It’s difficult to believe that Athol Purdey had to be convinced to produce an Over-and-Under gun, considering it's one of our most popular styles today. This meant that we were relative latecomers to add an Over-and-Under to our catalogue although our competitors had developed various actions in the early years of the twentieth century. 


Although Athol was hesitant in submitting a Purdey Over-and-Under, it was not an entirely new venture. We had previously created a 16-bore Over-and-under percussion rifle for Aga Ali Shah as early as 1843. The first Purdey breech-loading action was built in 1925 and was overly reinforced by modern standards (possibly with an eye to the live pigeon market).


A Strong Foundation

It wasn’t until 1948 and the purchase of James Woodward & Sons that the modern Purdey Over-and-Under was created. Patented in 1913, the Woodward design was famous for being lightweight and exceptionally robust, and the perfect basis for us to refine.

The Purdey Over-and-Under

Two Purdey workers, Ernest and Harry Lawrence, worked to modify the Woodward ejector mechanism. They redesigned the firing pins and implemented other minor improvements to better suit our style. These changes created both the look and design which is at the heart of every Purdey Over-and-Under built to this day.

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