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July 15, 2008

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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.


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jersey pig

fair? fair is a place to eat cotten candy and step in monkey poop. looking at guns like these are like reading playboy. fun to look at, nice to fantasize about, but she'd never let most of us touch her if she has her way.


Slurp. Slurp.


Dave, I humbly retract everything I said after your Lazzeroni post. Keep writing about the fancy stuff. Its funny when for a second you actually try to work out what a monthly loan payment would be with those bad boys as the collateral before regaining your senses. Smallbore double guns seem to have that effect on me.


There will probably be a bunch of people bitching on here about "guns we can't afford," and "Why don't you write about a Mossberg 500 like the one I have." I love to go to car shows. There may be a high-priced rod out there with my name on the title one day, but probably not. I still like to look and learn. Same goes for fine firearms. The only Purdey I'll ever own will probably be the Featherweight my uncle described as "really purdey" when he looked at it. Still, I can admire firearms I will never own.


Once again, Mr. Petzal, a post that proves Dutchess County is the fulcrum of the universe.

Mike Diehl

Sweeeeet. I'll never get a chance to touch one but they are a pleasure to look upon.

Canadian Lurker

Nice guns. I just watched the latest video (2008!) made by SAAMI to introduce fire departments to the specifics of small arm ammunition fires. I cried. They proudly say that nearly 1 000 000 cartridges were destroyed in the filming of the video. Bourjaily the hull ho would not survived the site of 100 000 shotgun shells reduced to a smoking puddle of burning plastic. A case of .458 Win exploded with a blasting cap. Cases of .44 magnum, 12 ga. and 30-06 dropped from 65ft. Boxes of premium brands .500 S&W and .416 Remington shot up with with a .308. Cases of Hornady 7mm mag and premium 12ga. shoshells pulped into the ground by a bulldozer. Cubic yards of mixed ammo boxes burned in bondfires. The grand finale is 150 000 cartridges (Weatherby, Remington, Hornady, etc) burned in a simulated retail store fire. This is at that point that I cracked and started weeping.


Egad. You show us these other worldly beautiful guns right after you blogged us telling us not to hunt with the good stuff. Dave, are you sure you haven't got some sort of bi-polar thing going on?

canadian lurker

DAVID! Zap Redmond's 01:23 comment please. I don't think this one meets F&S's Policy on comments.
Or basic human decency for that matter.


Whoa. There are indeed "redmonds" in this day and age?

I thought they died with the dinosaurs.

Guess I spent too much military time. Inter-ethnics and inter-race situations were rather common place.


Whoa. There are indeed "redmonds" in this day and age?

I thought they died with the dinosaurs.

Guess I spent too much military time. Inter-ethnics and inter-race situations were rather common place.

jersey pig

where do these nit wit spammers with the racist crap come from and why have they landed here?

Del in KS

Guys and Dave,

Suggest you ignore the KKK type.

About the guns. That is what I was talking about the other day. A cased 28 guage Purdey. In a few months the wife and I are going to London for a wedding. Will probably visit Purdey and H&H. The two shops are within walking distance. H&H is on Bruton Street. Can't remember the Street for Purdy. We won't be buying anything-just looking and drooling. When I visited H&H last year a softside leather gun case was $550 bucks. While not out of my range its too much money for what you get. That day I walked down Picadilly Circus and few hours later they found the Muslim car bomb that did not explode in front of a night club.


If we are going to look maddeningly priced guns - these are the ones I want to look at.


Those things are gorgeous. My dad and I once spent an afternoon at H&H in London just looking. You can be as upset as you like about the aristocratic nature of part of British culture, but it doesn't change the fact that I'd like to try it for myself for a couple days! In the mean time, more pics of the impressive craftsmanship that these guns represent. I'd like to hear a little of your opinion on nice falling blocks like the Farqharson or the Martini and Hagn. I love the lines on those guns.


What do the English know, can't even spell purty, much less make a practical shootin iron.

This reminds me of those sitting in front of a Barber Shop looking at things go by.

This reminds me of those sitting in front of a Barber Shop looking at things go by.

I’m getting the impression that F&S is becoming nothing but a “Dream Boy Rag!”

All show and no go!

I'll stick to my M-38 Jeep thank you!

Clay Cooper

Clay Cooper said that!

Clay Cooper

Material things may be nice, but the adventure of being someplace is awesome like camping out laying in your sleeping bag looking up at the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis!

Now wet your pants!

Jim in Mo.

I love these kind of gun articles (blogs). Sure those guns are for the wealthy and if I fit that category that Purdy set would be mine. Why not, I'd have something tangible. For example. Tonight a few miles south of me in STL, there will be a reception/dinner for John McCain. For you and your spouse to actually dine with the man, meet the man, and have your pic taken with the man, $100,000. And yet there will be people falling all over themselves to fork out the money.
Me, I'll take something of lasting value.


KJ, I agree I like going to classic car shows too. But then again they are something that most men and a few women understand. What I mean is if the owner says it has a Chevy 454 Big Block engine with a Roots Blower and a Holly 800CFM carbs most but not all men would know what you are talking about. Fine shotguns I am totally clueless about. Yes I know I am unrefined and my heart starts racing if you mention simpler rifles and pistols. Take me to a gun show and let me hold and drool over old military rifles and I am in seventh heaven. Buy me a Romak SSG-97(Dragunov)in 7.62X54 and I will be your slave for life.

Tom the Troll


Ehhh! Art imitating life! Bottom line; when you pull the trigger they all usually go BOOM.

Robby Knight

I am not going to prison. The man from the FBI assured me that I wasn't! http://nimbusters.org/forum/forum.php?board=8

Ace Thomason

I am not going to prison. The man from the FBI assured me that I wasn't! http://nimbusters.org/forum/forum.php?board=8

Jim in Mo.

To All,
Remember the joke about wrestling with a pig.

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