The business of Lincoln Jeffries was first established in Birmingham’s Gun Quarter in the year 1873 at 31 Whittall Street by George Lincoln Jeffries. George and his brother Arthur had arrived in Birmingham from Norwich in around 1866 having both worked for their father, also named George Jeffries, who was a highly skilled established gun maker and had premises in Golden Ball Street and Orford Hill, Norwich.
From his premises in Whittall Street Lincoln Jeffries produced sporting rifles and also award winning single and double barrelled shotguns. In 1888, he relocated to a large premises, at 48 Whittall Street and Lincoln Jeffries began designing and manufacturing air rifles. With the company increasing in stature, they were able to again move to a much larger premises at 121 Steelhouse Lane, from where he produced his world famous ‘Lincoln Air Rifle’.
Lincoln Jeffries continued their production of air rifles, and in the early 1900’s started producing a range of lead pellets, and steel flighted darts under the names ‘Lincoln’, ‘Target’, ‘Match’, and ‘Bisley’. The name ‘Bisley’ refers to the Bisley Rifle meeting of 1905, where His Majesty the King examined the Lincoln Patent Air Rifle, pronouncing it ‘very ingenious’.
After the retirement of George Lincoln Jeffries in 1912, air rifle pellets continued to be made by his sons, however it was not until the 1930’s that two of his grandsons, Lincoln ‘Len’ and Arthur Jeffries began to produce air rifle pellets under the brand names ‘British Marksman’, later becoming known as ‘Marksman’. Alongside these brands they also started producing a smooth sided air rifle slug, packaged under the name ‘Target’.
Len and Arthur Jeffries continued to produce air rifle pellets in calibres .177, .22 and .25 from their premises in Whittall Street and Steelhouse Lane, located in the heart of Birmingham until 1960, where due to the redevelopment of the city were forced to relocate to a new factory in Summer Lane.
Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s, Marksman air rifle pellets were being sold not only in the United Kingdom, but all around the world with huge quantities being distributed to Canada, Australia and South Africa.
By the 1970’s, production figures of 25 million pellets a week were required such was the popularity of the Marksman brand of air rifle pellets in their distinctive red, white and blue boxes of 100’s, 200’s and 500’s, and tins of 500.
Production of the Marksman pointed pellets began in 1983 with the .22 calibre, followed by the .177 version in 1987.
Marksman Airgun Pellets continue to be manufactured at the Lincoln Jeffries factory located in Summer Lane, supplying customers both in the United Kingdom, and all around the world.
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