Boss & Co, 73 St James's Street, London
16b Bar Action RUL Hammergun no. 1692

Year of production: 1859


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Heritage Guns' Comment

This gun started life as one of a pair of 14b muzzleloaders, ordered by Thomas L Fitzhugh in 1859. According to Donald Dallas's book on Boss & Co, Boss converted them to centrefire in 1870. At some point after this the pair were separated and then sometime between 1904 and 1925 this gun was rebarrelled with 26" 16b barrels by F Reece of Price Street, Birmingham. Another interesting feature of the gun is that the stock and forend are chequered at different LPI: stock at 18, forend at 23. This is most unusual but appears to be original, at least dating back to the rebarrelling.
As a result of all these changes, we think that the only parts that remain of the original muzzleloader are the lock and trigger plates with some of their component parts. The wood, RUL action and forend obviously date from the 1870's so the gun remains an antique by any definition but the serial number is somewhat misleading being something of a 'Grandfather's Axe'!
Regardless, this gun is a very attractive example of this illustrious 'Maker's work and with the modern barrels would make an excellent gun for shooting game over dogs.



The action is of traditional design and features:
Double triggers;
Stanton Patent rebounding bar action locks;
Jones Patent rotary double bite underlever and 'Grip' forend fastener.
The breech can of course be opened with the RH hammer at full cock.

Engraving style Best Open Foliate Scroll with Ornate Borders.
Gun weight 5lb 14oz
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 1/2lbs Rear trigger 3 1/2lb
The replacement steel barrels are 26" in length, chambered for 2 3/4 " (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib
is of the smooth, concave, game type and is engraved 'NEW BARRELS BY F. REECE, PRICE ST, BIRMINGHAM'
London reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2012.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
16.9mm (0.655")
0.004" (Skeet)
Left Barrel
16.9mm (0.655")
0.016" (Mod)

Straight hand grip Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock features a vacant white metal oval, well defined drop points and is finished with engraved iron heal & toe plates secured with engraved screws. The stock is very lightly cast-off for a right-handed shot.

Highly figured walnut
The 18/23 (approx) lines per inch chequering has been refreshed to its original design.
The stock is finished with a traditional linseed oil based preparation as used on best guns by one of the top English makers. This finish uses no grain fillers to achieve its deep, smooth lustre, only many hours of alternate build and flatting off of the surface.

Approximate stock measurements at date of publication:

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
14 1/8"
14 1/8"
14 3/4"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 3/4"
2 3/8"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
1/8" (approximate)

For the purposes of these measurements, 'Drop at Face' is the 'drop' measurement taken on a line perpendicular to the
line joining the trigger and centre of the butt at approximately 8" from the trigger (front trigger on a double trigger gun).

Patents Exhibited include:
Jones rotary underlever patent no. 2040 of 1859;
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867.