Purdey Sporter: first look

Here we’re taking a first look at the famous London gunmaker’s new Sporter, developed with the help of a top American shotgun coach

James Purdey & Sons are undoubtedly one of the world’s best known and respected gunmakers, but generally associated with ‘Best’ London side-by-side game guns rather than competition over-and-unders. That could be about to change, however – because the company, founded in 1814, has just launched a brand new Sporter.

The gun is based on the award-winning Purdey Trigger Plate action, which was designed for superior strength and durability, tested with over 150,000 cartridges fired over a four year period. The trigger plate design became popular with manufacturers using CNC machinery in the mid to late 20th Century.

Purdey’s first dedicated gun with such an action was their Sporter model, launched in 2007 as a crossover clay/game gun, although the company’s first ever trigger plate gun, with additional sideplates for decoration, was a side-by-side made in 1880.

The new Sporting Clays gun combines this detachable trigger mechanism with the features of a high performance competition Sporting shotgun. The specifications were developed by an in-house team, with the assistance of Don Currie, professional shotgun coach, gun fitter and chief instructor of the US National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA).

“Purdey’s new Sporting Clays gun does not re-invent the wheel, it perfects the ride,” Don Currie says. “The balance and pointability is every bit as good as we hoped, giving a quick, responsive feel, which is so essential for a Sporting shotgun.”

The new gun has a 5mm raised rib, tapered 11mm to 7mm, a higher comb and an ergonomically designed grip and palm swell. The company say that all the features have been designed to a high standard with intricate details and specific attention to the all-important balance.

The new Sporting Clays model features Purdey’s award-winning detachable trigger plate action

The specially designed stock and the grip assists the shooter’s mount and handling and reduces felt recoil as much as possible. The top rib is ventilated with a stylish ‘attacking’ formation, and the side ribs are of an angled, double vented design to complete the look.

The gun is made and assembled by Purdey craftsmen in the state-of-the-art London workshop, combining their skills with technology to create a beautiful, handmade ‘Best’ London shotgun with superior quality and performance.

The new Purdey Sporting Clays is currently available in 12 bore, and will soon also be made for customers in 20 bore, with prices starting from £65,000 plus VAT. Its bespoke range of options include barrel length, chamber length, choke configuration, engraving and action finish. These allow the customer to build their perfect gun, suited to their individual taste and, importantly, their style of shooting.

When customising stock dimensions, a Monte Carlo or standard comb design is offered, with options of rubber or leather-covered recoil pad. The choice of choke includes a fixed set-up, or Teague’s multichoke options of flush, ½ in extended, 1in extended, or 1in extended-ported.

Extended chokes can be marked according to local or international designations. The gun is finished to the same exceptional standard as all Purdey guns.

For more information see www.purdey.com

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