Theoben has a strong following and is now making its return to UK stores
Around thirty years ago, Theoben airguns were a popular and sought-after brand in the UK. Yet in October 2012 Theoben went into receivership in the UK and Managing Director Martin Rutterford set the Theoben name up in the USA under the banner of Rapid Air Weapons (RAW). UK fans of the Theoben name mourned the passing of a strong, successful British airgun company.
Now, after nearly a decade off the shelves in the UK, Theoben is coming back. Elite Optical has now been appointed as the exclusive UK distributor for RAW as well as Airforce airguns (formerly Gunpower). This partnership will mark the increased availability of both AirForce Airguns and RAW products in the UK.
RAW owns all of the Theoben designs and will be re-releasing some of the most popular Theoben PCP models models in the near future.
Established in 1998, AirForce Airguns was the first company to mass-produce high-quality PCP air rifles in the United States. In 2018 AirForce acquired RAW Airguns from previous owner, Martin Rutterford, creating a direct lineage to Theoben engineering.
Shooting Times air rifle contributor Mat Manning recalls: “Theoben was an iconic brand in the 1990s. Their gas-ram airguns were something very special but their pre-charged Rapid 7 took things to the next level, certainly in terms of recoilless hunting guns. It set the standard for a very long time and was the airgun that everyone wanted when I was in my teens.
“It is great to hear that Elite Optical will be bringing the new breed of RAW Theobens into the UK. I am sure that lots of shooters will be very excited by the prospect of getting their hands on these remarkable guns.”
The HMX1000 from RAW is the flagship model and this will be available in the UK in a few weeks.
Stuart Grant, Sales Director at Elite Optical says: “Airforce and RAW offer an exciting range of exceptionally well made and highly accurate airguns that share their heritage with the world famous Theoben Brand. We are very thrilled to be offering these to UK shooters in both the sub 12 ftlb and FAC versions.”
Airforce Airguns Director of Marketing, Cameron Brinkerhoff says: “We have had a strong working relationship with the team at Elite Optical as for some time as they are the main importer of our BKL Technologies scope rings and mounts for the U.K.
“As we were looking to expand our market in the U.K., partnering with Elite Optical to import AirForce and R.A.W. Airguns products was an easy choice.”