Factory Engraved Allen & Thurber six shot percussion “Pepperbox” revolving pistol, c.1840s, .34 caliber with 3 7/8” gracefully fluted barrels. This is the medium size Allen Pepperbox that found favor as both a large pocket pistol as well as a holstered belt weapon. These early competitors to the Colt revolver found favor with the “49ers” of California Gold Rush fame as well as with urban dwellers in need of a repeating firearm for self defense. Many were carried as private weapons by soldiers on both sides of the Civil War. Examples in fine condition are rare as these handguns were often used for “daily carry” by their owners. This is a very fine example as it displays a lovely, even uncleaned patina and still retains traces of original blue on the barrels! The usual condition for one of these is heavily worn gray metal at best and more often than not badly rusted, pitted and showing abuse. The frame is factory hand engraved as is the nipple shield and back strap. This is a double action pistol in which a single pull of the trigger revolves the barrel cluster, raises the bar-style hammer and fires the gun. The bar hammer is smooth sided and correctly unmarked because two flutes between the barrels are marked “ALLEN THURBER & CO” and WORCESTER” as well as “Patented” and the date “1845” (later examples have this marking on the side of the bar hammer). Walnut grips are excellent and exhibit much of the original finish. Excellent mechanical condition and a truly fine example of a uniquely American firearm of the pre-Civil War period that has not been re-finished, over-cleaned or altered. Serial Number: 39. This firearm qualifies as an Antique, and does not require FFL Transfer or NICS Background Check.
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