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Posted By: SXS 40 Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 12/31/20 04:31 AM

How do you tell the first version from the second version Thumbhole Lever type opener?

Posted By: damascus Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 12/31/20 11:13 AM
I must say that I have only handled one first version of a "Purdey thumb leaver opener" Bar in wood. The difference from the later second version was it had a swamped rib and non rebounding locks. But knowing Purdey in the early days they would build what ever you wanted. Though you could say with some certainty rebounding locks where fitted to the second version. It is possible the non rebounding locks could be replaced at some future date by Purdey so may be the serial number of the gun would be of more help.
Posted By: Flintfan Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 12/31/20 12:25 PM
The first version has a bar attached to the "thumb piece" that extends along the bottom of the action for a couple inches.

The second version lacks this extension.
Posted By: LeFusil Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 12/31/20 01:49 PM
I owned a 2nd pattern thumbhole Purdey action hammer gun. I liked it much more in term of elegance as compared to the 1st pattern thumbhole. Really elegant action that I found not to be as cumbersome to operate as some people seem to find them.
Posted By: PALUNC Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 12/31/20 02:20 PM
I actually saw one at Mid South guns yesterday. Very early Purdey push forward.
Posted By: Owenjj3 Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 12/31/20 02:49 PM
There is a first pattern thumb hole For sale at Watson brothers in London. You can do it on their website under the used tab. I believe the first pattern is much more rare than the second pattern and to my eye looks a little bit clunky. The second pattern is actually quite ergonomic Once you get used to it.
Posted By: SXS 40 Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 12/31/20 06:33 PM

Thank you all for your reply's. Flintfans answer was perfect.
Posted By: damascus Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 12/31/20 08:23 PM
This is my second pattern that at the time was a wreck of a gun I fell in love with as a young man in the 1960's, over three years work and more cash than I care to remember for its restoration and in continuous use since. It was once owned by the owner of the wining horse of the 1867 derby "Hermit" at odds of 1000/15, this gun is number one of a set of four he must have had more cash than he would know what to do with.
The bar in wood design was said by Richard Beaumont to be the most elegant of guns ever designed and built by Purdey, and if you would like one we can build you one. I will also say it is one of a very few number of guns that you can walk on to the field and most will know its maker is.

Posted By: David Williamson Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 12/31/20 08:52 PM
damascus, that is surely a magnificent looking gun.
Posted By: Konor3inch Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 12/31/20 09:14 PM
Damascus, a lovely looking gun and testament to a lot of hard work
Posted By: damascus Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 01/01/21 11:14 AM
I did give that second pastern gun at Bonhams a closer look. It has been re stocked and not a very good job of it. The wood quality is a little lacking No drop points, plus the head section is a little narrow because the pins are protruding from the lock plate. It also may have had a replacement main spring in the lock showing because the spring positioning stud is rather to large.And that but plate the less said the better, it could make a nice project if the barrels are OK because the price was good.
Just for some fun the photograph is a card made by my eldest son to send to friends, inside was written "For the man who has everything" you will receive them tomorrow. On the rear of the card was "tomorrow never comes." They are two of the hardest to get man toys.

Posted By: Toby Barclay Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 01/01/21 06:58 PM
Damascus, beautiful gun and congratulations on the patience to keep at it for 3 years, my record on a restoration for myself stands at 4 years and counting!
However, what's with the snapcaps and blacked hammers? Its a hammergun (snapcaps are for...?) and the hammers were coloured the same as the other hardened metal, ie. not black! smirk
Posted By: damascus Re: Purdey Thumbhole Lever question - 01/01/21 08:42 PM
Toby unfortunately the answers to your questions are not going to be an earth shattering revelation. The snap caps are there because I only have one really heavy duty transport case that you can jump on so the case is used to transport other guns without hammers for other family members (sons can be very clumsy). The hammers and the thumb leaver at the time this caused a lot of angst having them re finished. Originally back in the 60's I purchased the gun as a scrap wall hanger with a famous name. I obtained the gun from a general dealer who purchased it in a batch of scrap guns to be sold as a wall hangers. I put a .740" go no go bore gauge down each tube and it was no go but they where very dented, so I paid the money and purchased the wreck at a hell of a risk. The gun its self was covered with thick rust from top to bottom inside and out not just a slight dusting of rust but the really thick stuff.In removing the rust all the guns original finish if it ever had any went as well. My choice at the time was to colour or re case harden hammers and leaver but the gunsmith in Price street doing the action work was not to keen to re colour case harden, because the thumb leaver is made in two pieces having the bottom inside ridge to stop your thumb sliding off was planted on and brazed, also there was a danger of the hammers may crack. So I was left with the choice of high risk colour case hardening rust bluing or leaving these parts in the white sticking out like sore thumbs so I decided on no risk blue/black. Do you know Toby you are the first person to point this out in fifty years, also I am sure you know gunsmithing was not a sophisticated back in the 1960s it was more interested in selling new rather than working on 100 + rear old guns, making it an up hill strugle.
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