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Posted By: canvasback Purdey Barrel Length - 05/05/18 09:12 PM
This isn't the end of the pool I'm normally swimming in but I just noticed a James Purdey & Sons of Audley House 12 gauge lying across my dining room table. So I did the first thing that we all do when we come across a Purdey in our homes. I measured the barrel length. 25".

Doesn't look cut but I also can't recall seeing a Purdey with 25" barrels before. How (un)common might that be?
Posted By: PALUNC Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/05/18 09:16 PM
Gee I wish I could find a Purdey laying around.
Though I have never seen one you can email them and confirm the original barrel length.
Cheers
Posted By: 1cdog Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/05/18 09:22 PM
What does the Rib say?
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/05/18 09:34 PM
Gun dates to 1930. It's a self opener. It's #1 of a pair and we know why the #2 gun got sent away. The rib says "J. Purdey & Sons Audley House South Audley Street London Made of Sir Joseph Whitworth's Fluid Pressed Steel"
Posted By: eightbore Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/05/18 09:55 PM
A 25" Purdey was sold at auction in PA a few years ago. I think I called on the gun and may have the serial number in my files.
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/05/18 10:00 PM
Originally Posted By: eightbore
A 25" Purdey was sold at auction in PA a few years ago. I think I called on the gun and may have the serial number in my files.


Wouldn't be this gun. In the same family since new. This one is 243xx.
Posted By: ClapperZapper Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/05/18 11:33 PM
I'd say, that if it was produced during the time of Churchill's effort, relatively common. Competitive forces and what not.

If the top rib engraving/matting looks off, well, you know.
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 12:15 AM
The more I think about it, the original owner spent a lot of time in central Ontario ruffed grouse country, along the shores of Lake Huron. He hunted deer as well. Waterfowl and prairie upland like sharptail and pheasant, not so much. I'm guessing he fell prey to the idea that to hunt the grouse woods, one must have a short barreled gun.
Posted By: Recoil Rob Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 12:32 AM
Why not email Stephen Murray at Purdey's on Monday? He was very accommodating about info on my gun, even sent along a photo of the man who ordered it in 1894....

Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 12:41 AM
That's a good idea Rob but I don't want to spend the money until I decide if I'm buying it. They usually charge for that sort of info, I think. Boss wanted 50 pounds.
Posted By: PALUNC Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 12:48 AM
I beleive they charge only if you want a letter. But they should offer up some information in an email.
Posted By: KDGJ Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 12:48 AM
CB,

I called H&H on a gun (when they had an office in NYC). They read me specs over the phone. Purdey's may give you the barrel length without charging. Until you send the email, you'll never know.

It would be interesting to know if Purdey built a 25" gun. H&H built came out with the Brevis model in the 30's to get in the lightweight fad. The barrel length was 26" or 26.5".

Ken
Posted By: old colonel Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 03:08 AM
Email Purdey, they were very nice emailing a picture of the page recording the original order on my 16ga
Posted By: Recoil Rob Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 04:45 AM
They didn't charge me for info, I think if you just ask them to confirm the barrel length they may do it.
Posted By: Chukarman Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 04:55 AM
The rib might tell you something about the influence that made Purdey's built a 25" gun. MOST 25" guns that were built were built according to Churchill's ideas, which included a raised, narrow, file cut rib.

PS: just about all Purdeys built in the last century were self openers built on the Beesley action design.

Can you post a picture?
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 08:53 PM
Here are some pics. Didn't get a good one of the rib before it started raining.




Posted By: Jagermeister Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 09:54 PM
It's custom built gun, therefore, anything is possible meaning it doesn't have to have 25" barrels along with triangular tapering Churchill rib. If the barrels have choke constriction and are sound I would buy that gun. Remember new one would cost in excess of £100,000, Another plus is if you own that you can sell excess guns you don't need. If fears that Canada will have lead shot ban expressed as by one Canadian member of Upland Journal BBS come to fruition a Purdey will still hold very good price because it's a Purdey. Someone re-blackened the safety button, but one must remember that re-blackening of barrels and small parts doesn't take away from the value if correct method was used. It would seem more consistent if "1" was gold inlaid in similar fashion to ward "SAFE".
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 10:19 PM
Man I can't wait to hear Keith. LOL
Posted By: Jagermeister Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 10:22 PM
Originally Posted By: canvasback
Man I can't wait to hear Keith. LOL


Why? It looks like a nice shotgun to me. While form practical standpoint H&H Royal makes more sense for typical hunter to own the Purdey actioned gun from Purdey is more prestigious to own. One does not come across something like this in person every day.

It must have been a shock for him that in link provided by you from SGCF he realized that the poster was describing someone exactly like himself. [censored] Keith.
Posted By: KDGJ Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 11:10 PM
CB,

How does the gun balance with the 25" barrels? I would think Purdey would make sure the gun had balance and good dynamics. Also, what is the weight of the gun?

Thanks,
Ken
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 11:24 PM
Originally Posted By: KDGJ
CB,

How does the gun balance with the 25" barrels? I would think Purdey would make sure the gun had balance and good dynamics. Also, what is the weight of the gun?

Thanks,
Ken


I haven't shot it yet. Feels very lively with the weight centred between the hands. A bit weird for me as all the guns I shoot are between 28' and 30".

The weight is 6 pounds 1.7 ounces.
Posted By: ClapperZapper Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/06/18 11:29 PM
Why no pics of the muzzles if that was your original question?
Or the end of the rib?
No choke measurements either?

I pretty much doubt anyone lopped off the barrels on a best grade Purdey. FWIW
Posted By: old colonel Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/07/18 12:05 AM
Originally Posted By: ClapperZapper
Why no pics of the muzzles if that was your original question?
Or the end of the rib?
No choke measurements either?

I pretty much doubt anyone lopped off the barrels on a best grade Purdey. FWIW


Yes there are people who would do exactly that. I have a 16ga Purdey someone cut off from 30 to 26 inches leaving no choke. Cannot say why they did it, but it did give me the chance to buy it cheap as a project gun into which I added briley thin wall tubes, a light microcell pad to replace a heavy solid rubber pad (to rebalance), a wood refinish, resulting in a good shootable hunter, but not collector gun.
Posted By: old colonel Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/07/18 12:08 AM
Email Purdey, they will answer the question on original barrel length.

If it is cut off it may still be shootable, but that will depend on balance.
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/07/18 12:14 AM
Itís Sunday. I emailed Purdey earlier as I said. I am positive they have not been cut. I expect Iíll hear back tomorrow.

As for cutting barrels of fine guns, I was examining a Lindner Daly Diamond Grade yesterday that had the barrels cut to 22 inches. Even remounted the ivory bead. Beautiful gun absolutely ruined.

Edit: Oops. I wrote out a post thanking all for advice and saying I would be emailing Purdey as per suggestions. Just noticed itís not there. Donít know what happened except Iím turning 60 shortly.
Posted By: Chukarman Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/07/18 04:56 PM
Just looking at the photos posted, I think that the gun is almost completely original and not cut. It is a very good example of Robert Churchill's ideal. I would be very tempted to buy and shoot this gun.
Posted By: PALUNC Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/07/18 07:04 PM
It would be interesting to know the history of these guns. What was the purpose the guy had a pair of 25" guns made. What was he planning to use them for?
Also interesting that Purdey did not opt for the traditional Churchill rib.
Anyway I have been reading lately that short barreled guns are a bargain now and should be considered. For most shooting I do now (clays ) the 25" barrels would not be an issue
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/07/18 07:39 PM
Originally Posted By: PALUNC
It would be interesting to know the history of these guns. What was the purpose the guy had a pair of 25" guns made. What was he planning to use them for?
Also interesting that Purdey did not opt for the traditional Churchill rib.


While we can't know exactly what was in his mind, the gentleman who ordered these guns got them for he and his wife to use around their cottage on Georgian Bay, which is a large part of Lake Huron. The most common quarry in that area is undoubtedly ruffed grouse. While I'm checking with a crappy Galazan choke tool, rather than a proper bore gauge, the chokes seem to be full and improved cylinder. The full not so good for ruffies but the IC is about perfect.

His gun was the number 1 gun and his wife used the number 2 gun. When she died, he sold the number 2 gun. Could not bear to have it around any more. This happened decades ago.

He was a very wealthy gentleman for whom the cost of things was not as important as being able to have and use the things he wanted to have. The person I'm dealing with is the grandson, someone I have known for 45 years. My brother dated his older sister decades ago and before that, my uncle, who would now be 101 were he still alive, nearly married his mother. The families have known each other for a while. But the guns have been out of sight for a long time. None of the later generations shoot or hunt.

No word back from Purdey.
Posted By: PALUNC Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/07/18 10:46 PM
Sounds like a great gun. You will be lucky to own the Purdey especially since you knew the man and the family.
Posted By: KDGJ Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/07/18 11:31 PM
CB,

Don't expect an immediate response to an email from Purdey. If you don't hear from them by next Mon, then you may need to call. The 25" are unique, but they unfortunately are a detriment to the price in today's long barrel length fad.

Ken
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/08/18 01:33 AM
Mike, I'm not the owner yet and don't know if I will be in the future. It's in my care because they didn't know who else to turn to to help them sort out about a dozen guns. And once I got them all, it's clear they have been in the hands of people who had no idea what they were doing, including the gunsmiths. There is a Greener, blued from stem to stern, that was buffed so badly, I can barely read the trigger tang serial number. I have been most relieved to find no lasting damage done to the Purdey. All that is amiss is the finish on the wood is starting to be a bit rough.

The longer the Purdey is with me, just 3 days now, the less appeal it has for me. Clearly a finely made gun but I likely would never be happy with those barrels. However, I will be shooting it a bit over the next month and perhaps that will change my feelings about it.

If and when I hear back from Purdey, I will post the response.

I appreciate all who weighed in. Thanks.
Posted By: Nitrah Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/08/18 02:12 AM
First let me say I am a fan of 30" barrels but have a couple friends, one of whom is an engineer and extremely particular about balance and moi. He examined another friends 25" barreled 20 bore Purdey and measured moi. He described the gun as dynamic, not whippy at al and a delight to shoot. Don't judge it until you have had a chance to shoot it
Posted By: 2-piper Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/08/18 01:36 PM
My favorite barrel length has for many years now been 28". I have shot with barrels from 26" to 32". On none of these did I have any problems which I could relate to barrel length. My general goal is to "Shoot" the birds not Swat them out of the air nor do I do much pole vaulting while hunting.

While barrel length "FADS" don't change as quickly as Skirt lengths they do change. I would highly suspect that a persons build has a lot to do with this. I am only about 5' 8Ĺ" so the shorter barrels suit me fine, if you measure 6' 6" maybe they won't suit so well.

For most field shooting I prefer nothing longer than 28", for a duck gun then 30" is fine, although nearly all the ducks I have killed has been with a 26" barreled 12 gauge @ 7Ĺlbs. The 32" ones I shot were both 10 gauges weighing in at 10lb or +.

That 7Ĺlb 12 gauge is choked ,012" R & .024 L. By varying the load it has killed woodcock, quail, rabbit, dove , duck, a few squirrels (I mostly use .22 LR SV for these) & a few turkey. The short barrels were never a handicap.

Like the old Owl I didn't really care what the trap & skeet shooters liked, I was always a hunter, never liked the taste of Clay. That 25"er out to be a dandy in Grouse & Woodcock country.
Posted By: Jagermeister Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/08/18 04:04 PM
It's impossible to evaluate something so special and unique from pictures alone it must be held and examined in person. If brace of guns was for single "rough shooter" I would expect choke combo for one 1/-4-1/2 or 1/2-full or something similar, but for two person team 1/4-full makes very good sense taking very good advantage of two triggers and two barrels. One does not come across charmer sold by family members of original owner a lot making it a little more special, but if the "shoe doesn't fit it doesn't fit". How the guns fits and feels to the shooter is also important because bringing down birds is also important.

PS. If you don't buy it I would think it would be worthwhile to find another Canadian buyer. It would be a shame to export something like this out of the country if it can stay there.
Posted By: AmarilloMike Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/09/18 12:34 AM
I have several 26" barreled bird guns. I can't tell the difference between shooting 26" barreled guns and those with 28" barrels. I can tell the difference between 26" and 32" guns though.

I think that if you happen to shoot that Purdey well you won't even notice the barrel length.

Don's moment of inertia measurements don't rule out a 25" gun and a 29" gun having identical MOIs.

The clays shooters won't like the 25" barrels. But they won't like the 28" either.
Posted By: obsessed-with-doubles Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/09/18 01:23 AM
Hint: Purdey bbls have tube numbers on them, usually stamped around the forend loop. These numbers are usually 5-digit and consecutive (one for each tube). They also differ from the gun's serial #.

Do the barrels on this Purdey have tube numbers?

OWD
Posted By: DAM16SXS Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/09/18 03:26 AM
That Purdey dates to a time when short-barreled guns were all the rage in England. It doesn't surprise me at all.
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/09/18 12:12 PM
Originally Posted By: obsessed-with-doubles
Hint: Purdey bbls have tube numbers on them, usually stamped around the forend loop. These numbers are usually 5-digit and consecutive (one for each tube). They also differ from the gun's serial #.

Do the barrels on this Purdey have tube numbers?

OWD


Yes they do. 60625, just where you suggested they would be.
Posted By: SKB Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/09/18 12:29 PM
James,
Try not to be such a disappointment to the board like the recent Boss incident wink


I shot a loaned 50's vintage short barreled Purdey at a few rounds of trap. We bonded nicely. Give it a go and let us know how you shoot it.
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/09/18 02:22 PM
LOL Steve, I'm doing my best. I haven't said anything about the disappointing Lindner Daly Diamond Grade I saw the same day as the Purdey.
Posted By: 1cdog Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/10/18 11:26 AM
Cback, I recently acquired a 26 inch barrel Greener SLE. I usually shoot 28 inch barrels, occasionally 30 inch, but never anything shorter than 27.

I have not had the opportunity to hunt with the gun yet but after 2 trips to shoot sporting clays I can say that I was very pleased with the handling and pointing characteristics of the gun. I will use the gun this Fall for sure.

So FWIW give that 25 inch barrel Purdey a chance. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Posted By: Karl Graebner Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/10/18 01:53 PM
I concur with tcdog. After shooting 28 & 30 in. barrels I have naturally gravitated to shorter barrels due to age and shoulder surgery. I find that after the muscle memory kicks in, the magic begins.
Karl
Posted By: halifax Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/11/18 05:53 PM
Fieldsport, Traverse City, Michigan, had a 28 bore Purdey with 25" barrels for sale a couple of years ago. Bryan had it for at least 2 years in the rack. It was a beautiful gun and it was priced right but was a hard sell because of the barrel length. In addition, it was built in the late 70's when the quality of a Purdey was probably at its lowest historical ebb.

I think Purdey only has one qualifying issue when they build a gun and that is that it must be built with their "self opening" system for a double gun. They, also, will not build a 2 inch, 12, these days.
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/12/18 09:59 PM
Well, given that I had no prior experience with Purdeys, I thought I might go have the gun assessed by our own CJO. Always an enjoyable time plus I got an in person update on the progress of my Lindner Diamond Grade.

CJO described the gun as clearly original with Churchill rib and factory short (25") barrels. Original finishes and likely never opened up. He thought it was in very good condition, better than several similar Purdey's he's seen sell in the last couple years.

Haven't shot it yet but hope to get out next week.
Posted By: steve voss Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/12/18 10:47 PM
Canvasback, I find IC/Full to be the perfect rooster/prairie grouse combo. YMMV
Posted By: LeFusil Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/12/18 10:50 PM
It doesnt look like the ďnormalĒ Churchill style of rib to me.....could you snap another pic of the rib? My Churchill ribs taper from the breech and the top is file cut/matted. Purdeys are amazing. I have honestly never seen a bad one...even the dreaded 1970ís guns.
Posted By: eddiel4 Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/12/18 10:55 PM
Several years ago a friend bought a William Ford 12 gauge with approx. 24" barrels. We both loved the gun and assumed the barrels were cut however since it was intended for Mi. Grouse we were OK with it since the wood, the engraving and the condition were all excellent. The tubes were touching at the muzzle and imagine our surprise when the chokes (measuring almost 3") came out to .035" and .042"! A few years later I was in Birmingham England and had the good fortune of visiting Ford and looking in their ledger. I was able to find it and in the remarks column was written "Alligator gun". When I asked about this the fellow who was helping me remembered hearing about such guns. They were made for dispatching the Alligator, once captured, over the gunnel of the boat. I always thought this was a neat find and if providence hadn't played a part we would never have known "the rest of the story". By the way, in our mid 70's, the gun actually handles very nicely especially in heavy cover with these short tubes. He's never opened up the chokes wanting it just as it came. It's either a feather explosion or nothing. Thinking about this I may be mixing up two species, on second thought it could have been a Croc gun instead of Alligator. Seems to make more sense this way...
Posted By: Karl Graebner Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/12/18 11:06 PM
Eddie,
Have you ever tried spreader loads in it to tame the chokes? I tend to leave guns as they were born within reason.
Karl
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/13/18 12:53 AM
You don't want spreaders for gators, Karl. Everything needs to be concentrated for gators, and big hogs. wink

SRH
Posted By: Karl Graebner Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/13/18 02:54 AM
Stan,
He mentioned shredded birds and I thought that was his quarry. As is I'm sure the gun would work for the intended game, but with birds it might need some help as choked.
Karl
Posted By: PALUNC Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/16/18 11:07 AM
Was looking at the new DGJ last night and a dealer has listed a 25" Purdey for sale.
Posted By: 1cdog Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/16/18 01:00 PM
There is IMO an excellent write up on "Length of Gun Barrels" in the "Shots from a Greener Gun" from 1927.

I don't have the time to re-type the whole thing but the article starts off addressing "advertisements of a gunsmith who has discovered extraordinary virtues in an exact barrel length of 25 inches, nether more nor less."

To summarize, the article does not denigrate 25 inch barrels but points out that they are no more superior than any other length. It all depends on the individual and the type of hunting/shooting - as to what barrel length is more effective.
Posted By: 1cdog Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/30/18 11:41 AM
The Julia March 2010 auction had an original 25 inch barrel, 12 gauge Purdey for sale.

Made in 1933, it had a "very narrow concave swamped rib." Purdey were calling it "The Purdey Lightweight."

Cback, if you need more info on this particular gun let me know.

Edited to add the sale price. Including commission the gun sold for $31,625
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/30/18 07:39 PM
1cdog, thank you for the info. I suppose a little more info would be interesting. The condition and chokes would be valuable to know but please don't go to much trouble.
Posted By: KDGJ Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/30/18 09:27 PM
Wow! The gun went for $31K plus in 2010. P 25"

The condition looked good, however it had a butt transplant.

Ken
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/30/18 10:51 PM
Thanks for the link Ken.

Now though Iím a bit confused. Is the $31k the hammer price or after the buyerís premium?
Posted By: KDGJ Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/30/18 11:15 PM
Julia's numbers include the buyer's premium.

Ken
Posted By: KDGJ Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/31/18 03:11 PM
CB,

Another quasi comparison P with Churchill . This gun has 25" Churchill barrels on a Purdey action. The weight is 6 lbs 10 oz so it isn't a lightweight. Champlin is asking ~10K.

Ken
Posted By: 1cdog Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 05/31/18 05:02 PM
Cback, looks like KDGJ provided a link. I have the catalogue but the link has the same info.

In hindsight that seems an awful lot for that gun but there is the rarity aspect plus I think British SxS guns were going for a little more back in 2010 than they are now. Also with an auction it only takes 2 interested, determined bidders to run a price up real quick.
Posted By: eightbore Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 06/05/18 10:03 PM
Canvasback is having the same results from Purdey's as I am. I am several months behind in getting provenance information after several pleas by email. I guess I will have to like my gun without provenance.
Posted By: canvasback Re: Purdey Barrel Length - 06/05/18 11:08 PM
Shot the gun last Saturday a couple rounds of skeet. First time out shooting since the fall hunting season. Plus, didn't have my glasses with me so rather than seeing orange discs, I was looking for fuzzy orange balls. Quite enjoyed the gun and shot it well, at least for me, under the circumstances.
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