BRITISH 1756/81 LAND SERVICE, CAVALRY, PISTOL

$6,975.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 401-44

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In response to the need to arm loyalist cavalry units in the southern campaigns of the American Revolution, British Ordnance began setting up older 1756 pattern dragoon pistols about 1781, producing this composite pattern, which then saw use well into the 1790s. It differs from the pure 1756 pattern in its simplified stock carving and in the use of the 1777 land service pistol lock for the most part, though some of the very earliest of the reissued pattern seem to have used locks that were on hand. In this case, the lock is the 1777 pattern, showing two screws, but the hammer has the wide pillar of the 1756 pattern. (See Dewitt Bailey, Pattern Dates, and also Small Arms of the British Forces in America for details.)

The brass furniture is to pattern. The butt cap has a rounded, stepped bottom with central screw, and long side spurs. The side plate is the correct, long convex serpentine form with two screws, and the thumbpiece (escutcheon) is in place on the wrist. The triggerguard with long convex tang and acorn finial is in place as well. The brass tipped ramrod (likely a replacement) is retained by a brass thimble and entry pipe. The mounts have a good fit to the wood. The last couple of inches of the forestock have been replaced: from the muzzle back to the midpoint of the thimble. The splice can be detected, but the wood is well matched. An old narrow crack on the underside of the stock from the triggerguard finial to the forward edge of the lock apron seems stable.

The lock and hammer show pitting overall, but the engraved border lines and most of the lock engraving is readily visible. Behind the hammer TOWER is light on the right, but legible. Forward of the hammer the crown and GR are visible, as is the horizontal broad arrow and crown under the pan. Hammer, lock, pan, and screws match in condition. The barrel shows somewhat better, with scattered shallow pitting, but cleaned to bright and with distinct view and proof marks centrally placed on top near the breech, and another mark, somewhat indistinct on the right, above the frizzen screw. The touch hole is good, slightly irregular, but not burned out. The wood shows a slight shrinkage gap along the breechplug tang, but is generally a good fit with nice color and just a few handling marks. There is a small set of initials, IH, at the rear of the side flat.

This is a very good example of a recognized British Ordnance dragoon pistol variation with Revolutionary War associations. [sr] [ph:L]

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