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.
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).
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.