Post-modernism anticipated. Even though James Purdey pioneered the two-groove stalking rifle, and even is said to have coined the term “Express”, breech-loading double rifles by J. Purdey & Sons are extremely rare. Even fewer of them are built on the house’s trademark Beesley’s patent self-opening action – but what makes this 1898 Purdey double rifle doubly special is that it is used in combination with Jones underlever loclup.
I’ve spent a few joyful hours today admiring the catalogue of Joh. Springer’s Erben 22nd Classic Auction over a cup of coffee, and while I’m not really into handguns, this 1897 Roth-Theodorovich that graces the cover of the catalogue is definitely something else. Its ugliness is so complete that it approximates beauty. But the action is not just about ugly pistols – click on “more” to see some of the beautiful and unusual rifles and combination guns that will go under hammer on April 20.
July issue of Russian Hunting Magazine printed my interview with Richard Show, a gunsmith and gunmaker from Pensylvania, U.S.A. Rich is known for his double rifles on shotgun actions, and he built 24 DRs on Russian Izh-43 action. I couldn’t fail to ask him his opinion about these guns, double rifle making in general, and what it takes to be a small-scale gunmaker in the US. This is the English text of the interview that I sent Rich for verification, along with some photographs he sent me. Thank you once again, Rich, for all the pains you took to make this interview happen.
From 1962 to 1987 Soviet citizens could not own rifles. Those who needed a rifle for work – professional trappers, reindeer herders and such – could have one issued by the organization that employed them, but the rifle would be the property of the organization. Private ownership of rifles (and handguns) was banned. Some Communists, however, were more equal than others…