Boss & Co, 73 St James’s Street, London
12 bore Toplever Bar Action Hammergun
No. 3374

Year of manufacture: 1877

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Heritage Guns' Comment

When this lovely old Boss hammergun came to us it was in rather sad condition with breech face heavily corroded and thin and pitted barrels. However, sensing that the basic structure was still sound under all the rust, we got to work on it and now have this lovely, possibly unique Boss toplever hammergun to offer to our discerning customers! The work has been a great success: the barrels were TIG sleeved to their original length, breech face laser repaired and wood given a new lease of life.
The really interesting and novel feature of this particular gun is that Edward Paddison, the sole proprietor of Boss & Co from 1873 to 1891, used the patented bolting and forend catch of well-established Birmingham gunmakers, rather than the ubiquitous Purdey Bolt, Scott Spindle and Anson push rod. One can only assume that this was a cheaper alternative: paying the royalty fees of a provincial gunmaker rather than London prices!
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.



The action is of traditional bar action design and features:
Double triggers;
Brazier rebounding, bar action locks;
High level ‘Dolphin’ hammers;
Finely chiselled percussion fences;
Broad toplever operating a single bite bolt;
Patent snap lever forend catch.
There are laser repairs to the breech face.
The gun balances just in front of the hinge pin.
 Gun weight 7lb 5oz           
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 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 2019.

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")
0.015" (IC)
Left Barrel
18.4mm (0.724")
0.022" (Mod)
Straight Hand Stock and Splinter Forend are crafted from highly figured walnut. The stock is cast off for a right-handed shot, features a gold oval engraved with Old English initials, well-defined drop points and is finished with a 1” leather covered ‘Silver’s’ recoil pad.
Highly Figured Walnut Stock & Forend

The approx. 22 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
15 1/8"
15 1/2"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 1/2"
1 3/4"
2 1/2"
Cast at Comb
Cast at Heel
3/16" (approximate)
1/2" (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:

J Thomas bolting patent no. 3091 of 1871;
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867;
E Hollis forend catch patent no. 953 of 1873.