SCARCE Antique WHITNEY-HOWARD “THUNDERBOLT” Lever Action SINGLE SHOT Rifle
One of Less Than 1,700 Manufactured Between 1866-1870
Here we present an antique Whitney-Howard “Thunderbolt” Lever Action Single Shot Rimfire Rifle, manufactured by the Whitney Arms Company in Whitneyville, Connecticut during a production run that spanned between the years of 1866-1870.
This lever action rifle known as the Thunderbolt was invented and patented by Charles and Sebre Howard. The Thunderbolt line consisted of Sporting Rifles, Shotguns, and Carbines with less than 1,700 total being manufactured from the three types. Though these were designed in the early to mid-1860s, they were not produced in time for Civil War service. The Carbines were tested in the U.S. Army’s 1867 Carbine Trials but failed to achieve military acceptance due to its weak locking mechanism, which had a tendency to blow open upon firing. The initial prototypes were constructed with the direction being set towards the sale to both the U.S. Government and the New York State Militia as a martial arm. But it was the civilian market that finally saw the production of the Howard’s Thunderbolts. These Thunderbolts manufactured by Whitney are normally marked on both left and right sides of the barrel, as is this one. The demise of the Howard Thunderbolt was probably due to two primary factors, one being the availability of technologically superior weapons from companies such as Henry, Spencer, and Sharps, and two being the huge abundance of post-Civil War weapons flooding into the market.
The overall condition is very good. Original finish/patina. The action is excellent. The bore is in good condition with nice rifling. The stock is solid. A very nice example of a rare gun. Ready to add to your collection and display!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 21-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .44 Rimfire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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