Need some help identifing an old pistol.

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Donteric, May 17, 2011.

  1. Donteric

    Donteric New Member

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    This is a cap and ball revolver pistol.

    I cannot identify what it is, since the only markings on it are not very clear.

    It looks like it starts with I. PAW but thats all I can make out. (I think there are 2 or 3 more letters or numbers I cannot tell what they are.)

    The markings are on the percussion cap fireing arm.

    There is also a 30 stamped on the inside of the trigger gaurd.

    I have attached some pictures that I hope someone can recognize what the gun is.

    Thanks.

    Attached Files:

  2. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Pepperbox, probably made in Belgium.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Are there any other markings, either on the front of the barrel cluster or on the ribs between the barrels? It sure looks like an Allen & Thurber, even to the shape of the trigger.

    Jim
  4. RJay

    RJay Active Member

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    I believe Jim K is correct, the one pictured in Flayderman's ( 8Th Edition ) on page 52 appears identical including the engraving, odd shape of the grip even the little grip oval.
  5. hrf

    hrf Active Member

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    I agree with Jim, it sure looks like an Allen, especially the oval inlays above the grip screws. The marking on the hammer might be an agent, which would explain lack of Allen markings: Propping the hammer up slightly might allow a clearer view of the marking, although it appears to be eroded quite a bit.

    If it was Belgian or English, there ought to be visible proof marks.
  6. Donteric

    Donteric New Member

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    Unfortunatly, there are no other markings other than what the picture shows.

    Unless I would need to dismantle the weapon, which I have not.

    I will try to post another photo tomorrow with the striker propped up and take a picture of it. I doubt it will help much, however.

    The part thats covered reads 'I. P'

    As I said earlier, it appears to start 'I. PAW'...after that, the marks are scratched enough to make it tough to tell what comes next or the spacing between.

    If I was to guess what is after the 'W' it would be a J or I or 1

    After that, you can't really tell...it could be a U, V, W or K, I suppose. (It appears to be a letter that goes to the top twice but its scratched 1/4 of the way down from the top)

    I do really appreciate the feedback so far. I know a bit about weapons but not of this type or age.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Don't break anything trying, but if you can remove the barrels (just unscrew the screw at the muzzle and partly cock the hammer) there might be proof or other markings at the rear.

    Jim
  8. Donteric

    Donteric New Member

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    Ok, I have posted some pictures of the hammer mechanism.

    I could not loosen the screw at the end to remove the barrel.

    I do not want to damge the gun, so I am going to leave it be.

    Attached Files:

  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    How about Rawlin or Rawlins? I found a John Rawlins, gunmaker, in Birmingham, England around 1835. That would be the right time frame, and "J" was often interchangeable with "I" at that time. I didn't find any information on what he made, though, and a Google search gave me page after page on Rawlins, WY, but nothing on John Rawlins.

    Jim
  10. hrf

    hrf Active Member

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    Everything about this gun looks like an Allen product. For comparison, Flayderman's Guide devotes seven pages to them and shows 20+ different examples. The only tiny difference I note is that rear of the bar hammer on this one is more rounded, but in the last closeups it looks like a brazed seam at that point, and a repair could account for the rounding. And a small "Allens Patent" was often marked where the large unknown name is on this one, so maybe was marked over if repaired.

    Look closely for tiny and faint patent markings on the flutes between the barrels.

    The name could be Rawlin as Jim suggests if leg of the R is filled with rust (No room for an S on end) but looks more like Pawlin, a very uncommon name. There's an Isaac Pawlin listed in the 1810 Pennsylvania census, too early for this gun but spelling was pretty erratic in those days, and this might be him, listed in a son's bio:

    http://ashlandohiogenealogy.org/historyashland/historyashland64.html

    In the 1850 Ashland Co, Ohio census, Isaac "Paulins" 60 born Pennsylvania is listed as a gunsmith, and his son Isaac Jr in household as a blacksmith. By 1860 Isaac "Paullin" is listed as a farmer.

    Could be Isaac and/or his son repaired the gun, and added their name.
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    It sure looks like an Allen and Thurber, but the screw(s) are odd. The headed screw on the left side is much too far forward for an A&T gun. There is a screw end coming out the right side in the place where the screw normally is on an A&T, but no screw head on the other (left) side to correspond. (That screw, on the A&T guns, is not part of the mechanism, it just holds the two pieces of the frame together.)

    I am beginning to think that some modification may have been made, possibly by "I. PAWLIN(??), to an A&T pistol. Interesting.

    There are also no proof marks, so I doubt it originated in England or Belgium.

    BTW, Donteric, don't fire or dry snap that pepperbox. The hammer has been broken and brazed back toether. A really good job, but I doubt it is up to actually firing the gun.

    Jim
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  12. hrf

    hrf Active Member

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    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  13. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, hrf, I think you found it. The hammer marking on the OP's gun is still a bit of a mystery, but the gun is defintely an Allen pepperbox.

    Jim
  14. Donteric

    Donteric New Member

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    Everyone, thank you.

    I just got back from a short vacation. It is late here but I will read, in more detail, the information you have provided me. (Tomorrow.)
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