Author Topic: WILLT flintlock?  (Read 471 times)

Offline Bigmon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 635
WILLT flintlock?
« on: January 02, 2019, 08:00:33 PM »
Was a an auction yesterday and there was a flintlock pistol there that they advertised as a British Navy pistol?
It was in pretty rough condition but the lock was marked with what appeared to be "WILLT  or  WILLTS" ?  It was hard to see it.
The all round barrel had a few marks, one appeared to be the Broad Arrow?
But the gun otherwise looked like it might have been an amature (like me) restock.
The lock had a good look though.  Just wondering if anyone is familiar with that name?

Also, a "P.W. & M. E. Cravener" rifle went for $3400.00,  which seems more reasonable to a similar one a cpl years ago that went for around 14K!
I should have taken a few photos.  But there are some at if interested.

Offline Rambling Historian

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 497
Re: WILLT flintlock?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2019, 10:12:14 PM »
Wasn't Willits was a mid-18th century gunmaker and Royal Ordnance contractor? I know that name is used on some reproductions of early Brown Bess muskets.
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. -John Adams

*All opinions expressed are mine alone and are not meant to represent any other entity unless otherwise clearly stated.*

Offline 120RIR

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
Re: WILLT flintlock?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2019, 10:50:29 PM »
Yep...Willits was indeed a contractor.  I don't recall when the shop was in operation but I know the name is relatively common on 1740s-period long land pattern Brown Bess muskets.

Offline redheart

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 312
Re: WILLT flintlock?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2019, 12:16:41 AM »
 Willets was in operation in Birmingham England from the 1770's thru 1831. They contracted for 200 rifles from British ordnance in 1776 and 1'194 weapons for the American Indians who were supporting the English in the war of 1812. They also offered 500 pairs of pistols to ordnance in 1810. So apparently Benjamin Willets made Muskets, Cheif's Guns and pistols. I don't know about Brown Bess production but I guess 120RIR and the Rambling Historian have seen them.  :)