Original Belgian Single Action Underhammer Percussion Pepperbox Revolver for the French Market - circa 1845
Original item. Only One Available. This is a very interesting Belgian Underhammer Percussion Pepperbox revolver, which were given their name due to the muzzle's resemblance to a pepper boxes / pots / grinders used at the time. In approximately .31" caliber, it is made very much in the French style, and many French makers had these made under contract in the gun-making city of Liège, Belgium.
Unlike almost every percussion pepperbox we see, this example is in SINGLE action, and has a double trigger system on the bottom, somewhat similar in function to the Savage revolvers used by the U.S. during the Civil war. The forward "trigger" is in fact the hammer, and when it is cocked it advances the cylinder to the next position. The rear trigger then discharges the front hammer. A very interesting design that would have allowed a bit more accuracy when needed, though possibly at the expense of firing speed.
Made around 1845, revolvers such as these were principally supplied to the Parisian Market, intended for personal protection. With an underhammer design, the revolver had nothing that could easily catch on clothing, making it a great weapon for keeping in a coat pocket. The revolver is for the most part unadorned, but it shows much use, so it is very possible that the original engravings and/or markings were completely worn away over the years. At present the only marking we could find was the number 56 on the main spring, which would usually be the serial number of the revolver.
The pistol is in very good shape, showing a lovely aged patina overall. The wooden grip scales look to possibly be replacements, and overall the revolver definitely shows signs of long use. The revolver cycles, however there does not appear to be any provision for a cylinder stop, or it is broken, so the cylinder still spins relatively freely even when the hammer is cocked. The trigger pull is a bit stiff, but it does discharge correctly when pulled. 4 of the original 6 cap nipple cones are present, with the intact examples showing oxidation and fouling from use.
A very nice patinated example of a very interesting single action Belgian Underhammer Percussion Pepperbox revolver, ready to research and display!
Year of Manufacture: circa 1845
Ammunition Type: Cap & Ball
Overall Length: 7 3/4 inches
Barrel Length: 3 3/8 inches
Action: Single Action Only
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver with Turn Off barrels
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