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.
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).
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: