By Jason Harris
Friday, 05 November 2010
Boxall & Edmiston shotgun: Looking for a top quality, affordable, British-made game gun? Jason reckons he has found the answer.
Boxall & Edmiston shotgun review
There aren’t too many new ideas in the world of gunmaking because established designs and principles were laid down 100 years or more ago.
However, there is always room for improvement and fine tuning – and the new Boxall & Edmiston boxlock ejector is proof of it.
CAD/CAM expert, Peter Boxall started work for Jaguar cars but then joined gunmakers W & C Scott in 1989 to help them introduce computer-aided design to the gunmaking process.
W & C Scott was – and still is - owned by Holland and Holland so it was only natural that the parent company should turn to Peter when it too decided to invest in CAD/CAM technology at its London factory.
By the time Peter left Holland’s in 2005 to start his own business - making specialist parts for the gun trade with computer driven machine tools - he was one of the leaders in his field.
But setting up on his own was just the first step to realising a long held dream to design and produce his own gun - a dream that became reality when he teamed up with former Managing Director of the Sterling Armament Company, James Edmiston.
Boxall & Edmiston was up and running. At a glance their new gun appears to be a sidelock due to the highly decorated lock plates but these are dummies used purely to achieve the look of a Best gun.
Although the gun is new, the basic design principles are inspired by the classic Anson and Deeley action coupled to some improved Southgate ejector work.
“If you have a recipe that is proven over 100 years or so, then why not stay with something you know will work?” says Peter.
However, there are a number of important tweaks and improvements that make this gun different - and better than many that have gone before.
• Extra draw has been built into the curved surface of the back lump where it makes contact with the front of the action slot to create a much stronger joint than usual.
The surface can be replaced should it ever wear - a feature used in a number of Best London guns but a ‘first’ for a boxlock.
• The action frame has been deepened slightly to give greater strength.
• The extractor legs are triangular in cross section, not round. The larger surface area means the parts are noticeably stronger.
• The ‘sugar tong’ safety spring is a nice touch. It’s always seen in Purdeys and on Holland Royals, but rarely in a boxlock gun.
• Monobloc, rather than chopper lump, barrels have been used to keep the gun affordable and the welding process ensures you can’t see where the tubes meet the receiver.
• The laser-cut engraving is so good and beautiful you would think it has been done by hand. Had it been hand engraved to this standard the added cost to each gun would be between £5-£10,000.
Peter does most of the work but he has enlisted the help of skilled actioners, barrel makers, stockers and finishers – craftsmen he met and worked with during his time at Scotts and Holland and Holland.
Peter and James are rightly very proud of their gun because with the exception of the Turkish walnut everything else is made in the UK.
Both are confident that the Boxall & Edmiston name will become established as their design means they will be able to supply other makers with guns in the white so that they can finish the guns themselves – standard practice in British gunmaking until about 50 years ago.
Barrels: 30in but other lengths are available.
Chambers: 2.3/4in (70mm). Longer – or shorter – chambers can be ordered.
Stock: Hand carved and oil finished with a generous length of 15.1/4in and drops of 1.1/2in and 2.1/4in at comb and heel. Drop points.
Fore-end: Slim, traditional splinter shape with Deeley catch. Chokes: ¼ and ¾ as standard, but customer can choose.
Weight: A shade under 6lb 13oz, which seems incredible when you see and handle this gun.
Come and visit the Sporting Gun stand at this year’s British Sho... Read more
The fifth British Shooting Show is all set to be the biggest and best ... Read more