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Some of the world's finest bespoke craftsmen are employed in building beautiful sporting guns. As connoisseurs of both custom creativity and gentlemanly pursuits, we have always appreciated the gunsmiths' artistry.

A new volume from French luxury publisher Assouline, Hunting: Legendary Rifles, is a must for any gent looking to get fitted for his first bespoke rifle or shotgun. Whether you intended to only take down clay pigeons or go for big game, a fine firearm is required kit. The beautiful book is a guide to all the best gunmakers, from London's legendary Purdey & Sons, which has strong ties to royalty stemming from Queen Victoria, to the House of Beretta, which dates to 1526 and made guns for Napoleon.

 

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Author Eric Joly, editor-in-chief of Frances Voyages de Chasse magazine, leads the lavish tour of world-class sporting guns. Prodigious craftsmen have forged the legend of these guns down the centuries, he writes, and their creations, constantly being renewed, bear witness to untold passion for this loving chase. Collectors prize the fine engraving which adorns the best-made English and Italian guns, though that is merely icing on the cake; no amount of scrollwork will make you a better shot, but the perfect fit and balance certainly will. Side-by-side shotguns are the most traditional, but Beretta recently gave the storied model an update with a new design by the brilliant Marc Newson.
   

So what to wear on your first hunting excursion?

Bespoke tweeds, of course.

Which is where we come in.

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Words by: JARED PAUL STERN



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