Smith & Torok
To own a Smith and Torok shotgun or sporting rifle is to be the custodian of an item of the highest quality craftsmanship and British artistry. It takes over a thousand hours for an artisan craftsman to combine expertise and years of hard-won mastery to produce a gun unique to its owner. The final piece is a work of shooting art, personalised for each individual, which will stand the test of time and can be relied upon for generations.
The company was formed by Michael Smith and Alexander Torok after a commission by one of the world’s most knowledgeable collectors of fine guns to design and build a more bespoke product. The client had noticed the gradual homogenisation within the established fine gun houses and wanted to conserve some of the traditions and techniques abandoned some years ago. An example commission has included a rarely made set of four 28-bore sidelock over and under guns.
Mike and Alex met in 1975 when they started their five year apprenticeships at James Purdey & Sons at their workshop in Paddington London. Mike trained as a barrel maker under Alf Harvey and Alex as an action filer under Ben Delay.
Smith and Torok have also collaborated on the design and production of luxury cases inspired by the same revivalist philosophy. Utilising materials such as hand lined goatskin, exotic cocobolo, and London colour oak bark tanned leather, which is hand stitched using two hundred feet of the finest Irish linen thread - ensures the cases are of the highest quality.
Mike Smith passed away in December 2015, his creative input is sadly missed.