J. Stevens Vernier No. 40 1/2 .22 Short Tip Up Single Shot Pistol 1896-1915

SOLD FOR: $1225

LSB#: 210606JV30

Make: J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co.

Model: No. 40 1/2” Vernier Pocket Rifle

Serial Number: 13635

Year of Manufacture: 1896-1915

Caliber: .22 Rimfire

Action Type: Tip-Up Barrel Single Shot Pistol

Markings: The left side flat of the barrel is marked “J STEVENS A & T CO / CHICOPEE FALLS MASS PAT SEPT 6 1864”. The underside left of the grip frame is marked with the serial number, “13635”. The detachable wire-stock is serial-matching, marked on the underside “1331”. The left side of the grip frame under the panel is marked with the serial number, “13635”. The Vernier peep sight is serial matching, marked with a partial of the serial number, “635”. The left grip has a hand-carved “P” near the bottom, and the right has an “L”.

Barrel Length: 11 3/4” (these pocket rifles were manufactured with 10”, 12”, 15”, or 18” barrels, and wear at the muzzle suggests this barrel has been cut down.)

Sights/Optics: The front sight is a flip-up protected post sight that is dovetailed into the barrel. The rear sight is a raised square-notch that is dovetailed into the breach end of the part octagonal/part round barrel. There is a secondary rear sight, a Vernier peep sight that is fixed to hinged base that is screwed into the backstrap.

Stock Configuration and Condition: The grips are two piece smooth wood panels. There is an in-line dovetail channel in the underside of the grip frame and a screw port on the backstrap where the included skeleton stock is fastened with a screw. In addition to the hand-carved initials, both panels have light nicks dings and minor compressions throughout. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP from the front of the trigger to the back of the butt is 14 1/4”. Overall, the grips rate in Good-to-Very Good.

Type of Finish: Blued Barrel Assembly with Nickel-Plated Iron Frame

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is quite dark and the rifling is mostly well-defined. There is scattered light-to-moderate erosion that is mostly concentrated midway and there is moderate stubborn fouling throughout.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 40% of its original finish. Much of the barrel has gone to a light patina, but there are spots of original finish throughout. The barrel has light finish loss on both sides near to the muzzle as well as intermittent light nicks and scuffs along the length. The frame retains most of its nickel plating but there are minor nicks and light scuffs throughout. Screws are lightly tool marked with strong slots. All markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in Good-to-Very good condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: This pistol includes a detachable straight comb steel wire stock. The stock has clusters of finish loss mostly on the lower spoke. Overall, the stock rates in Good-to-Very Good condition.

Our Assessment: This pocket rifle is J. Stevens & Tool Co.’s No. 40-1/2, a slight variation on the No. 40 that is distinct for its inclusion of a Vernier adjustable peep sight on the backstrap, and so named. Pockets were clearly longer back when this was manufactured, as the overall length of the firearm with the stock attached is about 26”. Thankfully, the comb is detachable. This pistol likely made a sincerely fun parlour gun or plinker, and should make for one even today. The bore needs some TLC, but mechanically the rifle is sound. Good luck and happy bidding!

J. Stevens Vernier No. 40 1/2 .22 Short Tip Up Single Shot Pistol 1896-1915
J. Stevens Vernier No. 40 1/2 .22 Short Tip Up Single Shot Pistol 1896-1915