An amazing weekend, an incredible 20 gauge Boss & Co. O/U shotgun…

A 20 Gauge Boss O/U Double Barrel Shotgun, 28" barrels, Single Trigger, Rising Bite
A 20 Gauge Boss O/U Double Barrel Shotgun, 28″ barrels, Single Trigger, Rising Bite

Boss O/Us are impressive shotguns. As one of the most influential designs in shotgun history, they’ve had an incredible impact on modern over unders. In fact, most of the O/Us made today owe a debt to this British design. But that’s not all that makes these O/Us special.

BossS over & unders are also beautifully made. John Robertson was a gunmaker and artists, and the sweeping lines of the stock, the exposed forend iron, and the unique sculpting on the action, make these guns in stunning. The experience and skills that they put into their doubles — especially the SxS and O/Us from  1920-1930s — represent the apex of  the trade and are almost extinct today.

A 20 Gauge Boss O/U Double Barrel Shotgun, 28" barrels, Single Trigger, Rising Bite
A 20 Gauge Boss O/U Double Barrel Shotgun, 28″ barrels, Single Trigger, Rising Bite

Boss made around 450 of their “Vertical Guns,” so handling and inspecting one is a memorable event for a shotgun fanatic like myself. Having the chance to do this with four of them, including two that have never been fired, is extraordinary. But that’s exactly what I had happen a couple Saturdays ago.

A friend of mine invited us over to view part of his collection. Along with a couple minty 12 gauges by Purdey & Woodward, he also showed us his Boss O/Us. At one point, we had Boss O/U in 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, and .410 lined up in front of us. That’s a once-in-a- lifetime site, and the I’m grateful for the chance to see it.

This little Boss was one of the highlights. Being a 20 gauge Boss O/U from the 1930s, it’s a rare shotgun. Add in the 28″ barrels, Boss single trigger, and Boss rising-bite style action and you have  an insanely rare double. The fact that I had the chance to take a long, close look at it and raise it to my shoulder many times made the weekend incredibly special.

Boss O/Us in .410, 28g, 20g, & 16g
Boss O/Us in .410, 28g, 20g, & 16g

The king of Boss O/Us? This 28 gauge is just $500,000…

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838. Click to see fantastic Sumner engraving.

This fantastic Boss O/U just hit the market. It’s #6838, a 28 gauge with 26″ barrels. According to the seller, it’s the first 28 gauge over-under that Boss & Co. made.

An outfit called Etherington Thorpe & Company in Denmark has the gun. I’ve been told that the asking  price is $500,000 — aka a 1/2 million friggin’ dollars.

Boss over-unders are special shotguns. Almost every modern O/Us owes a debt to their design (learn why: Bow down to this Boss O/U…). The 28 is one of the rarest gauges Boss made and this one appears to be in spectacular original condition.

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838, click to see more detail.

It’s also from Boss’s best time period – between the wars – and beautifully made. I’ve seen a bunch of Boss O/Us, and this one is up there with the very best of them.

Here’s more info about this double from the seller:

Extremely rare 28 gauge Boss & Co over and under shotgun made 1920. This gun was the first of only eight 28 gauge over and under Boss’s ever made, and is probably the finest example of them all, being totally original, in as new condition and perfect in every detail.

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838, click for more detail.

Barrels: 26″, stock 14 1/4″, double trigger, full filed rib, fine traditional rose and scroll engraving with gold inlaid monogram on the toplever, 100% original as new condition, with original makers case.

The gun was originally commissioned in by Mr. Henry Graves Jnr. who ordered the gun in 1919 through Von Lengerke and Detmold in New York, to be delivered in 1920. Mr. Henry graves Jnr was a man of impeccable taste, an ardent collector, and a perfectionist who demanded the highest quality in everything he purchased…having a reputation for owning the very best of the best, including the most expensive watch in the world “The Supercomplication” made by Patek Philippe in 1933.

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838
28 gauge Boss & Co. Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun #6838

 

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