The best of the best? Perhaps…

One of the taxidermy displays at the 2016 Safari Club Show in Vegas
One of the taxidermy displays at the 2016 Safari Club Show in Vegas. All animals were full, life size, btw.

Last month, I was fortunate to spend a few day in Las Vegas at Safari Club International’s annual get together. It was a huge show, featuring outfitters, gunmakers and retailers from around the globe. If you were looking to book a hunt to anywhere in the world, find a taxidermist, order a new shotgun from the world’s top makers, or buy an expensive fur coat (oddly, several people were selling these), it was the place to be.

Droplock Westley Richards SxS shotgun. Pic from WR website
Droplock Westley Richards SxS shotgun. Pic from WR website

I was there to see the guns, and I have to say, I saw plenty of them. Most of the major makers were there with plenty of new guns on hand for me to inspect. Of these, three makers really stood out: Westley Richards, Boss & Co and Hartmann & Weiss.

Westley Richards’ new droplocks are great doubles, and their sidelocks are nice, too. While far from cheap, both are some of the best guys in the new, best-quality market. Deliver times are reasonable, too.

Boss & Co had two of their new OUs on hand for me to look at. Both were 28 gauges and very impressive.Boss & Co invented the low-profile style OU, and the guns the company is making today retain the style, elegance and quality that made this design so famous. From what I saw at the show, Boss is building the best over-unders coming out of London (and the most of London’s other major makers were at SCI).

Hartmann & Weiss OU shotgun. Pic from H&W site
Hartmann & Weiss OU shotgun. Pic from H&W site

Compared to the other gunmakers, Hartmann & Weiss had one of the smallest booths at the show. But their doubles were hugely impressive. Drop dead ‘friggin gorgeous. The 16 gauge, Boss-style OU had on hand blew me away. It may have been too nice, actually. If it were mine, I don’t know if I could bring myself to use it. Even though it was a standard gun with rose-and-scroll engraving, it looked it deserved to be displayed behind glass forever.

To see some more pics of new doubles by Boss & Co and Hartmann & Weiss, check out these posts from The Explora, Westley Richards’ great blog:

The English and German Gunmakers. Hartmann & Weiss and Boss & Co.

Boss & Co. Over and Under .500 3″NE

BOSS & Co. 20 & 28g. OVER AND UNDER.

A HARTMANN & WEISS 20g Over and Under Engraved by Alan Brown.

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