Gun - Dragoon Pattern Military Flintlock Pistol

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Date:1800

Description:Light Dragoon pattern, flintlock military pistol, c.1800.

This pistol is characterized by the 'short-eared' brass butt cap, and brass furniture, including the 'flattened S' shaped sideplate on the left side of the stock as well as the nine inch barrel of 17 bore, no fore-end cap and a wooden ramrod with a brass tip.

It is a late pattern pistol, modified from the earlier style, by the use of a flat lockplate and a flat, ring-necked cock. It immediately preceded the New Land Pattern pistol introduced in 1805 and shared some design characteristics with the latter.

This specimen is interesting, because although conforming to government pattern, it bears, on the barrel, the private proof marks of the gunmaker's company (The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers- the traditional Guild of the London gun trade). Although the lock is of standard military pattern and bears the Royal crown superimposed over 'GR', it is not stamped with the tower mark on the tale of the lockplate, nor the inspector's mark which should be stamped below the flashpan. The walnut stock does not bear the 'BO' over a broad arrow mark (Board of Ordnance), nor any storekeeper's marks.

Together with the private proof marks, all of the above indicates that the pistol was never government issue and was purchased privately for military use, perhaps by a junior officer or possibly a member of the militia or fencibles or more likely for private security guards, watchmen, coachmen bank-guards or the crew of a merchant ship. Coincidentally the finial of the frizzen spring is pointed like the Sea Service pattern, instead of rounded like the Land Pattern. Under the wartime conditions many large contractors sub-contracted work to smaller lower quality makers and at the time, large numbers of cheaply made weapons were rejected by the tower inspectors and were subsequently sold on the open market. This pistol is probably one of these. The pistol is complete and in working order and the ramrod is almost certainly original.


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Donor ref: LEAMG : M4012.1993 (71/21795)

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