English Pepperbox Pistol

Certificate of Authenticity

English Pepperbox Pistol

The concept behind the multi-barreled pistol dates to the 15th century when an inventor grouped several single-shot barrels and attached them to a stock.  Each barrel could be fired individually by a lighted match in a crude but effective manner.  By the late 18th century the concept evolved to as many as seven barrels using a flintlock ignition system and hand-rotated barrels.   The invention of the percussion cap and the Industrial Revolution allowed for inexpensive mass production of this multi-barreled handgun in percussion form.  By 1830, the pepperbox enjoyed immense popularity.

The gun derived its name from its similarity to the pepper grinder of the era.  The weapon, though weighty, was small, easy to conceal, inexpensive, and effective.  The circular flange around the nipples was a safety measure to prevent caps being discharged by accidental impact.

With the growing popularity and mass production of Colt’s firearms and other competitors, the era of the pepperbox was soon eclipsed by a variety of alternative firearms offering features that rendered the pepperbox obsolete.  It soon receded into oblivion.

This example was made in England and bears the British crown over crossed scepters proof mark on each cylinder flute.  It is a six-shot .36 calibre percussion model with a 2 1/8” long cylinder/ barrel.  The weapon reveals decorative engraving on various components.

The weapon is original and functional.  Three of its six nipples reveal damage attesting to its repeated use.  We caution against any attempt to “dry fire” the piece or to fire it with ammunition as such action may cause injury to the user or damage to the weapon.  It is a fine antique and should be handled carefully.  I have examined the weapon and attest to its authenticity.

SKU: G39

Price: $850.00