Boss & Co is known for its pioneering spirit and inventive nature. During our history Boss & Co has filed many patents and launched many firsts to market. This section details some of our finest achievements that have gone on to change the world of sporting guns and have often been copied, but never bettered.
Robertson added grace, shape and form to Boss & Co guns, and that beauty came with no loss of reliability. He desired a blend of form and function where beauty could be added without any compromise to mechanical integrity. He talked of streamlining, and with that he concentrated his efforts into creating guns with grace and pace.
This desire for visual appeal led to him designing the Boss Hammerless Ejector in 1897 which has been in continuous production, virtually unaltered, since that day. The Hammerless Ejector, while taking years to perfect, is actually very simple in its operation. It has an ability to expel unfired cartridges further than any other gun and helps with the opening (when unfired). When the gun has been fired the Boss Ejector pushes cartridges out by some distance, using its ejector spring, whereas other guns rely on leverage only.
“The great virtue of the Boss Ejector of 1897 is its simplicity, its ability to withdraw unfired cartridges considerably further than in any other gun.” Donald Dallas – Gun author.
Designed well over 100 years ago, the Boss Ejector utilises a simple and extremely effective mechanism that delivers 100% of a coilsprings potential energy. That energy is delivered, in a straight line, along the barrels and onto the extractor to expel a cartridge. It is a compact, refined and lightweight solution that ensures no excess wood is removed in order to accommodate it. The slim design of the ejector led Boss & Co to be known as the racehorse of best guns, their sleek appearance having similarity to the lines of a muscular thoroughbred horse.
The result is not only a gun of great looks, but the operation is seamless and accurate as the system controls the ejection of cartridges from the chamber ensuring a swift reload and ease of use. The Boss Ejector is fitted to each and every Boss & Co gun built today, allowing the owner to experience a genuine piece of gunmaking history.
Robertson is also credited with the invention of the first reliable single-trigger in 1893. More than any other maker, Boss & Co has perfected and promoted the single trigger. The firm is now regarded as the leading manufacturer of single trigger guns.
Robertson had studied the single trigger since 1890, defying press and customers alike who said it couldn’t be done with the required reliability. Not only did Robertson show public and press a working single-trigger, he also allowed them to fire it where it performed with perfection. Soon after he built a special triple-barrel gun to further demonstrate the effectiveness of the single-trigger. Once again, it fired perfectly during a non-stop test and proved, without doubt, the effectiveness of his creation.
“The result of the trial unquestionably demonstrated the superiority of the Boss One-Trigger gun over the older kinds of double trigger and also its greater safety and extreme reliability.” The Sunday Times. 1900.
The importance of the single trigger to Boss & Co is vast. Prior inventions, such as the hammerless guns, were not immediately apparent as their innovation remained hidden, but the single trigger was there for all to see and the name of Boss & Co became synonymous with the innovation.
So groundbreaking was the innovation it took some time to become commonplace but, thanks to the undeniable reliability it offered, Boss & Co perfected the single trigger more than any other gunmaker and are regarded as the leading manufacturer of single trigger guns to this day.
Robertson created the now world-famous Boss & Co Over and Under gun in 1909. The patent filed for his Over and Under gun completing his trio of major Boss & Co innovations and resulted in Robertson’s Over and Under being regarded as the finest of all British O/Us.
Robertson did not invent the O/U shotgun, but he created an Over and Under gun that was elegant, shapely, strong and far lighter than any other on the market. Until that time Over and Under guns often hailed from Germany but were heavy and ungainly. But Robertson’s OUs were strong, lively, light and slender, marking the Boss & Co Over and Under as the best on the market as soon as it was introduced. Immediately it set the standard and became the benchmark, a celebrated design that remains unsurpassed.
“A striking innovation in modern gunnery. We have seen the same design in German weapons, but so bulky and clumsy that there was no advantage shown to the user. The neatness of the action and the barrels together is very marked, the workmanship being in the usual Boss superior style and finish.” The Country Gentleman. 1912.
“An extraordinarily graceful effect was produced by the mounting of one barrel over the other with all the aids to appearance that high class workmanship and finish are capable of giving. Flowing lines and sweeping curves existed in complete harmony with the general scheme of construction. There was no suggestion of meaningless outline in any part of the action, barrels or wood.” The Field. 1913.
The Boss & Co Over and Under is now regarded as the finest of the British ‘O/Us’ and is seen as one of the most remarkable moments of Robertson’s career.
The design has been copied extensively since launch, but no other English gunmaker has been able to recreate the smooth contours and perfect lines of a Boss & Co.
A Boss & Co gun can be specified with engraving of the owners choosing but most popular is the distinctive Boss Rose and Scroll, an engraving depicting tiny roses set amongst scrolls, that instantly identifies a Boss & Co and is a design that has become famous around the gunmaking world.
Introduced by John James Sumner, he engraved a design containing five roses set within a framework of scrolls, giving a design of understated elegance and one that stood out against the more often seen two or three roses used by other gunmakers. The sumptuously detailed artwork of Sumner perfectly complimented the svelte gunmaking of Robertson and combining the two elements was a major factor in the success of the Boss & Co gun.
Robertson referred to the Sumner engraving as the ‘usual way’ or ‘usual style’ and since has become the house style of engraving for a Boss & Co gun and is certainly the most popular choice today.
In the 1890s Robertson developed a stylishly slim gun known as the Round Body, as part of his endeavors to make Boss & Co gun beautiful. The Round Body is still made today and uses exactly the same internal actions as a Square Body, apart from the lockplate locator which is set deeper into the action. The stock is also rounded at the wrist.
Boss & Co was the first to market the Round Body with many other makers soon copying the concept. Today a Boss & Co gun can be specified with a Round or Square body and is just one of many bespoke user options.