A visit to the Boss factory, they do not have a store, is like taking a step back in time. Benches are filled with hand tools and paraffin flames for ‘smoke blacking’ to check fitment tolerances. Metal is being hammered and filed with care. Fine wood is hand shaped by eye using chalk lines as a guide. Chequering is carved, perfectly straight, by hand with a small sharp tool.
While many guns are in-build, each will take years to complete, the patience required for each task unimaginable.
What’s different about this gun factory is the number of young faces. Each seasoned worker has an apprentice alongside them learning to be the next master craftsman.
Traditional methods are used, heritage is foremost respected, and a passion for the subject is apparent within each worker. The fact these traditions are being shared, ready for the next generation to carry the baton for several more decades, is commendable.
Not only is Boss bringing along the next generation of gunmakers, the owner, Arthur DeMoulas – a lifelong Boss collector and experienced shooter, is also protecting supply chains of key materials to ensure supply lasts as long as the new apprentices he now employs.
In addition, he is steadfast on his belief that the best gun is a handmade gun, and that Boss has to pay respect to the gunmakers who made a London gun so revered. To lose the tradition of handmade would be a sad chapter in gunmaking history and to the forefathers of the London gun trade.
London will never again experience the gunmaking buzz of the 1920s; certainly, it will never see as many gunmakers within the city, but 100 years later London remains the go-to for those who want to buy best guns.
One day we will look back to a time when handmade stood for something, but today we can all celebrate that Boss & Co will build handmade guns for decades to come, long after all others have dropped man for a machine.
More information on British handmade Gunmaking
If the above article has inspired you to explore the world of British handmade gunmaking, we would recommend you visit the official Boss & Co website at www.bossguns.com.