Jo-E Morrison, gunsmithing manager at Gordy & Sons Outfitters, has added to his extensive expertise by becoming an approved gunsmith for London gun and rifle maker James Purdey & Sons.

After three weeks with the Purdey team in London under craft shop manager Thomas Nicholls, he successfully passed level 1 and 2 of the Purdey Approved Service And Repair Centre (PASARC) course.

That allows Jo-E to service Purdey shotguns and rifles under warranty here at Gordy & Sons in Houston and to work on some older Purdey products, subject to his accreditation. He plans to return to London in the spring of 2019 to undertake his PASARC level 3 and 4, which will make him fully approved.

“When you’re going through this process you are given something to practise on but to pass the course you have to work on jobs that they have in the shop and do it for real,” Jo-E explained. “There were lots of jobs already set up for me to actually work on the guns along with whoever I was training with and I felt right at home.

“Everybody was really friendly, and it was nice to put names to faces. It was fantastic to get into the Purdey factory and see the whole process. It was interesting to see all the special tools they use and to see how the craftsman manipulated their tools. It certainly gave me some ideas about different ways we could go about doing things in our shop.

“The gunmaking and gunsmithing trades are very similar and all of that knowledge crosses over, whether you’re working on a best gun or a more basic model. All of that information and skillset you acquire makes you better at what you do. Most of that training I’ve received will carry over into other guns. I’m looking forward to putting it into practice and improving the service for our customers at Gordy and Sons.”

Jo-E has previously spent time learning from another fine London gunmaker, John Rigby & Co., and has also worked closely with Olympic athletes and Team USA shooting. “You never stop learning,” he said. “I like to make sure I broaden my horizons and find out what and how things are done elsewhere. The three weeks I spent at Purdey was another valuable experience.”

Established in 1814, James Purdey & Sons specializes in high-end bespoke sporting shotguns and rifles. More than 50 Purdey products are available for customers at Gordy & Sons.

James Horne, chief executive at James Purdey & Sons, added: “Purdey accreditation really depends on the ability of the individual. Jo-E passed levels 1 and 2 more quickly than was originally envisaged. We have an approved Purdey service centre just outside New York, and we are delighted that we now have one in Houston too.”