Anson & Deeley boxlock action
The boxlock action is a hammerless action of a type commonly used in double barreled shotguns, dating back to 1875. The boxlock action was developed by Anson and Deeley, based on the earlier Westly-Richards action. The boxlock action uses concealed, self-cocking hammers in a break-open action. Strongly opposed by most sportsmen and manufacturers at first, the boxlock action quickly became the dominant form of double barreled shotgun action.
Of all the world's shotgun actions, none is more imitated than the Anson & Deeley. If you buy a hammerless double-barrel in Brazil, Turkey, Japan or anywhere in Europe, it will be built on the A&D system. It is a design so successful that more makers have built guns on it than most other designs combined.
The A&D action was patented (no. 1756) on May 11, 1875, and credited to William Anson, foreman of Westley Richards' gun action department, and John Deeley, Managing director and major share-holder of that company. The contribution of Anson and Deeley was in the simple and elegant lock mechanism, which provided a hammerless action with fewer moving parts than exposed hammer models available at the time. This allowed a rugged and simple action which was faster to operate than exposed hammer guns. The original model, pictured above, used a hammer block safety, which was problematic, as it was possible for the gun to discharge when the safety was released. An 1882 improvement incorporated a trigger block safety, which was automatically engaged when the hammers were cocked. This type of automatic safety is still prevalent in modern boxlock actions.
In A Brief History of the Westley Richards Firm, 1812-1913 Leslie B. Taylor, himself a managing director with the company, wrote that "Mr. John Deeley conceived the principle of the gun," whereas "Anson worked out the design." It is much more likely that Anson was the "talent" and Deeley was the "money and means" by which the gun was produced.
- "Action, Boxlock". SAAMI}}
- Daniel Coit Gilman, Harry Thurston Peck, Frank Moore Colby (1904). The New International Encyclopædia. Dodd, Mead and Company. p. 808.
- John Henry Walsh (1882). The Modern Sportsman's Gun and Rifle. Horace Cox. pp. 183–189.
- "New Weatherby Firearms For 2001". Dave Anderson, Guns Magazine Feb, 2002.
- Tate, D. "Anson & Deeley, Then and Now", Shooting Sportsman, 35(79):35 July/August 1996