LOCK, STOCK AND 200 YEARS OF SMOKING BARRELS

Purdey & Sons are the venerable Mayfair gunmakers whose craftsmanship shows artisan work at its unparalleled best. With the new shooting season upon us, The Rake was given a behind-the-scenes tour of their London factory.

Purdey guns on the table in the Long Room, from left to right: Sporter, Purdey Trigger plate, Best Side by Side, and Best Damascus side by side.

I have some peculiarly vivid memories of my childhood. Being bollocked by the vicar for messing around with my twin brother at church, hiding in the laundry bin while playing hide-and-seek with my siblings — normal childhood stuff. Another memory that has stood the test of time is that of my father returning from a 24-hour absence wearing a country-checked shirt, plus fours and large woollen socks with garters dangling down. He was also clutching a brace of birds that he would hang out by the back fridge to be plucked and eaten. At the other end of the house was a cabinet, out of our reach, where my father kept his cavalry sword from his army days and his shotguns, which included a pair of Purdeys.

Video by Marcus Ebanks

Published

August 2021

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