Merlin Unwin Books

"Merlin Unwin Books are lively, innovative countryside book publishers.

Their well-produced range of rural, wildlife, fieldsports and fishing books never fail to inform and entertain."

Philip Dunne MP
co-founder of Ottakar’s bookshops

The British Boxlock Gun & Rifle

The boxlock, or ‘body action’, was the first really successful hammerless sporting gun, from 1875. In the following decades, boxlocks, with their fewer parts and suitability for machine production became the gun for ‘everyman’.

20th century conventions adopted by major firms in using sidelocks for best quality guns has wrongly made the boxlock a poor relation in the eyes of many collectors and shooters today.

This book will educate the reader in the huge variation in boxlock design and quality. It tells the fascinating story of the development and perfection of body action guns of all qualities. The owner of a 19th or 20th century boxlock will discover  a wealth of information about his gun and the prospective buyer will find this book essential reading. It covers:

•     the history and development of actions
•     the various ejector mechanisms
•     how to evaluate different quality grades
•     trouble-shooting problems in various models
•     the complex relationships between the manufacturers and
      retailers of the guns over the last 130 years.

Author: Diggory Hadoke
ISBN: 978 1 906122 41 6
Published: September 2012
Format: 276 x 210 mm
Binding: Hardback
No. of pages: 224
400 colour photographs
Price: £30.00

look inside this book
The British Boxlock Gun & Rifle by Diggory Hadoke

Reader reviews

Reviewed by Robert Whinnen in April 2013

The British Boxlock Gun & Rifle is fantastic and exceeded my highest expectations in content, production quality and value.

Press reviews

Reviewed in Shooting & Conservation Magazi in January 2013

'This is one of those rare books that achieves a happy balance between history and practical knowledge.'

Reviewed in Sporting Shooter in January 2013

'Myths are dispelled and mysteries explained...a comprehensive boxlock bible.'

Reviewed in Shooting Times & Country Magaz in November 2012

'Diggory is a remarkable man, who combines academic ability with the practical knowledge of an expert shot...The British Boxlock Gun & Rifle is excellent value for money...I can’t recommend it highly enough.'

Reviewed in NFU Countryside Magazine in November 2012

'Any owner of a British boxlock will discover a wealth of fascinating information about this gun, and prospective buyers will find this book essential reading.'

Reviewed by Larry S. Sterett of in September 2014

'It is the reference to have on boxlock shotguns and rifles, worthy of space on the bookshelf of any shooter, collector or dealer in fine firearms.'

Offer of the month

Offer of the month

Our Catalogue

Download our catalogue