Mike’s top choice

Sporting Gun - - SECOND-HAND -

Purdey Sporter

This gun is a true joint ef­fort be­tween Purdey and its part­ner, Perug­ini & Visini in Italy. P&V is not that well known in Bri­tain, but its guns are of the very high­est qual­ity. The com­pany was founded by Vin­cenzo Perug­ini and Darko Visini in the late 1960s, and they set up shop in the com­mu­nity of Maz­zano, just east of Bres­cia, in the gun­mak­ing re­gion of Lom­bar­dia.

Some parts of the O/U Sporter are made by Purdey in Lon­don, while oth­ers are made by P&V in Italy. Purdey sup­plies P&V with the boxlock ac­tion body, bar­rel monobloc, top lever, bolt, safety thumb­piece and safety parts, while lock work and bar­rel tubes are made by P&V. The Ital­ian com­pany also makes the bar­rel tubes and does the joint­ing be­tween the tubes and the monobloc be­cause it is well ex­pe­ri­enced in the oper­a­tion, which is so typ­i­cal of Ital­ian guns. The bar­rels are welded in rather than hard­sol­dered, thus giv­ing an in­vis­i­ble joint.

Ac­tual assem­bly of the gun is done in Italy, with stock wood sourced by Purdey’s wal­nut ex­perts, and they also laser-cut the en­grav­ing.

Then the oper­a­tion moves to Lon­don, where the en­grav­ing is fine-fin­ished by hand, and the gun is treated to the pol­ished ex­cel­lence typ­i­cal of a Purdey. If the cus­tomer spec­i­fies mul­ti­chokes, the gun is sent to Nigel Teague to be fit­ted with his in­vis­i­ble tubes.

Fi­nally, the gun is proofed in Lon­don. What does a sec­ond-hand gun cost? Very few have come on the mar­ket so far, but a gun sold in 2011 was val­ued by the auc­tion house at be­tween £25,000 and £30,000.

Last time I dared ask, the price of a new gun started at £38,000, but it could be de­liv­ered within six months, as op­posed to the long wait for a com­pletely Lon­don­made gun. As a point of in­ter­est, 20-bores are nearly as pop­u­lar as 12s.

“the oper­a­tion moves to Lon­don where the en­grav­ing is fine-fin­ished by hand”

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