Only four specimens of the Peck revolver are known
- the Patent Model and three experimental revolvers - and each one is different.
They have not serial number.
Evidently Peck could not settle on a revolving mechanism that really worked;
His revolvers used the Two Trigger Whitney model frame castings and square
back trigger guards which were quite likely made for him by Whitney.
The .31 caliber octagonal barrels were rifled. The cylinder pin catch on each
specimen is different. The grips are Gutta Percha.
The patent model was a five shot revolver with the revolving ratchet and
cylinder stops on the front surface of the cylinder, and the revolving lever
lying along the left side of the frame. To operate it, the hammer was cocked
and as it was drawn back, the revolving lever was released (a cam on its upper
edge engaging a pin protruding from the side of the hammer) and was forced
upwards by its spring. When the revolving lever was pressed down, the hand on
its front end revolved and locked the cylinder. The revolving lever had to be
held down or the hammer would not fan when the trigger was pulled. An iron plate
covered this mechanism on the left side of the frame. One of the "production"
revolvers is nearly identical in the revolving mechanism, but is six shot instead
of five and has no "spring shield" over the nipple. Both are marked
J. PECK NEW HAVEN, CT. on the cover plate.
A later Peck revolver differed considerably from the first. The ratchet was moved
from the front of the cylinder to the rear. This necessitated the addition of
another lever to reverse the motion of the revolving lever, but the operation
remained basically the same. After the hammer was cocked, the revolving lever
was raised (it had no spring on this model) and then pressed down to revolve
the cylinder. The front end of the revolving lever engaged notches in the
cylinder to stop it at the proper place. The mechanism of this revolver appears
transitional between the patent type and the final development. It is six shot
with five groove rifling and the brass cover plate is marked
PECK & GRILLEY / NEW HAVEN / PATENTED 1854.