Sharp’s Pepperbox

Sharps Pepperbox (SOLD)

Frontier gamblers had a love-hate relationship with the derringer. Most Westerners had abhorrence for small-bore firearms. However, pistols such as this Sharp’s four-barrel Pepperbox could decide a man’s fate. It was slightly larger than a gentleman’s pocket watch and the palm-sized Pepperbox derringer could be concealed easily. This model was a favorite for those who felt they needed protection…especially gamblers who dubbed this derringer their “ace in the hole”.

Evidence of the practicality of this Pepperbox derringer is found in Grantley Berkeley’s own words, after being presented with one in the fall of 1859, when he was in St. Louis, Missouri. He remembered the pistol as “…the most perfect little bijou of a revolver I ever saw in my life…In size it is so small that I carried it in my waistcoat pocket, and in execution so effective that at eight yards I could shoot as correctly, if not more so, than I could with my favorite pair of John Manton dueling pistols…”

C. Sharps & Co. (later in partnership with Sharps & Hankins) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, manufactured the Sharps Pepperbox derringer, one of the more popular multi-shot derringers of the era. Although the firm patented this derringer in early 1859, the earliest examples of these arms appeared on the market in late 1858.

This particular .30-caliber Model 1A derringer, circa 1860, is a true classic. It has matching serial numbers (#20349) on the butt and the barrel. The derringer has a square-shaped, four-barrel assembly that slides forward on the frame for loading and unloading. The overall length is 5 ½” and the barrel is 3 inches. The silver plate wear from the brass frame is consistent with age. However, the gutta-percha handgrips (early form of hard rubber) are in excellent condition. This is unique in that a majority of the Pepperbox derringers had wood stocks. Of particular interest is the firing pin which rotates in a clockwise direction around the four barrels.

Before firing this weapon be sure to have it inspected by a licensed gunsmith.


Price: $850.00