Got a Hopkins&Allen muzzle loader Pistol

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by fran411, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. fran411

    fran411 New Member

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    My husaband just aquired several guns from his father, one happens to be a Hopkins&Allen Underhammer Muzzle Loader Pistol. We dont have much information on this gun but when we took it to a Gun/Riffle shop the owner told us not to sell this gun until we did some research because he said it was not a kit, and felt it could have some value. If there is anyone out there whom we can e-mail a picture of this gun to, who may have information on them including value please give us a shout. Our research thus far has led us to believe this could have been made in the 1960's. Thank you so much
    Fran;)
  2. Fran, I tried doing a little research for you, but could find relatively little. Threre are a few references to Hopkins & Allen pistols and rifles on some of the antique gun sites, but that's about all. Apparently they built firearms for quite a number of years. There are also kits out there to build reproduction guns. If yours is not a reproduction kit gun, it could indeed have some value, perhaps in the $800 to $1,000 range depending on condition and age. You might want to ask an appraiser about it. These are often listed under "Estate Appraisers" in the phone book. They might charge you some for their services, but at least you would know. Good luck!
  3. spud

    spud New Member

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    Worth about $175 tops
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Hopkins Allen originally was a fairly well known manufacturer from the 1800s, but the company changed hands many times since then. Originally in the mid 1800s they DID produce original "Underhammer" rifles and pistols that became their claim to fame, but they made VERY few of them relatively speaking, and most of them are spoken for with period collectors, I doubt yours is an "original."

    The "Underhammer" Pistols were also known as "boot" pistols at the time, as they could be carried concealed in a boottop, and would not snag when drawn quickly.


    MOST (not all) of the "Hopkins Allen" underhammers and flintlock/percussion "Kentucky" rifles that you see today were made in Italy and imported for Numrich Arms after the Name was acquired by Numrich, in the 60s and 70s, (yes,the big firearms parts distributer,) that again has changed hands and is now known as "Gun Parts Corporation."

    They were big players in the "rebirth" of BP shooting which started in the 60s, even before CVA and the other big names started. You used to see ads for them in the back of magazines like Guns and Ammo and the American Rifleman all through the 70s and 80s for a $100 or so.

    Many of the "Underhammers" WERE sold as kits, but many were sold as complete guns.

    My buddy has a "complete" underhammer rifle in .45 that I borrowed for a few muzzleloading seasons until I bought my first Muzzleloader.

    He (actually his wife for a Xmas gift right after they were married) paid $250 new for his. They have been married for almost 30 years, so you can tell how long ago it was, in the late 70s/early 80s. It is a reliable and accurate muzzleloader.

    In good shape it MAY be worth that much now. However, the first time I borrowed it my buddy told me his wife had "overpaid" for it, he was sure you could buy a new one for less. The last HA Underhammer repro I saw at a show was for sale for $175.

    However, the "early" "modern" BP replicas are experiencing some early collectors interest, like anything else, so you MAY find someone willing to pay more. It is kind of neat if you think about it, the whole idea of "reproductions" of antiques in themselves becoming "collectible,".


    Coincidentally, my first (and still only) flintlock is a Hopkins Allen "Minuteman Brush" .44 cal carbine made by Numrich that I bought new-in-box for $100 in about 1992, from Dixie Gun Works at the NMLRA shoot in Friendship. It is a "rare" version of the "Minuteman" flintlock repro "Kentucky Rifle" that HA/Numrich made in the 60s and 70s.

    I have been offered up to $300 for it.

    It is NOT as good quality of a repro as is available now, but it works well.

    I have had to replace the lock. (I was lucky when at DGW one time in there showroom in UC, TN, right after they bought the last available locks from the original manufacturer in Italy, I should have bought TWO of them!) The good news is the new lock is of better quality than the old one.

    The thing that you have to keep in mind is even though it is probably marked ".45 cal," the bore is actually .437". Speer and other manufacturers offer roundballs in .435 and .437 that will work, with either .015 or .010 patches. I can shoot .440 balls, which are more readily available just abaout anywhere, with .010 patches, for no more than two shots before I need a hammer to ram it home from fouling, if I don't clean it first. When shooting target, I use the smaller balls. It can be tough to find .437 balls, usually you have to order them. Most all of the "repor" HA guns, both "conventional" and "underhammer" rifles and pistols made for Numrich had the same bore size.

    I hunt with a clean bore with a .440 loaded, carry a speedloader with another .440 ready to load, then carry loose .437 Speer balls in case I have to reload a third time or more.

    The good thing is I have shot at and killed two deer, both one shot kills, my last last year a 150" dressed (over 200 live weight) doe from about 40 yds. My first was a button at about 80 yds.

    I shoot 65 gr FFFg behind the .440s, 60 gr FFFg behind the .437s for target, and get better accuracy than I can hold.


    SOME (not all, since they quit making them 30 years ago or more) parts are available from both Dixie Gun Works www.dixiegunworks.com and www.e-gunparts.com.

    Go ahead and shoot it, you won't hurt the value if you clean it properly, and they are fun to shoot.

    I remember having to "pinch" the cap a little to be sure it wouldn't fall off the upside down nipple, but other than that it was relaible.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  5. jjmitchell60

    jjmitchell60 Active Member

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    I cannt add much too polishshooter's post with nthe exception of my first hand experience from a H&A 45caliber underhammer BP rifle I owned and sold a couple of years ago. H&A did make MANY types of guns in teh late 1800s and Very early 1900s. Some are break action single shot shotguns, multibarrel derringer muzzle loaders, t5he under hammer boot pistol, the underhammer rifle adn I ahev seen ONE single shot 22 long rifle. Now when they were aquired by Numrich, Numrich sold MOSt of their BP products under the H&A name. Numrich did a lot to get a resurbgence in interest in BP shooting in the 50s and 60s. I purchased a "group lot" of BP rifles with most beoing high dollar reproductions and one being a 45 caliber H&Q under hammer a few years back. I shot the under hammer a lot as did my kids, they even used it in 4-H shooting sports, and it was an excellent shooter. It was made completely by Numrich in the early 60s as a complete gun. I sold it 2 years ago for some where in the $300-$400 range with the current owner being VERY happey with it.

    Now as to value of you pistol, Numrich did make a LOT of teh pistols as well as the rifles. Value of the pistols depends on how heavy a barrel. numrich made a standard barrel and a heavy barrel for shooters that beloned to teh NMLRA and shot matcheds at teh Walter Cline Range in Friendship IN. Very few of the real heavy barreled guns were made however so chances are yours is a standard barrel. As to value, it is worth in teh $150 to %$250 range UNLESS you find some one who has a underhammer rifle and just has to have a underhammer pistol by H&A to match. You MIGHT squeeze as much as $300 out of it in that case but other wise I would say $200 would be a luckey sell IMHO.

    Bottome line is IF you shoot BP guns, like the way teh H&A feels, and do not have to sell it; personally I would keep it to "play" with. It is a good quality BP hand gun and it is fun to shoot not to mention the looks you will get if you shoot it on a range some where. many have never seen one!

    Just my 2 cents worth.
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