Mike George’s buying advice
Frankly, even if I won several million I don’t think I would buy a new Purdey, Boss or Holland & Holland. It’s not that I don’t hugely admire the finest craftsmanship in gunmaking, but I would be frightened of damaging the gun every time I took it out. I’d also like to spend most of the winnings on my family and something good I’d be remembered for, and nobody really remembers a man just because he once owned a really posh gun.
However, nowadays there is a way around our dilemma, in that some of our most famous gunmakers are lending their names to guns built by, or with the help of, prestige Italian gunmakers. I can’t say I really like the practice, but I am sure it helps the best of British gunmakers to remain solvent and in business, and for that it must be a praiseworthy exercise.
Such guns, when they filter down on to the second-hand market, will go for reasonable prices. So how “reasonable” is that? Well, at the time of writing a lightly-shot Purdey sidelock O/U was being advertised by the maker at £80,000, while I would estimate that a second-hand Purdey Sporter, built in conjunction with a prestige Italian firm, could be bought for less than a third of that. So, in Lottery millionaire’s terms, that could be called “reasonable”.
And, for lesser winners, there are alternatives, as you will see…