Mike’s top choice
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”