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SUBJECT: Forehand Arms Co. guns

Submitted by Barbara Hopper ( from TEXAS on


I found among my father's things a cigar box with 2 handguns in it. Both are made by the Forehand Arms Co.
One has a hammer and has the following engraved above the cylinder - "Forehand Arms Co., Worcester, Mass." and "Double Action, Patd. (a date I can't make out) 1891." The following #'s are engraved into the butt of the handle - 120337. The handles are quite fancy and look like plastic, but did they make plastic then?? They have F&W inscribed in the detail.

The other gun is hammerless! When opened it has an ejector that must pull the cartridges out of the cylinder. It says "Forehand Model 1901" and below that it reads, "Hopkins and Allen Arms Co., Norwich Ct. USA" The number 6754 is stamped into the butt. It has the same F&W on the fancy handle - same kind of material, scolling and hatching as the other gun.

I would love to know something about these, as I never
remember my father ever showing them to me.


  1. Bill Davis ( from MICHIGAN says Forehand Arms
    Forehand and Wadsworth began in 1871, became Forehand Arms in 1890 and was bought by Hopkins ^ ALLEN IN 1902. Both were makers of low cost guns and thus current values are modest with the exception of 2 single action models by F & W in the 1870sand some single actions by H & A about the same time. The one pistol sounds like the "Perfection " model made 1898-1902 the other I can't tell as they made guns under a number of model names but the same pistol

  2. Verona Madara ( from FLORIDA says Pistol
    Dear Sir; I am curious about a Hand Gun , from your co. On top of the barrel it had the Co, name Worc, Mass under that it says Pat'd Dec.7/86 & Jan.11 87 On bottom oh pearl handel it has a Serial No.5223 would it be possible for you to tell me How old this gun is. The body of it is all scroll work is there any Value , any Info appreciated Thank you .................. V.M

  3. Ernest Norie ( from TEXAS says forehand & wadsworth .41 cal. rimfire pistol
    I was wondering if anyone can tell me about this handgun. I can not find a serial number but on the top of the gun is "SWAMP ANGEL". On the side is forehand & wadsworth and massachusetts. i assume it is prior to 1890 but that is all i got. any help would be appreciated. tks

  4. Norm Thompson ( from CALIFORNIA says Inherited Pistol
    I also ha a pistol that has "Forehand Arms Co Worcester,Mass. USA Patd Dec 7 '86 & Jany 11 '87. If you could tell me the year. Its in VERY good condition. Also if there is a value for ins. Its been in the family I believe since early 1900's.

  5. Scott Hardy ( from NORTH CAROLINA says Fourhand Shotgun
    I am interested in knowing the approximate year and value of a Fourhand 12 gage single shot right side hammer shotgun, serial number-45025. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Ron Stilabower ( from ILLINOIS says Forehand pistal
    I have a forehand model 1901 hopkins & allen arms co Norwich Ct USA 38 pistol but grips have f&w on them instead of the normal h&a. super condition and I can't find picture or value anywhere.

  7. dave checchia ( from PENNSYLVANIA says found shot gun
    hey hope some can help recently came across a single shot shot gun made by forehand arms co. in 1898 was just wondering if their still around and if this is worth anything

  8. Jamie ( from MISSOURI says Forehand Arms shotgun
    I recently got a rifle and a shotgun from my grandfather who just passed. I know a little about the rifle but not much on the shotgun. It is a single shot 12ga with a squirrel on the but of the gun inside a circle. On the top of the barrel there is stamped Fine decarbonized steel. On the left side of the frame is stamped Forehand Arms Co. Worchester, Mass. Patented Feby 4,1898. It is in decent shape and I'm wondering how old it is and how much it might be worth? Thank You.

  9. Joei ( from WISCONSIN says Double Action 32
    Trying for find out what a hand pistol is worth. It is from forehand arms, co. Worester Mass. July 24, 1877, double action 32. This number was also on it. 23307 Please let me know any information that you have about this gun.

  10. Pat romano ( from NORTH CAROLINA says Answer to #4 i have same question
    Where are your answers?

  11. Barbara Prestridge ( from NEW MEXICO says Forhand Arms 38 sp. patented dec 7, 1886
    Sirs, I am interested in any info you can give me about a revolver made by forehand Arms, Worcester, Ma. and patented in Dec 7, 1886 or Jan 11, 1887. This revolver uses 38 special ammo and "breaks" in half to load or unload. On the grips is printed H & A and it uses 38 S & W rounds. Thanks for any info you can give me. Barb Prestridge

  12. Allen ( from WEST VIRGINIA says forehand hopkin$ allen 20gag single shot
    need to know about gun history and value

  13. Ed Guffey ( from TENNESSEE says Age of a shotgun
    My grandfather gave me an old 16 gauge shotgun Serial Number 19636. It has the name Forehand and Hopkins Allen. I would like to know the year it was made. It still holds a good pattern. Ed

  14. Doris ( from ILLINOIS says Need to know. guns history.
    Dear sir I have a gun that was handed down to me by my father.It was my great grandfathers Emil Klasserts.Grandpa Klassert owned a saloon called the four aces in east peoria Ill.This pistol is A Forhand&wadsworth crome with f&h on it above a black star the handle cover is plastic. it was made in nov of 1887 and the sieral number is 13544.I was wondering if its posable to find the history on this gun.My fathes borther and sisters all want this gun.I had it apperaised by four of the top leading appeasers for insurance resons but the gun is only worth between 16 to 25 dollars. so the only thing left is history.Is to why my fathers family would all want this gun.How can you find out where a gun was origanaly sold and how maney owner where there.and who they where,any help is greatly apperciated.Doris in Ill.

  15. Rick Thomson ( from MISSOURI says F & W .38 cal Revolver
    I have a F&W .38 cal 5 shot hammerless, breakdown revolver. I have had it for 35 years and it has been in the family since it was new or near new (around 110-120 years.) Engraving on the barrel says - FOREHAND ARMS CO WORCESTER MASS USA PAT'D DEC. 7, 86 & JAN 11, 87. Serial number is 102877. It has black plastic grips with a police shield w/stars and the letters F&W. It appears to be in good working order but much of the finish is worn off. From what I have read this is what is known as a "Saturday Night Special" and is not made of top alloy metal or very valuable. I don't really plan to shoot it, rather keep it as a family heirloom. My questions are: 1. On average, how valuable isn't it? 2. Is it safe to fire or should I have it inspected before firing? 3. Is it worth refinishing or would refinishing diminish the value?

    Thanks for the help?

  16. Sheila Davis ( from CONNECTICUT says Trying to find value for a Single Shot, shotgun
    A friend of mine's mother just passed and among her things was an old shotgun. All I have is the following information and I am trying to see if the gun has any value. The information I have is that: it is a single shot shotgun and on it it says "Forehand", Hopkins and Allen Arms Co., Norwich Connecticut USA. There is a number: 14 91 81 and it has a squirrel on the butt bottom. Is this gun of any value? If so, how do I find out? My friend would like to sell it.

  17. frankbrown ( from ALABAMA says revolver top break
    i would like to buy a hammerless .38 revolver top break. thank you frank brown

  18. Ray Maples ( from NORTH CAROLINA says Double Barrel
    I have a double barrel shotgun manufactured by Forehand Arms Co. of Worcester, Mass. Patd.May 18'9 The serial number 9068 is stamped on the receiver,forehand and barrels. This shotgun has demascus barrels and the hammers on the sides. I would like to know how rare it is and the value of it.

  19. tonyc62 ( from ILLINOIS says value of gun
    I have a Forehand Arms pistol, 38 cal. 5 shot, which was my grandfathers. I would guess he got it in the 20's. Wondering it's worth


  20. Seth ( from UTAH says history of gun
    I was hoping to get some information on my great-grandfather's gun. It is a Forehand Arms Co Worcester, Mass. patened FEBY4.1898 with 12 gauge (I think). It says fine decarbonized steel on top of barrel. 107547 Serial Number. Thank you.

  21. angel ( from WEST VIRGINIA says 12gag single shot with the side hamer.
    i got the guns a few days a go. i wanted it for years becouse i never seen one before like it with the sideways hamer. i need to now what year it was an how much it was worth. the one person i took it to has never seen it before an could not tell me anything. the patentend date was Aug. 16,81. it has forehand arms co. an worcestfma on it. any info you could give me would be helpful. this is not for sale!!! thank you for your time.

  22. Timothy Houser ( from INDIANA says Forehands
    I came acroos a top-break .32 5 shot revolver. can anyone help me and tell me anything about this?

  23. george ( from MAINE says 10 gauge shotgun with a 18 inch barrell
    did they make a shot gun with a 18 inch barrell or did some one cut it down its a pattened aug.16, 81 with 4 letters for a ceirel number

  24. Virgil ( from ARIZONA says Single shot 12 gauge
    I senoir citizen friend just bought a 12 guage single shot shotgun. I was wondering where I can go and look up the gun and value for him? It is a Forehand Arms co. Worchester, Mass Pat. February 4 1896

    The #15237 was on the gun in 2 different places.

    Thanks, Virgil

  25. Ronnie Oakes ( from ALABAMA says Forehand Arms Co
    I have a Forehand Arms Co double barrel shotgun with 30 inch barrels. Serial number is 166. We cannot find much information about it. Could you tell us anything and what it might be worth. The gun is in good shape and works.

    Thank you,

    Ronnie Oakes


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