Boss & Co builds fantastic doubles. But some of their guns are peculiar–like the SxS you see here. With double beads on the action, banner-style engraving, and lovely patina, it’s one of the nicest pre-WW1 Boss side-by-sides I’ve seen. But it does have a quirk.
Compare its forend to the forend on other Boss SxSs (like this one) and you’ll see it: The missing diamond-shaped medallion in the center of the checkering. That medallion seats the screw going up through the forend, and into the iron. Some makers don’t use a connection like this to pull these pieces together. But every other Boss I’ve ever seen does — except this one. So what’s up?
I have no idea. Does this shotgun have standard Boss ejectors? Yup. Is everything else about the forend the same as on other Boss SxSs from the same period? Yup, again. Is the forend wood thinner than on other Boss SxSs? Nope. Could the gun have been ordered this way? Perhaps — but unlikely. I can’t imagine a customer specifying a detail like that. They would have to be a bigger doublegun dork than I am.
So what could I be? Perhaps it was just what gunmaker had available at the moment, or perhaps he wanted to try something else out. Or maybe the piece was lost and the foreman say “Make it right or you’re not getting paid” to the guy who messed up. We’ll never know.
What we do know is that it’s beautiful. I wish it were mine.
BTW: Just to set things straight, I think this gun is 100% right. I’ve had it in my hands, and it’s great.