Original U.S. 19th Century Allen & Wheelock 1845 Patent .31cal Percussion Pepperbox Revolver - Serial 144
Original Item: Only One Available. Pepperbox revolvers were so named because of the similarity of the front view of the weapon was so reminiscent of a Pepper Pot of the time being a circle of round holes. This example was made by Ethan Allen of Massachusetts (1808-1871). Allen developed his Gun business by taking his brother-in-law Charles Thurber as his partner, and they moved the plant to Worcester, Mass.
Ethan Allen, no relation to the Revolutionary Ethan Allen, applied for various patents, most notably early on for a "TUBE HAMMER" ignition system in 1837, which was renewed in 1845. After Charles Thurber passed away in 1856, Ethan Allen later took into his business another brother-in-law, Thomas Wheelock, who worked with the company until 1865. As before, the company was known for its rotating cylinder/barrel revolvers.
This is the type exhibited on our Pepperbox Revolver offered here. The weapon is Five Shot in .31 caliber measuring 6 1/4" overall with 2 7/8" barrels. The side of the barrel assembly and the inside of the trigger guard show serial number 144, and the tube hammer still has relatively clear markings:
APRIL. 16. 1845.
These typically had further rows of markings between the barrels, however most are unfortunately worn away. The one remaining one is only partial, and reads:
[ALLEN & W]HEELOCK
The company was known by various names over the years. From 1856 to 1865 it was known as Allen & Wheelock (Worcester), so this pistol is from that period, after the patent renewal was granted. The low serial number suggests it was made very early after the name change, so this revolver was probably mace around 1857-1858.
Later, his two Sons-in-law, Sullivan Forehand and Henry Wadsworth, continued the business after Ethan Allen's death in 1871. Most interesting that all these names have become an integral part of the U.S. arms industry.
The Pepperbox is in good condition, fully operational but NOT sold for firing. It is relatively worn on the outside, and the grips have been glued back together. It still cycles correctly, though as with any firearm of this age, it can be finicky. The trigger return spring is a bit weak, so the trigger may need to be pushed a bit forward at times.
An interesting stepping stone in 19th Century American firearms.
Year of Manufacture: circa 1858
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 2 7/8 inches
Overall Length: 6 1/4 inches
Action: Double Only
Feed System: 5 Shot Revolver
NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these.
This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
This product is available for international shipping.
IMA considers all of our antique guns as non-firing, inoperable and/or inert. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 921(a)(16) defines antique firearms as all guns made prior to 1899. This law exempts antique firearms from any form of gun control or special engineering because they are not legally considered firearms. No FFL, C&R or any license is required to possess, transport, sell or trade Antique guns. All rifles and muskets sold by IMA that were manufactured prior to 1899 are considered Antiques by the US BATF (United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms). Therefore, all of IMA's Antique guns may be shipped to all US States and most nations around the world.
These antique guns are not sold in "live" condition. They are sold as collector's items or as "wall hangers". Any attempt at restoring an antique gun to be operational is strongly discouraged and is done so at the risk of the customer. By purchasing an antique gun from IMA you thereby release IMA, its employees and corporate officers from any and all liability associated with use of our Antique guns.
Pre-1899 Manufacture, no licenses required
Stored and shipped from our PA location; not available in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Please check all local laws before ordering.
- Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon