Boss & Co, 73 St James's Street, London
12 bore Back-action Hammergun
No. 2885

Year of manufacture: 1871

Click on these images for more detail.

Heritage Guns' Comment

According to the Boss record books, this gun was ordered on 13th March 1871 by Viscount Stopford (1853-1937) of Wexford, Ireland. From there it somehow came into the possession of a Wexford landowner and farmer who, thinking the gun of little value other than as a family heirloom, proceeded to amateurishly 'deactivate' it so he could legitimately hang it over his fire place. Fortunately, the gun came into our possession a little over a year ago and we decided to try and repair it for use. The work was a success and we can now offer our customers a rare chance 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. With its 2 ¾" chamber, 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 back-action design and features:
Double triggers;
Stanton back-action, rebounding locks;
Dolphin hammers;
Percussion fences;
'Jones Rotary Underlever';
Cross-wedge forend fastener;
Long top tang;
Engraved, iron butt plate.
Gun weight 6lb 6 ½ oz
Engraving style
Best foliate scroll.
Trigger pulls measure approximately: Front trigger 3 ½ lbs Rear trigger 4 lbs
The damascus barrels are 30" 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 2011.

Approximate barrel measurements at date of publication:

Nominal Proof Size
Bore Diameter 9" from Breech
Minimum Wall Thickness
Choke Constriction
Right Barrel
18.8mm (0.740")
0.05" (Skeet)
Left Barrel
18.8mm (0.740")
0.05" (Skeet)

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 an engraved iron butt plate secured by engraved screws. The forend tip is engraved steel and there are 2 antique wood inlets to the body of the stock.

Highly figured walnut
The 18 approx lines per inch chequering has been freshened to it original 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 3/16"
14 1/16"
14 1/2"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Face
Drop at Heel
1 5/8"
1 3/4"
2 3/16"
Cast at Comb
Cast 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:
Jones rotary underlever patent no. 2040 of 1859;
Stanton's rebounding lock patent no. 367 of 1867.