“Absolutely stunning.” That was all my friend could say, and the fact that he was so impressed really impressed me. We were standing together, leaning over a sturdy oak table. Windows framed the room, and lined up in front of us were two vintage British shotguns-one side-by-side, one over-and-under-as glimmering as the day they were built.
The shotguns were part of a collection we were evaluating and appraising. Once we had lifted each from the leather luggage case and realized we had perfection, we had stopped to behold the sight before us. My friend has collected firearms for more than 25 years. He has seen it all-from vintage Purdeys made for British Royals to Hartmann & Weiss over-and-unders, perhaps the finest shotgun made today. For a firearm to impress my friend, it has to have it all: superb quality, exquisite physical condition, and once-in-a-decade rarity. The two shotguns before us on the table had all of that.
They were both 28-gauge and made by the exclusive London firm Boss & Co. In its history, Boss made just over 10,000 shotguns. Of those, fewer than 50 have been 28-gauges. The two we were looking at were 60 years old and as like-new as any vintage British shotguns we had seen.
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