View Full Version : Pepperboxes

Swiss Shooter
April 17, 2006, 12:42 AM
I just got back from a weekend in Coburg, Germany. The castle there has a huge collection of old firearms, including a large assortment of multiple-barrel firearms.
I'm usually more interested in modern weapons, but I was wondering about the designation "pepperbox." Does that only apply to six-barrel pistols, and if yes, what are four (or other number) -barrel pistols and the old four-barrel shotguns called?

April 17, 2006, 08:25 AM
The pepperbox is a 'revolver' in that it revolves but these are muzzle loading and the 'cylinder' is both the chamber and barrel. Anything from four to eight barrels are shown in one of my books. They are usually small and small caliber guns.There have been other multibarrel pistols ,though not revolving, such as the Howdah pistol, a large ,big bore pistol used when hunting dangerous game from an elephant.The Lancaster howdah had four barrels and fired with a single striker which revolved to each barrel. They still make ,occasionally, multibarrel shotguns. A few years ago I saw a beautiful italian 4 barreled .410 which had the same weight and balance as a 12 gage double.

April 21, 2006, 12:03 PM
I just watched a show on TV the other day about the evolution of firearms, and the spent a bit of time talking about these types. It appears that the term "pepperbox" was applied to most any pistol that had revolving barrels, as well as some that had multiple fixed barrels... 4 or 6 was a common number, as well as 8, but they showed a few that had many more, at least 12 (and they were pretty funny looking, and looked like they'd be very cumbersome to shoot!).