CIVIL WAR ERA PERCUSSION BOOT PISTOL

$250.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 490-2168

These single shot percussion pistols were made by a variety gunmakers and generally date 1850 to 1860. Generally called “boot pistols,” they could not compete with a Colt revolver, but they were simple and fairly robust weapons that could be carried in a belt holster, pocket, or even a boot top for quick access in a mining town. An inexpensive purchase for personal defense, they show up in some daguerreotypes of gold-seekers heading west.

This one has a serial number “66,” but is otherwise unmarked. The barrel is round and joins a cylindrical frame with center-hung hammer. The triggerguard is oval, and looks a little out of proportion, but the pistol itself is small and was meant to be easily carried. The grips are bag-shaped and in good condition, though with handling dings and a small dimple on the lower left. The metal is gray, with scattered pitting to the iron frame, but some bright metal showing on the barrel.

These were sometimes given by well-intentioned relatives to new recruits heading off to war in 1861 and have been excavated in Civil War camps where they were lost, discarded, or confiscated by officers concerned with careless behavior, and maybe poor adaptation to army discipline.  [sr]

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