Annie Oakley's Flobert Style Single Shot .22 Rifle Used In Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Unique. Belgian made, no serial number. No FFL Required.
23-5/8" octagonal smoothbore barrel, 39-1/2" overall length. The barrel has a gold sheared blade front sight and a fixed open rear sight. The bore is a bit dirty but seems to be in relatively decent condition. On the top of the barrel is stamped "ANNIE OAKLEY 1891" and "BUFFALO BILLS WWS". On the ledft side of the barrel just in front of the breech is a Belgian proofmark. On the underside of the barrel (when the barrel is removed from the stock) are the markings PPE/OST and V.O.T., with T and SD *#2. The barrel, trigger guard and buttplate are blued and still retain about 98% of the original bluing. The breech has a falling block type of action which houses the firing pin (Hadley's Patent swivel loading and cartridge retractor mechanism). The hammer, falling block and trigger are case hardened and are now a medium to dark gray patina. The half cock and full cock positions of the hammer do not function which is probably due to the sear being worn down. The screw at the front of the trigger guard is missing. The stock is a half stock pattern and is walnut with a checkered wrist area. The stock has some scratches and dings and still retains most of the original finish. The checkering is a bit worn. On the right side of the stock at the butt is a heavy brass plaque which is shield shaped and measures 1-3/4" X 1-3/4", which is engraved " 1st Place World Champion 1891". The plaque is held in place with 8 small brass brads.
These smoothbore rifles were favorites for shooters to practice with due to their accuracy, which allowed shooters to split playing cards edgewise. The bullet breech would allow a 22 Short, BB Ball Cap, or CB Conical Ball to be inserted and fired. This style of rifle was given many names, such as Business Rifles, Parlor Rifles, Target Rifles, Gallery Rifles, and was sometimes also called a Ladies Rifle.
Annie Oakley probably fired this rifle more times that you could ever imagine. She had stated that to be as good a shot as she was there had to be no end to her practicing and that she shot every day. It has been reported that at one point in her exhibitions at different locations she split 22 playing cards in a row.
Included with this rifle is the book Annie Oakley, by Courtney Riley Cooper, written and published in 1927, which is a very hard book to find and is one of the greatest biographies ever written about her life.
This rifle is a great piece of American history from the most famous shooter of all time. It is a great museum item and whoever ends up with it will have a most cherishable possession.
Condition Very Good Plus. No FFL Required. Due to the high value of this rifle the insurance charges make the shipping seem high.
From the personal collection of Robert E. Johnson (Collector of Western Americana & Celebrity Guns), Hermitage, PA.
Mr. Johnson has supplied a notarized personal Certificate of Authenticity.