CIVIL WAR Era Antique C. SHARPS Model 1 .22 Cal. Rimfire PEPPERBOX Pistol
WILD WEST/RIVERBOAT Pocket Revolver
Here we present an antique Christian Sharps Model 1 Pepperbox Pistol, made circa 1859 through 1862 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Christian Sharps invented his famously large bore, breech-loading rifle in 1848, after practicing gun-making under John Hall at Harpers Ferry Armory. In 1859, he premiered another unique design in the 4-barreled pepperbox pistol with a unique revolving firing pin, made for 19th Century concealed carry.
Christian Sharps began producing his pepperbox pistol commercially in 1859. In 1862, William Hankins joined the firm and the company became “Sharps & Hankins”. The 3rd Model pistol, which debuted in 1862, differed from the earlier models that began three years earlier. They were larger, .32 caliber as compared to .22 caliber, and had iron frames. When the partnership was dissolved in 1867, production of this model was stopped entirely. The 4th Model, or “birdshead” model was the last Sharps pepperbox produced. Production ceased with the death of Christian Sharps in 1874.
This repeating design was able to utilize the new rimfire ammunition like Smith & Wesson, without infringing on Smith & Wesson’s Rollin White Patent for bored through chambers on a revolver’s cylinder. This gave Sharps a leg up in the market since everyone else either had to produce single shot pistols, come up with an alternate ammunition and weapon design, or just stick with percussion until the patent expired. They made very nice, easy to use and compact firearms for 19th century conceal and carry.
The overall condition is good. Weathered and used exterior. The action (hammer/trigger) is strong. The rotating firing pin will index but intermittently. The bores are dim. The grips are well worn. The grip link is a replacement. The numbers on the pistol’s frame and barrel match.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrels are 2-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .22 Rimfire (short, black powder)
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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