Original 19th Century British Pepperbox Percussion Revolver with Ring Trigger by J.R. Cooper - circa 1843
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of the unusual system known as the "PEPPERBOX". The muzzle is similar to the business end of a Pepper Pot of the the early days of Queen Victoria. All six barrels are contained in one solid "tube" of steel revolving as a unit. The system was quickly superseded with the design of the traditional revolver, using a rotating chamber and a single barrel in the 1840s. Pepper boxes as such were short lived with the possible exception in France and Belgium, where examples using the Pin Fire and Rimfire systems were made into the late 1870's.
Our example is marked J. R. COOPER / PATENT on the left side plate, for maker James Rock Cooper. He operated a shop in Birmingham, England from 1840 until 1853. The cylinder is marked six times, one for each barrel, with Crown / Crossed Scepter marks from the Birmingham Proof house. The entire frame is engraved with foliate designs, indicating it was an item of quality. The bag shaped wooden grips are in nice condition, and look to originally have been painted black, which has now partly worn away.
Unlike most pepperboxes we see, this one is an "underhammer" design, utilizing a ring trigger, which also serves as the sear. Unfortunately the action is worn, and while the revolver does cycle, it does not index properly or fire reliable. The sear is supposed to contact the frame at the end of the trigger pull, but due to wear it is not pushed out enough to release.
The Pepper box is exactly what a Victorian Gentleman might have concealed in his Coat pocket to deal with the then all too common Foot Pads and Brigands. Nicely engraved decoration, showing old pitting scars on the barrels and the trigger guard.
Ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: circa 1843
Caliber: approx .39"
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 3 inches
Overall Length: 7 3/4 inches
Action: Double Only
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
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