By Lars Dalseide | February 3 2013 12:36

Television show NRA Guns and Gold shares NRA Curator's skills with public

Barrel of a six shot Ethan Allen pepperbox revolver - official Photograph of the NRA Museum

Fairfax, Virginia - NRA's Guns and Gold (Brought to you by Brownells) has been quickly become a favorite on Sportsman Channel's “Lock & Load” Monday. Traveling across the country to tell gun owners about the history and value of their firearms, Guns and Gold has the best firearm experts in the business — NRA Museum Director Jim Supica and Senior Curator Philip Schreier.

This week's episode, titled "Experimentation in Firearms Design", features pepperboxes, pinfires, and more.

A J.P. Cooper Pepperbox pistol inside the National Firearms Museum

The pepperbox was an early attempt at manufacturing a revolving multiple shot pistol. But unlike today's revolvers, where the cylinder rotates and fires through a single barrel, the pepperbox rotates multiple barrels ... each of which contains an individual load of powder and projectile.

While a step forward in the evolution of firearms, the pepperbox design soon fell by the wayside thanks to creative abilities of Smith & Wesson, Colt and others.

Belgian double action pinfire revolver - official Photograph of the NRA Museum

The Pinfire pistol was created for, you guessed, pinfire cartridges. Think of any regular bullet you see out there today and add a tail that scoots out the side. One of the first stages in the switch from powder and ball to a self-contained metallic cartridge, the pinfire pistols gained popularity during the American Civil War.

Unfortunately for Lefaucheux, who patented one of the first successful pinfire cartridges back in 1832, the pinfire firearms proved to be brittle and easily damaged in the field.

To hear all the stories surrounding the pepperbox, pinfire and even a age old blunderbuss, tune in on Monday at 9pm eastern to the Sportsman Channel. That's when Jim and Phil (thanks again to the good folks at Brownells) will bring out the big guns.

A Lefaucheux double action pinfire revolver from Belgian


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