Repeating rifle and shotguns drove a lot of inventors to try new methods which we think of as weird. Sliding pistol grips, fore end which slide like modern types, strikers instead of hammer, top ejecting, side ejecting and bottom ejecting all were tried one time or another. Some were near impossible to get functional and some were real improvements towards a fully functional system. Then there were designs trying to get around existing patents which often were not any improvement but always claimed to be one.
The Roper was a four shot, shotgun. Not capable of rapid shooting, but capable of functioning in poor weather once loaded ad they did work. If the shooter had a leather bag, loaded with a dozen preloaded cartridges he would have a real advantage over any muzzle loader of his day. But in ten years, metallic cartridges were in wide spread use and Roper was left behind in the closet of time.
It occurred to me that the examples of failures lasted longer than the one which worked because they were quickly bypassed for better options and ended up in the closet being forgotten until discovered decades later. I have a soft spot for pump guns and many of the early guns were crude and barely functional, where the better later designs are often in poor condition because they just got used up. I have several Union Arms/Toledo Arm early pump guns, in very nice condition, because of this simple fact. They worked, but were slow, cumbersome, slightly frail and nearly at once surpassed by the Model 10, Model 12 and Model 17 each of which were far superior guns.
Last edited by KY Jon; 12/22/22 11:36 PM.