James Purdey & Sons is just two years shy of being 200 hundred years old. In all that time, they’ve made all sorts of shotguns and rifles. Even though I’ve seen lots of them, I’m still surprised by some of the stuff I come across. Just check out this 16 bore “Purdey” percussion stocking rifle. It’s coming up at Dakota Plains Auction Company’s 6/16-6/17 auction.
Even though the barrel is engraved “J Purdey 314 1/2 Oxford Street London” and it wears the other proper marks (serial #2869), I don’t think the entire gun was made in London. To me, the stock and triggers don’t look British. Then there’s the lock and hammer. It lacks the crispness and refinement that I would expect to see on a rifle coming from 314 1/2 Oxford Street London in 1837. Compare it to this and to this to see what I mean. Also, it’s strange that the lock isn’t marked. There’s no “Purdey”on it anywhere, something I would expect to see.
So what is it? I think it’s an American-made, half-stock percussion plains rifle built around a 16 bore J. Purdey barrel. Of course, I could be wrong. Regardless, it does look high quality. It will be interesting to see how much someone is willing to pay for it.