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Holland & Holland - Page 3

post #31 of 64
We could divert this thread into an argument about the virtues of double rifles and whether they are worth it. I am, of course, well aware that regulating the barrels of a double rifle is a difficult art and raises the price of the rifle considerably. I am also well aware that getting 1.5-inch groups at 100 yards with a double rifle is excellent performance, but I couldn't resist pointing out that what it took you painstaking labor to achieve with your Holland double rifle, Bubba and Buford would expect to get easily with something they picked up for a few hundred dollars at Wal-Mart.

Comparing Holland's and Purdey's prices with those of high-end continental makers of similar arms only serves to convince that those English makes are preposterously overpriced.
post #32 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
We could divert this thread into an argument about the virtues of double rifles and whether they are worth it. I am, of course, well aware that regulating the barrels of a double rifle is a difficult art and raises the price of the rifle considerably. I am also well aware that getting 1.5-inch groups at 100 yards with a double rifle is excellent performance, but I couldn't resist pointing out that what it took you painstaking labor to achieve with your Holland double rifle, Bubba and Buford would expect to get easily with something they picked up for a few hundred dollars at Wal-Mart.
And, of course, if accuracy were the sine qua non of gun quality, you'd be right. But it isn't (despite Colonel Whelen's oft-repeated assertion). It is just much, much more satisfying to get Wal-Mart bolt-gun accuracy from a gun purchased for completely different reasons (and which meet one's aesthetic needs) than from said Wal-Mart bolt-gun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
Comparing Holland's and Purdey's prices with those of high-end continental makers of similar arms only serves to convince that those English makes are preposterously overpriced.
Not necessarily. Revisit TCN's post (a couple back) re some continental double rifles. And think Abbiatico & Salvinelli and a lot of very fine Bulino engraving by a top Italian engraver. As for preposterous pricing, that, of course, is entirely in the eye (and pocketbook) of the beholder. I seem to recall that you also consider John Lobb prices preposterous, and, given your standards of evaluation for shoes, they are. However, if the quality purchased by these preposterous prices gives the owner incalculable, genuine, and lasting pleasure not provided by that found in lesser shoes (for whatever reasons--including those that make no sense to you), then those prices are, after all,...reasonable. No?
post #33 of 64
Oh, come on, Roger. Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli guns cost but a fraction of their Holland and Purdery counterparts (maybe 25 to 30%). That's sorta like saying that Allen-Edmonds is in the same ballpark, price-wise, as JLP RTW to justify the latter's prices, since you seem to be fond of these shoe analogies.
post #34 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
Oh, come on, Roger. Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli guns cost but a fraction of their Holland and Purdery counterparts (maybe 25 to 30%). That's sorta like saying that Allen-Edmonds is in the same ballpark, price-wise, as JLP RTW to justify the latter's prices, since you seem to be fond of these shoe analogies.
Not true. If you have Angelo Galeazzi, for example, do the engraving and order the very best, you will be in H&H territory.

Edit: Let me add an afterthought to this. I believe that with H&H and Purdey, there is but one standard of quality--so perhaps a better analogy would be with Edward Green than with Lobb, who have both the Classic and Prestige lines. Whether for your 75K GBP you can expect engraving by Ken Hunt (if he's still alive) or not, I'm not sure, but there are no lower-priced guns of that genre (in this case Royal double rifles). Royal double shotguns are a comparative bargain at closer to 50K. On the other hand, with A&S, there is a wide range of quality levels, starting, perhaps, at a mere $32,000. But it is absolutely true that if you want the very best that A&S can put together--which would include engraving in the very most intricate style by a master like Galeazzi--you'll be pushing H&H prices. I recall highly-decorated Beretta sidelocks (with engraving by similarly-qualified top-of-the-heap Italian engravers) at 4 times the price of a top--but catalogued--SO-9.
post #35 of 64
Yeah, but if you have special engraving done on a Holland beyond the basic scroll, you're going to making another jump way up there as well. Starting price for the Famars Avantis in the Prestige grade is about $36,800, which means that you can buy about $83,000 worth of engraving before you even catch up with your "basic" Holland Royal Sidelock Game Gun.

P.S. I just caught your edit. Per the "Blue Book," the base price on a Royal Sidelock with scroll engraving is 60,375 GPB, not the 50K "bargain" you mention, but what's a mere extra $20,000 to a man of means?
post #36 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
P.S. I just caught your edit. Per the "Blue Book," the base price on a Royal Sidelock with scroll engraving is 60,375 GPB, not the 50K "bargain" you mention, but what's a mere extra $20,000 to a man of means?
This is what I was going by:

http://www.hollandandholland.com/gun..._side_shotgun/
post #37 of 64
Then I guess the Blue Book is off, which is very possible. Actually, the price on the H&H site is close to Purdey's, which would make more sense.
post #38 of 64
Over the years I have seen a number of vintage H&H and Purdy double rifles. Those rifles worn in and mellowed from careful use show positively there is something about old world craftsmanship that can not be equaled today. As a fact many guns being made today obviously shoot quite well for your investment dollar but seriously lack the qualifications to ever look as good as many of the older makes no matter how many years one puts to them.

Yes, I know there are many copies of older style rifles being made today but when you look at these rifles they have a lackluster look about them that screams cheap. To get a feel of what the double rifle scene was really like one should read "African Rifles and Cartridges" by Taylor. I am sure you will appreciate the double rifles place in history and its true significance as a hunting weapon for dangerous game much more after completing this book. And as a bonus you will gain insight into the English hunters who used these weapons daily for their living and the few that didn't make it being mauled by big nasty cats. It is well worth the read.


As a footnote Taylor was an ivory poacher in Africa for years. And as such he was so removed the events of the world that he wasn't even aware of beginning and ending of WW2.
post #39 of 64
What of, Selous ?
post #40 of 64
I should point out that recent biographers have indicated that Taylor was largely a fraud. Many of the things he said he did, he did not do. People who knew him said there was no way he ever had the money to own even a fraction of all the fine rifles he said he had. Still and all, had I known he was living in London in dire poverty while I was up at Oxford, I would have loved to have looked him up and plied him with some good whisky and listened to his yarns. Of course at that time I didn't know that he was gay, gay, gay! I bought my copy of "African Rifles and Cartridges" when I was 12 and practically wore it out.

Selous, on the other hand, was quite a noble fellow. I don't think anyone has ever questioned his veracity or integrity. It has been some years since I read Millais' biography of him or his hunting memoirs. I don't know if he was ever that much of double-rifleman. His favorite hunting rifle for many years was a .461 Gibbs on a falling block action, and I have the impression that in his later years he mostly used bolt actions. As I recall, he was killed in action right about the time of his 65th birthday, which seems like a very admirable way to go.
post #41 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post

Selous, on the other hand, was quite a noble fellow. I don't think anyone has ever questioned his veracity or integrity. It has been some years since I read Millais' biography of him or his hunting memoirs. I don't know if he was ever that much of double-rifleman. His favorite hunting rifle for many years was a .461 Gibbs on a falling block action, and I have the impression that in his later years he mostly used bolt actions. As I recall, he was killed in action right about the time of his 65th birthday, which seems like a very admirable way to go.

He didn't use , a Westley Richards?
post #42 of 64
Here's a well-matured Purdey shotgun:
post #43 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
We could divert this thread into an argument about the virtues of double rifles and whether they are worth it. I am, of course, well aware that regulating the barrels of a double rifle is a difficult art and raises the price of the rifle considerably. I am also well aware that getting 1.5-inch groups at 100 yards with a double rifle is excellent performance, but I couldn't resist pointing out that what it took you painstaking labor to achieve with your Holland double rifle, Bubba and Buford would expect to get easily with something they picked up for a few hundred dollars at Wal-Mart.

Comparing Holland's and Purdey's prices with those of high-end continental makers of similar arms only serves to convince that those English makes are preposterously overpriced.

Well, you can't get a Nitro Express at Wal-Mart.

Jon.
post #44 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
Oh, come on, Roger. Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli guns cost but a fraction of their Holland and Purdery counterparts (maybe 25 to 30%). That's sorta like saying that Allen-Edmonds is in the same ballpark, price-wise, as JLP RTW to justify the latter's prices, since you seem to be fond of these shoe analogies.

Hartman & Weiss (GER) and Fabbri (ITALY) are both a touch more expensive than Pudey.
post #45 of 64
AyA (Aguirre y Aranzabal) No.1 and No.4 are often considered the best copies of H&H and Westley Richards shotguns, respectively. The No.25 is very close to a Churchill design, and the No.2 is very close to Boss. Copycats, but quite well-made, and a very good pair of bangs for your buck.
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