Author Topic: Trade Pistol  (Read 4620 times)

Offline JCKelly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1405
Trade Pistol
« on: November 10, 2010, 12:46:14 AM »
I've never seen such a pistol. Have any of you experience with something similar?
  
It is .80 caliber. That is 4/5 of an inch! It would easily carry an 11ga (.76") ball-whatever did someone shoot with it? The frizzen is heavily worn, so whatever he shot/shot at he did it a lot.  It was sold to me as a possibly American assembled trade pistol maybe 1780 or so. The barrel, I believe, was originally made for a pistol and not a cut-down musket barrel. The diameter measured about 3/8" from breech is about 1.2", identical to a light dragoon pistol by Williams, except that pistol is .68 caliber. An India pattern Brown Bess measures about 1.33 inch at the same location. The cast thimble is similar to those on my light dragoon & late sea service English pistols. This stock style, though, is more reminiscent of the French 1763/66, whahtever. This particular human's wrist doesn't bend down enough to aim that .80 caL gun.  I am not aware of .80 cal British military pistols, which just means I am not an expert in that field. The number "360" appears to be something added by a museum, bless 'em.

Online JTR

  • member 2
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3313
Re: Trade Pistol
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 02:16:55 AM »
I've never seen one like it, but I think it's a very cool looking pistol!
And I wouldn't want to shoot it either!
But back in the day, it'd be comforting to have it tucked into your belt on a dark night!
John
John Robbins

Offline whitebear

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 840
Re: Trade Pistol
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2010, 06:37:26 AM »
Even a relatively light powder charge and a load of large shot would be devastating at close range.
In the beginning God...
Georgia - God's vacation spot

Whitedog

  • Guest
Re: Trade Pistol
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2010, 05:53:28 AM »
I think it's quite possible that it's had the rest of the stock that curves down whittled off.

Offline James Rogers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2529
  • James Rogers
    • Fowling Piece
Re: Trade Pistol
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2010, 06:15:03 AM »
That was my first guess as well.

Offline JCKelly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1405
Re: Trade Pistol
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2010, 04:01:22 PM »
A cut-down musket is the normal first guess, but I don't think so. The stock style is similar to the French 1763/66 pistol, like this one from 19thcenturyweapons 

Also the breech diameter is similar (identical) to my British Light Dragoon pistol, and significantly smaller than a Brown Bess musket. I think a musket of this caliber would have to be made with a heavier breech to withstand the load. In a pistol one uses less powder.

Would be good in crowds . . . maybe boarding a ship?  Damnifino.

Offline LynnC

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1740
Re: Trade Pistol
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2010, 08:42:19 PM »
I'm going to make a guess at it.

Based on the lock it could be a French Trade pistol circa 1730 - 60, maybe earlier or maybe just the lock itself?  The lock has a real Tulle look to it.  But that 80 cal. bore - what a man stopper!  I would expect a bore of 60 to 63 cal.
Just a Guess....................Lynn
Regardless of what some may think, We cannot be disarmed of our God Given and Constitutionally protected Rights.

Offline T*O*F

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4318
    • Old Fox Trade Co.
Re: Trade Pistol
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2010, 11:47:16 PM »
I'll ask the obvious question.....did you take the barrel off and look for proof marks?
Dave Kanger

A dedicated person with just a pocketknife can accomplish more than a lazy person with an entire toolbox.

Offline JCKelly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1405
Re: Trade Pistol
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2010, 02:10:06 AM »
I have not disassembled the gun.

There may be the remains of proof marks on the top-left part of the barrel, just forward of breech. But it is so badly rusted they cannot be made out.

Some previous owner carefully painted the iron parts black. So it doesn't look quite so rusted in these photos.

French would be my GUESS as well, unsupported by any evidence to date. Thhere is a photo of an English pistol, I. Lambe, with a lock like this one about 1730, Great British Gunmakers 1540-1740 but it seems to me unreasonable optimism to date my pistol that early.

Offline Collector

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 869
Re: Trade Pistol
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2010, 09:04:16 PM »
The side plate and trigger guard look decidedly "Ketland-ish," matching (with some variation in the trigger guard) the furniture on an original brass barreled Ketland piece. that I have.

As to its use?  I'd speculate that it's just the ticket for vessel boarding and a right handy club after it's fired.  Come to think of it, it looks like it would fit the bill for trolling the waterfront pubs when in need of a conscript or two, three possibly, or more for that matter, for a long voyage in Her/Her Majesty's Navy.

It looks like a 'sap' with a very large bore.  It speaks to, 'you can come quietly, but you're coming none the less.'  Persuasive on either end.  :P