Wheelgun Wednesday: 5 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog

    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (2)

    Among many other rare and interesting firearms that you can find in the catalog of upcoming May 2020 Morphy Extraordinary, Sporting, & Collector Firearms auction, there are a number of revolvers many of which are extremely obscure and unique. In this edition of Wheelgun Wednesday, we’ll take a look at the five most unusual wheelguns seen in this auction’s catalog. I dare to count pepperboxes as wheelguns too that’s why there are a couple of them in the list.

    The list below goes in no particular order. The lot names are linked to corresponding Morphy auction pages where you can read more detailed descriptions of these wheelguns as well as find more and higher resolution pictures. Without further ado, let’s see what are the most amazing wheelguns seen in May 2020 Morphy Extraordinary, Sporting, & Collector Firearms auction catalog.

    1. LEFAUCHEUX PATTERN KNIFE PISTOL

    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (16)

    In general, pocket knife and firearm combination weapons are not something extraordinarily rare, however, in most cases, the gun part of the assembly is a single shot firearm. What makes this lot unique is that it is a combination of a folding pocket knife and a six-shot 6mm pinfire revolver. This little pocket gadget is made in the 1860s. The length of the barrel is 2-1/8″ and the blade measures four inches. On the right side of the gun, you can see the side loading gate and the ejector rod. The black grips are made of a gutta-percha. According to Morphy Auction description, “folding trigger operates the revolving cylinder” which I suppose means that this is a double action only revolver (lack of a hammer spur suggests that too).

    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (17)
    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (18)
    Estimated price: $2,000 – $3,000
    Another six-shot pinfire revolver and edged weapon hybrid, except this time we are looking at a 9mm gun attached to a saber with a 34″ blade. The revolver is double action only, has a 4″ barrel and a side loading gate. The grip angle would be awkward if it was a standalone gun but in this case, assuming the muzzle is pretty much in line with the blade point, the bullets should hit the same spot at which the saber is pointed.
    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (4)
    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (3)
    Estimated price: $4,500 – $6,500
    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (12)
    Externally, nothing gives away that this cane hides an entire arsenal inside it. Rotating the horn-made handle quarter of a turn detaches it from the wooden shaft and only then one can see that the handle is actually a grip of a six-shot 5mm pinfire pepperbox that also has a 6″ dagger built into the cylinder axis. That’s quite a concealed carry firepower for the 19th century. The trigger folds forward when stored into the cane shaft and the gun is loaded through a horizontally opening loading gate.
    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (14)
    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (15)
    Estimated price: $4,500 – $6,500
    This humongous wheelgun is believed to be a keel gun once mounted on the bow of a boat. It is made of iron and apparently never had a finish. This revolver has a 24-round cylinder chambered in .450 Boxer (can also shoot .45 Schofield rounds). The long trigger is angled forward and ends with a loop to allow attaching a lanyard and fire the gun by pulling the lanyard. The trigger mechanism is double action / single action. Interestingly, the 8″ barrel is smoothbore. A couple of years ago, a similar revolver was sold at RIAC except that one was described as a trap gun.
    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (8)
    Estimated price: $2,000 – $3,000

    5. WHISKEY BARREL PEPPERBOX

    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (9)

    It’s unknown who made this gun, when it was made and why it is disguised as a miniature whiskey barrel. Nevertheless, the design and execution of this 45 caliber percussion pepperbox are pretty impressive. In order to fire it, you need to open the two opposing latches (see the pictures below) one of which exposes the muzzle of the lined up barrel and the other latch is attached to the hammer and cocks the latter when pulled back. The trigger is a small nub located in the middle of the whiskey barrel. The cylinder has ten holes drilled into it from which nine are barrels/chambers. The tenth “chamber” is a compartment used for storing spare bullets. The cylinder is rotated manually by rotating the body of the whiskey barrel jacket which is made of German Silver (an alloy of nickel, zinc, and copper). The length of barrels is 3-1/2″. This is the only known such firearm and it is featured on the 165th page of Lewis Winant’s “Firearms Curiosa” book.

    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (10)
    Wheelgun Wednesday 6 Unusual Wheelguns Seen in May 2020 MORPHY Auction Catalog (11)
    Estimated price: $5,000 – $7,500

    And that’s the list of what this author considers the five most unusual wheelguns seen in the May 2020 Morphy Extraordinary, Sporting, & Collector Firearms auction catalog. As I mentioned above, besides these guns, there are a number of other very interesting lots consigned to this auction – historical guns, machine guns, anti-tank rifles, cannons and even a self-propelled howitzer. I am sure if you browse the auction’s catalog, you’ll find something cool in the category of firearms you are most interested in.

    Images courtesy of Morphy Auctionswww.morphyauctions.com

    Hrachya H

    Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience. Hrachya also writes for SilahReport.com
    Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at [email protected]


    Advertisement