Famous British firearms manufacturing company Webley & Scott (W&S), which armed the Allied forces during the two World Wars and produced weapons for at least 15 countries, will mark its presence in the Indian subcontinent from November with the manufacturing of arms from its new unit in UP’s Sandila (Hardoi), barely 30 km from Lucknow. It will be the first foreign company to manufacture firearms in India.
The handgun manufacturing giant has joined hands with Lucknow-based Sial Manufacturers Pvt Ltd for the project and will begin operations with the production of revolvers. The new unit will manufacture its .32 revolver in the first phase.
Iconic co plans to make ammo, pistols, airguns & shotgun here
Talking exclusively to TOI over the phone from Birmingham (UK), co-owner of Webley & Scott John Bright said, “Later, we will manufacture pistols, airguns, shotgun and ammunition as well.”
“We decided to invest in India and in the state of Uttar Pradesh keeping in view the vast market potential. The idea to expand our business got shape after discussions with the Sial family in 2018. We entered a new joint venture for the manufacture of firearms and airguns in India for the Indian domestic market. We got the licence to manufacture firearms in India in 2019,” said Bright. He said the original design of the Mark IV .32 pistol of 1899 would be used to cater to the Indian market in the first phase.
“A team of 15 experts from England visited India to set up the facility in Sandila, which took us four months,” he said.
Joginder Pal Singh Sial of Sial Manufacturers, the all-India distributor of W&S products, said: “The government’s support and the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ policy helped the project take final shape.”
“The cost of the .32 revolver will be Rs 1.6 lakh. We will give stiff competition to the arms manufactured by ordnance factories. People will now get world-class weapons at their doorsteps,” he said.