First established in 1886 and situated in Main Road Ballarat during the gold rush era, Richard F. Scott was an importer and well-known big game hunter. Our local business was highly successful in selling guns, ammunition, and bikes to the miners. We remained in Main Road until 1890, when along with most other Main Road properties it burnt down.
Frank Butler took over the business and we relocated the store to 192 Sturt Street, with the ammunition factory at 714 Sturt Street. In 1933 the business – now being run by Arthur Butler – moved to 45 Lydiard Street North, where the store and reloading facilities continued to operate for a further 36 years.
In 1969 our business moved again, to 22 Lydiard Street North, where the Butler brothers Bob and Joe operated as gunsmiths and locksmiths until 1985. The store remains at the same premises to this very day, making us the oldest continuous firearms business in Australia.
During the early 1900s R.F. Scott & Co directly imported the worlds’ finest handguns, rifles and shotguns from famous makers such as Webley & Scott, Bonehill, John Rigby & Co, Greener, W.J. Jeffrey & Co, and Holland & Holland – to name but a few.
In the early days, the popular 8 and 10 gauge shells were loaded, as were 12, 16 and 20 gauge shells and pinfires which are today usually found in brown quality Eley cases. The larger gauges were usually loaded in brown Eley Gastight cases. They advertised their loaded shot shells as being suitable for pigeon and sparrow shooting.