Original U.S. Sharps .22 Rimfire 4 Barrel Brass Frame Pepperbox Pistol with Wood Case - Serial 17079
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 .30 Rim Fire that fired individually by way of a single action hammer with a rotating firing pin. Easy to conceal, these were very popular, and often outfitted with custom options, such as the lovely green velvet lined case this example comes in.
The barrel is slid forward for reloading by pushing down the button on the bottom of the frame and sliding the barrel forwards. The hammer must be in the half cock position for this to work however, and the end of the button, which usually protrudes upwards, is missing, so the barrel can be slide all the way off the frame.
The underside of the barrel is marked with serial number 17079 on the dovetail, which is also marked on the bottom of the pistol grip frame. There were several variations on this pistol, including some in .32RF with a longer barrel. This looks to be a model 1A, with the shorter 2 1/2 inch barrel assembly in .22RF Short, light and very concealable.
The pistol is also marked on both sides of the brass frame in circles around the hammer axis screw. The right side reads:
C. SHARPS & Co.
While the left has (slightly worn):
Overall metal finish on the barrel assembly is great, with loads of the original blued finish present. The frame has lost all of the nickel plating, which is very common. It now has a lovely mustard colored brass patina. The flat bottom grip is very nice, with two lovely finished dark walnut grip scales. They are in good shape, with light wear, and a missing chunk on the left rear. The advance lever for the rotating firing pin works very well on this example, and we did not notice any mechanical issues. The bores on the barrels are all clear, and still have clear lands and grooves, with partly bright finishes.
The included wood case measures 6 1/2"W x 5" x 1 3/4", with felt on the bottom and finger jointed corners. It has brass hardware, and did at one time lock, but the latch is bent over on the top, and the key missing. The bottom of the case is inlet for the pistol, as well as for eight .22 rounds, enough to reload the pistol twice.
An interesting stepping stone in 19th Century American firearms. In really great condition, complete with a great display case!
Year of Manufacture: circa 1865
Caliber: .22 Rimfire Short
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 2 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 5 inches
Feed System: 4 Barrel Pepperbox. Rotating Firing Pin.
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