Mike George’s buying advice
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?...