Boss & Co., London’s oldest gunmaker, recently introduced a remarkable innovation: a rising-bite locking mechanism to be fitted to the firm’s recently introduced sidelever over/under shotgun. A rising bite is a third lock between the top of the barrel and the breech, to provide extra security. It represents the pinnacle of the gunmaker’s art, as it is very difficult to build. This explains why rising bites are found on only the very best guns—and then only rarely.
The new innovation has been showcased on a trio of 16-bore sidelever O/Us built for a European customer. It is a continuation of the 1812 Edition family of guns (named for the year company founder Thomas Boss completed his apprenticeship with Joseph Manton)—guns that come with two sidelevers that can be fitted to the left or right side of the action, depending on whether the shooter is right- or left-handed. (See “A New Boss Over/Under,” March/April ’21.)
In a rising-bite gun, a small pillar is pushed up through the action when the gun is closed to mate underneath with a corresponding and precisely fitted concealed cut-out on an extension to the top of the barrel. Any movement at the top of the gun is impossible, and the entire gun is locked securely at the top of the action and at the bottom (as in a conventional gun).
But with no toplever to push down the rising bolt on this gun, the Boss gunmaking team, spearheaded by Jason Craddock, redesigned the mechanism using a single leaf spring—a simple solution that would fit under the top strap and provide the tension necessary.
The rising third bite on the Boss over/under is a thing of beauty. With the gun closed, the third bite is completely concealed by the top barrel extension. When the sidelever is pushed down to open the gun, it is a marvel to see the rising bite move down under the power of the spring when the gun is opened.
For more information, contact Boss & Co., bossguns.com.