Centrefire four-barrelled Large Frame Holster Model Thorn patent pistol by Charles Lancaster, circa 1881
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 bluing 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.
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. In 1881 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 variety 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 earliest, if not the earliest, known examples of Lancaster’s four barreled pistols.