J. PURDEY & SONS
A .303 NITRO EXPRESS SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTOR DOUBLE RIFLE, serial no. 17583,
25 1/2in. Whitworth-steel nitro chopperlump barrels with contra rifling, raised matt rib with open sights and folding leaf sight, white metal inlaid sight lines and marked for 100 and 200 yards, ramped bead fore-sight, the breech end mounted with a Zeiss Diatal-Z 4x32 T* telescopic sight, serial no. 47278, in quickly-detachable mounts, the rib engraved 'J. PURDEY & SONS. AUDLEY HOUSE. SOUTH AUDLEY STREET. LONDON. MADE OF SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH'S FLUID PRESSED STEEL.', bolstered treble-grip action with side-clips, removable striker discs, manual bolted safety with gold-inlaid 'BOLTED' and 'SAFE' details, arrow cocking-indicators, best fine acanthus scroll engraving with floral bouquets, retaining some renewed colour-hardening and finish, 15in. highly-figured pistolgrip stock with cheekpiece, engraved steel pistolgrip-cap, sling swivels and including 1in. rubber recoil pad, weight 9lb. 6oz. (unscoped) and 10lb. 4oz. (with scope), in its brass-cornered oak and leather case (leather replaced)
Provenance: The makers have kindly confirmed that this rifle was completed in 1903 for the Hon. A. O'Neill, as a .303 hammerless ejector double rifle with 25 1/2in. Whitworth steel barrels.
The Honourable Arthur Edward Bruce O'Neill (19th September 1876 - 6th November 1914) was an Irish Ulster Unionist Party politician who was the first Member of Parliament to be killed in World War I, serving as Captain in his Majesty's 2nd Life Guards. It is recorded that he "…fell while leading his men in a most gallant attempt to save a situation. He was shot on the Klein Zillebeke Ridge, near Ypres, and shouting to his men to line the ridge [he] was being carried out when he received another wound, and then begged his bearers to leave him and save themselves. He did not know what fear was."
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S1 - Sold as a Section 1 Firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act