I love old Purdeys, and when I take a look at the one you see here, I remember why. When this side-by-side was made around 1869, centerfire, breechloading shotguns like it were the latest-and-greatest thing. Even though its Henry Jones Screw-Grip Action looks primitive to us today, it was cutting-edge back then.
But even though this Purdey was built with the latest features from its era, it retains the understated, elegant looks that had made James Purdey’s firearms famous and that would define them throughout the 1800s and up to today.
The back-action, island locks on this gun are one of the features that make it special. So is the engraving, probably cut by Purdey’s house engraver at that time: James Lucas. The chiseled fences are also nice, and so is the teardrop shape to the triggerguard. What a gun!
According to Vic Venters, Nelson built around 84 guns in all. Nine clients commissioned these guns; two clients ordered around 60 of them. I believe a few of these guns have changed hands over the years, but it was always done with just a phone call. These guns were not advertised anywhere or on display at a gunshow or in a gunshop. Take a look at the craftsmanship of the SXS show here, you can see why.
P.V. NELSON BEST SIDELOCK SXS 20 GAUGE WITH EXTRA BARRELS: KEITH THOMAS ENGRAVED, MADE 1991, ROUNDED ACTION, 28″ 006 AND 006 2 3/4″, 26″ 009 AND 009 2 3/4″, SINGLE TRIGGER, EJECTORS, BEAVERTAIL FOREARM, ENGLISH GRIP, CHECKERED BUTT, EXCELLENT WITH HANDLING MARKS IN THE WOOD, 5LBS 10 OZ, 2 1/2″ DAH,1 1/2″ DAC, 14 1/4″ LOP. Price:$57,500