Henry Atkin (From Purdey's), 2 Jermyn Street, Haymarket, London
12 bore Sidelock Ejector Gun
No. 397. No 1 of a pair.

Date of manufacture: 1882-3

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Heritage Guns' Comment

The Henry Atkin who built this gun did his apprenticeship at Purdey's under his father, also named Henry, who is said to have been James Purdey's first employee. There is no doubt that he learnt his trade well as all guns produced under his name are truly gorgeous, this sidelock ejector being no exception.
Atkin's records of this period are very sparse and all we know is that it was made for a 'Lord Cremorne as a sidelock ejector circa 1883 although the form of ejector featured was not invented until some years later and is probably a later improvement. The gun has been restocked and given new forend wood to a very high standard. The locks exhibit the interceptor sear most commonly used by John Robertson of Boss & Co fame and are of fabulous quality so it is reasonable to assume that the gun was at least actioned in John Robertson's Soho workshops.
What sets this gun aside from many Best shotguns of the era is the truly lovely engraving: not too fine to be too almost invisible, not too bold to be ostentatious.
The beautiful wood combined with TIG sleeved, steel barrels make this gun perfect for the serious target or game shooter with a love for fine, old shotguns.
Presented in a beautifully relined Leather & Brass guncase with some Accessories.


The Action is of normal late C19th design and features:
Toplever operating a double bite, Purdey Bolt by way of a Scott Spindle;
Robertson style interceptor sears; Bar-action, 9 pin sidelocks;
Double triggers bolted by an automatic top tang, safety slide;
Grant style ejectors tripped by blades running in the action bar
and an Anson forend catch.
Due to the Grant ejector trip system,
there may be a slight tendency for the ejectors to malfunction occasionally.
This should improve with use.
Gun weight 6lb 8oz
Engraving style Best foliate scroll. Gold inlaid 'SAFE'. Fluted fences engraved with acanthus leaves. Finely chiselled action bar. Anson tube gold inlaid, rear lump stamped and triggerguard engraved '1'. Breech face engraved with 'PATENT SG EJECTOR' within an oval.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 lbs Rear trigger 4 lbs
The TIG sleeved steel barrels are 28" in length, chambered for 2 ¾ " (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed dovetail lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib is of the smooth, concave, game style.
Birmingham reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2015.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
18.5mm (0.728")
0.011" (IC)
Left Barrel
18.5mm (0.728")
0.017" (Mod)

The replacement, straight hand stock and splinter forend are crafted from well figured walnut. The stock is cast-off for a right-handed Gun with a very lightly swept comb. It features a vacant, white metal oval, well-defined drop points and is finished with a ½" leather covered recoil pad. The forend wood features an engraved steel tip.

Replacement, Well Figured Walnut Stock & Forend

The 28 approx lines per inch chequering has been freshened to the original pattern.
The stock is finished with a traditional linseed oil based preparation as used on best guns by one of the top English makers. This finish uses no grain fillers to achieve its deep, smooth lustre, only many hours of alternate build and flatting off of the surface.

Approximate stock measurements at date of publication:

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
15 1/8"
15 1/8"
15 1/2"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 5/8"
2 1/16"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
1/8" approx.
1/4" approx.

For the purposes of these measurements, 'Drop at Face' is the 'drop' measurement taken on a line perpendicular to the
line joining the trigger and centre of the butt at approximately 8" from the trigger (front trigger on a double trigger gun).

Patents Exhibited include:
Roger's cocking levers patent no 397 of 1882;
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865;
Holland & Robertson's ejector patent no. 11623 of 1887;
Anson's forend fastener patent no. 3791 of 1872.