stated in court that there would be no need to file and hand fit anything in the aperture where the cylinder fits as it has been machined. Mr Geary, owner of Merseyside Armoury, produced in evidence photographs he had taken at the AlfaProj factory showing a gunsmith hand filing the breech face of a revolver frame . A video showing the frame being removed from the CNC machine and taken immediately to a workbench where it is mounted into a vice for “precision grinding and manual adjustment”. About us - ALFAPROJ - www.alfaproj.cz/o-nas/


Wear marks from the index pin, on the bolt, the cylinder stop and the frame which they attribute to a cylinder being fitted and fired can all be explained by manufacturing processes involving files, a gauge used to check the alignment of the barrel with the bolt in the centre of the standing breech face, a dummy cylinder to check the functioning of the moving parts and the gap between the barrel and standing breech face. Hands being filed before fitting as you can’t get to them with a file once fitted, and there is probably just a large bin of pre-filed hands ready and waiting for the production line.

So, what is left to compare, in order to ascertain whether the MLR has ever been a completed and fired firearm prior to import?

Well, a forensic scientist did try to remove the cylinder from the LBR presumably to fit it into the MLR. Now, had the forensic scientist been successful in removing the cylinder from the LBR, then yes it would have fitted onto the MLR barrel frame assembly as it is at the point of import. It would have also automatically changed the classification of both the items to s5.

Whilst I understand the forensic scientist’s curiosity, this was not a requested procedure by the NCA, nor a comparative process, and would have irreversibly changed the evidence. Whilst people in general think cylinders are interchangeable, especially between the same model, this is only true within certain tolerances. Smiths match cylinders and frames to each other, and check for clearance fore and aft of the cylinder to ensure proper and safe function.

At Westlake Engineering once we have modified the MLR barrel and frame assembly and fitted the MLR cylinder it would not be possible to easily interchange the cylinders between the MLR and LBR. There are too many parts to be removed, reversed engineered, and the cylinders are of different lengths, so acceptable and safe tolerances are just not there.

To my mind this only leaves Gun Shot Residue analysis as the deciding factor. Swabs were taken at the lab in Leeds from the barrel of the MLR, and the two short barrels. But not from the LBR, so where is your ability to compare?

All the items have come from a factory where firearms are proofed on site, component parts/parts are cleaned and packed in one area, and completed and partially completed parts are cleaned and packed in a separate area.

All the items have been in the lab at Leeds where firearms are routinely tested, and a huge collection of reference firearms are just a few meters away. This is referred to as a ‘dirty lab’, and as I indicated at the start, there were errors in procedure in the storing of evidence, as in tamper bags were not sealed, and evidence was stored for 6 months in personal offices, not secure lockup.

The GSR samples were sent to a lab in Tamworth which has the accreditation for testing, and then onto another forensic lab, with the same accreditation to actually be tested.

GSR is very easily transferred, and contamination of the items is possible, especially at the factory where the same cleaning brushes are used for proofed and un-proofed items at the point of packing.

So, what were the GSR results for:

  1. The LBR – unknown they did not take a swab.
  2. The MLR – a very high amount of characteristic GSR, two types - potentially from two different types of ammunition, and large numbers of indicative particles were found to be present. In the forensic report it states the sample was very heavily loaded with particulate material.
  3. The 2 shrouded barrels – no characteristic GSR, and only a single particle of indicative GSR present. Again, the sample was heavily loaded with particulate material. These were identified as iron and chromium.

Characteristic GSR – produced when primers that contain combinations of lead, barium and antimony are fired.

Indicative GSR – produced by most ammunition, but not limited to fired ammunition. Not considered significant in isolation.

For the MLR, the final explanations by the GSR specialist were that either ammunition had been discharged through it, or something very heavily contaminated with GSR had been introduced into the barrel. He agrees that the GSR findings are “not conclusive evidence that the item has ever been fired”, as the second explanation does not require that ammunition has ever been fired through the barrel.

He agrees that it is highly unlikely that the 2 short barrels have ever been fired.

The different results for the MLR and the 2 short barrels can be explained by the different locations in which they are packed at the factory.

Since fouling is found on several different parts of a revolver on firing, why were no GSR swabs taken from say the firing pin, or the top strap on both the LBR and MLR for comparison.

Was a visual examination of the barrel rifling undertaken on any of the barrels for comparison. I know from experience that after proofing it takes us an age to clean the lead from the barrels of the MLRs. Were there any noticeable differences in the potential leading of the barrels to indicate whether they had been fired or not.

Alfa Proj were asked by Border Force how the manufacturing process was conducted. They categorically deny fitting any cylinders to the barrel frame assemblies designated MLR, this is also reflected in their invoice to Merseyside Armoury as there is a distinct 100-euro difference in the cost of a completed revolver and those supplied for completion as MLR’s.

The Border Force barrister was most insistent to press home to the Judge that the burden of proof lay with Merseyside Armoury, and when questioning Merseyside Armoury pressed the point that since Mr Geary was not present at the factory at the time they were manufactured he can not categorically say no cylinders were fitted to the MLR barrel frame assemblies. Not to be too flippant, neither was this barrister or the forensic scientists.

In a civil case, such as this, there is more leniency too on the type of evidence that is admissible, and that is worrying when so much of the forensic examination was not done to accredited standards, or even in person, as the lab is in Leeds, and the chief forensic examiner in this case works from home in Kent the majority of the time, according to lab staff.

The Judge had an unenviable job picking through what is and isn’t relevant, and gave a verbal ruling, followed by a written ruling on 11/12/23. He ruled in our favour.

The Judge was kind in his description of Mr Geary & Mr Westlake and said “both men have worked in the firearms business for many years, and each has an excellent reputation within that industry”. He accepted the evidence given by both, and by Alf Proj as honest, and that all three were fully aware of the risks to Mr Geary should he try to illegally import either a completed cartridge revolver or the component parts of a previously completed cartridge revolver.

The Judge describes all the other evidence presented as “circumstantial” and that in choosing between the scenario that all the “features observed result from manufacturing” is a simpler and more likely answer than the scenario that “the weapon was tested or proof fired for no apparent reason”.





Print | Sitemap
© Westlake Engineering