LIGHT DRAGOON FLINTLOCK PISTOL

$1,650.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1037-90

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

Although similar in some ways to the Pattern 1756 land service pistol used by the light dragoons, this pistol seems to date be a version of the 1794/99 pattern light dragoon pistol with an India pattern lock. The sideplate has the same shape as the earlier pistols and the triggerguard lacks the internal recurve that became universal. The lockplate, too, looks like the extra-flat 1777 pistol lock. That lock, however, did not come into general use until after 1781 and the ring-neck cock is also typical of later pistols.

The lock plate shows heavy pitting and just the last few letters of a maker’s name can be easily made out, which seem to be “…SON” indicating it is a commercial or contract piece. A inspector stamp just forward of that is a crown over “2,” which shows up on some commercial pieces and East India Company weapons, though we do not see the UEIC heart and cross marking or their later rampant lion.

The wood stock matches the lockplate for condition, showing numerous small dings and handling marks. The 000-inch barrel is in considerably better condition, showing smooth metal and bluish-brown tones indicating it was cleaned and re-browned at some point. Interestingly, it shows no sign of view or proof marks at the breach. An “X” over a crown above a “GR” (looking almost like a CR,) however, are stamped on the barrel top just forward of the pan. The brass mounts have a matching mellow patina, though with some light tones to triggerguard and ramrod thimble, which is natural from handling. A brass-tipped wood rammer is place and looks old, though naturally it could be early replacement.

There are several possible origins for this pistol. It is certainly a commercial or contract piece. The form of the triggerguard and absence of border lines on the lock and hammer indicate something perhaps produced for the large numbers of militia cavalry recruited during the Napoleonic wars. The absence of conventional view and proof marks at the barrel breach indicate it might have been headed for a foreign market. It is also known that some pistols ordered by the East India Company were diverted from their contractors to the British government under wartime pressure. Lastly, a number of British pattern muskets, rifles, carbines and pistols were supplied to Britain’s allies, in particular the Portuguese fighting the French. [sr]

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