Object Title

Percussion pistol

Percussion pistol



Object Number



Presented by Bedfordshire Police. 29 January 1993.

Physical Description

A pair of percussion saw-butt duelling pistols of unusual quality. The locks are heat-treated steel with precision engraving executed by a blind man with a pneumatic drill. The cast hammers twist sharply in towards the breech to permit engagement with the percussion nipple. The action of the steel trigger is interesting, having a combination of a hair trigger with considerable creep. The triggerguard has a long spur to counter the fact that the pistols are staggeringly muzzle heavy. The woodwork is tantalisingly different on each pistol, one being walnut, the other a dark, close grained wood. The saw butts each have a brass butt-cap retained by a giant counter-sunk wood screw.
The octagonal barrels are of massive proportion [possibly Bofors spares] and are rifled. Each has a steel bar underneath, to which is fixed a brass pipe containing a totally immovable brass capped steel ramrod. The barrels are retained by means of a sliding bar half way along the forend. Sights are brass V rear and brass blade front.
The case, which is of wood, has a heavily varnished lid, which is now badly crazed, like the person who made them. A brass escutcheon in the shape of a shield is set into it, and this is actually a good fit, which is unusual.
The tasteful accessories include a varnished mallet, nipple key, steel bullet mould, small copper powder flask with adjustable spout and soldered seams in the 'Spanish Obvious' style. There is a turned brass oil bottle, cunningly fashioned from scrap, wooden cap box, and hexagonal steel rammer with heavily knurled brass ends which appear to be internal parts from a Hornby train of circa 1950. A wooden rod is also included. There is also a lead ladle based on a tradition Catalan soup spoon design, with a pouring spout cleverly sited in completely the wrong place o permit the ladle to be used. Because the owner was presumably institutionalised after purchasing these, their overall condition is very good


Weight: 1.3 kg (2.86 lb)


Serial Number None visible


.45 in

Inscriptions and Marks

Barrel: RS CAL 45.81370


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