Because it’s there, obviously. In this case, “it” was Damascus steel strong enough to fashion into a shotgun capable of withstanding modern shells, supplied to English gunmaker James Purdey & Sons by Sweden’s Damasteel AB. Those of you who know about such things don’t need me to tell you that Damascus steel refers to hot-forged “folded” metal, once used for shotguns, but abandoned due to the fact that the molded barrels deformed and/or failed with high pressure loads. (Not good.) The new over and under shotgun’s strength relies on a hi-tech “Powder Metallurgy Method” . . .
Wikipedia has this to say about that:
Powder metallurg is a forming and fabrication technique consisting of three major processing stages. First, the primary material is physically powdered, divided into many small individual particles. Next, the powder is injected into a mold or passed through a die to produce a weakly cohesive structure (via cold welding) very near the dimensions of the object ultimately to be manufactured. Pressures of 10-50 tons per square inch are commonly used. Also, to attain the same compression ratio across more complex pieces, it is often necessary to use lower punches as well as an upper punch. Finally, the end part is formed by applying pressure, high temperature, long setting times (during which self-welding occurs), or any combination thereof.
Anyway, Purdey & Sons are known for their engraving—which this gun doesn’t have (save the maker’s name). The gunsmiths’ marketing mavens didn’t want to mess with the Damascus steel’s distinctive grain pattern.
Now how much would you pay? Well don’t answer . . .
“Our whole gunmaking team have really enjoyed working on this project to design and build the world’s first all Damascus gun,” said Nigel Beaumont, chairman of James Purdey and Sons. “The finished product shows off the beauty of its special steel to great effect and weighing in at 6lbs 12ozs it shoots exceptionally well. Given the Damascus Gun’s unique provenance we are confident it will become a highly prized collector’s item.”
Tease. And the actual retail value of the shotgun showcase is . . .
The new gun weighs 6lbs 12ozs, has 30” barrels and 2 3/4 inch chambers and will be priced at just over £100,000.