Boss & Co, 73 St James’s Street, London
12 bore Rotary Underlever Back Action Hammergun
No. 3253

Year of manufacture: 1875

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Heritage Guns' Comment

When this lovely old Boss hammergun came to us it was in unusable condition with very thin and pitted barrels. However, seeing that the basic structure was still sound, we got to work on it and now have this lovely, classic Boss RUL hammergun to offer to our discerning customers. The work has been a great success: the barrels were TIG sleeved to their original length and, with sensitive refinishing, the wood has been given a new lease of life.
Edward Paddison, the sole proprietor of Boss & Co from 1873 to 1891, was a great advocate for the Rotary Underlever or sidelever rather than the toplever and Scott Spindle that the trade was largely adopting at this time.
How much this was down to this being a cheaper alternative as opposed to a technical preference is unknown but Boss & Co do not ever seem to have competed on price so my money is on the latter.
The highly figured wood now glows with fabulous condition and with its 2 ” chambers, fresh nitro proof and great dimensions, it will be particularly desirable to any connoisseur of fine English hammerguns who wishes to shoot their pride and joy, especially as the barrels and proof are compatible with CIP standard steel loads.
The gun is presented in a contemporary leather case with a digital reproduction label and some cleaning and reloading tools.



The action is of traditional back action design and features:
Double triggers;
Rebounding, back action locks;
High level ‘Dolphin’ hammers;
Finely carved percussion fences;
Rotary underlever;
Wedge or Cross-bolt forend fastening;
Long top strap.
The gun balances 1” in front of the hinge pin.
 Gun weight 7lb 3oz           
Engraving style
Best foliate scroll by Sumner. Locks signed ‘BOSS & CO’.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 lbs Rear trigger 4 lbs

The TIG sleeved damascus to steel barrels are 30" in length, chambered for 2 ” (70mm) cartridges
and are of brazed 'dovetail' lump construction with soft soldered ribs.
Top rib is of the smooth, concave, game type.
 Birmingham reproof
for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2021.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
18.4mm (0.724")
0.010" (IC)
Left Barrel
18.4mm (0.724")
0.021" (Mod)
The original Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock has neutral cast, features a vacant white metal oval and is finished with an engraved iron butt plate secured with engraved screws. The forend features a finely engraved steel tip and has a walnut inlet to the centre of the chequering below the cross-bolt.

Highly Figured Walnut Stock & Forend

The approx. 20 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 1/4"
14 1/2"
14 1/2"
15 1/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 11/16"
2 1/4"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel

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.