Art of the Gun

Giancarlo & Stefano Pedretti – Master Engravers is the third book in a series on Italy’s most prestigious and venerated engravers. The book contains 256 pages of text and sumptuous full-color plates in an oversized hardcover format. The first Master Engraving volume featured the work of Gianfranco Pedersoli; the second, the art of Firmo and Francesca Fracassi.

The owner wouldn’t let us reveal his name, but shared with us everything else he knew about the rare Krieghoff Tiflis pigeon gun.

In a way, the Tiflis belies the popular notion of a shotgun classic. Although it is a side-by-side sidelock, it doesn’t date back to the 18th or 19th centuries. It was built in 1986 – but only 20 specimens were produced, all of them in 12 gauge, catapulting the Tiflis into the rarified world of limited-production Krieghoffs.

As with many celebrated turning points in the world of fine shotguns, it all started with a bottle of fine port.

In late September 2000, Mr. Nigel Beaumont, Chairman of English gunmaker, James Purdey & Sons, crossed the Atlantic to attend the Vintage Cup World Side-by-Side Championships at the Orvis Sandanona Shooting Grounds in Millbrook, New York.

Once upon a time, the dream of a magnificent plantation called Wingfield bloomed full and flush in the enchanted quail kingdom of South Carolina’s Low Country.

Amid the live oaks and long pines, no more than 60 gentlemen hunters giddy on the stock market bubble would live in grand houses and partake in the sportsmen’s lifestyle entitled to the plantation aristocracy.

Tony Galazan is an intense man. Tony Galazan is an obsessive man. I visited Tony at the Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Company facility in New Britain, Connecticut in mid-February, a few weeks after marveling at his vast exhibit at this year's Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada.

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When is too much never enough?

When it comes to a stunning matched trio of McKay Brown 12-gauge upland shotguns.

The Safari Club International Convention, held this year in Reno, Nevada, is like the metaphoric pirate's treasure trove of the finest shooting and hunting equipment, guns, art and jewelry that the human spirit can generate. The cornucopia of shotguns dazzles the mind and spirit, for here are the most elegant, most elaborate and most technically advanced on the planet.

The shotgun stood upright in a museum-quality case, halogen lamps kindling the mystique of the Prodigal Son.

The Browning Superposed in front of us was a one-of-a-kind called Golden Days. Belgian master engraver Dany Matagne had spent 300 painstaking hours detailing the doves, bobwhite quail and Gamble quail with gold, green gold, copper and palladium - the entire landscape study framed in a floral scroll. If ever there was a rendition of upland heaven, it was here on the receiver of this $80,000 Superposed.

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