Pet peeve-lousy metal-to-metal fit…

Here’s are an example of something that drives me nuts: crappy metal-to-metal fit. You see this on all kinds of guns, from the cheapest to the most expensive. Sometimes it’s because of age, sometimes it’s because of a poor repair, and other times it ‘s from plain shitty craftsmanship.

First, lets start with how things are supposed to look on a top-quality double barrel shotgun. Here’s a look at the fit of a lockplate into the action of a Boss side-by-side from around 1925. See the seem? That’s pretty much perfect.

Excellent metal-to-metal fit on a 1925 Boss
Excellent metal-to-metal fit on a 1925 Boss



Now take a look at this J. Purdey sidelock. This is off an early Beesley-action double, probably from around 1885. Here you can see a gap. In fact, the fit on this lockplate is gappy at the front and at the back, behind the fences. Now, I don’t this these gaps are Purdey’s fault. Use and wear can lead to poorly fitting locks, as can rehardening an action. And my gut tells me that the colors on that Purdey may not be very original.

Poor metal-to-metal fit on a 19th century Purdey
Poor metal-to-metal fit on a 19th century Purdey




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