Having a Side x Side Shotgun fetish is addcitive.You might become possessed about collecting guns from a certain Maker or Country.You may get on a Hammer Gun kick or become a collector of American built L.C. Smith’s or Parker’s.Budget conscious( myself included) Folks stick to Box Locks as there are plenty around.Of course a nice Side Lock is pretty awesome and they have a huge following most are out of my range,however it’s fun to drool over the pics when surfing Gun Porn Sites.It all depends on how much you want to spend.
It’s also very personal.I have been on the look out for a 16 Gauge Belgian Gun built in Leige,Belgium’s fabled Gun manufacturing center.No luck so far but I will keep on looking as I have been for the last 6 years.Recently a Friend purchased a really nice Dickinson Round Action 12 gauge.He paid a lot for it,he now has what he always wanted and shot a double with it the first day he took it out.Obviously the gun was meant to be.
Prices vary ,2-3K will get you a nice little Box Lock,while a custom built Side Lock from a British Maker could cost$100,000.Spanish and Italian Makers offer new guns at very reasonable prices.You can go the used route which to me makes the most sense.Especially if you want to start collecting guns and add an element of Old and Funky to your game.
The guns I own range from a W.M.Cashmore 16 Gauge Box Lock complete with Damascus Barrels built somewhere around 1875 to a more modern Spanish AyA 20 Gauge built in the 80’s.There is my recent purchase a 12 Gauge E.Greeley Side Lock built in 1905 followed by my 16 Gauge German Guild Gun and a 16 Gauge G.Lewis British Box Lock which is my go -to for Quail hunting.A total of 5 Guns and all have their purpose.
The Craftsmanship is apparent in the older guns.They come from an era where things where made by hand.The details are all there.Screw heads are engraved,the wood is nicely figured and despite the age the mechanisms function well.The major plus is they weigh they less than most contemporary guns do.They are a joy to carry on the field,quick and lively to mount and fire.
You may like to hunt the Grouse Woods,The wide open Northern Plains,or The Desert South West,no matter what, there is a SxS that is up for the task.All you have to do is find it.
Side by Side Resources
Willian Larkin Moore -Scottsdale AZ
Hill Rod and Gun – Bozeman MT.
Orvis -Manchester VT
Low Pressure Shotgun Shells