James Purdey & Sons, Best Sidelock Double Rifle, In extremely rare .369 Purdey Nitro Express. Between 1880 and 2014 Purdey produced a total of 437 hammerless double rifles in all grades and calibers. This includes sidelock, boxlock,and black powder express rifles. Many were made in Purdey’s proprietary calibers including 120 in .400 straight NE. Purdeys records indicate only 28 were ever produced in .369 Purdey. This rifle was made in the best "between the wars" years in 1934. 25 1/2″ chopper lump barrels fitted with matted quarter rib, holding one standing and one folding leaf express rear sight, an additional custom matching matted quarter rib milled for quick detachable scope mounts. Sunken mid rib is engraved “J. Purdey & Sons. Audley House. South Audley Street. London. Made of Sir Joseph Whitworth's Fluid Pressed Steel” High front ramp is fitted with small steel blade sight. Bbl flats are stamped with London nitro proofs for .369 and for 61 grains of cordite and 270 grain bullet. SNs are stamped on bottoms of barrels, and barrel makers initials “CA” (longtime head barrel maker C. Aston) are on bottom of left bbl. Tube nos. “2917” and “2918” are on loop. Ejectors. Case hardened Beesley patent self-opening sidelock action is specially built for a rifle with heavy bolsters, side clips, and rib extension third fastener. Automatic safety with SAFE inlaid in gold, has pivoting safety bolt lock with “BOLTED” inlaid in gold. Long extended top tang strap. Very rare flip-up peep sight on top lever. Standard features include bushed strikers, raised rib tumbler end cocking indicators, and double triggers. Action and lockplates are finely engraved in typical House style rose and scroll with “J. Purdey & Sons” is at the bottom of each lockplate, and also on bottom of action over “London”. Trigger guard has large open scroll on bow, and SN on tang, which extends to engraved steel cap. Beautifully highly figured marbled European walnut. Steel capped pistol grip buttstock measures 14 3/4″ LOP over a light brown leather covered pad. Stock features typical Purdey beaded shadow line right hand cheekpiece, drop points, point pattern checkering at grip, and with sling loop matching that on barrel bottom, and large gold oval on toe line unengraved. Matching splinter ejector forend has Anson push button release. Iron is stamped with actioners initials “FW” (Fred Williams). Comes with rings mounted on modern Leupold VX-III 1.5-5x illuminated scope. Weight without scope: 9 lbs. 9 oz. Canvas and leather case with maker's labels. Case contains 2-pc cleaning rod, jag, and extra striker. CONDITION: Excellent, as partially refinished. Bbls retain essentially all of a London re-black. Action retains approx 60% orig case hardening color, fading and silvering from normal hand wear. Lockplates retain approx 80% of their original color. The "o" in "bolted" has lost it's gold inlay. Stocks retain nearly all of a light hand rubbed oil refinish, sharp edges slightly softened. The finish shows a very few minor rubs and indents. Bores are excellent with sharp, strong rifling throughout. Action is tight. Barrels are on face. Ejectors are in time. Leather covered pad shows scuffing. A beautiful London Best Sidelock double rifle in a very rare and usable caliber. Beginning in 1922, the .369 Purdey was Purdey's proprietary .375 caliber with identical ballistics and identical 0.375 diameter to Holland's .375 H&H.
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