The London Best gun is one of those things that I can’t afford and I don’t really want, but it nonetheless comforts me to know they still exist in the world.
This video I found recently dates to 1956 gives a fascinating glimpse of old fashioned gunmaking. The man fitting the action to the stock uses the traditional black smoke. Wherever the smoke leaves a smudge on the wood, the stocker will file off a tiny bit more until the fit is perfect.
The guns are still made today as you see it done in the video, although some parts are now made by CNC machines (That bit in the video about “The human eye is more precise than any machine?” Not so much any more.) Even so, it still takes about 500 hours of highly skilled labor to build a British Best, which will cost you upwards of $89,000 for one