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Old July 23, 2018, 08:53 AM   #1
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Ethan Allen Hoppe's BP Pistols

Hi all.

I was at a antique show this weekend and came across some cool pepperboxes. I can afford the 450.00+ to buy an actual pepperbox which I plan on doing for my collection. Having an original from the 1840s or so is pretty cool.

That being said, I have a mix of Uberti, Pietta, Colt 2nd gen and Signature series guns.

I was curious if any manufacturer made a repro pepperbox. After Googling, I came up with the Ethan Allen Hoppe's pepperbox.

I've tried researching but cannot come up with anything as to whom the manufacturer was or if there were any others pistols made with the Ethan Allen/Hoppe's name or Hoppe's pistols. The link I posted mentions a Penguin Industries but that was a dead end.

Any info would be appreciated.


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Old July 23, 2018, 11:39 PM   #2
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I wouldn't fool with that, get a Pietta pepperbox:

Pietta makes great guns, parts are abundant too.
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Old July 24, 2018, 11:16 PM   #3
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Hoppe's did make a .36 Ethan Allen pepperbox, both in DAO and SAO. The DAO was a 4 shot and I've read it had issues, but the SA was a 6 shot and I haven't heard anything bad, so it must have been okay.

There's not a lot out there about the Hoppe's Ethan Allens. I've asked about them on here before, but it doesn't seem many have bothered with them.

From what I can gather, it looks like they were manufactured by Classic Arms LTD of Palmer, MA. That's just up the road from Sturbridge, which is a well known historic village, so the products that Classic Arms was making fits the motif of the area.

Classic Arms looks to be no more, I just did a check on google maps and where the company is listed appears to be car dealerships now. Classic Arms was started in the late 70s, don't know when it closed.

Apart from the Double Action, I believe all the Hoppe's percussion guns were of good quality, it's hard to mess up a smoothbore percussion gun. Next time I see a double barrel or SAO pepperbox I'm gonna be inclined to buy one to see how they do.
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Old July 25, 2018, 09:35 AM   #4
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I wouldn't fool with that, get a Pietta pepperbox:
The really cool thing about the Pietta pepperbox is that it's a normal frame, and you can put a .36 cylinder and barrel on it as well. The end of the arbor is drilled and tapped for the cylinder retaining screw, so a set screw can be put in there to either shore up a gap between arbor and barrel, or if barrel / arbor are already a perfect fit, you can use a set screw to fit the wedge tighter if ever needed (like the goon does).
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Old July 25, 2018, 10:56 AM   #5
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Mark Twain had a few things to say about the pepperbox.

I was armed to the teeth with a pitiful little Smith & Wesson's seven-shooter, which carried a ball like a homopathic pill, and it took the whole seven to make a dose for an adult. But I thought it was grand. It appeared to me to be a dangerous weapon. It had only one fault--you could not hit anything with it. One of our 'conductors' practiced awhile on a cow with it, and as long as she stood still and behaved herself she was safe; but as soon as she went to moving about, and he got to shooting at other things, she came to grief.
- Roughing It

George Bemis . . . wore in his belt an old original "Allen" revolver, such as irreverent people called a "pepper-box." Simply drawing the trigger back, cocked and fired the pistol. As the trigger came back, the hammer would begin to rise and the barrel to turn over, and presently down would drop the hammer, and away would speed the ball. To aim along the turning barrel and hit the thing aimed at was a feat which was probably never done with an "Allen" in the world. But George's was a reliable weapon, nevertheless, because, as one of the stage-drivers afterward said, "If she didn't get what she went after, she would fetch something else." And so she did. She went after a deuce of spades nailed against a tree, once, and fetched a mule standing about thirty yards to the left of it. Bemis did not want the mule; but the owner came out with a double-barreled shotgun and persuaded him to buy it, anyhow. It was a cheerful weapon--the "Allen." Sometimes all its six barrels would go off at once, and then there was no safe place in all the region round about, but behind it.
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Old July 26, 2018, 06:39 PM   #6
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That quote by Mark Twain is not about pepperboxes. S&W never made any pepperboxes. What he was referring to were the little 22 Short Tip Up revolvers that S&W was making in the 1850s and 1860s before they started making their big Top Break revolvers.

Like this. A seven shot No. 1 1st Issue, 5th Type.

Regarding that thing by Pietta, personally I think it is an abomination. Not a pepperbox at all, just a Model 1851 Navy with an extra long cylinder and no barrel. A fantasy gun, these did not exist.
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Old July 26, 2018, 07:28 PM   #7
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DJ - yeah left that in there because I found it interesting. I'd hope the audience here would understand there are 2 quotes there. 1 is for pepper boxes and one is for Smith & Wessons.

But I see that is not the case...
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Old July 26, 2018, 08:18 PM   #8
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DJ, I agree completely.

The Pietta "pepperbox" is not even close. It is something that some Pietta designer decided to market and sold it to upper level management.

To me, it is an ugly gun and has little purpose, unlike the true pepperbox pistols from long ago.

Pietta should have taken it a step further and produced a longer frame 1851 Navy with a barrel to produce an 1851 Navy .36 "Walker". That would have produced a lot of smoke. I would gladly have purchased one but they don't even want to produce a Dance .36, even though they went to great pains to produce a Dance .44 with a non-rebated cylinder on a modified 1851 frame.

They make good, functional guns, but I sometimes wonder upon their mindset.

To be governed – is to be watched, inspected, directed, indoctrinated, numbered, estimated, regulated, commanded, controlled, law-driven, preached at, spied upon, censured, checked, valued, enrolled – by creatures who have neither the right, nor the wisdom, nor the virtue to do so. - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
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