Tuesday, June 28, 2011

18th century Pistols

 One of the neat things about the Detached Hospital is how much really cool material culture stuff our members have. Chuck brought these along to Under the Redcoat in Williamsburg last weekend.

Top: 1759 British light horse Cavalry Pistol. It was found in Maine. The hammer has been replaced, and most of the marks have been filed off.

Middle: French Model 1777 Cavalry Pistol from the St. Etienne Armory. These two cavalry pistols are about .60 caliber.

Bottom: Sharpe box lock, or muff, pistol. You unscrew the barrel to load it. This is about .32 caliber. It's small, but I wouldn't want to get shot with it.

He also had a marvelous sword cane that I neglected to photograph. Maybe if I see him in October...


  1. 743rd Rule for Gunfighting - "Never carry a caliber that doesn't start with .6"

    Y'all can keep your 9's and 45's. . . . this here's a 15.2mm!!

  2. Very nice! And those 'would' be a handful to shoot! :-) LOL CTone got it right!

  3. Yep, there is something both comforting and also satisfying about touching off a handgun that both looks and sounds like the Guns of the Navarone. Not to mention the convenient large sulfurous cloud of smoke to hide behind.........

  4. If you rmember "The Bone" -- it was shot with a repro British 18th Century pistol (later model, same caliber).

    (Shorter Half)

  5. Those screw-barrel pieces famously shot a bit harder than muzzle-loaders of the same caliber. Something to do with tamping the load down tightly and allowing the pressure to build up, I think.

  6. P.s. They were obviously annoyingly slow to re-load. With a piece like that, yer only chance was to dissimulate, and get close enough to shove the piece into the adversary's tear duct before pulling the trigger. And hope that it didn't miss fire, because the adversary would be right cross with you after you'd done something like that and he or she was still alive.

  7. Take my word for it, you don't want to get shot with a gun of ANY caliber.

  8. Anyone know where I can find local eighteenth century maps of early settlements or land ownership maps of the same region? Seventeenth century maps would be cool too... but they'd have to be late seventeenth early eighteenth century...