Boss & Co. of London, exceptional hammer gun in 12 gauge
Guns International #: 101110121 Seller's Inventory #:
Category: Boss Shotguns - Shotguns - English Double Antique
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Member Since: 2/23/14
First Name: Brandon
Last Name: Halstead
State: State not Found
Country: United Kingdom
Number of Active Listings: 4
Total Number of Listings: 11
Seller: Private Seller
Return Policy: 3 day inspection and return policy on used guns.
Payment Types Accepted: paypal; certified bank check
Boss & Co. of London, exceptional hammer gun in 12 gauge, fully in proof!
Offers? Old School upland wildfowling at its finest! This is a rare opportunity to purchase a fully functional antique masterpiece by one of the world’s best shotgun makers. And it is priced so that you can carry this classic hammergun in the field without worrying about it costing as much as a luxury automobile.
This Boss & Co. 12 gauge easy opening under-lever hammer gun was completed approximately early 1867, serial number 25xx, and was one of the first thirty centerfire guns built by Boss. In exceptional condition, the frame, back action sidelocks, hammers, under-lever release, and trigger guard are hand-engraved in ornate border edging and fine scrolling acanthus patterns throughout the polished metalwork, with the maker’s name “BOSS & CO.” boldly engraved on both sides of the back action locks. Matching serial numbers 25xx throughout the gun on the action, fore-end, under-lever release, and barrel flats.
Boss & Co. is renowned for best quality craftsmanship in every firearm they make. The strength of their light and thin barrels offers responsive, lightweight guns unequaled by other makers. This model is no exception, fitted with lightweight chopper-lump steel barrels offering superb responsiveness, and coming in at a total weight of only 6 pounds 14 ounces. Raised game rib is engraved with a number “1”, and the maker’s name and address reading “BOSS & Co., 73 ST JAMES’S STREET, LONDON.” Note, new game rib photo uploaded; the last close-up was full of lint.
This is a pre-1887 gun as reflected on the barrel flats when it was originally black powder proof, including the London definitive proof mark “GP” under a crown, and view mark “V” under a crown. The gun was subsequently reproofed for modern nitro shells as reflected by the Birmingham proof stamp AB1 and “BNP” confirming contemporary nitro proof specifications and compliance, suitable for modern loads as specified by “3 TONS PER SQUARE INCH” on the flats. The chambers are 2 & ½”, with chokes of 1/4 and 3/4. The interior of the bores are mirrors, while the outer barrels’ bluing is in very good condition reflecting minimal wear, with consistent age and patina between the barrels, trigger guard, hammers and fore-end hardware. Virtually spotless condition on the interior, with pristine action, and only light powder or superficial surface-level marks on the breech face.
The 28” barrels with brass sight bead have excellent bore measurements coming in at .729 and .729 for right and left bore diameters, an outstanding 35 thousandths thickness for the right and left walls, and a spotless mirrored interior – zero marks or pitting. Sleeving has been professionally completed to the highest standard, with scrollwork engraving on the barrels. This improvement is a seamless transition and has extended the safety & functionality of this antique for another 150+ years; continued good care and servicing/cleaning after each shoot will offer great future hunting well into the next century.
The nicely figured English straight-hand stock has sharp checkering throughout the hand and features a light walnut with a dark grain, a brass oval on underside of stock suitable for engraving, and a 14 & 3/4” pull. The barrels lock up tight with absolutely no play in the action. Rebounding hare’s ears upright hammers with crisp thumb checkering. Beautifully wrought long and thin topstrap with ornate acanthus scrollwork down the length of the metalwork. Sharply checkered fore-end wood with engraved fore-end base and checkered thumb-release tip, and beautiful acanthus scrollwork on top of and underneath the Rigby-style release.
This is a chance to own one of the finest shotguns of the Victorian era, or afterwards, made by arguably the best shotgun maker in the world. Boss & Co. made ONLY best-quality shotguns. It’s also an investment-grade antique that can be taken into the field without the worry or expense of spending five or six figures, offering the opportunity to actually hunt with and use one of the best guns made.
As Terry Wieland highlights in his book “Vintage British Shotguns,” he states “If you buy an English gun… and the proof marks show it has been nitro proofed – that is, proven with smokeless powder – you know it’s safe to shoot with loads of the length and gauge marked.” Weiland also confirms that “Boss is one of the truly legendary names in British gunmaking, always included as one of the top three and considered by many the best of them all. The company’s motto is ‘Maker of Best Guns Only’.” Noted British gun specialist Jack Rowe rates Boss as follows: “They are Best guns; you will not find better.” Expert George Caswell agrees and describes that “Boss guns are always top quality – excellent plus…and command a 30 to 40 percent premium.”
Almost no cosmetic blemishes on the gun despite being a 150+ year old antique; virtually no handling marks on the stock and barrels. Tiny 1mm dimple on the left fence, and 1mm dimple on the game rib appx. ½ way up the barrels, but almost unnoticeable. Overall excellent, beautiful condition, with hand-made quality apparent throughout its manufacture. A fine example of the master craftsmanship in UK gun-making from arguably the world’s best shotgun maker and premier member of the “Big 3” of Britain’s most famous craftsmen of Boss & Co., Purdey, and Holland & Holland. With the growing popularity of wildfowling using classic British hammer guns, this is a great combination of beauty and function without absolutely breaking the bank. Affordable luxury; ready for your next century of shooting!
This is a pre-1898 firearm and qualifies as an antique with direct shipment to the purchaser. We are a US military family stationed in the UK, and ship via Royal Mail or FedEx at an insured and flat rate of $125 to fully cover insurance; usually takes about a week to arrive in the US. member since 2002 with 100% positive feedback. Payment via PayPal or certified bank check accepted. Please note I am not a dealer and not an expert, but a private collector, have tried to enter all the details I am aware of for this gun, and will try to answer any questions as best I can. I am downsizing my collection and hope to find other US enthusiasts of classic English shotguns to re-home a few of these pieces. Thanks for your interest. Key words: sxs shotgun, side by side, British, English, double barrel, 12 gauge, 12 ga, 12g, side lock, sidelock, Boss and Company, London.
Manufacturer: Boss & Co.
Model: best hammergun
Serial Number: 25xx
Bore: .729 & .729
Wood Condition: figured
Bore Condition: mirror
Barrel Type: sxs
LOP: 14 & 3/4
Rib: raised game
Weight: 6 lbs. 14 oz.
Manufacture Date: 1867
Choke Left: 3/4
Choke Right: 1/4
Engraving: fine acanthus scroll
Proof:Nitro: modern British Nitro Proof 3 tons per square inch
Minimum Wall Thickness Left: 35,000
Minimum Wall Thickness Right: 35,000