Henry Atkin (From Purdey's),
2 Jermyn St, Haymarket, London
12 bore Sidelock Ejector Pigeon Gun
no. 867
Date of manufacture: pre-1895

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Heritage Guns' Comment

As the top rib and action engraving of this gun proclaims, 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 Pigeon Gun being no exception.
Atkin's records of this period are very sparse and all we know is that it was made as a top lever, ejector, Pigeon Gun and at some time was rebarrelled with 26" tubes. To bring the gun back to its original specification, we have TIG sleeved the barrels back to 30", the normal length for Pigeon guns at the time, and have had Teague Thin-wall Interchangeable chokes fitted. There are signs that the gun's action was not originally intended to carry ejectors but these must have been fitted during the manufacturing process to fulfil the order.
The trigger guard is interesting as it appears to have been purposefully set over to the left so that, although fully protecting the triggers, they are easier to access. We suspect that this was a customer's special requirement for competitive pigeon shooting.
The Chilton locks are of fabulous quality and these combined with beautiful wood and the Teague chokes make this gun perfect for the serious target or pigeon shooter.
Presnted in its Leather & Brass case with some accessories and a reproduction trade label.


The Action is of normal late C19th design and features:
5 x Teague interchangeable thin-wall chokes (IC-Full);
Toplever operating a double bite Purdey Bolt operated by way of a Scott Spindle with a Scott style top rib extension giving a 3rd bite;
H&H style interceptor sears;
Bar action sidelocks by Chilton;
Double triggers bolted by an automatic top tang safety slide;
Southgate ejectors
and an Anson forend catch.
Gun weight 7lb
Engraving style
Best Foliate Scroll. Gold inlaid 'SAFE', Beaded Fences,
Under-bar engraved 'HENRY ATKIN FROM PURDEY'S'.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ½ lbs Rear trigger 4 ¼ lbs
The TIG sleeved steel barrels are 30" 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 2014.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
18.4 (0724")
Teague Thin-Wall
Left Barrel
18.4 (0724")
Chokes fitted

The straight hand stock and splinter forend are crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock is lightly cast-off for a right-handed Gun. It features a vacant, white metal oval, well-defined drop points and is finished with a 3/4" leather recoil pad. There is a small wood inlet repair below the LH lock plate. The forend features an engraved steel forend tip.

Highly Figured walnut

The 24 approx. lines per inch chequering is cut to a normal sidelock 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
14 3/4"
14 7/8"
14 7/8"
15 1/4"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 5/8"
2 1/8"
Cast-off at Comb
Cast-off at Heel
1/8" (approximate)

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;
Scott's top extension patent no. 1902 of 1875;
'Southgate' ejectors patent no. 12314 of 1889;
Anson's forend fastener patent no. 3791 of 1872