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TTAG Blaser Caesar

By Michael Holderer

Scenario: You’re a real go-getter. You have a great job and you’re doing so well that your company has decided to promote you. Your new position will pay in the seven-figures range. There’s just one catch; in order for you to secure this salary, you must relocate to London for five years. There are many wonderful things about London: the British Museum, the London Symphony Orchestra and great beer. Unfortunately, British gun laws do not fall into that list . . .

Nevertheless, as a true-blooded American, you are determined to own a gun wherever you go. To that end you’re looking at two very high-end guns that are going to be commensurate with your new salary and London-friendly.

British gun laws prohibit civilian ownership of semi-automatic centerfire guns. Gun licenses are divided into numerous categories. The two most common categories are the Shotgun Certificate and the Firearms Certificate.

A Shotgun Certificate requires a visit to the local police station where you’ll be interviewed and asked for a reason for owning the gun. The Caesar Guerini would require minimal paperwork and you could use it for hunting. With the addition of a set of longer barrels, you could also use it for clays.

A Firearms Certificate requires a visit to the local police station where you will be interviewed and asked for a reason for owning the gun and you must provide two character references. The Blaser R8 would take more work to own, but you can easily swap barrels and the magazine/trigger group and go from .204 Ruger to 500 Jeffery on the same gun. You’d effectively be able to shoot everything from paper targets to Daleks with one gun license.

So which will it be?

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      • well, if the laws in the UK are like the laws here, then a seven figure salary would be sufficient for you to be allowed any sort of security precautions you felt you needed.

        • 7 figure salaries are not all the same.

          I doubt you’d be able to hire bodyguards while living in London on 1M a year unless you were otherwise living very frugally.

          9m would be another matter, of course.

      • Pretty much my first thought at seeing the article’s title. You plug a guy with a gun in the UK, and you’re in for one hell of a legal ride that won’t end well for you. Mind you, you might get off in the end – it’s been known to happen if you’re otherwise sympathetic – but I wouldn’t count on it.

      • Wrong. I wouldn’t hold our gun laws up as an example of good practice, but it’s entirely possible to protect yourself with guns, knives, sharp sticks or other lethal implements as necessary here.

        Homeowners released without charge, criminals plead for mercy on sentencing because being shot wasn’t nice, judge tells them “go and do one, sunshine” (phrased in proper legalese)

        If you really want a semi-automatic, go shotgun and develop an interest in Practical shooting; that’ll give you the necessary “good cause” for a semi-auto with a decent magazine size. Or, a Joe Biden special is pretty much a “shall-issue” for a shotgun certificate, unless you’ve got a criminal record or medical issues.

        The biggest problem with a rifle, for a USian visitor, is that there’ll be very few places to do much with it: expect a long commute from London to anywhere with enough room to use a decently-powerful rifle safely. The UK’s a lot more crowded and built-over than the US: especially in the South, what we call “countryside”, is “suburbia” to a lot of US states…

  1. this isn’t a fun one. the answer would however be both. defiantly both. multiples of both. but to answer the question, i would take the shotgun if i could only have one. it has more diversity.
    does it have to be a over under? can you get pump action shotguns in London?

  2. Those making 7 figures typically don’t trifle themselves with the pesky laws imposed on peasants, slaves and other subjects. Those laws exist to ensure the elite are not troubled by the huddled masses over whom they should rightly rule. I’m sure at that level a proper deal could be struck to possess whatever you wanted, or to have an armed 24/7 bodyguard (paid for by the state of course) or both.

    • It sounds like you have elitism of a kind as well.

      There are plenty of wealthy gun owners and second amendment supporters.

      They aren’t all a Bloomberg.

    • This.

      There isn’t enough cash in the world for me to live in any city, period. Not even with a firearm allowed at home. And especially not one with an insanely high crime rate, that is full of violent muslims, where I can’t carry so much as a knife out and about.

      If my company is willing to pay me that kind of salary, then I am likely a very valuable employee and equally valuable to their competitors.

    • This is correct. I had the opportunity to do just that, and turned it down for a variety of reasons, including this one.

  3. shotgun is more of a out of the box gun (no need to spend extra capital on scopes and mounts) rifles while great are a lot more money to feed.

  4. Take a Third Option: unemployment and an address under a bridge abutment.

    Money ain’t everything.Better to live in a cardboard box as a free man then the alternative.

    • As the Self-Appointed Chief of the Internet Syntax Police, I find myself impelled to point out that getting under an abutment would require a considerable amount of digging, and would probably compromise the structural integrity of the whole bridge.

      Other than that, I agree wholeheartedly! 🙂

      It might also be worthwhile to note that it’s just as illegal for rich people to get caught sleeping under bridges as it is for us homeless bums. 😉

      • Nah, going under a bridge abutment is easy. Find the nearest wise guy and tell him his momma’s mustache tickles when she (redacted for public decency). He’ll help you out.

    • Voice of reason:

      I like my creature comforts. I like freedom. I like having a significant other.

      Being an internet tough guy and claiming to throw off the yoke of modern life in order to stay “free” is fun until you realize….

      Money buys freedom. Yes, I said it.
      You want to fly to Mexico? $$$
      You need to go to the Dr.? $$$
      You want to own a vehicle? $$$
      Want to date? $$$
      Want to eat? $$$

      You see where I am going with this.

      Sure you /could/ just say screw it all, you would rather keep your guns than anything else and move under a bridge.

      However, owning a gun is only a portion of freedom. Why in the world would you give up the rest of your freedom only to keep a tiny part of it, a part that could just as easily now be stolen from you by another vagrant?

      True courage/love of freedom comes from the willingness to fight for your natural-given rights. Money isn’t everything is true, but you have the /ability/ to make 7+ figures a year, wouldn’t it be better if you could find a similar job in the US and donate heavily to 2nd amendment organizations? Or hell, you could hire your own lawyer to fight the good fight.

      An option to move under a bridge in response to just about anything other than necessity is not respect-worthy in my book, especially if the person doing so has any children or close family.

    • Yeah, I damn near got a good stag in the highlands with my rented Renault econobox some years ago. Given the relative size of the stag and the POS Renault, he probably would have walked away while I sat and waited for assistance.

  5. I’d take the Blaser, then make it a project gun. Buy a wooden stock and carve it to ornately reflect my opinion of England with durrogatory remarks about the queen and her mother. But carved. Ornately. To be more appealing to the taste buds.

    • I’m sorry but I’ve seen this said a few times and I think it’s pretty stupid.

      So as a professional living with a 7 figure salary, as an expat already under intense scrutiny by the government and the police of a foreign country, you’d go and buy illegal stuff that, if discovered you would force the system to throw the book at you?


      Self defense? If you ever used the thing you’d be locked up for the rest of your natural life.

      As a non-internet tough guy who may legitimately earn a higher income one day, I will never move to England or if I did, I’d use a baseball bat or crossbow etc to defend myself.

      All these “Black Market! hurr hurr” posts on here are really making the AI look like a bunch of idiots.

      • Like you I would never live in the UK regardless of the money, I moved to Australia from New Zealand right after their ban, and black market guns could be had and still can, it took me two years to get approval to get one handgun to carry on duty If I had used said handgun to defend myself off duty in the home they still would have sent me to prison. The UK, New Zealand and Australia are all the same, self defense is a big no no, so yes my above comment still stands Black Market, load the mags with gloves on.

        • Ok I see your point.

          I still don’t agree with it, though.

          I just personally don’t see any way that you could use that black market gun in England where the outcome would be positive. There are cameras all over the place and firing on anyone in your home would almost guarantee jail time.

          Criminals have guns in England because they’re already criminals. If they get caught, they can go back to what they were doing after getting out of prison. If you’re working a 7 figure corporate job and get caught, your livelihood is ruined.

          That said, it is relatively easy to make a firearm and powder, and I’d probably have some of this (legal) stuff on hand just in case.

      • Most people who tried to go black market would be robbed, beaten and/or dead within days. Or arrested, because they tried to buy from an undercover cop.

        • Exactly, Matt.

          And as a “best case”, you’d have something in your home that is far more illegal in England than several pounds of cocaine.

  6. As I understand it, suppressors are pretty easy to get in England. With that it mind I would get a 10/22 (rimfire semi-autos are still legal there, somehow) and put a can on it, just for plinking and fun, seeing as how serious defensive firearms beyond an extra long Joe Biden special can’t be owned there anyway.

  7. I lived in London. Shotgun, hands down. There is nothing much to shoot with a rifle unless you drive 10 hours. And, you do not drive 10 hours unless you are silly American, you take the train. For sporting clays and “hunting” there are places outside the city if you can afford it.

    • So if you were to go on a hunting trip to, say, Scotland, would taking your rifle, cased and locked, on a train be alright? Just curious, not being sarcastic or snide.

      • Perfectly OK: weapon unloaded, ammunition in a different part of the case, and keep it under your control. Usually, nobody will notice or care: if PC Plod actually does enquire about what’s in the bag, showing your FAC and stating you’re on a trip to a friend’s in Scotland for some hunting is sufficient (though a letter of invitation from your friend might speed up any checking).

        Same if you were flying: some admin hassle and it’ll travel in the hold, though you might have an issue with ammunition (never had to fly with live rounds) .

  8. Same answer I gave on a similar question – Rifle is the queen of the battlefield but the shotgun is the king of the castle – but even more appropriate since we are talking about the British.

  9. With a 7 figure salary I would not waste my time. I would contract for 24/7 professional armed security. With that I would be secure not only at home, but wherever I went, since there is an awful lot of hooliganism and other violent crime on the streets of London. And I would make sure they had car to take me where I wanted to go as well. Even if it cost me $150k per year it would be money well spent, in my opinion.

  10. Blaser R8 Attaché in .243 Win, Grade 9 wood, no iron sights.

    I’d do my best to hunt that country dry.

    I went through the configurator to see a final price. It didn’t have one. Probably for the best.

  11. Neither…with that money, I’d buy the setup, design and 3D print a pneumatic .50 cal and roll full auto with the attached scuba tank. wha ha ha ha

  12. With rifles, at least there’s no mag restrictions and moderators (suppressors) are no problem either (and commonplace.)
    Short barrels on rifles are fine too as long as they stay over 12 inches (with overall length 24.)
    Ruger Gunsite Scout perhaps or a custom 10/22? Lever gun? Remington Versa Max? All are available.

  13. According to numerous online sources, the going rate for a full auto AK47 variant on the black market in the UK is $500.

    Just saying…

    However, no amount of money could buy my freedom and I am not going to become a “subject” of the british throne. My ancestors escaped that rotten place and I am not going back. I would rather be poor and free than rich and a slave.

    Do they even allow non-citizens to acquire guns there?

    • really, cause Silk Road had one advertised for $450. Plus, they take credit cards and offer free delivery. But, I am sure your internet sources are more reliable than mine.

    • $500 for an AK? Well, it was on the interwebs so it must be true. Out of interest, how many of these “internet sources” actually managed to hand over $500 and get a working AK in return? How many handed over the money and got an airsoft replica? How many went for the transaction but woke up in hospital with nasty contusions, minus all portable valuables? And how many are just repeating something they once heard somewhere on the Internet?

      For reference, when a black-market armourer was rebuilding “deactivated” (to old spec, since tightened up) MAC-10s to be usable full-auto weapons, they were selling for $2500-$3500 apiece and that was five to eight years ago. The deactivated weapons were about $900 apiece before he got them firing again, which is itself no small task. (My wall ornament of a deactivated AK – a Chinese Type 56-1 – was $300 in 1995, for reference, and there’s no way you’d make it fireable again for $100 of parts, tools and labour)

  14. Neither. I would not live in London under any circumstances no matter how much money it is. In fact I’d tell them I’d happily stick with working nights at Hellmart. At least I’m a free man….for now, anyways.


  15. I’d argue in favor of both a shotgun and a semi-auto .22. I think I’ve even seen a YouTube video of someone in the UK with a Spikes AR in .22.

  16. Hell, I’ve had plenty of jobs that didn’t afford time for recreational shooting and none of them have paid anywhere near 7 figures. For that kind of money I could shoot air rifles for 5 years no problem. 10 meter and running target are no joke,it would probably take at least 3 years to be competitive anyway.

  17. Of course, whichever way you’d go, according to my British amigos you’ll have to store it in a safe, with the ammo in a separate safe, and the cops can drop in anytime to make sure you’re keeping everything properly stored.
    And don’t even THINK about using it to defend yourself . . . .

  18. I would refuse the job and remain a free citizen in the U.S.A.. There’s a reason why the original 13 colonies fought a revolt to establish themselves as a separate, sovereign and independent nation.

  19. Neither. There is no positive to legal firearm ownership in the UK. In the event you ever used it to protect yourself or your family, you would be the criminal.

    Best to avoid the situation all together and go black market….or opt for a cricket bat for home defense.

    • You’ll also need a torch and nice non locking folder. Spyderco pen knife will do the trick. Buy it in the States though. impossible to find in Blimey.
      And yes, I lived there for just shy of 2 years.

  20. In the US the rule is never bring a knife it a gunfight. In the UK it is never bring a gun to a knife fight — you can’t use it because self defense is governed by “proportionality”, i.e,. you could justify the use of a firearm only if your assailant was armed with one. So, if you want the gun for self defense then don’t bother. If you want a gun to hang with the lords and ladies then get a shotgun. You can shoot clays and grouse.

    • Yeah cause when that jagged toothed hooligan gets the jump on you and you are on the ground bleeding from several knife wounds it just wouldn’t be fair to whip out that monster .22 pistol! if you were a real man you would settle your differences with your fists!

      It amazes me how many brits criticize us for going armed while admitting that they constantly start fights over nothing with no concept of consequences.

      I may go armed but that gun is just the icing on the cake, everything else that goes with the mindset of a responsible gun owner helps to ensure that my chances of needing to even reach for that gun are significantly less than the same need arising for the general population.

      So they can take their caged animal moral superiority and shove it.

  21. Get several double barrels. And a quality hacksaw. Test the shotguns for functionality and then leave them and a stock of ammo alone until your contract is up and you can come home. Or until the shtf and you have to chose between law abiding or alive.

    12 bore shotgun backed up by 12 bore pistol solves a lot of problems.

  22. One of those old-school double rifles would be awesome. Or a sharps… or both and a really fine sporting clays shotgun. Have to not look like a complete fool on the weekend. Seven figures (and since it’s the UK, that’s in pounds! Huzzah!) can really get you some fine firearms and some seriously beautiful custom work. Of course, arranging for someone to safeguard the things you can’t take with you might be prudent. No one said you have to SELL the rest, just not take them with you.

  23. I would use my newfound wealth to exert some pull and get the second tier shotgun license which allows for a higher capacity shotgun, as the standard shotgun license offers no more than three total (2+1). That is if I understood the Wikipedia article on English gun laws I read yesterday

  24. You mention the gun laws, what about the self-defense laws?

    It seems to me that English laws would incarcerate you merely for owning a firearm with the intent to use it for self-defense.

    • Yup.

      I think your gun has to be locked up at all times too.

      For self defense in England you’re better off with a screwdriver, baseball bat, etc. Defending your home with a gun is a big no no.

  25. I’m not sure if the author of this piece (presumably Michael Holderer), is from the UK or not, but I took note of several inaccuracies regarding UK firearms law within the article. I’ve written out the following corrections chronologically – in response to errors I found in the original text.

    1. Semi-automatic centrefire guns are not banned outright – only semi-automatic centrefire rifles and pistols. You can own semi-automatic shotguns in both Section 2 (shotgun certificate, limited to 2+1 capacity, 24+” barrel – 40+” OAL) or Section 1 (firearms certificate, unlimited capacity, if semi or pump then same dimension requirements as Section 2, if SxS, O/U, bolt or lever action then 12+” barrel – 24+” overall length). Restrictions on Section 2 shotgun ammunition dictate that the cartridge must contain five or more shot, none of which exceeds .36 inch in diameter. Slug is available on a Section 1 certificate.

    2. Neither application for Section 2 or Section 1 certificates requires a visit to a police station – or any other government building. Once the application is received and partially processed, an appointment is made by the relevant police force for a Firearms Enquiry Officer (FEO) to visit the applicant at their home at a time convenient to the applicant. An interview then takes place, within which the FEO forms a personal impression of the applicant’s suitability to own firearms.

    3. At this present time, every eligible person in the UK who wishes to own a Section 2 shotgun has the right to do so and needs to show no special reason. It would be improper (and without basis in law) for an FEO to ask why you wanted one – and the applicant would be under no obligation to answer. In almost all cases though, a simple reply of “clays” or “pest control” would be more than sufficient – and possibly expedient.

    4. Every firearm and the overall ammunition allowance on a Section 1 ticket requires justification on the part of the applicant. The standard reasoning for applying for a “high capacity” shotgun (a British term), would be for crop protection/vermin control, practical or target shotgun. The latter two disciplines would ordinarily be deemed acceptable “good reason” to request an allowance of Slug.

    5. Both an application for a shotgun or firearms certificate needs to be supported by referees – 1 for a shotgun and 2 for firearms. If you wish to apply for both certificates you can do so on a coterminous basis, in which case the requirements for the firearms certificate take precedence.

    Please don’t think for one second that I’m in favour of the current licensing process in the UK – I am most certainly not. It’s convoluted, overly-bureaucratic and not necessarily fit for the purpose that it was originally intended – that of protecting the public. What it does do is waste tax payers money, discourage new people from participating in the sport (I’m sure many opponents of shooting sports will see this as a positive), and have a huge negative impact on the manufacturing and retail sectors associated with shooting. Not least amongst which, is the problems and inconvenience it causes for the thousands of law-abiding citizens that choose to participate in the target and sport shooting.

    The lesson you should all take from this is that, in my opinion, never take a step back when new legislation is proposed in your own country. And most of all, appreciate just how good you all really have it – even those of you in comparatively restricted locals such as California.

    If TTAG ever wants to bounce articles containing information specific to the UK off me in future, I’d be more than happy to help.

  26. Shotgun…because you can shoot IPSC matches with it. I’m always surprised that there are Brits on Brian Enos that post about matches there. I figured they would have been relegated to nothing more than a sack of rocks to play shooting games with.

  27. What horrendous choices. It’s like asking if you’d rather be paralyzed or blind.

    No wonder the pilgrims got on the first shoddy-boat departing that moist, limestone island.

  28. If you make 7-figures and are going to live in the UK you need five things:

    A Purdey – forget non Brit guns
    A Range Rover
    A Fly Rod
    An in with Orvis UK – make a donation to one of Orvis’s conservation programs
    A hunt/fish wardrobe to look the part

    Then go hunt and fish with the rest of the royalty. It’s all done on private land, by the by….

  29. Shotguns in the UK are double barrel or 2 shot magazines for pumps/autos, and they have long barrels and I believe you are limited in nothing more effective than no 4s.
    A rifle could be a 10 shot Lee Enfield (best bolt action battle rifle ever) or a lever action cowboy gun in pistol or rifle caliber. Either one would be great for self defence.
    Although you cannot “own” a gun for self defence, there have been occasions recently where people have used guns in defence of their lives and have not gone to prison, but they were arrested and had to defend their actions.
    But when the Zombies come there will be no courts!!!!!!!!!!!
    I would pick a rifle, but I saw the light and moved to the US, so I bought Rifles ( Enfield and ARs), shotguns, (short barrel pumps). and a few handguns

  30. C: I would NOT leave my country for any amount of money. Take the job and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine….which is England.

  31. I work in the video game industry. I have sworn off fully 1/3 or more of the job opportunities in my industry by simply vowing never to move to California, New York, or Maryland. When the day comes that I can no longer find work in gun friendly States, I will find a different career.

  32. Cry me a river (Thames).

    As a subject of the Civil Disarmament Republic of New Jersey (CDRNJ), before I’m allowed to purchase ANY firearm, any handgun ammo (including .22LR) or even a BB gun (no, I’m not kidding), I have to obtain a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card.

    Obtaining such card “requires a visit to the local police station* where you will be interviewed and asked for a reason for owning the gun and you must provide two character references.” But wait, there’s more!
    *Such visits are often conducted only during a brief window of time during regular business hours. So you have to take off time from work (my old town was Tuesdays 9AM-11AM only). Or they’re by appointment only, and the detective is always really busy. Sometimes for weeks.

    Once you receive an audience with your public servant, ermm, I mean liegelord, you’ll pay your fees, get fingerprinted and sign a release for your mental health records from every county you’ve ever lived in.

    But, if you’re one of the really (un)lucky participants: In some towns, **though totally illegal**, police will also interview your neighbors and/or contact your employer and/or ask your spouse’s opinion prior to issuing you the magic card. No, really. They do that.

    And though, again by law, they’re required to give you a yes or no within 30 days of application, some towns take over a year to give you an answer. Lawsuits thus far have done nothing but delay a right already delayed.

    Once issued the card, you’re free to purchase gunz! But not handguns.
    Those require an individual permit for each purchase and you are limited to one every 30 days. Also, each time you apply for such permits, you’re required to go through the entire process again (minus fingerprinting). That’s right folks: application, character references, fees, illegal interviews/notifications of 3rd parties and a wait of anywhere from 3 weeks to more than a year. (Again, no, I’m not kidding).

    So just apply for 100 permits right? Wrong. While you’re theoretically able to apply for as many as you like, the permits have an expiration date of 90 days from issue date. And some people get the call to pick them up, 2-3 weeks after the issue date typed on the permit. Seriously.

    So what if you’re nearing that expiration date and have yet to use one of these pieces of paper gold? Well if you get it to your CLEO *before* it expires he can, at his discretion, extend the expiration by another 90 days, though he has no obligation to do so nor to explain why he won’t. Some even state up front that they don’t do extensions, so don’t ask.

    And, adding insult to injury: Your FPID #? It’s a NJ State Bureau of Identification number. The exact same as the ones used to keep track of felons.
    Thanks CDRNJ!

    That said, I’d get the shotgun.

  33. Shotgun. With British self defense laws, my reason for owning a gun will be SHTF (not what the cops will hear). Two or three bullets is high capacity there, and a shotgun will be good for close quarters where I can get a handgun or a substantial rifle.

  34. I’d quit my job and stay here in the states. If I was great enough to make seven figures with that company, I’m sure as hell marketable enough to make six figures here. Then I could still shoot all the guns my happy heart desires.


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