On being a “best”, according to gunmaker Dewey Vicknair …

BOSS & CO, LONDON, BEST SXS 20 GAUGE SIDELOCK SHOTGUN
BOSS & CO, LONDON, BEST SXS 20 GAUGE SIDELOCK SHOTGUN

To a lot of people in the gun trade, “Best gun” is fighting words. Traditionally, it’s a handmade sidelock side-by-side shotgun or double rifle built to the highest standards by one of the major London makers like Holland & Holland or James Purdey & Sons.

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE

But today, as some of these famous makers are relying more and more on CNC equipment to build their guns, is it fair to still call these “Best Guns”? And do they still justify their incredibly high prices? Find out what one person thinks.

Is That New “Best Gun” Really What You Think It Is? by Dewey Vicknair

“With the gun first created in “virtual reality” and so much less hand work involved, one does wonder why the price of a modern best is so high, especially considering that one of the biggest names in best gunmaking now makes guns “for stock”, presumably for the buyer who just can’t wait for a bespoke gun.  It might even be said that the buyer is paying for something that he is not receiving, because he believes that he is purchasing a handmade gun when in fact, that gun is mostly made on CNC machinery.”

Read Dewey’s entire piece now

Is a Parker comparable to a Purdey? A gunsmith’s speaks his mind…

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST PRE WAR PIGEON GUN 12 GAUGE

Dewey Vicknair, gunsmith, gunmaker, and gun writer, uses his blog Vicknair Gunsmithing to speak his mind on everything from guns and gunmaking to elephants and ivory.

PARKER DH 8 GAUGE SUPER RARE NOT ANOTHER LIKE IT IN THE WORLD
PARKER DH 8 GAUGE SUPER RARE NOT ANOTHER LIKE IT IN THE WORLD

He’s a knowledgeable, opinionated guy, who doesn’t pull any punches. And his views are firearms are based on more than just books – they’re based on years of hands-on experience.

So when Dewey says something, I listen. Check out this piece for his opinion on how Best guns like Purdeys compare to production-made models like Parkers.

Incredible High Original Condition Parker C Grade Hammer Gun with 32" Bernard barrels:
Incredible High Original Condition Parker C Grade Hammer Gun with 32″ Bernard barrels:

Best vs. Production: The Debate (Apparently) Rages On

Apparently, the term “best gun” and what it means, is a subject of debate lately on certain gun forums.  While it is amusing (and a bit cringey) to hear people extoll Parker (or any other maker) as the “Purdey or Boss” of American guns, it’s simply not even remotely …

Read all of Dewey’s post now.

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