This pair of Boss OUs from 1927 are two of the finest shotguns I’ve seen in a while. If you want to own the best of the best, step up and write the check. These rare guns have what it takes to justify the big bucks.
- Original condition. Even though they’re almost 100 years old, all that color-case hardening on the action, and all the blacking on the barrels, forend iron, and other bits, looks absolutely right for pre-WW2 Bosses. The only update I see is the guns were reproofed in London for 2 3/4″ chambers (70mm).
- Superb quality. These OUs have the little touches that you only see on the finest British guns — share, crips edge on the action and toplever, perfectly fitted locks and forends, great proportions and curves, engraving that almost sparkles, and genuine French walnut stocks that enhance the looks the guns without stealing the show. These touches make these guns stunning and beautiful.
- Historical significance. Boss OUs were the most expensive shotguns in the world when this pair was made. They were built to the highest standards by some of the finest craftsmen in the British trade. They’re a direct link to everything that the golden age of British gunmaking stood for then and represents today.
According to Griffin & Howe:
“Boss & co. Pair No. 7425-6 were made in 1927 for Hendon Chubb, the founder of Chubb Insurance. This pair is unique in the fact that they were never intended to be used by just Hendon, they were also made to be shared by his son Percy Chubb; and as such were supplied with two butt pads to fit the length of pull. One set being thin black plates for Percy, and a set of walnut plates measuring one half inch longer for Hendon. Keeping with the theme that the guns were to be shared by father and son, a pair of oak and leather cases were supplied; instead of the ordinary case intended to carry both firearms. The cases are still in remarkable condition despite being nearly a century old and contain an assortment of accessories including a full cleaning kit, snap caps and of course the spare butt plates. After years of use by the Chubb’s with the original 2-1/2 chambers, the guns were Re proofed to modern 70mm chambers at the London proofing house. Eventually the guns left the possession of the Chubb’s and entered the collection of a New Jersey Collector, where they remained until early 2024 when they were taken in by Griffin & Howe in Andover New Jersey and offered up for sale.
The pair are the of finest quality Boss & Co. could offer, possessing color case hardened receivers that still retain nearly all of the original color, with the wonderful fine rose and scroll engraving that Boss & Co. does so well. The barrels measure 30 inches in length and have no rib as is typical of Boss & Co O/U’s. Being a true pair, the firearms have identical bores and chokes, measuring out to an improved cylinder on the top barrel and ¼ choke on the bottom barrel. Both firearms are stocked in highly figured walnut and have a straight wrist. The fore end comes with the distinctive extended Boss style fore end iron. Lastly, the triggers. The firearms are equipped with single triggers and are true over/unders; meaning the top barrel will always fire before the bottom barrel.
In short, this pair of shotguns are a perfect example of the quality that is to be expected from Boss & Co. As this pair has a nearly a century long life to prove it.”
BOSS & CO BEST PAIR 12 GAUGE OVER UNDER SHOTGUNS-#7425/7426: Individually cased pair of hammerless ejector guns. Manufacturer: Boss & Co Model: Hammerless Ejector Pair Caliber Info: 12 Gauge Chambers: 2 3/4″ Ejectors: Yes Condition: Preowned Metal Condition: Very Good Barrels: 30″ Action: Sidelock Triggers: Single Gauge: 12 Gauge Stock Comb: 1 5/8″. Stock Heel: 2 3/8″ Stock Cast: Off Fore End: Checkered LOP: 15 1/8″ Chokes: Skeet 1 and 2 Case: Oak & Leather. Price: $175,000*
Boss & Co. was founded in 1812. John Robertson took control of the company in 1893. Robertson was an A list, gunmaker-to-the-trade at the time, working for most of London’s most prestigious names. He was also a prolific inventor. The same year he took over Boss, he patented the company’s famous single trigger (the world’s first reliable single trigger); in 1897, he patented Boss-style ejectors (the best ejector system for a SxS); and in 1909 he patented the Boss OU.
Robertson had an engineer’s mind and an artist’s eyes. Mechanically, his new Boss OU was slim and elegant like a Boss SxS. It also handled like one. Aesthetically, Robertson’s OU blended lines, curves, polished/engraved surfaces, metalwork/wood and proportions in a way that made the Boss OU the most beautiful over-under shotgun ever made. They were, and are, a pinnacle of British gunmaking.
BTW: To learn about the history of OUs, check out my article Rise of the Over-Under Shotgun: A History Lesson, from the Fall 2020 issue of the Project Upland Magazine.
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