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Henry Harrington (1796-1876) of Southbridge, Massachusetts, patented his "volley gun" design in 1837 and intended to manufacture or license the production of long guns, handguns, and cannons based on his design. He is actually best remembered outside of gun collecting as a manufacturer of cutlery. In fact, his company, founded in 1818, is credited as the first U.S. cutlery manufacturer and remains the largest manufacturer of cutlery within the country today. He produced a limited number of long guns and handguns of various patterns based on this "volley" design, including some with an incredible number of individual chambers like this nineteen-shot example. All of these firearms are incredibly rare and desirable, and most are fairly unique given the variety of calibers, single versus double hammer varieties, barrel lengths, different materials, etc. Norm Flayderman indicated a three-shot was the norm, if a norm could really be established among the extant examples. We sold a cased pistol version in December 2020 for $34,500 demonstrating how desirable these volley guns are among serious antique arms collectors. This example could be used as a long range fowling gun with greater accuracy than a shotgun. Its barrel group has a central rifled bore and smoothbore outer bores. The rear plate of the breechblock pivots on a screw whereas most we have examined have a screw on plate. The breech block is marked "HENRY/HARRINGTON/PATENT/1837/SOUTHBRIDGE/MASS" with the "PATENT/1837" in larger text. The gun features some classic scroll engraving, a small bead style front sight behind the decorative band at the muddle, a U-notch rear sight on the rear of the frame, and a lever on the left that pivots to allow the breechblock to lift out. With a spare block, the gun could be reloaded quickly. The stock is plain and has a silver plated brass buttplate with scroll and floral engraving.
Good with a dark brown patina and some mild pitting on the iron, mostly distinct engraving, crisp breechblock markings, traces of original silver on the buttplate along with attractive aged patina overall, and moderate overall wear. The trigger guard is a modern made artificially browned replacement. The stock is also good and has some chips, numerous hairline cracks/drying checks, and mild wear. Mechanically fine.
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