MidwayUSA Releases Larry’s Short Stories #152 – Sidelocks, Boxlocks & Droplocks

MidwayUSA Releases Larry's Short Stories #152 – Sidelocks, Boxlocks & Droplocks
MidwayUSA Releases Larry’s Short Stories #152 – Sidelocks, Boxlocks & Droplocks

Columbia, MO -(AmmoLand.com)- MidwayUSA is excited to announce the release of “Sidelocks, Boxlocks & Droplocks ” a short story by Larry Potterfield, Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA.

“Some of my fondest memories are the hunting and fishing stories Dad and my uncles shared with us kids back then – generally around the wood stove, and other times in the field,” said Larry Potterfield, Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA. “Unfortunately, it was pure and simple storytelling, so all I have are the memories. Now, as a father and grandfather and having hunted and fished all my life, I am taking the time to write down some of my own stories – for the enjoyment of my children, grandchildren, friends and Customers. These are all real stories that I participated in, nothing is made up; and I write them purely for your enjoyment.”

Read “Sidelocks, Boxlocks & Droplocks” here: http://media.midwayusa.com/cms/larrys-stories/2016_6/152_sidelocks-boxlocks-droplocks.pdf.

Sidelocks, Boxlocks & Droplocks

by Larry Potterfield

One of the characteristics of my personality is that I want to know how things work.

Well, not everything — how a washing machine or a dishwasher works is of little interest. But guns, well they’re my passion. I want to know how the trigger works, the automatic ejectors work – and on and on.

It’s amazing to study the design of break-open shotguns from their beginnings about 1860 until the design was pretty much complete in 1910 or so; hard to imagine that it took 50 years to develop the break-open shotgun.

A gun is made up from a lock, a stock, and a barrel. Certainly the lock is one of the most important and interesting parts; after all, it fires the gun. As muzzleloaders began giving way to break-open cartridge guns in the 1860’s, the hammers stayed on the outside of the locks and made contact with the firing pins – also on the outside of the frame. The development of that era was focused on the hinging, locking and opening of the barrels.

In 1875, the English firm of Anson and Deeley developed the ‘Boxlock’ design, in which the hammers, sears and firing pins were concealed inside the frame (box). At about the same time, gun companies began putting the hammers on the inside of the locks and the firing pins on the inside of the frame – we call these sidelocks, to differentiate them from boxlocks. The hammers were cocked automatically when the action was opened, and now safeties were required to help prevent accidental discharges.

Boxlock guns are a bit less expensive to build and were thought to be somewhat inferior to the sidelocks, so ‘best guns’ have always been of the sidelock design; though not all sidelocks are ‘best guns’. L.C. Smith chose to move the hammers inside (in 1886), and continued to make sidelock guns – with hammers on the outside or inside – Customers’ choice. Parker began offering a hammerless boxlock action in 1888 – while still offering outside hammer sidelock guns.

Competition between the English gun companies was always very keen, so Westley Richards introduced the detachable Droplocks in 1897 – perhaps just to be different. The droplock is simply a stand-a-lone hammer and sear, that drops in and out of the bottom of the boxlock action – for cleaning or repair.

Sidelocks, Boxlocks and Droplocks; a bit of firearms trivia that only a serious gun guy like me would give much thought to.

To read the rest of Larry’s Short Stories, please visit http://www.midwayusa.com/larrys-stories.

About MidwayUSA:

Both country kids from Missouri, Larry and Brenda Potterfield turned their passion for shooting sports into a career by opening a small gun shop in 1977 that would eventually become MidwayUSA (http://www.midwayusa.com). They instilled family values like honesty, integrity and respect for others into the business, and strive to maintain this culture with each Employee added to their growing team. For over 38 years, MidwayUSA has maintained an unyielding focus on Customer Satisfaction and continues to offer JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING for Shooting, Hunting and the Outdoors.

For more information on MidwayUSA, visit their website (http://www.midwayusa.com), find them on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialMidwayUSA), or follow them on Twitter (http://twitter.com/midwayusa).

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Jim in Conroe

Thanks for the write-up. I have a Connecticut Shotgun’s RBL (round box lock) side-by-side, and I always wondered about the difference between the box lock and the side lock.