Original U.S. Civil War Allen & Wheelock .32cal Rimfire Revolver named to Lt. Isaac Potter of 3rd. R.I.

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. This is a very nice private purchase .32cal Rimfire "Pocket" Revolver made by Ethan Allen and his brother-in-law Thomas Wheelock in Worcester, Mass. Allen was involved in a series of different partnerships, which makes the firearms relatively easy to place in time. The side of the octagonal barrel on this example is marked:

ALLEN'S PAT'S SEPT. 7. NOV. 9. 1858

As the "ALLEN & WHEELOCK" trade name was used from 1856 to 1865, this revolver definitely falls right into the civil war period. The revolver is also marked with serial number 242 under the barrel, on the back of the cylinder, under the grip frame, and on both wood grip scales.

The revolver is fitted with an interesting side hammer and a 4" barrel, with an overall length of 8 inches. The rifled barrel has nice crisp rifling, and does not appear to have been used much. Overall the revolver has a nice worn patina, typical of a gun that saw long service

The revolver has the owner's name inscribed on the grip back strap:


As yet unresearched, but we assume the "R.I." stands for RHODE ISLAND.

A nice little civil war pistol, named to an officer, ready to research and display!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1860-65
Caliber: .32cal
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 4 inches
Overall Length: 8 inches
Action: Single Only
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these. International customers should always consult their country's antique gun laws prior to ordering.

More on Gunmaker Ethan Allen:
 Allen originally developed his Gun business by taking his brother-in-law Charles Thurber as his partner, originally setting up shop in Norwich, CT, which as a major gun making center at the time. They were one of the earliest makers of pistols in the city, and sources usually cite 1842 as when they began production, though some use 1835 as the start date. Ethan Allen, no relation to the Revolutionary Ethan Allen, had applied for various patents, most notably early on for a "TUBE HAMMER" ignition system in 1837, which was renewed in 1845.

In 1847, the company moved the production plant to Worcester, Mass., and as before manufactured many quality pepperbox pistols. Ethan Allen later took into his business another brother-in-law, Thomas Wheelock, in 1854, when the company would be come Allen, Thurber & Co. and then Allen & Wheelock once Thurber retired in 1856. In 1865, after Wheelock's passing, Allen's two Sons-in-law, Sullivan Forehand and Henry Wadsworth joined the company, which returned to the name E. Allen & Company. These two would then continue 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.

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