Boss & Co, 73 St James's Street, London
12 bore Sidelock Non-ejector Shotgun
no. 3976

Date of manufacture: 1888

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Heritage Guns' Comment

This Boss & Co shotgun was made during the time that Edward Paddison, nephew to the late Thomas Boss, was in sole charge of the business. Paddison was very much a traditionalist: preferring back-actions to bar-actions, side or underlever to top lever. He also contributed nothing in the way of invention or innovation to the gun trade, simply using other people's patents once they were proved reliable.
Engraved by John Sumner, gun no. 3976 is a classic example of a 'Paddison Era' Boss shotgun and was made to pair with gun number 3935 in 1888. Although beautifully made, it is a very simple gun: doing everything essential without any extra embellishment. In fact the only non-Paddison feature is the toplever! We believe the gun may have been rebarrelled by the Makers in the 1930's as it carries a '30's Boss number stamped into the barrel and action flats, we know for certain it was sleeved in 1971. At some stage the forend has been completely replaced. The original forend catch was most likely of the 'Rigby' rotary lever but that has been replaced with a Deeley catch. However the job appears to have been done well with attractive wood and a horn tip. The Chilton locks are beautifully finished and are unusual in having no interceptor sear fitted.
The beautiful wood combined with the sleeved steel barrels make this gun perfect for the target or game shooter.



The Action is of Thomas Perkes' design and features:
Toplever operating a double bite Purdey Bolt by way of a Scott Spindle;
Back-action sidelocks by Chilton with bolstered tumbler pivots;
Double triggers bolted by an automatic top tang safety slide
and a Deeley forend catch.
Gun weight 6lb 14oz
Engraving style Sumner engraved Best Foliate Scroll. Gold inlaid 'SAFE'.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3lb Rear trigger 4lb
The soft-solder sleeved steel barrels are 28" in length, chambered for 2 ¾ " (70mm) cartridges and are of brazed dovetail lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib
is of the smooth, concave, game style.
London reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2014.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
18.5mm (0.728")
0.010" (IC)
Left Barrel
18.5mm (0.728")
0.023" (Mod)

The straight hand stock is crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock is lightly cast-off for a right-handed Gun, features a vacant white metal oval and is finished with a 1" leather covered recoil pad.
The forend wood is a figured replacement and features a sculpted horn tip.
The 22 approx. lines per inch chequering is cut to a normal back-action sidelock pattern.
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.

Highly Figured walnut

Approximate stock measurements at date of publication:

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
14 3/16"
14 1/4"
14 5/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 11/16"
2 1/8"
Cast-off at Comb
Cast-off 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:
Perkes' action patent no. 1968 of 1878,
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863,
'Scott Spindle' patent no. 2752 of 1865,
Deeley & Edge's forend fastener patent no. 1422 of 1873.