British shotguns have changed hugely over the past couple of decades. Potential buyers under the age of 50 have rarely experienced bespoke side-by-sides, let alone hand-built guns. Many have been brought up shooting Italian over/unders. According to English auctioneer Gavin Gardiner, they buy “technology, not tradition.” James Purdey & Sons’ “new” Sporter is intended to address this shift in demand.
During 2007, working closely with Italian gunmaker Perugini & Visini, Purdey introduced its original triggerplate Sporter in 12 bore. In 2022 Purdey brought every aspect of Sporter production in-house and began offering 20- and 28-bore versions. This second-generation model features a low-profile triggerplate action that is immensely strong and ideally suited to high-volume shooting. It is the first Purdey model to have an anti-corrosion coating applied to the internal parts of the action and, like others models in the company’s portfolio, is steel proofed.
It has a reduced barrel weight, making the gun lighter (the 20 has a target weight of 6 to 7 pounds), and is well-balanced and better-handling. Teague chokes are standard, but fixed chokes are available. The gun also has a single inertia trigger. For the first time the Sporter has its own rose & scroll engraving pattern.
According to a press release, “The model will remain the welcome level to Purdey guns at £42,500 [$51,000] plus VAT, and while some aspects of customisation are more limited, it will always be unique to its owner.” Delivery time is said to be as soon as six months.
For more information, visit purdey.com.