The ‘1812 Edition’ family of guns was introduced by current Boss’ current Owner
, Arthur DeMoulas and his team of talented craftsmen, bringing world-first innovations into the gunmaking industry. Created in the spirit of one-time Boss custodian, John Robertson, who revolutionized gunmaking time and time again with new inventions, the ‘1812 Edition’ family is comprised of the world’s first ambidextrous side-lever shotguns.
The ‘1812 Edition’ ambidextrous guns are built by hand, beginning with a purpose-built action, supplied with two intricately shaped individual side levers that can be attached to either the left or the right-hand side of the gun. Ingeniously, that means it can be adapted for either left or right-handed shooters in a way no gun has ever been before, making them truly multi-generational.
From parent to child to grandchild, no matter if they’re left or right-handed, an ‘1812 Edition’ gun can endure through a bloodline without the need for further craftsmanship or additional engraving – even if the gun’s original engraver or actioner has retired or passed on.
As with all Boss & Co guns, the new rising third bite side-lever is a thing of beauty. Its timeless shape draws inspiration from the first British over and under of 1909. A great deal of design also went into the vacant top strap, devoid of top lever. Not a single part of it is flat, creating a traditional Boss & Co flowing shape, as it tapers into a hand-engraved beetle-back safety – again a trademark design from London’s oldest gunmaker. All Boss guns can be personalised to a customer’s desire.
The side lever itself is intricately designed, inspired by early Boss hammer guns and hammerless guns. The hand-engraved chequered thumb push at the top is angled slightly forwards so that when depressed it is parallel with the action to stop the thumb slipping off. The lever curves gracefully around the action and such is the standard of Boss craftsmanship, if the gun is held up to the daylight, no light is visible between the lever and the action.
Less than a year later, the Boss & Co team of craftsmen would innovate once again with the introduction of the 20-bore side-by-side ‘1812 Edition’. No gunmaker before had paired an ambidextrous side-lever design with a side-by-side barrel formation, but the relentless innovators at Boss & Co established entirely new ways of working to develop the new gun.
In 2022, perhaps the most ambitious shotgun ever created was introduced to the ‘1812 Edition’ family. First seen on a 16-bore trio of guns, it represented the most complex possible configuration of a shotgun, pairing Boss’ iconic over and under shape with an ambidextrous side-lever action and a rising third bite – a gunmaking technique so complex that most gunmakers have stopped producing it entirely.
The rising third bite is a third locking point on a gun that provides additional reliability and longevity. But they traditionally rely on a top lever to push down the bite to release it. In Boss & Co’s ‘1812 Edition’ there is no top lever, so an entirely new –– and even more difficult – solution was needed. Boss & Co gunmakers developed a completely bespoke system, involving a fine leaf spring underneath the top strap, recessed into a meticulously cut oblong section to stop the spring moving sideways. It’s an elegant but extremely precise solution, so difficult to put together that it requires two gunmakers simultaneously.