Mike Ge­orge’s buy­ing ad­vice

Sporting Gun - - SECOND-HAND -

There’s no me­chan­i­cal rea­son why a boxlock should not shoot just as well as a side­lock, as long as the de­sign is good and the gun is made of the cor­rect ma­te­ri­als and put to­gether with great care. Cer­tainly there is a fine tra­di­tion be­hind side­locks, which is why “Lon­don Best” guns al­ways fol­low that form of con­struc­tion, but be­yond that the boxlock has much in its favour.

Just think of some great boxlocks. There’s John Moses Brown­ing’s im­mor­tal B25, most of the Ital­ian-built Berettas and Per­azzis, Ger­many’s Krieghoffs, Ja­pan’s top-grade Mirokus, the mod­ern-se­ries

AYAs from Spain – the list is al­most end­less, and some of the guns are very ex­pen­sive, with buyer-de­fined ex­tras which can hoist the price enor­mously.

The point I’m try­ing to make is that we shouldn’t dis­miss a side-plated boxlock as a poor re­la­tion to a side­lock. A good boxlock is an ex­cel­lent gun, and the ad­di­tion of side-plates gives the en­graver a big area on which to show off his or her art.

I get the im­pres­sion that Brian wants an el­e­gant gun, so the three I have cho­sen all have el­e­gant en­grav­ing. With my first choice I have stayed within his bud­get, but with my sec­ond choice I have most cer­tainly bro­ken it – he does say “£4,500 or more”, doesn’t he?...

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