Hampshire Cultural Trust

Pope Rifle Air Pistol

By Pope Bros, 45 High Street, Boston, Mass. USA c1875
Nickel plated with shoulder stock, ramrod, sales literature and targets.
Calibre approx. .22

Pope rifle air pistol

This all-metal air pistol was patented by Quackenbush in 1874 and assigned to Pope. It has been suggested that Quackenbush may have manufactured the pistol under licence for the Pope Bros, however, this is not entirely clear and certainly it is Pope’s name that appears on the chamber plug at the rear.

The pistol was intended as a short-range target pistol that could be used indoors or out and was sold in a box with various accessories. These included a shoulder stock made of bent rod, a ramrod, targets, pellets and darts. The shoulder stock could be fitted into a hole drilled in the butt of the pistol, hence the title ‘Rifle Air Pistol.

The pistol is cocked by pulling the barrel forward to compress the spring. This exposes the breech for loading, the barrel being slid back in to its rear housing ready for firing.

The complete pistol set, with all its accessories cost $5. Nickel plating cost an extra $1.

The sales literature made much use of testimonials from satisfied customers, the most notable of which was General WT Sherman.

Accession no HMCMS:M1998.9