Skip to main content Skip to main content

Percussion Pistol Manufactured for Hardware Store - Circa 1845

This greatcoat-sized percussion pistol carries a lockplate inscription of a Philadelphia hardware store, Hooper, Masters and Smith. Of American design, it only needs a hammer screw and ramrod to complete the piece.

Gun Room: Percussion Pistol Manufactured for Hardware Store - Circa 1845

 Unknown Maker, American Pistol, Circa 1845

Question: This pistol was passed down from my father. It has been in our family for many years. It was my grandfather’s originally, and I believe he bought it in the late 1950s or early 1960s. I think my father told me that my grandfather obtained the pistol in Michigan. I’ve tried doing research on it, but I cannot find much information. I’ve attached images and hope that you can do better. I’m unsure on the caliber, maybe .45 or .54. The length of the pistol is 9 inches exactly. The inscription of the lockplate says “Made for Hooper Martin & Smith Philadelphia.“

-M.V. via email

Answer: That’s an interesting piece. It is a greatcoat-­sized percussion pistol manufactured by some unknown maker for the hardware store Hooper, Masters and Smith which maintained a business on 1153 Market St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 1839 edition of “McElroy’s Philadelphia City Directory” states the firm was “Importers and dealers in foreign and domestic hardware and cutlery.” The style of the pistol indicates an American — probably Pennsylvania — ­origin. I would date it circa 1845. It is similar to the wares of Henry Deringer, though because it’s so plain, I would be inclined to think it was made by someone else. It’s rather nice. If it was mine, I’d fit it with a proper hammer screw and get a ramrod for it. My guess is the rod would probably have had a horn, brass or German silver tip.

-Garry James


Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now