The Purdey Sporter is based on a modified Perazzi-style detachable trigger plate mechanism. This has Woodward-style hinging to the front and Boss-style locking. There are also Boss-style “draws and wedges” on the action walls and barrel monobloc. Leaf springs power the tumblers. The trigger lock detaches quickly by means of a button to the rear of the trigger guard.
Of 117 components in the new gun, 84 have been changed or redesigned. The action has been altered, with a rounded bar, bolsters and scalloping to the rear. There is a Purdey-style thumb-piece on the safety, a Purdey sugar-tong spring for the safety mechanism, a new top lever, a traditional Purdey fore-end tip and a Purdey roundel in the fore-end. The engraving is in a style specially designed for this gun.
The barrels of the test Sporter are well profiled and have a solid sighting rib with subtle taper. The bores are 18.5mm (.728in) in diameter, although 18.6mm (.730in) will be standard from now on. Purdey now screws the barrels into a monobloc in addition to traditional brazing to ensure less distortion when the tubes are heated for the attachment of ribs and regulation. The barrels are tightly chambered and head-spaced to reduce felt recoil. Forcing cones are short and Teague interchangeable chokes are fitted as standard.
The Sporter handles and points naturally with 30in barrels. Trigger pulls are crisp. There is no issue of vibration on closing and there is an absence of significant vibration on firing. The gun shoots exactly where you’re looking and is exceptionally well regulated.
This is an excellent piece of kit and does not look that expensive at £31,625. With the way the euro is going, many upmarket Italian guns are significantly more expensive and none has more refined shooting qualities. The delight and devil are in the detail as Purdey has understood for nearly 200 years. A 20-bore model will be launched this year.
James Purdey and Sons
Price from £31,625
Tel 020 7499 1801