Original U.S. 19th Century Sharps & Hankins Model 3A .32 Short Rimfire 4 Barrel Pepperbox Pistol - Serial 1080
Original Item: Only One Available. This is exactly what the Mississippi gamblers carried on the River Boats after the Civil War for self protection. Featuring FOUR barrels, each in .32 Short Rimfire that fire individually by way of a single action hammer with a rotating internal firing pin. Easy to conceal due to the size and small "spur" style trigger, these were very popular.
The barrel easily removed by pulling down the button on the left side of the frame and sliding the barrel off forwards for reloading, which also ejects the spent cartridges. The hammer must be in the half-cock position for the barrels to unlock and slide forward. The underside of the barrel is marked with serial number 1080 on the dovetail, which is also marked on the bottom of the grip. This is a all-matching example of the rare Sharps & Hankins Model 3A Pistol, a predecessor to the later Sharps 4A "Bulldog".
There were various different versions of the Model 3, with various finishes and types of grips. The "3C" has walnut grips, while this model 3A has what look to be brown "gutta percha" grips.
The top of the barrel assembly has the correct Sharps & Hankins address, which is still clear:
ADDRESS SHARPS & HANKINS PHILADELPHIA PENN.
The pistol is also marked on the side of the lower frame:-
C. SHARPS PATENT
JAN. 25. 1859
Overall metal finish is still quite nice, with a lovely patina of age. Cleaning and polishing has worn off the original finish, so now the entire pistol is a nice bright steel, with some traces of past oxidation. The flat bottom grip is very nice, with both gutta percha grip scales retaining their checkering well. They are just a bit loose due to shrinkage. The rotating internal firing pin works well on this example, and the action works great. The bores on the barrels are all clear, and do show lands and grooves, though there are also areas of oxidation and pitting.
An interesting stepping stone in 19th Century American firearms. Nice matured condition ready to display.
Year of Manufacture: circa 1863
Caliber: .32 Short Rimfire
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 3 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 6 1/4 inches
Feed System: 4 Barrel Pepperbox. Rotating Internal Firing Pin.
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