One-Barrel Four-Shot Muzzleloading Ratchet Pistol (Photos and Video)


One-Barrel Four-Shot Muzzleloading Ratchet Pistol (Photos and Video)

The video title refers to this gun as “superposed,” which some may find confusing. In firearms terms, “superposed” usually refers to over/under shotguns, and especially to Browning’s old classic over/under shotguns whose model name is “Superposed.”

In this case, “superposed” refers to the fact that this muzzleloading handgun is designed to be loaded with 4 loads rather than just one, and the loads are stacked one on top of the other in the gun’s bore.

I recently featured a video of another weird old gun that uses this same “technology,” a Walch revolver with 6 chambers that can be fired 12 times because each chamber gets loaded twice.

This .53-caliber smoothbore “ratchet pistol” has been heavily customized, as it was originally a single-shot pistol of the underhammer design.

(Photo: Rock Island Auction Co.)
(Photo: Rock Island Auction Co.)

The conversion, done long, long ago by some unknown gunsmith, uses a clever but simple design to allow cocking and firing of four individual percussion side hammers by working a large ring trigger.


This gun sold at auction in 2014 for a whopping $10,000!

Definitely a one-of-a-kind handgun.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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