Side by sides
The Purdey sidelock was, in fact, designed by Frederick Beesely. He sold it to Purdey for £55 in the 1880s. The genius of the design was that it used one limb of a V spring to power the hammers and the other for a self-opening feature. It also established the modern shape of sidelock gun.
Made by Purdey, www.purdey.com Prices from £57,340
The new Webley 712 quite closely resembles the famous Webley 700, though a bit heavier and with a single trigger. In shorter barrelled form it has already proven itself to us on game. With 30in tubes it is a great side-by-side clay buster. Steel proof will be useful to wildfowlers too.
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For info see www.webley.co.uk Prices from £1,899
The is an attractive but mechanically unusual side-by-side. It locks up with four lumps rather than the conventional two. The gun is also offered with a single trigger in both 12- and 20-bore form. The Classis is a restyled Beta and offers an elegantly rounded action bar.
For info, see www.vikingarms.co.uk Prices from £1,600
The AyA No.1 and No.2 are established classics. Based on the H&H style sidelock design, they have proven themselves in the field for more than a generation. The guns are first class, and we are especially fond of the new round-action No.2.
Distributed by ASI, 01728 688555 Prices from £3,385
We have singled this gun out as offering exceptional value for money. Its traditional aesthetics are very pleasing, and the gunmaking and quality of materials (such as the action forging) are especially good. The gun is available in 16, 28 and .410 as well as 12 and 20.
Edward Watson, 01884 254056 Prices from £2,995 ";s