Sidelock or boxlock? See if you can tell…

Side-by-side, double barrel shotguns are usually easy to tell apart:

You have boxlocks….

Anson & Deeley Boxlock Shotgun
Anson & Deeley Boxlock Shotgun















And you have sidelocks…

W&C Scott Sidelock shotgun
W&C Scott Sidelock shotgun















But sometimes it’s not so easy, like with this Bernardelli:

Bernardelli shotgun
Bernardelli shotgun















It sure looks like a sidelock, right? It has a sideplate, there are pins in the sideplate, a tumbler axis for the hammer (tumbler). But those sideplates are very misleading. This Bernardelli is actually a boxlock. And in this pictures you can see the sign that gives it away:

Bernardelli shotgun, showing bottom of action
Bernardelli shotgun, showing bottom of action













See the screw to the right of the barrel lump (the square, blued piece ┬áin the floor of the action)? That screw holds a plate in place. That plate comes off so you can access the gun’s locks. The locks are are mounted on the action, not the sideplate, and the plate gives this Bernardelli’s true status away.

The sideplates are ornamental and designed to make this double look like an expensive sidelock, while the gun is really a boxlock, sold at a more affordable price.


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3 thoughts on “Sidelock or boxlock? See if you can tell…

  1. Oh my, how very clever of them! *rofl*
    Thank you, I’ve never thought of the action floor screw as a differentiating sign between BL and SL.
    btw, I know of a gun that could serve as an example of the opposite – a true sidelock that looks just like a (sideplated) boxlock.

  2. Here goes.
    You’d think it was just a sideplated boxlock, woudn’t you?
    The cocking indicator looks just like on the Sauer Model VIII, no pins are visible on the outside.
    The gun looks, so cheap, it can’t possibly be a pinless sidelock, right?

    IzhB47, one of the line of sidelocks (IZhBK, 36, 36M, 46, 47) made in Izhevsk, USSR, from 1936 to 1941 and from 1944 to 1949. In case your’e wondering, it’s the same outfit that makes Baikal (Spartan) shotguns now.

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