Double Rifles

Likened to the ‘Express’ train, thanks to the bullets’ flat trajectory, heavy weight, and high speed

We have been building best quality single and double barrelled sporting rifles since the firm was established in 1814. Like the shotgun, their design and technology evolved throughout the nineteenth century.

Demand for double rifles reached its peak in the 1870s, when big game hunters sought a rifle that offered the security of two independently firing barrels; vital when being charged by angry quarry.

James Purdey the Younger coined the term ‘Express’ to describe his proprietary large calibre rifle. Mr Purdey only allowed the term to be used in reference to rifles with a muzzle velocity of 1,600 feet per second or faster; this, at a time when most bullets travelled on average 600 feet per second more slowly than that. 

Our double rifles give absolute confidence, crucial when facing dangerous game; the patented Beesley action allowing for fast opening and reloading. 

The performance of our rifles, combined with the graceful Purdey shape and balance makes it, we believe, the finest double rifle in the world.

The ‘Purdey Express’

James Purdey the Younger named the Purdey double rifle ‘Express’ after the ‘express’ trains of the day, which, in the mid-nineteenth century, were the fastest form of transport known to man. The high initial velocity, heavy bullet weight and flat trajectory reminded Mr Purdey of those recently introduced trains, which didn’t slow down until they reached their destination. 

Double Rifle Options


.375, 470, 500, 600 on dedicated action sizes

Other calibres available on request


Chopper-lump barrels from 23"


Express sights on quarter ribs

Large or small bead foresight with flip-up moonlight

Telescopic sights available as required


Traditional square bar bolstered action

Third grip and clip sides

Extended top and bottom strap


Double triggers with spring bladed front


Flat or beaded edge


Non-automatic bolted safety catch


Pistol grip with metal cap and trap

Cheek piece

Sling swivels

Leather covered recoil pad

Gold or silver oval

Inlaid gold letters


Splinter or beaver-tail forends

Engraving & Finish

Traditional fine rose & scroll with colour hardened or bright finish

Additional engraving options available on request


Our Gunroom team at Audley House in Mayfair would be delighted to meet you and discuss your requirements

The Purdey Brochure

The Purdey Brochure

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