Best vs. Best: Comparing SxSs by Boss & Co. & J. Woodward & Sons…

12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s

In the world of fine shotguns, a Best-quality double is just that: The very best side-by-side or over-under a company could make (or in some cases, the best one they retailed). Best guns were top-of-the-line, and top gunmakers made their best guns in special ways. This was called the “House Style”, and it was applied to the entire gun, from the engraving pattern and the shaping to the action, metalwork, and stock.

The side-by-sides you see here are Best-guns by Boss & Co. and James Woodward & Sons. The Boss is 12g made the later 1920s. The Woodward is a 16g. I think it’s from the 1930s. Even though these doubles have a lot in common, they are very different guns. Look closely and you’ll see what sets them apart.

16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
12 gauge Boss & Co. SxS shotgun, late 1920s
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
16g SXS, James Woodward & Sons
Top: 12g Boss & Co, Bottom: 16g J. Woodward & Sons
Top: 12g Boss & Co, Bottom: 16g J. Woodward & Sons
Top: 12g Boss & Co, Middle: 16g J. Woodward & Sons, Bottom: 20g Boss & Co.
Top: 12g Boss & Co, Middle: 16g J. Woodward & Sons, Bottom: 20g Boss & Co.

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