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New Inventory - John Dickson & Son 'Purdey Pattern' Sidelock, made in 1910

12 bore, bar-action sidelock ejector, side-by-side shotgun

Dickson 'Purdey Pattern' Sidelock Guns

Dickson's have only built ten 'Purdey Pattern' guns between 1894 and 1922, this particular gun is No. 1 of a pair made in 1910 and the second one made of the ten. The Purdey/Beesley self-opening action was well advanced by 1910, having been refined by Purdey since its inception in 1880 by Frederick Beesley, and so this Dickson is almost indistinguishable from a Purdey of that period. There are a few subtle differences though, with Dickson putting their own mark on the action by fitting a Round-Action type safety arm and spring and top-lever spring.

It remains a mystery as to why Dickson's was asked to build a London Pattern sidelock on a 'Purdey Pattern' - Why did the customer not just go straight to Purdey and order a gun? It may have been down to cost - Dickson's being cheaper than a London gunmaker, even though Dickson would have had to pay a royalty to Purdey to use the action, but the likely reason is that these customers of the ten 'Purdey Pattern' guns were already serial Dickson owners and just being brand loyal.


We are delighted to be able to offer this rare and unusual Dickson sidelock gun built on a Purdey style action. The action is Jack Sumner engraved with bouquet and scroll engraving which is very reminiscent of Boss guns of this era, as Sumner was also working for Boss at that time. The barrels are clean inside and out and the gun benefits from a re-stock with an exquisite piece of walnut.  

The gun is in excellent condition throughout but to prepare the gun for sale we have conducted a general service, cleaned and re-oiled the stock and fore-end, cleaned out the chequering, and re-blacked the furniture. The barrels have had the ribs lifted and relaid and then reblacked.

The gun comes with a new handmade lightweight leather motor case that was recently made for this gun at huge expense.

  • Price: Price on application
  • Action: Purdey/Beesley self-opening action, top lever with Scott spindle and Purdey bolt, Anson push-rod fore-end 
  • Gauge: 12
  • Barrel Material: Chopperlump steel construction
  • Barrel Length : 29in
  • Rib: 3/8in -> 1/4in
  • Chambers: 2 1/2in
  • Proof: London Nitro Proof at 12 (.729) in 1910
  • Bores: .733 (R) & .734 (L)
  • Walls: .030 (R) & .030 (L)
  • Chokes : IMP CYL (R) & 3/8 (L)
  • Ejectors: Yes, Deeley box type
  • Stock dimensions: 14 7/8in at heel, 14 3/4in to centre, 15 1/4in at toe 
  • Cast Off: 3/8in
  • Weight: 7lb 4oz
  • Location: Dunkeld

To enquire about this gun click here

Dickson 'London Pattern' Sidelock Guns

The cocking slide found in a Dickson Round-Action gun was from Dickson's first Patent, No. 294 of 1880, but the filed patent illustration showed the cocking slide allied to a conventional sidelock gun. Although the trigger plate Round-Action design quickly established its dominance, several customers specified sidelock guns and these early sidelocks were all cocked using the patent cocking slide. From the 1890’s onwards, some customers asked for conventional London pattern sidelock guns, built using standard cocking mechanisms and not employing the Dickson cocking slide. There was a perception amongst some sportsmen that London sidelocks were the pinnacle of perfection and style and hence they asked Dickson to build these 'London Pattern' guns.

The first such gun to appear in the Dickson records was in 1891, a 12 bore hammerless ejector built to the Woodward design. The second such gun was with a Purdey action, delivered in 1894. However these guns were simply copies of famous London makers and it wasn’t until the first decade of the 20th century that the 'London Pattern' sidelock really made its appearance. These guns were all of the finest quality, but were cheaper than a Round-Action which might explain why some customers preferred them, in 1930, a London pattern sidelock cost £100 as opposed to a Round-Action at £120. 

It is most probable that Dickson bought in barrelled actions in the white from trade suppliers and then stocked them and finished them to their usual high standard. The first such 'London Pattern' sidelock was delivered in 1902 and the bulk of these guns were built in the period before and just after World War One. For example, in 1914, 30 'London Pattern' sidelocks were delivered, compared to only 10 Round-Actions.