James Purdey, 314 ½ Oxford Street, London.
12 bore Bar-action, Bar-in-wood, hammer gun
No. 8854, No.2 of a Pair

Year of manufacture: 1873

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Heritage Guns' Comment

This gun represents a great opportunity to acquire a fine condition example of a sporting hammergun made by this illustrious maker complete with its 'maker's case and fine accessories. The engraving is still crisp on the locks and action, it has a highly figured replacement stock and was re-barrelled by the maker with Whitworth chopperlump tubes around the turn of the century.


The action is a Bar-in-wood design and features:
Double triggers; Stanton, bar-action, rebounding locks;
Dolphin hammers; Percussion fences;
Top lever operating a 'Purdey Bolt' by way of a 'Scott Spindle;
Wedge cross-bolt forend fastener.

Case is a Leather and Brass mid-weight, fitted with card James Purdey & Sons label, new handle and straps and relined in wool baize. Lock is fully functional and has a key.
Engraving style Best fine foliate scroll. 'Purdey Patent' engraved on knuckle and 'Patent' on toplever.
Gun weight 6lb 11oz Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ½ lbs Rear trigger 4 lbs
The replacement Whitworth Fluid Pressed Steel chopperlump barrels are 30" in length, chambered for 2 ½ " (65mm) cartridges and are of chopperlump construction with soft soldered ribs. Top rib is of the smooth, concave, game type. The bores are pit free.
London reproof for 65mm nitro powder cartridges between 1896 and 1904.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
12 (0.729")
0.008" (IC)
Left Barrel
12 (0.729")
0.008" (IC)

Replacement Straight Hand Stock and original Splinter Forend are crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock is lightly cast-off for a right-handed shot, features a white metal escutcheon engraved 'EW' and is finished with a ¾" traditional leather covered recoil pad. There are light internal repairs to the inletting at the action bar (invisible from the outside) and a barely visible inlet within the chequering on the forend.

Highly figured walnut
The 20 lines per inch chequering has been cut to a traditional design. 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 3/8"
14 3/8"
14 7/16"
14 13/16"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 3/4"
2 1/8"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
1/16" (approximate)
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:
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867,
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863,
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865.