Mike Ge­orge’s buy­ing ad­vice

Sporting Gun - - SECOND-HAND -

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…

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