Object Title

Centrefire four-barrelled pistol - Lancaster Large Frame Holster Model

Centrefire four-barrelled pistol - Lancaster Large Frame Holster Model

Date

about 1881

Object Number

XII.3523

Provenance

Acquired from a Police Amnesty, 1968

Physical Description

A.A.Thorn Patent oval bore single trigger four barrel pistol.
The single-trigger action operates a rotating firing-pin. A side lever operates a dolls head barrel lock on the top of the frame (known as a 1st type locking latch).
Plain finish with much original blueing stamped with Birmingham proof marks. The square shaped chequered walnut butt has provision for a rod butt extension and a lanyard-loop. The hinged barrels are bored with Charles Lancaster's patent oval bores and have open-sights and a German silver foresight. The barrel cluster is fitted with a self-acting extractor star.
The assembly number, 22, is stamped on the bottom of the frame.

Techniques

Forged

Materials

Dimensions

OverallLength11in.
OverallLength279mm
OverallWeight1.085kg
BarrelLength6.25in.
BarrelLength160mm

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number 7102

Calibre

.455 in

Inscriptions and Marks

Calibre
.455 C.F.
between the two left hand barrels
engraved
Assembly number
22
on the underside of the breech
stamped
makers name
CHARLES LANCASTER (PATENT) 151 NEW BOND STREET
between the two upper barrels
engraved
Proof marks
Crowned GP (London proof mark), crown over V (London view mark), letters GP interlaced in a cipher (provisional proof)
on each of the four barrels
stamped

Associations

Notes

In 1878, the firm of Charles Lancaster Gunmakers, previously run by C.W. Lancaster who died in that year, was acquired by Henry A.A. Thorn from his widow. In1881 Thorn patented an action for two and four barrel guns, he would subsequently use this patent in the manufacture of both shotgun/rifles and pistols.
The pistols were designed to take a veriaty of calibres, but in the main they would be for the four barrel pistol .455 and .476 government cartridges and for the two barrel pistol the .577 short Snider or Boxer, they were also fitted with Lancaster's oval bore rifling.
In all about 712 four barrel pistols and about 234 two barrel versions were produced between 1882 and 1897.
This is one of the earlist, if not the earlist, known examples of Lancaster's four barrelled pistols.