Over-and-Under Guns

Perfected by the Lawrence brothers, our over-and-under is unmistakeably a Purdey shotgun

The Purdey family were experimenting with over-and-under designs as far back as 1871, when we created a 16-bore, over and under rifle for Aga Ali Shah.

However it was in 1949 that we acquired London gunmaker James Woodward & Sons. Not only was Woodward famous for an excellent side-by-side; his over-and-under was second to none. Patented in 1913, it was famous for being lightweight and exceptionally strong, so Purdey decided to adopt it as their own.

Ernest Lawrence, whose family had been involved with Purdey since 1898, took the Woodward ejector mechanism and modified many aspects of it. The stock, action and lock shapes were given more slender, Purdey lines. He also re-designed the firing pins, and improved the lock, strap and safety slide.

With some help from his older brother Harry, Ernest created an over and under shotgun that has yet to be surpassed, the design of which forms the basis of every sidelock over and under we build today.

Athol Purdey in The Long Room, 1928

Athol Purdey in The Long Room, 1928

Over-and-under concept designs

For many years Athol Purdey, who managed Purdey’s from 1900 to 1929, was concerned that the over-and-unders of the time were simply not robust enough.

But in 1923, James and Tom Purdey persuaded their father to revisit the over-and-under shotgun. 

Because of Athol’s insistence on making the gun extremely strong, the limited number of over-and-unders we sold over the next two-and-a-half decades used six bites to the action. That gave the gun a heavier, less sleek appearance than was usual in a Purdey. 

It was only after the purchase of Woodward’s on 1st January 1949 that we were able to offer an over-and-under shotgun built along the unmistakeably Purdey line. 

The over-and-under gun is available in dedicated action sizes in all calibres. In square, round, or ultra-round action shapes.


.410, 28, 20, 16, 12-bore on dedicated action sizes


2 3/4" & 3" (70 & 76mm)


Demi-bloc barrels 28", 29", 30" (71cm, 74cm, 76cm)


Fixed or Teague choke tubes


Solid game rib


Ultra round bar

Traditional square bar also available


Non selective single trigger

Double triggers with optional spring bladed front


Flat or beaded edge


Automatic or non-automatic


Straight or Pistol grip

Chequered butt or leather covered recoil pad

Heel & Toe pieces

Gold or silver oval

Inlaid gold letters

Engraving & Finish

Traditional fine rose and scroll with colour hardened or bright finish. Additional engraving options on request.

Weights of guns


7lb 4oz (3.29kg) - 7lb 14oz (3.57kg)


6lb 8oz (2.95kg) - 7lb (3.18kg)


6lb 6oz (2.89kg) - 6lb 12oz (3.00kg)


5lb 10oz (2.55kg) - 6lb (2.72kg)


5lb 4oz (2.38kg) - 5lb 12oz (2.60kg)


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

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