Guns We Are Beneath

*A double rifle in .470 Nitro Express. A sidelock with concealed pins, it took 12 years to build and was available for $1,800,000. (see photo above)

*A round-action side-lever double rifle in .17 HMR. As God is my judge. It was inlaid with butterflies in different shades of gold. They were irridescent, and changed colors as the light shifted. What the little gun cost would send a kid through Harvard, and probably Harvard Law besides.

*A miniature side-by-side .410 shotgun which, if I heard right, weighed just under 2 pounds. This weight was achieved not by the use of lightweight materials, but by scaling down all its parts--even the firing pins--to the absolute minimum size. The stock was bird's-eye walnut, which you rarely see, and because its strength might have been questionable, Hofer's crew epoxied tiny steel wires into its pores, like rebar in concrete. You can't see them, but they're there.

My heart is too full and I cannot go on. You can see for yourself at hoferwaffen.com. Remember when you are viewing that you are not worthy. But then, neither am I.