About the HBSA

For Collectors
For Shooters
Learning about historic breech-loading firearms
Helping to establish that you are a Collector and Student of arms
Meeting others with your interests.

Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver
The HBSA is the main UK organisation for the collection, study and research coupled with the shooting of historic and heritage arms. Our interests are linked to all forms of Breechloading arms, from the 18th century onwards covering developments in smallarms technology, ammunition, sights and accoutrements. 

A pair of quality historic double barreled shotguns
HBSA members’ interests are across the whole range of early and historic Breechloading arms, including pistols, shotguns, military, target and sporting firearms.

The Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association was founded in 1973 to encourage the preservation of breech-loading firearms and to protect the interests of collectors and those who shoot historic breech-loading arms.
HBSA Range practice at Bisley


We have a network of competitions and non-competitive practise shoots to test the arms in their natural environment, be it military, sporting or target. With over 40 shooting events a year, these will often use contemporary targets or courses of fire.

HBSA Exhibition and displays

A growing network of members and branches across the UK means that the member can meet others with similar interests. The meetings provide a venue for talks and exhibitions. 

Full Members can join the e-forum to post questions, engage in discussions and offer items for sale etc.  All members receive the Report newsletter four times a year and HBSA Journal each year. There are Monthly evening lectures at the Imperial War Museum and a variable programme in other regions. We hold several displays or exhibitions each year for which knowledgeable members are always sought, and an annual Bisley Lecture, giving you a chance to get really into any aspect of historic breechloading arms.

A cased antique Colt SAA revolver
The HBSA is an Home Office Approved Club, so that  taking part in an Association event can be used to support applications for granting and renewal of a Firearm or Shotgun Certificate.

The HBSA is open to all those interested in breechloading arms.  The application process includes an interview establishing the candidate as a genuine student or collector. This helps demonstrate your seriousness as a collector and as such can act in support of an application to hold cartridge pistols under Section 7.1 at home or under 7.3 at Heritage Arms Centres where they may be shot.

Mauser self-loading pistol
Internationally, HBSA is part of FESAC, the Foundation for European Societies of Arms Collectors, and has annual meetings with European collectors’ societies.

Currently, HBSA has venues in London at the Imperial War Museum, Leeds at the Royal Armouries and Pembroke in Chapel Bay Fort.