Henry Atkin (From Purdey's),
2 Jermyn St, Haymarket, London
12 bore Sidelock Thumblever Non-Ejector
no. 274 (No. 1 of a Pair)
Date of manufacture: 1876-87
, probably 1880

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Heritage Guns' Comment

As the top rib 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 one being no exception. Given the long association with Purdey, it is not surprising to find this gun built on Purdey's famous 2nd Patent Thumb Lever, double under bolt.
However, what is unusual is to find a thumb lever on a hammerless gun and the most likely explanation is that the customer had become accustomed to the thumblever on a hammergun and when he moved to hammerless, he stuck with the familiar opening system.
The address on the gun's top rib is a bit of a mystery as Atkin is thought to have moved to Jermyn St in 1890 yet the proof marks are undoubtable pre-1887. It is possible that the rib was replaced or re-engraved but we will never know for sure. The gun was originally made for Hon A Campbell with damascus barrels in approximately 1880.
As the barrels were too thin to reproof, we decided to push the boat out and not only TIG sleeve this gorgeous gun but also have a set of four Teague Interchangeable thin-wall chokes fitted. The result is a gun that has all the hallmarks of a 'collectable' but the usability of a top flight 'shooter'.
The gun retains significant amounts of original hardening colour and other finish and this is a unique chance to acquire a very rare gun by this top rank 'Maker.


The Action is of Purdey's design and features:
60% original hardening colour;
Thumblever operating a double bite, Purdey Bolt;
Interceptor bents;
Bar action sidelocks by John Stanton & Son;
Double triggers bolted by an automatic top tang safety slide
and an Anson forend catch.
Gun weight 6lb 8oz
Engraving style Very crisp Best Bouquet & Foliate Scroll. Gold inlaid 'SAFE' at safety slide.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 4 lbs Rear trigger 4 1/2lbs
The TIG sleeved steel barrels are 29" in length, chambered for 2 3/4" (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed dovetail lump construction with soft soldered ribs. Teague Interchangeable chokes are fitted, four supplied: IC, 1/4, 1/2 & 3/4 (UK sizes).
Top rib is of the smooth, concave, game style. There are some small marks where historic corrosion has stopped the black taking properly.
Birmingham reproof for 2 3/4" 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 (0728")
Left Barrel
18.5mm (0728")

The straight hand Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from well figured walnut. The stock is lightly cast-off for a right-handed shot. It features a vacant, white metal oval, well-defined drop points and is finished with a 1" leather covered recoil pad. The forend features an engraved steel forend tip.

Well 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 1/2"
14 5/8"
14 1/2"
14 7/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 3/8"
1 9/16"
2 1/8"
Cast-off at Comb
Cast-off at Heel
3/16" (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:
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
Anson's forend fastener patent no. 3791 of 1872.