Birmingham's world-famous gun maker Webley and Scott has folded, ending 200 years of proud Midland industrial tradition.

The company's entire 38-strong workforce has been made redundant following a fruitless month-long search for a buyer,.

The final round for the Rubery airgun manufacturer was called after administrators failed to find a suitable new owner despite more than 40 expressions of interest.

Webley and Scott collapsed into administration a month before Christmas after being hit by changing legislation, cheap overseas competition and a substantial pensions shortfall.

P a u l M a s t e r s , Birmingham-based administrator with DTE Leonard Curtis, said: "It is very disappointing. We have had a lot of interest in the business but we didn't have any offer that was acceptable.

"We have a duty to maxim-ise the return for creditors and the offers that we had were less than what we will get from selling the assets as a break-up.

"We have had to make everybody redundant and my guess is that the creditors' meeting will be in early February."

He said a buyer could still move in on Webley and Scott despite its closure. Mr Masters said he understood workers were still awaiting their redundancy payouts from the Government.

The closure of Webley and Scott marks another hammer blow for the Midlands' manufacturing heritage.

Webley and Scott's revolvers were used by General Custer and also featured in Sherlock Holmes.