I dont like the fittings etc being "damascus" cheapens the whole concept (despite the price tag !!) to OTT for me... lacks the elegance of real pattern welding in my opinion, too bold and obvious, not subtle enough, whilest very well fitted and finished etc the barrels are not real in my opinion, powder metallurgy is a substitute for the real thing, I prefer my 1880s side by side which has real lapped stub twist blacksmith made barrels, forged round a mandrel.... were these barrels made like that, or were they machined out of a thick block ? it doesnt say in the article.
The barrels were machined*. While I agree that old pattern Damascus barrels are stunning, the fact is they aren't as strong and are very difficult to make well in this day and age. The gun here was built not just as an item to sell, but also as an engineering exercise in what was possible, much like a concept car.
As a result Purdey can now put individual Damascus parts on any gun, i.e if you want a standard 12 bore side by side but with a Damascus trigger, it can be done, likewise a Damascus action with standard black barrels would also be possible, obviously if a customer wants a copy of the one in the article, that is also available.
Many of Purdey's clientèle are repeat customers who already own an example of everything in the range, part of the idea here was to make something entirely different in order to appeal to these customers and also as a demonstration of what Purdey can do over it's rivals in the trade.
Edited to add: *The individual tubes are machined from drop forgings and then hand filed. Around 50 hours of hand work still goes into the barrels.
The old barrels were not as strong, if you define strength as no liable to distort in any way, however they are very safe, in that they would tend to bulge rather than shatter if the load was too great, due to them being soft. I only answered like the above because I am a blacksmith/bladesmith myself and also an arch conservative (a quality I share with 90 % of this site !) however, the quality of the craftsmanship of that purdey gun is exemplary... rule brittania I say !! one thing puzzles me though, there appears to be a massive number in the top left hand corner of the article... preceded by a £ sign... is this for real ? (yes, I am a peasant).
Oh yes, that is correct! Remember this example is the first gun on Earth of it's type, given it's provenance and the fact it is a Purdey, it will only increase in value. If I had the cash, I'd buy it and stash it away for 10 years as an investment.