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If You Really Want to Feel Bad ...
Prudent gun nuts, upon visiting Safari Outfitters in Salt Point, NY, are advised to bring a change of underwear along, because the odds are that you will wet yourself (or worse) at some of the guns you will see there.
The most recent shorts-stainer is a one-of-a-kind matched pair of Purdey 28-gauge hammer guns, complete with three sets of barrels. The original guns were built by Purdey in 1878, and recently went back there for a complete re-do. The original engraved lockplates, hammers, triggers, and trigger guards were retained, but everything else is new: locks, stocks, and barrels. (The stocks, incidentally, are what is called “bookmatched;” i.e., the blanks are sawed from the same log, so both stocks are nearly identical.) Even the case is new, and of course it comes with a set of handmade tools.
But this does not do justice to the pair. When you pick them up and swing them, they seem to have a life of their own. They are living proof of why the British remain Numero Uno in the world of scatterguns, despite being an otherwise degenerate race whose great days are long past. The two guns are as slender and graceful as magic wands, which in a sense they are.
How much? I thought you’d never ask. If you show up with $180,000, Niles Wheeler will let you walk out with the cased set. If this sounds extravagant, be aware that if you order a new Purdey 28-gauge today, you will wait 4 years and then pay $130,000 for the one gun. And when you consider that two are unique, and will certainly be worth far more in a few years, you would be well advised to forget about the new Bentley and grab them.
Yes, I know that right now some of you are considering killing your dogs for food and selling your children to fill the gas tank. We’ve been all through this. Life, as John Kennedy said, is not fair.