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Original U.S. 19th Century Allen's 1865 Patent Single Shot .32 Rimfire Cartridge Pocket Pistol

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is one of the first cartridge pistols produced in United States after the Civil War, made in the 1860's for the U.S. Market by Ethan Allen of Massachusetts (1808-1871). Allen developed his Gun business by taking his brother-in-law Charles Thuber 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 1845.

In 1865 Allen received another Patent for this Single shot Cartridge pistol design, which is marked on the side of the "swing aside" barrel, showing maker and patent information:

ALLEN'S PAT. MCH. 7. 1865.

It has a wooden "bird's head" style grip, with a spur style trigger, which was popular at the time. The overall length is about 6 inches, and the pistol has a 4 inch long rifled barrel chambered for .32 rimfire, which is stamped 400 on the bottom. These were also made in a slightly larger .36 rimfire. The bore of the pistol shows some wear, but lands and grooves are still clear.

The pistol is loaded by cocking the hammer, and swinging the front of the barrel to the left. This ejects the spent cartridge, if present, and allows loading of a fresh cartridge. Condition is very good, with the expected wear on a pistol that is about 150 years old.

Ethan Allen took into his business another brother-in-law, Thomas Wheelock, and later his two Sons-in-law, Sullivan Forehand and Henry Wadsworth, who 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.

A cute little pocket Pistol, ready for display.


Year of Manufacture: circa 1865
Caliber:  .32" Rimfire
Ammunition Type: rimfire cartridge
Barrel Length: 4 inches
Overall Length: 6 inches
Action: Top Action Hammer
Feed System: Single Shot

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  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s): New Jersey

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