Question: When is a boxlock not a boxlock? Answer: When it’s a triggerplate action. Longthorne Gunmakers, the British maker who has enjoyed so much success with its range of sidelock guns featuring barrels machined from a single ingot of steel, is now building an over/under “boxlock.”
Longthorne’s new gun isn’t based on the tried-and-tested Anson & Deeley action but on a triggerplate mechanism not dissimilar to those employed in Italy. I asked Elaine Stewart, Longthorne’s marketing director, to clarify. “It’s our own design,” Stewart said. “It’s actually a triggerplate mechanism, so strictly speaking not a ‘boxlock’; however, over here [in the UK] the general shooting consumer tends to generalize to differentiate between this and a sidelock.”
Ostensibly, 10 models are on offer, though all rely on identical mechanics. The differences between them are cosmetic. All currently are in 12 gauge with 3" chambers and 30" or 32" barrels. The action also can accommodate 16-, 20- and 28-gauge barrels to create a multi-barrel set. Four models are based on a square-back action, with prices beginning around $16,800: the entry-level Sporter - Model 3001, available in black or silver; the Pheasant Scene - Model 3005; the Sporter Deluxe - Model 3002, featuring a new deluxe engraving pattern; and the Acanthus – Model 3003.
The remaining six models are sideplated, with the type and extent of engraving accounting for the differences between each and the model names reflecting the different patterns. They include the Sideplated - Model 2005, the Acanthus - Model 2006, the Game Scene – Model 2007, the Snowdrop – Model 2009, the Celtic – Model 2008, and the Regency – Model 2010.