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BOSS & CO. A RARE 12-BORE 'PURDEY-ACTION' SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 5633, with extra barrels

BOSS & CO. A RARE 12-BORE ‘PURDEY-ACTION’ SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 5633, with extra barrels

This shotgun is just plain strange. It’s a 12 gauge Boss & Co. side-by-side built on a Purdey/Beesley self-opening action, and it’s coming up in Holt’s Fine Modern & Antique Guns auction on Thursday 16th March 2017.

Purdey patented the Beesley hammerless self-opening action in 1880. By the time this Boss was built (1908), that patent had expired. So Boss was free to build this gun without paying Purdey s single cent in licensing fees. But that doesn’t mean Boss went ahead and did it.

BOSS & CO. A RARE 12-BORE 'PURDEY-ACTION' SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 5633, with extra barrels

BOSS & CO. A RARE 12-BORE ‘PURDEY-ACTION’ SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 5633, with extra barrels

The Beesley action is difficult to make and nothing like the action Boss uses on its side-by-sides. So rather than manufacture this gun themselves, I think Boss had Purdey (Purdey’s outworkers) do it for them. Here’s why:

  • While the action is filed up like a Boss, the fences look like they belong on a Purdey
  • The toplever, tail of the topstrap, and safety looks more Purdey than Boss
  • The screws securing the locks to the action are a hybrid of Purdey & Boss styles
  • The action features striker discs and firing-pin retaining screws. Boss didn’t add these to SxSs they made until the late ’20s
  • It looks like it has Purdey ejectors

A RARE BOSS &CO 12-BORE ‘PURDEY-ACTION’ SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 5633, with extra barrelsOriginal Whitworth-steel 30in. nitro chopperlump barrels, rib engraved ‘BOSS & CO. 73 ST. JAMES’S STREET. LONDON.’ and gold-inlaid ‘1’ at the breech end, tubes engraved ‘SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH’S PRESSED FLUID STEEL’, 2 1/2in. chambers, bored approx. true cyl. in both, rib slightly loose, right wall at 18;  extra 28in. unsigned nitro barrels (by another), 2 1/2in. chambers, bored approx. imp. cyl. and 1/2 choke;  self-opening action with removable striker discs, toplever gold-inlaid ‘1’, gold-inlaid cocking-indicators, best fine acanthus scroll engraving with floral bouquets, retaining traces of original colour-hardening, 14 3/8in. figured stock, weight 6lb. 7oz. (original barrels) and 6lb. 9oz. (extra barrels), in a brass-cornered oak and leather case with provision for the 30in. barrels only, the extra 28in. barrels in a canvas leg of mutton slip. Estimate £7,000-9,000

Provenance: The makers have kindly confirmed that the gun was completed on the 26th August 1908 as No.1 of a pair of ‘Purdey Action’ guns for an Edward Bunbury.

BOSS & CO. A RARE 12-BORE 'PURDEY-ACTION' SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 5633, with extra barrels

BOSS & CO. A RARE 12-BORE ‘PURDEY-ACTION’ SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 5633, with extra barrels

BOSS & CO. A RARE 12-BORE 'PURDEY-ACTION' SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 5633, with extra barrels

BOSS & CO. A RARE 12-BORE ‘PURDEY-ACTION’ SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 5633, with extra barrels

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