Make: Charles Boswell of London
Model: Hammerless Sidelock Live Pigeon
Serial Number: 12714
Year of Manufacture: The proof marks give a date range of 1904-1925.
Gauge: 12 Gauge, 2 ¾”
Action Type: Side by side, Dual Trigger, Top Break Hammerless Sidelock Shotgun with Extractor
Markings: The barrel set’s rib is marked “CHARLES BOSWELL MAKER. 126 STRAND LONDON, W.C.”, the underside of the barrels are marked with the serial number (found again on the lower tang, top of the forend bracket and on the watertable of the receiver), the underside of the barrel lug flat is marked with a series of London proof marks which indicate production between 1904 and 1925 along with “13/1 / 12 / NP / NITRO PROOF / 1 1/8 / CHOKE”, the left has a faint “BOSWELL” mark. The watertable is marked “C. BOSWELL” with two crown over “V” marks. The upper tang is marked “SAFE”, filled with gold. The side plates are marked “CHARLES BOSWELL”. The receiver and its components have absolutely stunning scroll and floriated engraving, please see our pictures of this beautiful shotgun. The engraving is also found on the forend metal pieces and in light form on the barrel set. The set has a nice Damascus twist pattern that is still highly discernible in areas.
Barrel Length: 30”
Choke: The right bore has a constriction of 0.01” or about Improved Cylinder, the left bore has a constriction of 0.02”, which is about Modified.
Sights / Optics: This shotgun is mounted with a brass bead, which is screwed into the solid, concave rib. The rib tapers from 0.420” at the breech to 0.295” at the muzzles.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are a beautiful walnut set, the forend and butt stock have similar color, the butt stock has fiddle back grain while the forend has more of a strait horizontal pattern. The forned has nice hand cut checkering wrapped around the flanks and underside, the fit to metal is generally crisp with a slight gap towards the end of the nose cap; when installed, the forend has a very light gap in fit to the barrel set. The underside shows tiny cracks at the rear, there appears to be another crack of shallow depth just aft of the front cap. The butt stock has teardrop shapes on the flanks of the strait checkered English wrist, with an oval metal insert on the belly. The fit to metal is beautiful but for a few areas of slight rounding, we believe from lighting sanding, there are a few tiny splinter losses at the rear of the lock plates. The top of the wrist has a “C” shaped crack that runs from the upper tang, close to the right side plate. Outside of the aforementioned areas of note, there are only a few scattered compression and scuff marks, please see our pictures. Drop at comb is 1 5/8”, drop at heel is 2 7/16”, the stock is cast-off for right handed shooters. The LOP measures 12 ¾” from the front of the rear trigger and 13 5/8” from the front of the forward trigger to the back of the black plastic butt plate; the plate has nice fit to the wood stock, there is a chip loss on the toe and some light compression to the rear checkers, rating in Very Good Plus condition. The stocks rate in about Very Good Plus overall condition. We believe the stocks were professionally restored a long time ago.
Type of Finish: The barrel set is browned with a Damascus twist pattern. The forend items, trigger guard, triggers and top lever are blue, the receiver and plates were left in the white.
Finish Originality: The shotgun has been professionally restored.
Bore Condition: The bores are semi-bright, it appears the insides were cleaned to remove erosion, there are some reaming marks present, of shallow depth. The bores have extremely light erosion and a few spots of mild pitting, about mid bore. A few bumps are present from marks on the outside of the barrel set.
Overall Condition: The barrel set was cleaned at some point, evident by the faded lettering on top of the barrel set. There is pitting on the flanks of the barrels, we do not recommend firing this shotgun. The Damascus twist patterns still exist, in some areas it is highly visible. The barrel has a few scattered handling compression and scrape marks. The receiver and side plates look to have been left in the white and may have originally been case colored, based on other Boswell shotguns we’ve seen in our research. The cleaned surfaces still retained nice depth on the engraved areas and the metal to metal fit is still pretty crisp. The blue items show some removal of material, resulting in some of the engraved areas appearing shallow, there are a few areas of cleaned erosion visible on top of the forend bracket and trigger guard. The screw heads are fire blued and show mild tooling. The markings are heavily faded on top of the rib, the other markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Very Good condition as restored.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The shotgun weighs 6lbs 10oz. The shotgun has a sidelock hammerless action, there is no play in the construction and the top tang has a thumb safety, the checkering is slightly muted but still present. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: From http://bluebookofgunvalues.com/Gun_Values/Gun_Manufacturer_Models.aspx?id=BOSWELL_CHARLES_CHARLES_BOSWELL_COMPANY_HISTORY “Charles Boswell was not only a fine gunmaker but an expert shot in the sport of live pigeon shooting and accordingly specialized in the building of high quality competition shotguns and rifles. He founded his business in 1869 at Edmunton, but by 1884 had moved to 126 The Strand in central London. In 1914, Boswell’s son, Osbourne George, assumed management and in 1922 the firm moved to South Moulton Street. Charles Boswell died in 1924, and in 1932, the firm moved again to 15 Mill Street, where the company was bombed by the Luftwaffe in April of 1941. Osbourne George passed away a few months later, and his widow ran the business until 1944 – after which point the family connection apparently ends.” This shotgun was made between 1904 and 1925 with absolutely beautiful engraving and overall construction. The item was professionally restored at some point, the job was done very well and the action still works. This shotgun represents London’s finest gunsmithing capabilities and is definitely an attention grabbing work of art that will fit in well with any British game gun collection.