Original U.S. Sharps Model 1A .22 Rimfire 4 Barrel Brass Frame Pepperbox Pistol - Serial 55891

Item Description

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 .22 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 decorative grips on this example.

The barrel is slid forward for reloading by pushing down the button on the bottom of the frame and sliding the barrel forwards. The underside of the barrel is marked with serial number 55891 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 is the 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 with the address and patent information in circles around the hammer axis screw. The right side reads:


While the left has:


Overall metal finish on the barrel cluster exterior is a nice polished light gray patina, having faded from the original blued finish from cleaning. There is also some light peppering on the barrel exterior. The frame has lost virtually all of the original nickel plating, as with many examples we see. It now has a lovely light "mustard" patina overall. The flat bottom grip is very nice, with two lovely black decorative composition "gutta percha" style grip scales. The left scale is fully intact, while the right has a missing chunk on the front toe, and a small chip on the rear.

The advance lever for the rotating firing pin looks to be missing on this example, and it looks to have seen some real use during its service life. The bores on the barrels are all clear and show rifling, but they also show fouling and oxidation from use and age. The barrel slides forward correctly when the button under the front frame is depressed, and then correctly locks back into place. The button must be pressed very hard though. There is no mechanism on this example that locks the barrel in place except when at half cock.

An interesting stepping stone in 19th Century American firearms. In very good collectible condition and ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1870
Caliber: .22 Rimfire Short
Ammunition Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 2 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 5 inches
Action: Single
Feed System: 4 Barrel Pepperbox. Rotating Firing Pin.

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

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