A S Taylor – A noted gunsmith


Of recent years he has made himself so well known to the big army of Commonwealth riflemen as an expert armorer that one can safely leave the present to look after itself so far as he is concerned.

Nevertheless, one feels that a peep into his early history will give us a line on the qualifications he possesses as an expert in his particular business, and how and why he became possessed of them. And so, we introduce A. S. Taylor, the boy of 14 years of age, when he started to learn the gunsmith’s art as an apprentice to the late J. W. Rosier, gunsmith, of Melbourne. Rosier Was an old Bedfordshire gunmaker, and, therefore, was in a position to impart to young Taylor that knowledge which has made the Bedfordshire gunmakers world-famous.

Taylor remained with Rosier for 17 years, and during that time was placed in a position to learn every phase of the gunsmith’s art, namely,the making of gun stocks, barrel making. and fitting, spring-making and tempering, the forging of all component parts for rifle, gun, or pistol, etc. Old-time riflemen will remember the Rosier wind-gauge bar sight, the first of its kind to be approved by the Military Department, and the Victorian Rifle Association. Young Taylor was the originator of the idea: That he was an apt pupil is exemplified by his passing an examination and securing an armorer’s certificate for the Victorian Field Engineers at the early age of 19 years. During his apprenticeship, part of his duties was to test out guns, rifles,, and revolvers for accuracy, and by this means he rapidly became a class performer with these weapons.

After serving 17 years with Rosier, health reasons in his family compelled him to remove to an inland Country district where he established and carried on a gunsmithing business successfully for five years While engaged in this enterprise, Taylor’ secured an appointment at the Lithgow Small Arms factory as a foreman and final viewer—the chap who puts the O.K.’s on all finished rifles. During the eight years he held down this job, he was afforded additional facilities for adding to his gunsmithing knowledge and being so admirably equipped by so many years’ experience, decided to get out of the rut and launch out for himself. Having made this decision, 

Taylor resigned his position with the Lithgow factory and set up in business at 80 Bathurst Street, Sydney where gun and rifle followers will still find him carrying on the good work.

The popular Taylor ‘NU’ fore-sight was an idea he introduced way back in 1925, and that the demand for this useful little gadget has in no manner diminished— in fact, it has grown in recent years — Is a tribute to the designer and the merit.

A  member of the Sydney Rifle Club (N.S.W.) and a marksman of no mean ability, Taylor will this year be competing at Bisley in the same individual matches there -as our Bisley team members. Apart from what he might or might not do on the mounds over there, certain it is that he will be a useful chap to have on hand should anything go amiss with the Australian team members’ rifles. Already he has offered his services free in this connection. During , his absence overseas, son Frank, who has grown-up with the business under the watchful eye of his dad, will be attending to the business.