1838 DATED U.S. 1836 PATTERN PISTOL BY ASA WATERS WITH PERCUSSION CONVERSION

$1,495.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1000-1016

The Model 1836 pistol was the culmination of decades of experiment, experience, and change. Reilly considered it to be the “finest military flintlock pistol ever produced,” with “trim lines, excellent balance and outstanding workmanship.” Iron-mounted, with swivel ramrod and long sidebar retaining the barrel band, these .54 caliber pistols were meant to be issued in pairs and carried by a dragoon in pommel holsters attached to the saddle.

This pistol is from the second U.S. contract of Asa Waters II, obtained in 1837, for 4,000 pistols. The lockplate is clearly marked forward of the hammer: [Eagle Head] / A WATERS / MILLBURY MS / 1838.” Forward of this is stamped a “T,” one of several different letters noted in this location on Waters’s pistols and thought to be the individual lock maker. The barrel shows a crisp “U.S. / LF / P” inspector’s barrel proof mark on the left breech. There are several small “H” and “F” subinspector’s marks on different parts. Waters had three different contracts for these pistols totaling 23,000, all delivered from late 1837 to 1844, the last 3,000 by his son, after his own death in 1841.

The wood on this pistol is near excellent. The surface and color are very good. It has a tight fit to the metal around the barrel, breechplug tang, backstrap and lockplate and good edges to the lock apron and left side flat, which also shows two very distinct cartouches and just light handling marks. The only fault is a very short crack on the rear edge of the lock apron. The metal is smooth. The barrel shows some bright metal with dark spots near the muzzle mixing with some thin brown toward the breech. The hammer and lock plate show more gray. The lettering is distinct.

The conversion is side-lug or drum-and-bolster. External flintlock parts were removed and holes filled, the pan was ground or filed flush with the lockplate, and the touch-hole then fitted with a cylindrical bolster tapped for a nipple and closed with a cleanout screw. The hammer is a civilian style hammer very common on conversions. The swivel ramrod, useful for loading on horseback, is present, as are both sights. The barrel shows one pressure dimple on the left side, likely from an armorer’s vise during the conversion.

This was the standard pistol for U.S. dragoons from 1836 to about 1845 and many were carried in the holsters of volunteer cavalry during the Mexican War and militia units thereafter. In the 1850s the percussion alterations were usually sent to the various states or done by the states for militia use and not a few of them saw service in the Civil War, particularly in the hands of early war southern cavalry.  [sr]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire.

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