Reloading UKInline FabricationRepackboxMidSouth Shooters Supply
Titan ReloadingLee PrecisionADvertise hereRotoMetals2

Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Wesson Pocket Shotgun

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    1,955

    Wesson Pocket Shotgun

    I recently bought an interesting gun at Cabela's. Apparently it had been there for some time because no one knew what it was.
    It's an 1870 Frank Wesson single shot, centerfire smoothbore with a 24" barrel. There's a liner in the barrel that stops approx. 1.9" from the breech, forming a chamber. The liner is also smoothbore.
    The breech measures .375" diameter. The liner, from the end of the chamber to the muzzle, is .358" diameter.
    The serial number on the butt and inside the grips is 12. The serial number on the barrel stub/lug is 2303. There is no number on the barrel itself, or on the removeable stock. The removeable barrel is attached to the frame by a screw.
    I posted it on the ASSRA forum and a member looked through his 3 volume Wesson set and found some good info on Wesson pocket shotguns. Apparently there were fewer than 25 made, all special orders. The authors of the Wesson books knew of three. Taxidermists and small bird hunters used them.
    I made up a few black powder shot shells with .357 Mag brass, and a few others with round balls sized to .356. To make up the difference in the chamber between the length of the .357 Mag case and the beginning of the liner, I cut a spacer from a .357 Mag case. A .357 Max case would be better. A Stevens .38-55 even better. It shot well.
    The barrel rotates to the right for loading and unloading.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF5317.JPG 
Views:	39 
Size:	65.9 KB 
ID:	275968   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF5313.JPG 
Views:	52 
Size:	43.8 KB 
ID:	275966   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF5316.JPG 
Views:	43 
Size:	110.7 KB 
ID:	275967  
    Last edited by Battis; 01-24-2021 at 02:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    1,955
    more pics
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF5319.JPG 
Views:	28 
Size:	80.0 KB 
ID:	275970   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF5321.JPG 
Views:	25 
Size:	67.9 KB 
ID:	275971   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Wesson shoot.jpg 
Views:	24 
Size:	40.9 KB 
ID:	275972  

  3. #3
    Way cool what a score. I like the pocket rifles and shotguns made by wesson, stevens and others.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    1,955
    Stevens and Maynard were in Chicopee, MA and Frank Wesson was in Worchester, MA. Those towns are about 40 miles apart, and connected by train, so they probably worked together on projects. I'm pretty sure the Wesson Pocket Shotgun used a Stevens .38-55 shot shell.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    jeepyj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Maine, Just north of Bangor
    Posts
    1,131
    Very interesting
    Sometimes it takes a second box of boolits to clear my head.
    Feed back thread http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...?261449-jeepyj

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


    MrWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NE West Virginia
    Posts
    3,083
    That is pretty cool. Nice pick up.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    1,955
    The only question is, why a rear sight on a smoothbore? If it was a special order, done at the factory, who knows what the owner wanted. Lining the barrel from .375" diameter down to .358" at the muzzle forms a choke. It could be "aimed." The #12 frame doesn't look like it had been converted from rimfire to centerfire (the pocket rifles were rimfire), so it was always a smoothbore.
    When I fired it (from ten feet), I didn't put the stock at my shoulder - it settles perfectly into the crook of my arm.
    Too bad there's no Frank Wesson serial number info left. I'd like to know what barrel stub #2303 was originally.
    Here's a pic of the barrel/lug connection and the recoil shield.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF5333.JPG 
Views:	17 
Size:	70.2 KB 
ID:	275975   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF5323.JPG 
Views:	17 
Size:	67.6 KB 
ID:	275976  

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    762
    That is one cool little gun. Are the Wesson stocks the same for all frame sizes? I have a medium frame pocket rifle, but unfortunately no stock.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    1,955
    I wonder if the stocks are interchangeable. Would a Stevens stock fit?
    What caliber is your rifle?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4,197
    Interesting bit of history.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    4,430
    .

    A very nice catch of a hen's tooth - CONGRATS ! !

    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    NW OH Oak Openings Area
    Posts
    802
    Very Cool ! That is the type of gun that I look for when out browsing at small shops and gun shows.

    Jedman

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    1,955
    I found it at Cabela's in Maine. They said it had been there for awhile. There's a Steven's .22 Pocket Rifle at the Kittery Trading Post in Maine that's been there for a long time, but the price seems high. It's in good shape.

    https://www.kitterytradingpost.com/n...cgid=0#start=1

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    43
    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    I recently bought an interesting gun at Cabela's. Apparently it had been there for some time because no one knew what it was.
    It's an 1870 Frank Wesson single shot, centerfire smoothbore with a 24" barrel. There's a liner in the barrel that stops approx. 1.9" from the breech, forming a chamber. The liner is also smoothbore.
    The breech measures .375" diameter. The liner, from the end of the chamber to the muzzle, is .358" diameter.
    The serial number on the butt and inside the grips is 12. The serial number on the barrel stub/lug is 2303. There is no number on the barrel itself, or on the removeable stock. The removeable barrel is attached to the frame by a screw.
    I posted it on the ASSRA forum and a member looked through his 3 volume Wesson set and found some good info on Wesson pocket shotguns. Apparently there were fewer than 25 made, all special orders. The authors of the Wesson books knew of three. Taxidermists and small bird hunters used them.
    I made up a few black powder shot shells with .357 Mag brass, and a few others with round balls sized to .356. To make up the difference in the chamber between the length of the .357 Mag case and the beginning of the liner, I cut a spacer from a .357 Mag case. A .357 Max case would be better. A Stevens .38-55 even better. It shot well.
    The barrel rotates to the right for loading and unloading.
    That is a nice little gun. I have some 357 Maximum brass. If you want to try it I can send you a few. PM me if interested.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    1,955
    PM sent

  16. #16
    Boolit Master BigEyeBob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    South of the Equator and North of Capricorn
    Posts
    501
    I once owned a ww2 german flare gun converted to 12g .
    Quite wieghty and a pleasure to shoot
    Name:  MAS_2613-100x100.jpg
Views: 112
Size:  2.2 KB

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check