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Traditionalists will undoubtedly choose a side-by-side shotgun where the two barrels sit next to each other.
The first game shotguns were produced in the 17th century and were single barrelled but as the sport grew in popularity so did the advantage of a quick second barrel. The arrival of the cartridge in 1836 led to the development of breach-loading guns.
London gunmaker Frederick Beesley’s 1880 side-by-side hammerless gun patent, which was bought by Purdey, is often referred to as the design which perfected the side-by-side.
The side-by-side retains its allure with its elegant style. Game shooters who first use the over-and-under, but become passionate about the sport are often drawn to the heritage and classic appeal of the side-by-side. With its very British legacy, side-by-side guns are a particularly attractive option for collectors.
The side-by-side with barrels held together by soldering first appeared in France in the 1730s and their sophisticated design and the skill required to shoot with these guns means they are most certainly not confined to the history books. If you’re looking for beauty and aesthetics together with the additional challenge offered by shooting with a side-by-side, we will endeavour to find your perfect gun.