Object Title

Flintlock pistol

Flintlock pistol

Date

1800

Object Number

XXVIF.170

Physical Description

Full stocked in a dark hardwood with a slight overall grain and little figure. The stock still shows traces of tool marks. The grip is bent sharply downwards and forwards, is chequered and ends in a plain round butt. The furniture, of brass, comprises two ramrod pipes, a small French style triggerguard with an acorn finial and a plain flat sideplate. The triggerguard, and the cock, are engraved with foliage, the former having the acorn as well as the cup cross hatched. There is wood ramrod with a brass ferule at the tip.
Octagonal steel barrel with a moulding at the breech, still showing much original blueing, fitted with a triangular spring bayonet held closed by a catch on the barrel tang. There are no fullers in the faces of the bayonet.
The lock comprises a flat plate, stepped at the tail and lightly engraved there with foliage. The cock is somewhat oversize but engraved like the plate. Large oval pan fitted with a tap action that picks up powder from a small magazine mounted on the lockplate behind the fence. Plain frizzen and frizzen spring. Because of the mechanism, the lock is held into the stock by a conventional side-nail at the front, and a wood screw in front of the cock.
Just in front of the breech is a sliding block, pierced with a vent that emerges on the front face, that can be withdrawn to the left. With this withdrawn, the barrel communicates with a round curved channel that emerges at a hinged trap at the rear of the stock. Under the sideplate, which is fitted with a hinged loading flap, are two cavities separated by a wooden partition in which operates a small sliding gate that protrudes through the bottom of the stock just in front of the trigger guard. A similar sliding bar operates through the side plate and protrudes into the ball reservoir just behind the barrel.

Dimensions

Dimensions: The length of the barrel is 263 mm, it is 22.3 mm across the flats, the overall length of the gun is 380 mm. Weight: The weight to the gun is 1.2 kg.

Calibre

14.2 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

None

Associations

Places India

Notes

The mechanism of the gun is confusing. The breech block has to be slid out of position before loading. A ball is then allowed to fall into the breech by pulling on the side gate. Pulling the bottom gate would then allow powder to flow from the rear powder space into the front space and hence into the breech. Closing the breech would push excess powder out of the breech plate channel. Finally the lock would be cocked and primed before firing. Since there is no mechanism for measuring the powder charge, nor any real means of preventing a flash-back to the magazine, other than the rather loose fitting sliding breech plate, it seems probable that this gun has never really worked as intended. In all probability, this gun has been made as an experimantal model or simply an expensive toy.