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The Chichester Rifle Company (actually of Jersey City, NJ) was one of many small firms that sold branded guns made by the Hopkins & Allen company. In particular, Chichetser sold a “pocket rifle” which was really an XL No. 5 revolver fitted with a long barrel and detachable shoulder stock. These are in period catalogs that survive, and appear to have been made form about 1880 until 1890. In addition, Chichester appears to have also made a small number of “pocket shotguns” by fitting 28 gauge smoothbore barrels to the .38 rimfire (and centerfire) XL No. 5 frames. Both the rifles and shotguns were fitted with an interest small shield, which was intended to accommodate the fact that the user’s eye would be much closer to the gun than a revolver held at arms length. The shield protected the users from escaping gas or debris, and also functioned as a sort of aperture sight.
Special thanks to Cornell Publications and Mike Carrick of Arms Heritage Magazine for help researching this unusual piece!
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