Watch: Oversized British 8-Shot Pepperbox Percussion Pistol
Russ Chastain 12.20.18
A pepperbox pistol is generally a fairly compact firearm, intended for personal protection more than anything else. The one Ian takes a look at in this video is an anomaly of sorts… it’s larger than usual, larger in caliber, and requires the user to manually turn the barrel assembly before each shot. Not only that, the barrels aren’t arranged in a circular fashion; instead, there are 4 in the center and 4 set outboard of those.
The typical pepperbox revolver is a sleek and small .31 caliber double action pocket gun, like the Allen & Thurber standard type. This one, however, is anything but typical. This London-made gun is a far larger than normal, and sports 8 barrels, with a center square of four and an addition four outside of those. Those barrels are .36 caliber, and the firing mechanism is single action only. In addition, it is unusual in requiring manual indexing of the barrel cluster between shots – most pepperboxes index automatically when the trigger is pulled. I have no further information on the date or original of this piece beyond its ‘London’ marking, and bring it to you as just one example of the wide variety of this sort of firearm that exists.
This large pepperbox seems to be a bargain version… made more simply and more crude than most, and kinda big and clunky as a result. All those percussion nipples sticking out make me want to call this thing ‘the porcupine pistol.’
Hope you enjoy the video.