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A Bang

by | Mon, Mar 20, 2023

In the modern era firearms are a point of contention and a political football. They are used for sport, and for hunting. They are also used by responsible owners for self protection. But for historians guns are a tangible link to a moment in time. And for savvy collectors, they can make a hobby profitable.

Chance are that you will not find a Nock gun at the local pawnshop or estate sale. And if you are looking for one to add to the collection, be prepared to take out a second, or third, mortgage.

These unique flintlock rifles were designed by British engineer James Wilson in 1779. The namesake for these weapons is Henry Nock, a gun maker in London, England. This volley gun developed for ship to ship fighting fires all seven barrels at once. Today these weapons are a rarity. But to be honest, they weren’t very common when new. There were only 526 of these guns produced. Prodcution of the slightly improved second series amounted to just over 750 guns.

The Nock gun was introduced near the end of the flintlock period. At the time of its introduction in about 1630, these guns were revolutionary. The flintlock system dominated firearm development and manufacturing for nearly two centuries.

The Colt Walker is another scarcity, then and now. There is an interesting back story to these weapons. Ranger Captain Samuel Walker, killed in the Mexican American War, had an idea for a gun, but lacked the expertise to make it a reality. So, he approached Samuel Colt to design and produce a gun according his specifications. This would be the first mass produced American single action revolver.

Even though the pistol would serves as the basis for a steady stream of Colt revolver developments, the Colt Walker was plagues with issues. It was heavy, it was unwieldy, and the cylinder was prone to rupture. And so only 1,100 were produced. One thousand were made for the United States Army, and the remainder were sold to civilians. Fewer than 11o are known to survive today.

Samuel Colt is credited with the development of the first multi-shot revolving firearms that were mass produced. Gunmakers for more than a century had experimented with various configurations of revolvers but the manufacture of precision and interchangeable components had ensured rarity as they were often produced as a one of one custom order.

It is unknown how many LeMat dual action revolvers were produced in the late 19th century. But it is safe to assume that production was quite limited. Surely there wasn’t a big market for a large and complicated nine shot revolver that featured a single shot 20 gauge shotgun under the barrel.

You won’t find one these rarities or historic oddities at either Pawn World store in Kingman, Arizona. But as we are the largest gun store in northwestern Arizona, and as we have a professional and well trained staff, you are assured of finding the right firearm for your needs and skillset.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America


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