POTD: Weird and Unique Superposed Charge Ratchet Pistol


POTD: Weird and Unique Superposed Charge Ratchet Pistol

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Take a look at this extremely unique and weird ratchet pistol. A pistol, mind you, that I do not think anyone could pay me to shoot. Not because it is not cool enough for me but because this saxophone-looking ratchet pistol looks like a death trap. The way it works is four separate loads are loaded into the barrel. Powder and ball, powder and ball, powder and ball, powder and ball. The idea is that each hammer would strike the cap in sequence in order to fire each projectile one at a time.

“Made by an unknown smith, this pistol started life as a single shot underhammer target pistol before being changed to it’s present configuration. The original working guts of the pistol have been stripped, and a novel single trigger, multi-hammer arrangement has been installed in its place. A series of 4 percussion nipples have been installed on the upper left flat, each with a single hammer that is lifted and dropped in sequence, muzzle to breech, by a ratchet driven camshaft, which is moved by the spring loaded double action trigger. In operation, four charges of powder and ball would be loaded, one atop another, and then (hopefully) fired one at a time. Grips are smooth walnut. This pistol can be seen on page 183 of Lewis Winant’s Firearms Curiosa with a description on page 182.”

Lot 1320: Unique Documented Superposed Charge Ratchet-Fired Pistol (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/62/1320/unique-documented-superposed-charge-ratchetfired-pistol.

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Writer | TheFirearmBlog Writer | AllOutdoor.com Instagram | sfsgunsmith Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.

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