Boss & Co, 73 St James's Street, London
12 bore Back action Sidelock Ejector
no. 4017

Date of manufacture: 1889

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Heritage Guns' Comment

This superb gun was made in the very last years of the proprietorship of EF Paddison, nephew to Thomas Boss, who took over the ownership of Boss & Co from his aunt, Emma Boss in 1872. Two years after these guns were made, John Robertson bought Boss & Co and developed it into probably the most exclusive London gunmaker name ever.
What is interesting is that although Robertson was making, or at least stocking and screwing, a large proportion of Paddison's output, this gun carries all the hallmarks of being produced by the Thomas Perkes' workshops, a gunmaker and inventor to the London trade of comparable standing to Robertson.
The outward style of the gun is not 'Robertson' at all, he preferred far more modern styling (see our stock #173, made in the same year) and the gun features the Perkes ejector box, cocking rods and a rare Perkes patent interceptor sear.
This is a most attractive gun with its fine foliate engraving, highly figured stock and elegant locks and with its beautifully sleeved barrels and fresh nitro proof, it would make an excellent gun for game or clays.
The gun comes cased in its 'maker's Leather and Brass case with some accessories.


The action is of Thomas Perkes' design and features:
Double triggers with rolled edge trigger guard;
'Leg of Mutton' back action locks with bolstered tumbler pivots & gold cocking indicators;
Automatic top tang safety slide and Perkes' Interceptor sears;
'Purdey Bolt' operated by Purdey's 2nd patent underlever;
Perkes' ejector box and cocking rods;
'Grip' forend lever catch.
Gun weight 6lb 11oz
Engraving style Best Fine Foliate Scroll (small area of damage to LH action bar), Gold inlaid SAFE. Almost certainly engraved by John James Sumner, the 3rd generation of the Sumner dynasty who between them probably engraved 99% of the Boss & Co production, at least up until 1920.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 1/2 lbs Rear trigger 4 lbs
The sleeved steel/steel barrels are 28 1/4" 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 type.
London reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2013.


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")
0.033" Minimum
0.006" (Skeet)
Left Barrel
18.5mm (0.728")
0.038" Minimum
0.021" (Mod)

Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend
are crafted from well figured walnut. We believe that the stock is original but the forend wood an antique replacement. The stock is lightly cast-off for a right-handed shot, features a vacant white metal oval and is finished with a cross cut pattern. There is a suggestion of an antique crack in the upper left horn that has been successfully repaired.

Well figured walnut

The 20 approx. lines per inch chequering is to the normal 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.

Approximate stock measurements at date of publication:

Pull to Heel
Pull to Bump
Pull to Centre
Pull to Toe
14 3/4"
14 7/8"
14 7/8"
15 1/2"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 7/16"
1 9/16"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
1/16" (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:
'Purdey Bolt' patent no. 1104 of 1863;
Perkes' ejector patent no 10679 of 1886,
Perkes' cocking rod patent no 1968 of 1878,
Perkes' interceptor sear patent no 3049 of 1883,
Harvey's forend catch patent no 1793 of 1866.