View Full Version : Double Barrel, Double Hammer, Double Trigger Pistol Identification

August 15, 2011, 09:20 PM
First off, I know nothing about guns. My mother-in-law has two antique looking guns that were purchased by her late husband. She's asked me to look into what they are.

One of them is a double-barrel, double hammer, double retractable trigger pistol. There is no manufacturer info that I can see. There is an "S" on the bottom of the barrels. The triggers descend when the hammers are pulled back. I'm not sure of the caliber of the bullets, but there is a picture of the gun with the bullets.

The other gun is a small caliber, single shot, very small pistol. The barrel twists out for loading.

I've attached pictures of both pistols. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


August 15, 2011, 09:22 PM
Here are the pictures of the single-shot pistol.

August 15, 2011, 11:11 PM
That double sure is interesting and even more the ammo. I don't know anything about it but if you have ammo for it, the ammo may be just as rare.

I did a search there are lots of double barrel pinfire pistols out there I didn't see any that looked exactly like yours though. I can't tell by just a picture but if it is old someone may have knocked off most of the finish and patina most of the other examples I found didn't look near as bright as yours.

August 16, 2011, 05:50 AM
The double barrel is a pinfire, but the cartridges look like they have had the pins taken out (maybe as a safety measure?); can you get a clear close-up of the "S" mark, and maybe see if there are any other marks on the bottoms of the barrels, where they close up against the frame? The "S" might be an old Czech black-powder proofmark, but they usually also have a small "1" or "2" stamped inside the top loop of the "S".
The second one is a typical early American cartridge pistol, of the type known as a "suicide special", but I can't read the full name in your pictures, which would tell us who made it.

Mike Irwin
August 16, 2011, 06:05 AM
Are we sure those are pinfires?

It's hard to tell, but they look almost like Adams-type lipfire cartridges.

They also look as if they have jacketed bullets, which would be HIGHLY unusual.

If they are lipfires, they might be more valuable than the handgun.

Can we get some good, clear photos of the cartridges, both a side profile and a look at where the hammer would strike?

August 16, 2011, 08:36 AM
Thanks for your input. Here is a closer picture of the "S". The cartridges have been hollowed out. There is a small notch sticking out at the back of each one that fits into a groove in the back of the chamber for loading. The hammers hit the top of the cartridge, not the back.

As for the "Suicide Special", the only remaining part of the name is "NTER"

August 16, 2011, 09:17 AM
Then Mike was right about the "lipfire" cartridges, which was sort of a wierd stutter-step in the development of modern cartridges. The only thing I can find that would fit the "nter" marking on the other one is "Pointer", which was a name used by Hopkins and Allen for their guns of this type.

James K
August 16, 2011, 04:20 PM
I don't think that cartridge is a lip fire; I seem to see what looks like a pin driven all the way in. And the lip fire was not struck from the top but from the rear like any other rimfire cartridge. IMHO, it is a pinfire, though the cartridge is quite odd looking and may be a dummy of some kind.

The gun looks like one of many double barrel pistols made in Spain, and later in Brazil and other countries, often called a "garrucha". They were sold in areas where natives were not allowed to own repeating pistols, but could own double barrel pistols. They were made first as flintlocks, then percussion, then pin fire and finally conventional rimfire or center fire, in several calibers. Pictures of any proof marks would help in determining the country of origin.

The derringer seems to be a "Pointer" made by Hopkins and Allen c. 1870's to 1890 in .22 rimfire and .30 rimfire. Flayderman (8A-114) lists value at $225 for very good, but that gun does not come up to that level. I would guess at a value of around $100-125.

FWIW, the term "suicide special" was usually used for inexpensive revolvers, not single shot "derringers."


August 16, 2011, 05:45 PM
I don't think that cartridge is a lip fire; I seem to see what looks like a pin driven all the way in

Yep, it's a dud pinfire.

Mike Irwin
August 16, 2011, 09:42 PM

Yeah, the hammers definitely don't come down at the right angle for a lipfire. I wasn't paying attention to the gun.

Given that it's a pinfire, it's probably European made as the pinfire system never really caught on in the United States.

August 23, 2011, 09:44 PM
Your cartridges are not pinfire cartridges, they are some bastardization of some other cartridge.

Here is a better pic of your gun, along with a couple of my pinfire boxes and some example of the 15mm cartridges.

Also, the most common name for this is a boxlock pistol.

I can't tell if yours is 15mm or 12mm without something for scale, but it is one of those.


J Rob
December 23, 2011, 12:07 AM
I also have a very similar gun. The markings on my gun are 12 over 5. I found an estimated value of around $300 on other websites. I do not have ammunition. I believe this gun is of Spanish origin.