Side-by-Side Guns

Built on the famous Beesley action, our side-by-side game gun has changed little since the 1880s

In search of perfection

James Purdey the Younger was determined to create London best guns that could not be bettered. To that end, he adopted the Beesley action, which has been the choice of kings and nobility for their side-by-side shotguns since.

The Beesley self-opening system was patented in 1880, and has sustained the company ever since. Such was its success, that by the late nineteenth century every crowned head of Europe had become a customer of James Purdey & Sons.

The Purdey self-opening shotgun is available in 12, 16, 20, 28 and .410 bore, on dedicated action sizes.

The Beesley Action

The Beesley Action

The Beesley Action

In 1879, Frederick Beesley, a Purdey stocker, invented the self-opening system that uses the residual energy of the mainspring to open the gun and eject the spent cartridges. Patented the following year, he immediately sold the patent to Purdey; and our side-by-side hammerless guns and rifles have been built on the action ever since.

Our side-by-side guns are built on the famous self-opening system patented by Frederick Beesley in 1880. With the exception of our hammer guns, this system has been in use ever since.


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


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


Chopper-lump construction 28", 29", 30" (71cm, 74cm, 76cm)


Fixed or Teague choke tubes


Concave, flat top or Churchill type


Traditional square bar

Ultra round bar

Safety Triggers & Guards

Automatic or non-automatic

Double or non selective single trigger

Flat or beaded edge


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


6lb 6oz (2.94kg) - 6lb 12oz (3.06kg)


6lb 2oz (2.77kg) - 6lb 10oz (3.00kg)


5lb 15oz (2.69kg) - 6lb 4oz (2.83kg)


5lb 2oz (2.32kg) - 5lb 8oz (2.49kg)


4lb 10oz (2.09kg) - 4lb 12oz (2.15kg)




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

The Purdey Brochure

The Purdey Brochure

Discover Purdey's new range of clothing and accessories.

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