This is a really lovely example of the Allen & Wheelock Inside Lock #6 Rifled Pistol. These single-shot percussion pistols were part of the lower end of Allen’s rather extensive line of percussion and cartridge firearms. These pistols are often referred to by collectors as “shotgun hammer” pistols. The .31 caliber guns were produced with octagon-to-round barrels that were available in a variety of lengths and were rifled with 6 deep grooves. The guns were blued, with color case hardened hammers and had varnished walnut grips. Normally they were produced with Allen markings, but it appears that Allen also produced these guns for sale by other makers and retailers like Bacon and Marston. As such, those guns were probably produced unmarked and were subsequently marked by the seller.
This is a FINE condition example of an Allen & Wheelock Inside Lock #6 Rifled Pistol. The gun has 4” octagon-to-round barrel and measures about 7 ¾” in overall length. The pistol is unmarked externally, other than the number 7and a dot under the barrel, near the frame. The pistol is marked with the assembly number 43 on the frame, under the left grip and on the interior of the left grip in pencil. The gun retains about 30%+ of the original blued finish overall. Most of the blue is present on the barrel, while most of the finish on the frame has flaked and worn, leaving only traces there. The balance of the metal has a smooth, slightly mottled bluish-gray patina with some scattered flecks of oxidized discoloration. The metal is mostly smooth throughout, with some lightly scattered minor pinpricking and light surface oxidation. The hammer retains traces of color case hardening as well. The gun is mechanically fine and functions exactly as it should. Interestingly the Inside Lock #6 Rifled Pistol that was marketed by Allen did not have a half-cock position. This one, made for another vendor, does have a half-cock. The bore of the pistol is dirty and evenly oxidized with strong rifling and some scattered light pitting. The pistol retains its original notched rear sight as well as the original brass post front sight, which is slightly mashed and tilted. The two-piece walnut grips retain about 30% of the original varnish, with moderate loss and scattered bumps, dings and mars. The grips are free of any breaks or repairs and remain in solid condition.
Overall, this is a very nice example of a Worchester, CT made Allen & Wheelock Inside Lock #6 Rifled Pistol with no markings, but a lot of original finish. These inexpensive self-defense pistols of the pre-Civil War period are rarely found in such crisp and fine condition, as the pocket pistols were often carried extensively, resulting in surviving examples being fairly well worn. This is a really nice example that would be at home in any collection of antebellum firearms and will certainly display well in your collection.