Made in Naubuc Connecticut, the Hammond Bulldog was an interesting single-shot rimfire .44 caliber pistol. It used an unusual rotating breechblock, and had the potential to be a fairly strong action. Reportedly prototypes were made in a wide variety of calibers, including a carbine version with a wire-frame shoulder stock, but the vast majority were .44 caliber rimfire pistols like this one.
A couple of myths about the Hammond need dispelling. One is that it was used by some troops in the Civil War. This is very unlikely, as it was only introduced in 1865.
The other is that it was the source of the .41 rimfire round used in the Remington Double Derringer. Very few Hammonds seem to have been made in any chambering except .44 RF, as Ian stated. Note that if it could take .44 Long (Colt) RF, it could probably handle the .44 Henry Flat and .44 Wesson as well, both technically rifle cartridges.
The first pistol verified to have been chambered for the .41 RF Short is the Moore aka “Colt National” Derringer, first marketed in 1862. Remington made the ammunition, and simply adopted the Moore’s round for their own pocket pistol.
I suspect the Hammond mainly appealed to people who wanted a gun that might only fire one, but that one shot would hurt. Riverboat gamblers come to mind.
Keep in mind that at the time, the Rollin White patent was still in force. As such, the Hammond was an example of a type of breechloading pistol which wasn’t legally actionable under that patent. It’s possible that the previous patents were too easily converted to a bored-through cylinder, which would have contravened th4e White patent. And its single shot would probably have been more reliable than the five or six of a similar-sized percussion revolver.
Oh, BTW, the U.S. Patent Office does still demand a working model for exactly one type of patent. A perpetual-motion machine.
“Keep in mind that at the time, the Rollin White patent was still in force.”
The “swing-out block” design reminds me of Civil War Era Warner Breech-Loading carbine
states that: “Warner received a patent on his breech-loading carbine”
Has anybody known text of this patent or number? If so does Hammond Bulldog infringement Warner patent?
The Warner breech actually works more like the later Snider-Enfield breech. I don’t think the Hammond breech could be defined as an infringement on it, unless the earlier version was closer to it than the final version.
The Warner and Snider breeches, BTW, were very similar to breeches used with steel “chamber-pieces” in matchlock, wheel-lock, and flintlock weapons as far back as the 1600s.
When the British government bought the rights to Jacob Snider’s American patent in 1866, one such matchlock weapon was sitting in the Tower of London arms collection. It had once belonged to Henry VIII.
Full Patent at:
How to do a Patent Search; Admittedly Overly Long and Tedious:
To do a search of the U. S. Patent Office database (USPTO), first go to their search website at http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm. This will be the page for the patent number search. If you know the patent number enter it in the first data box titled “Query” and hit “Search” in the middle of the page. If you do not know the patent number you might first Google the best most descriptive terms such as terms “Rollin White patent” in this case. This will often give you a quick patent number to be used on the USPTO website in this case “Patent Number 12648.” Go to the webpage above and enter this number into the “Query” box and select “Search.” Since this is an OOLD patent you will get a notation of, “Full text is not available for this patent. Click on “Images” button above to view full patent.” Go to the selection boxes above labeled ‘Home. Quick, Pat Num … etc.” and select the bottom the one labeled “Images.” This will bring you to the patent page for that number. To view the ENTIRE patent including drawings, claims and etc select the link ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PAGE that says “Full Document” above a button labeled “Full Page.” This will bring up the full and complete patent document including drawings, referenced and cited patents and etc. If you want to print out the full patent, select the” Printer” icon on the top right and then hit “OK.” If you want to save the patent document to a file, hit the “Down Arrow” (↓) icon and direct the document to the appropriate folder where it will be saved. If you do not know and cannot find the patent number select the “Quick” button at the top of the page and you will go to a page where you can enter related information such as the patent holder’s name, etc. in the “Term 1” query box on the left and then expand the “Field 1” drop-down to the right of that box and select the type term such as entering Query 1 = “Rollin White” and Field 1 = “Applicant Name.” You can enter additional data in the second set and relate them by selecting the “AND/OR/AND NOT” stipulation between the two data strings. Then (IMPORTANT!!!) select the data box and use either “1976 to present [full text]” or “1790 to present [entire database]” with the second covering everything within the entire USPTO database. There are other more technical searches but these basics should suffice for most purposes.
I would have stuck with this given a choice among single-shot pistols of the time. Most other defensive weapons were pocket revolvers (only Smith & Wesson would have rimfire, others were percussion or proprietary ammo-fed) or muzzle loaders.
Given a choice of defensive weapon in some random town in the Wild West, which would you take if you could have done so?
1. Remington Rider magazine “derringer”
2. Colt percussion snub nose
3. Hammond Bulldog
4. Combination muzzle-loading pistol and folding dagger
5. Screw the above and get out the big Mauser Zig-Zag or whip a Burgess shotgun (or “Mare’s leg” lever-action carbine, which isn’t really fitting) out from under your jacket
6. Add your favorite toys to this list!
This questionnaire is not a mandatory item. You are not required to participate if you do not wish to do so. Please keep any and all criticism of this post humane and free of foul language.
Maybe a Colt Cloverleaf. At least I get 4 shots.
Ideally, a pair of Richards/Mason Conversion Colt 1861 Navy metallic -cartridge conversions in .38 centerfire, with the barrels snubbed off at about 4.5″. The Colt 1862 Police .38 would also be highly acceptable;
Or else a pair of Remington New Model Police 1867 Belt or Pocket Revolvers, also .38 CF, with the double-action triggers. The latter were metallic-cartridge versions of the Remington 1860 Navy .36 percussion;
Note the removable cylinder. With spare loaded cylinders, the Remington could be reloaded very nearly as fast as a modern automatic pistol with spare loaded magazines. As Clint Eastwood demonstrated in Pale Rider.
Keep in mind that a solid center hit, or two or three, with a .38 is a lot more discouraging to an adversary than a miss or a peripheral hit with even a .45. And the .38s were a lot easier to hide than even a single .45.
There was also this odd little duckling, under the Allen & Thurber pepperbox in the photo;
It’s Allen & Thurber’s Model 1842 revolver, double-action, .30 caliber percussion. Most had shorter barrels than this one. In many ways, it was fifty years ahead of its time; the world’s earliest double-action-only “snubnose” revolver, as opposed to a pepperbox.
In the 1880s, you could get “bulldog” revolvers in a variety of calibers, ranging from .32 to an emphatic .45 (Webley). But earlier, the converted percussions ruled the roost. And they certainly were elegant as “pocket rockets” go.
Tranter started to make rimfire revolvers in 1863, although the barrel for .442 rf was normally 6.5″. Since 1968 barrels as short as 3″ were available, even in .450 centerfire.
Dear Mr. Cherndog Person:
My weapon(s) of choice would be a flight of swarm-bot AAs (Autonomous Aircraft) spray planes dispensing Astrolite G over the area, give it 3:18 hrs/min to soak in and hit it with the Burgess 12 gauge loaded with shaped-charge slugs using Astrolite A as the penetrant charge. Instant Earth-Mine detonation! End of Story and adverse conflict.
Organic shape of frame is interesting. Looks like had come from another world. A revolver or any other kind of repeater would worth to see if that designer made one.