Strange, maybe rare pocket revolver?


January 27, 2004, 12:23 PM
this was sent to me on a list I moderate. Any thoughts?

"On the barrel is engraved the word "Mohican"(That may be "Mohegan, but am
not sure if it's a G or a C). It is nickel plated, HIGHLY engraved, five
holes in the cylinder, and has ivory grips.

The only thing I've been able to find is that "Mohecan" trade name was used
by the Hood Firearms Company.

It is considered an inexpensive pocket revolver.

The owner believes it to be 32 caliber.

He has had it for better than 70 years and it came from Colorado."

Pics attached.

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January 27, 2004, 12:30 PM

January 27, 2004, 12:47 PM
Your "rare" revolver appears to be similar, although much fancier, to one I've had kicking around my loading bench for years.

I'm far from being an expert, so I'll just sort of describe mine for you. It appears to be about a 32-caliber rimfire, with a five-shot cylinder. The cylinder retaining pin is gone from miine, so I have a make-shift one made from a nail.

The only ID I can find on mine is the word "Electric" stamped atop the barrel. The thing does have a serial number (28xx) stamped on the butt of the grip.

Mine is unengraved with cheap wooden grips and lots of rust to make it appear old. I'd send a photo but I'm unable to do so.

If you find out what it is, let me know.

January 27, 2004, 02:06 PM
What I can find is that the F.A. Hood Company of Norwich, Conn. made spur trigger .22 and .32 revolvers.

Their pistols had a variety of barrel lengths and finishes. Many of them were marked only with a trade name.

In short, these were another in a large variety of cheap revolvers made by any number of obscure companies in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

These were commonly known as "Saturday Night Specials" or "suicide Specials.

Due to their lower quality of manufacture and age, they probably shouldn't be fired.

Jim K
January 27, 2004, 02:33 PM
The Mohegan was made by the Hood Fire Arms Co, of Norwich, CT., though many were marked "New York Pistol Co.", which was a sales outlet. Freeman W. Hood controlled several New England companies as well as the one named for him.

The Electric maker is not known for sure, but was probably Forehand and Wadsworth.

Both are .32 rimfire caliber and should be safe to shoot with the .32 Short rimfire ammo that turns up from time to time, though I can't really recommend firing them.

Both guns are of the type sometimes called "Suicide Specials" since it was assumed that they would be good for only one shot.

Depending on the quality of the gun and the economy of the time, they sold for anywhere from 65 cents to 8 dollars, but the latter price range was usually tied to better guns, or such special features as long barrels.

The engraving and ivory grips of the Mohegan indicate it would have been a higher priced gun, probably in the $6-8 range, though not necessarily a better one in terms of quality.

The guns were generally made of cast iron, which was acceptable for the low power cartridges of the day. Calibers were .22, .30, and .32, with .38 being more the province of better quality guns, all rimfire. They were sold by the millions from about 1870 to WWI, and ammunition was made in the U.S. until WWII, when all the rimfires except .22 and .25 Stevens (rifle) were dropped. The latter lasted a few more years, then fell by the wayside.

The Colt Single Action Army was supposed to be the "gun that won the west", but a real cowboy was not likely to spend a month's pay on one. He was more likely to have one of those little "suicide specials" tucked in his pocket.


January 27, 2004, 02:42 PM
Thanks! Any ideas on estimated value?
Are these still very common?

Jim K
January 27, 2004, 08:17 PM
Value? To anyone but a "Suicide Special" collector, about zilch. At best, those guns are novelties and I have seen them sell for as little as $5. Most dealers around here won't even touch them because they can't sell them and the paperwork eats up any small profit they might make.

I guess someone could put the gun on one of the auction sites and peddle some BS story about how it belonged to Billy the Kid. Maybe some suck... er, advanced collector, would bite.


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