Unknown Pocket Pistol


March 8, 2011, 12:18 PM
I recently acquired a few firearms from a family member, and this one I cannot find anything about. The only markings, without disassembling, are the serial number on the bottom of the handle, and on the top of the barrel, which reads "Alaska 22"

Does anybody have any idea who made this and when? I don't expect it to have any value at all, it has some rust and the cylinder rotates freely.

Here are some pictures. Thanks.




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March 8, 2011, 12:32 PM
Alaska was one of the trade names used by the Hood Firearms Company on inexpensive pocket revolvers.

See the Hard Pan revolver about 3/4 way down this link:


March 8, 2011, 10:08 PM
this looks identical to the Johnson & Bye model c1875. they were the predecessor of Iver johnson

Ron James
March 8, 2011, 10:51 PM
rcmodel, as usual, is right on the money. Made by Hood, 1876-1884, 22 short. On most of these inexpensive handguns the cylinder does not lock up until the hammer is cocked. Now if you cock the hammer and it is still freewheeling, then yes, it is broke.

March 9, 2011, 12:02 AM
Thanks for the info. May I ask where you get your information from (if not from the linked website)? I could not find anything with an internet search, and have become more interested in older firearms.

The cylinder doesn't completely freewheel once the hammer is cocked, but still does a bit, about a half a turn to where the next cartridge would be. I am guessing that these are not worth the money to have fixed, especially in the shape that they are in. I received this gun, a cheap Rohm RG10 saturday night special and a Blue Jacket No. 1.

Any pointers on where to look for a serial number on the Blue Jacket? The top of the barrel has some scratching, but definitely not from a file. Maybe some sand paper to try to bring the nickel finish back.

Ron James
March 9, 2011, 12:35 AM
Most small manufacturers of that era didn't bother with serial numbers. No legal requirement and they did not need it for production or management control. The Internet is quite nice in referencing information but it is not the source of the Nile. Three good references for oddball firearms are, "Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms" " Standard Catalog of Firearms " and " Pistols of the World ", All three list the Hood Alaska.:) NOTE: don't use sandpaper on the poor thing, it may not be a high value item but the use of sand paper will quickly remove any value it might have. To remove the rust, 0000 steel or brass wool and some light oil such as 3 in 1. The value of your firearm is probably less than a hundred dollars. Sand paper will drop it to a 25 dollar parts gun in seconds.:eek: Sorry, my mistake, I just reread your post and realized the first time I misread it. You were not going to sandpaper it, someone already did. Sorry about that, some times my eyes read faster than my mind can absorb

March 12, 2011, 08:42 PM
Actually the "ALASKA" is a scarce name. These cheap spur triggers were sold in the 1880's-1890's and are often found not functioning. Some were even offered as a sales pitch to sell boxes of cigars. I've seen old advertisements claiming. Free pocket pistol in each box of cigars!:uhoh: They were titled "suicide specials" in an article dating to the late 1940's. After which a book was written titled Suicide Specials. The book is a good reference but has been long out of print. It seems that these spurs are collected primarily for their catchy names however the larger calibers are starting to fetch a very respectable price. Yours has alot of nickel finish and the grips look good. If it was functioning I'd say it would fetch at least $150 on the right gun site. Non functioning hurts its value quite a bit. Oh, one last thing. These actually were numbered. In fact finding one not numbered is very unusual. Only one number is most commonly found under the left grip on the frame flat.

March 17, 2011, 10:03 AM
You might find these links handy, they might even do repairs for you, never hurts to ask.

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