Boss & Co, 73 St James's Street, London
12 bore Back-action Hammergun
No. 3769

Year of manufacture: 1884

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Heritage Guns' Comment

This gun represents a rare opportunity to acquire a fine condition example of a sporting hammergun made by this illustrious maker. The engraving is still crisp on the locks and action and the wood glows with fabulous condition. Rebarrelled, very probably by another, with 27" steel, dovetail lump barrels in 1974, it possesses an unusual configuration for a gun of this age. This makes it particularly desirable to any connoisseur of fine English hammerguns who wishes to shoot their pride and joy but favours a shorter barrel length.


The action is of traditional back-action design and features
Double triggers;
Stanton back-action, rebounding locks; Percussion fences;
Side lever operating a 'Purdey Bolt';
Rigby style 'Grip' forend fastener.
One hammer is thought to be possibly a replacement: the differences are very subtle but it is not stamped with the gun number on the inside. It may have been replaced by the maker in the distant past.

Gun weight 6lb 8 ½ oz Engraving style Best fine foliate scroll.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ½ lbs Rear trigger 4 ½ lbs
The replacement, steel barrels are 27" 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 type.
London reproof for 70mm nitro powder cartridges in 2010.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
18.6mm (0.732")
0.008" (IC)
Left Barrel
18.6mm (0.732")
0.019" (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 vacant white metal oval and is finished with a 1" traditional leather covered recoil pad.

Highly figured walnut

The 22 approx lines per inch chequering has been cut to a traditional back-action 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 1/2"
14 5/8"
14 5/8"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 5/8"
1 13/16"
2 1/4"
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;
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867;
Charles Harvey's 'Rigby' forend fastener patent no. 1793 of 1866.