By Douglas Tate
So can we agree that the Anson & Deeley “droplock” is a gun design on par with Britain’s best? As I have said in the past, it is the reason Westley Richards is the most influential gunmaker ever to offer a legitimate alternative to the London sidelock.
Westley’s original boxlock was elevated to best-gun status by chance when Leslie Taylor asked his foreman to conceal the pins on the Anson & Deeley exterior. He came up with the idea of fixing the lockwork to internal plates, and the droplock was born.
Of course, no fine gun is without the potential for improvement, so when we learned of F.lli Piotti’s new “droplock,” we asked the Italian maker for details. The emailed reply stated: “While designing and engineering our new model, we looked at the well-known and respected Westley Richards mechanism as an example to follow and expand upon. The Piotti brothers added an intercepting sear to the mechanism. This intercepting sear is always ‘on’ and, if you drop the shotgun, it will engage the hammer and prevent the shotgun from firing. Furthermore, should the main sear wear off and stop engaging, the intercepting sear would intercept the hammer. As a result, the shotgun will fire only when you intentionally pull the trigger.”
The new model, called the Fabio, will be available in 12, 16, 20 and 28 gauge. The prototype 28-bore has 28" barrels, fixed chokes and select Turkish walnut and weighs a little more than five pounds. As for cost, Piotti said, “We decided not to share the price of our Fabio model yet.”