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Michael Romagnoli




Location: Delaware
Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat 26 Dec, 2009 1:42 pm    Post subject: Need Help to Identify Flintlock Pistol         Reply with quote

Hope someone here can help - I have what I think is called a "Boot Pistol." I've had it for some time, and wanted to know if I could get some information on it (manufacturer, country of origin, age, possible value range).

I attached two photos. A side view and a top view.

The top view shows the following markings:


2gr NGP*M /71 (the * is a star that is between the P and M)

6gr BI. (after the B, it could be a capital i or a lowercase L, then a period)


On one side, there is a symbol marked with a U below it, then the numbers 10849, and then the same symbol below them.

Any info or help would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Mike



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Zach Gordon




Location: Vermont. USA
Joined: 07 Oct 2008

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PostPosted: Sat 26 Dec, 2009 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,
I don't know enough to identify it, but I can tell you this, it's not a flintlock. It is called a Percussion Lock, I think they started being used around 1830ish, so it is prolly sometime around there.
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Michael Romagnoli




Location: Delaware
Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat 26 Dec, 2009 3:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Zach Gordon wrote:
Hi,
I don't know enough to identify it, but I can tell you this, it's not a flintlock. It is called a Percussion Lock, I think they started being used around 1830ish, so it is prolly sometime around there.


Interesting. I guess it did not occur to me that there wouldn't be a place for a piece of flint.....thank you for that information!

Anyone know anything else? Or have ideas where to research this piece? I've done a good bit of searching on Google to no avail.
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Nate C.




Location: Palo Alto, CA
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Dec, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Did you look here or W24 here? Any dimensions available (Length, Caliber)?

Cheers,

Nate C.

Sapere Aude
"If you are going to kill the man, at least give him a decent salute." - A. Blansitt

If they ever come up with a Swashbuckling School, I think one of the courses should be Laughing, then Jumping Off Something. --Jack Handy
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Michael Romagnoli




Location: Delaware
Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat 26 Dec, 2009 9:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nate C. wrote:
Did you look here or W24 here? Any dimensions available (Length, Caliber)?


Sorry, forgot to put that information. Overall, it is 8 inches in length. The barrel is 3 1/8" in length. I don't know what to say about the caliber.

As you might be able to tell, it looks similar to some of the ones in the first link. Not too much like anything I see in the second link. Thank you for the links, they are very interesting. Based on what I saw before I posted, I thought that it was Civil War, or something from just before the Civil War.

I can tell you that mine seems to be in perfect working order. The hammer is in the center of the pistol. Underneath the barrel is marked as "70" with an additional "70" right in back of that one, just in front of the trigger guard.

Honestly, for years I thought it was a toy or replica. Used to "fire" it off playing around. Then a few years ago someone more familiar with guns told me it was indeed real.
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Michael Romagnoli




Location: Delaware
Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat 26 Dec, 2009 9:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nate C. wrote:
Did you look here or W24 here? Any dimensions available (Length, Caliber)?


I should apologize - I didn't look at W24 close enough; it is *very* similar to that one!
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Dec, 2009 1:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Boot pistol" or "Travelling pistol", these were usually sold in pairs for self defence on the roads and were preferred as hideout weapons. Smaller pistol had hidden trigger and was regarded as a lady's weapon or "Muff pistol". Use was for point blank shooting, up to 3 meters, because of the short barrel, small caliber and the central hammer blocking the aiming field but enabling the pistol narrow construction. Check the muzzle for crowning, this type with its octagonal barrel used to have threaded, turn-off barrel, for ease of loading. working period was from appr. 1830 as said here before, to the 1870's (in remote areas even later).
Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Gordon Frye




Location: Kingston, Washington
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Dec, 2009 10:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks to me as though it is what is commonly referred to as a "Turn-Off" pistol, in this case a percussion version. The joint seam between the barrel and the frame is where the barrel seats, there being a threaded portion of the breech is inserted into the barrel. This is also the chamber, an contains the powder and ball for the charge. You might check to see if it is rifled or not, as they sometimes are (though on cheap one's such as this they usually aren't).

I'm not sure of the proof marks, but I'd say off hand that they're from Liege, where tons of inexpensive firearms were produced from the mid-18th Century onwards, and it remains a major producer of firearms (Fabrique National is located there). As stated above, it could be from anywhere from 1830 to 1870, perhaps even later as they were very cheap to produce, and had worldwide markets.

Whatever, it's a nice example of what was a very popular "hideout" gun of the 19th Century, and a good piece to have in one's collection. I don't think I'd risk shooting it though, as it may well have some rust pits that are inaccessable to the eye which could prove dangerous.

Cheers!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
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Don Stanko




Location: ohio
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Dec, 2009 10:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cool pistol! I've seen them in both steel and brass. This one appears to be a box lock percussion pistol. For their size, they could be pretty large calibre and must have hurt like crazy to shoot! Many of these guns were made in Liege, Belgium (proof marked LEG). I do not believe this one was though, the proof marks dont look familiar. I would agree with the above stated time frame of 1830 to 1870ish. 1850 would be a safe bet.
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Dec, 2009 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess M/71 means it was made in 1871.

M.

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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Dec, 2009 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Our members sure come up with some unusual guns to look at.

The marks on the barrel and frame are proof marks. However, I have a comprehensive list of 19th c. proof marks and I cannot find one that resembles these, which are not real clear in the photos. The only one I found with a "U" involved was a German proof mark, which this resembles, but it dates from the 1950s forward. You may, therefore, have a replica of a 19th century pocket pistol, which is what it resembles, although I am skeptical of that. During the revival of interest in muzzle loaders, which started in the late 1950s, hundreds of different firearms were made by various manufacturers all over the world. I am constantly running into them at gun shows. The Italians, who were leaders in making these guns, always proofed them and stamped the guns with Italian proof marks - and still do. At one time I thought I was familiar with most models that had been duplicated but I continue to encounter new ones all the time. Germany ( I think) did not produce a lot of replicas but they did make some under the "Markwell" brand. I recently encountered a wheel lock pistol made by this company at a show but passed on it as the seller was way too proud of it for my pocketbook.

It does resemble a mid-19th c. box lock pocket or boot pistol. It may have a turn off barrel, as Gordon suggests, but most of those that I have seen had round barrels with a lug underneath, which was designed to allow the fitting of a special wrench to remove the barrel for loading. These guns were made in many varieties by many small, medium and large companies all over Europe and Great Britain. They were also produced in the US. It may be impossible to track down the maker of your piece because many of these companies were only in business for a short time before they ceased production.

Any way, it is an interesting piece. If you could provide a bit more detail in the photos of the proof marks we might be able to determine the country of origin at least.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Mon 28 Dec, 2009 5:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a quote from an earlier post on the subject of a breech loading parlor pistol. I knew I had seen these markings somewhere else.

"The 0,2 gr. N.G.P. M71 means "neues gewehr pulver", suitable for the Model 1871 service rifle. I.e., At that time the slightly more powerfull blackpowder came into use and this pistol is proofed to 0,2 gram (30 grains) of Black Powder. Please note that this is NOT for nitro powder, the M71 was only suited to Black Powder!"

The markings on this pistol indicate that it is from Germany. The proof marks on the pistol from the earlier post are almost identical to those on this pistol.

That answers a lot of questions about the gun.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Dec, 2009 6:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

30 grains is a pretty ample charge for this type of pistol and period, minding that early revolvers were loaded with 25 grains and the later models, chamberd for 40 grains, were considered very powerfull.
Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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