Perry Breechloading Single Shot Pistol

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Physical Description:
This .52 caliber rifled single shot breech loading percussion pistol was made by Perry Alonzo of Newark, New Jersey. It has a steel frame and barrel, trigger guard pivots, a breech block upward for loading and two piece wooden grips.
Alonzo D. Perry formed his gun manufacturing company in Newark, New Jersey. In 1849, he received a patent for a faucet breech gun. In 1850, he needed to make a winged metal cartridge for his guns. In 1854 and 1855, Perry created breech loading firearms.
The U.S. Government purchased 200 of those breech loading guns on April 12, 1855. The most notable gun from that batch of 200 was the Model 1855 Navy. Perry’s breech loaders were so effective, that they were copied by other manufacturing companies. The Perry carbine is probably his best known firearm.
Flayderman, Norm. Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms…and their Values, Gun Digest Books, Iola, 2007. 9th edition.
Gardner, Robert E. Col. Small Arms Makers: A Directory of Fabricators of Firearms, Edged Weapons, Crossbows and Polearms, Crown Publishers Inc, New York: 1963, p. 149-150.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1855
Perry, Alonzo D.
place made
United States: New Jersey, Newark
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 13 in; 33.02 cm
overall: 1 5/8 in x 13 1/4 in; 4.1275 cm x 33.655 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
serial number
collector/donor number
Credit Line
The Adriana and Edwin W. Bitter Family Collection
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
The Bitter Collection of Firearms
Data Source
National Museum of American History


"In 1853, the U. S. Treasury Department purchased forty-eight of these pistols for the revenue cuttters Marcy and Jefferson Davis. These cutters were stationed at San Francisco. Forty-eight Perry carbines were also purchased at New York. "

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