Original U.S. Frank Wesson .22cal Single Shot “Pocket Rifle” Target Pistol Serial 2144 – circa 1872


Category: Product ID: 7611


Original U.S. Frank Wesson .22cal Single Shot “Pocket Rifle” Target Pistol Serial 2144 – circa 1872

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice Frank Wesson .22 caliber single-shot target pistol, referred to as a small frame “pocket pistol”, which would require someone to have HUGE pockets. The advertising however usually referred to these as the “Sportsman’s Jewel”, intended for the discerning target shooter. It is a rotating barrel design that features a 15″ octagonal barrel mounted to a typical pistol sized frame. The bottom of the grip has a dovetail, intended to be used with a skeletal shoulder stock, which are extremely difficult to find.

This example bears serial number 2144 on the bottom of the grip and on the barrel, visible with the breech is opened. It was originally made with a heavily blued barrel and nickel plated frame, with wooden grips. The side of the barrel has the correct patent marking, which is fully intact:


The breech is opened via a button on the bottom, which allows the barrel to rotate. prior to this, the hammer needs to be pulled back slightly, and the safety on the right side of the frame pushed in. However on this example, the safety is worn and does not hold back the hammer far enough, so it needs to be pulled back by hand to open the action. The pistol cocks and dry fires correctly, with

no issues noted, though the ejector on the right side of the barrel is unfortunately missing. The rear “peep” sight is present, but the front “ghost ring” blade sight is missing, though the dovetail is undamaged, so it could be replaced. 

Condition wise, the pistol is in very good used condition, with wear and oxidation commensurate with age. The nickel plating on the frame is retained about 50%, with oxidation where the plating has eroded. The barrel has faded to a plum patina, with the original dark blue finish visible on the bottom of the barrel when the breech is open. We checked the bore, and this pistol definitely saw significant use, and the rifling is faint. There also is fouling present on a lot of the surface.

A very nice and hard to find single shot pistol, ready to add to your collection!


Years of Manufacture: circa 1872
Caliber:  .22 rimfire
Cartridge Type: Rimfire
Barrel Length: 15 Inches
Overall Length: 18 1/4 Inches
Action type: Top Action Single
Feed System: Rotating Barrel Single Shot

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these. International customers should always consult their country’s antique gun laws prior to ordering.


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