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Kent S.




Location: Newport Beach, CA
Joined: 28 Jun 2014

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat 28 Jun, 2014 6:06 pm    Post subject: Need Identity of Black Power Pistol         Reply with quote

Hi,

I have an old black powder flintlock pistol in poor condition. I need to Identify the manufacturer and determine its approximate age and value. Its overall length is 6". Please see the attached photo. Photos of the other side, top and bottom are available. Thank you for any help you can provide.

Kent S.



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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 459

PostPosted: Sat 28 Jun, 2014 10:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is an early derringer style pistol, dating probably from 1850-1865. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derringer

Are there any markings at all on the lockplate or the barrel?

It is in pretty rough shape, it looks like the stock has been repaired with filler and wire, and a decorative element under the lockplate has been lost. Although original Philadelphia derringers can command quite a price, the many copies are not particularly valuable.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart


Last edited by Ian Hutchison on Sat 28 Jun, 2014 11:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sat 28 Jun, 2014 10:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In order to find the manufacturer, you would need the original lock plate. The one currently on there is a replacement (albeit an old one), as you can see by the inletting around it which originally held a completely different shaped plate.

Julian
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 459

PostPosted: Sat 28 Jun, 2014 11:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian Reynolds wrote:
In order to find the manufacturer, you would need the original lock plate. The one currently on there is a replacement (albeit an old one), as you can see by the inletting around it which originally held a completely different shaped plate.

Julian


Hi Julian,

That is what I thought originally as well. However, after looking at a few other examples, I think it is merely missing a a decorative element. See:


'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 315

PostPosted: Sat 28 Jun, 2014 11:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm certainly no expert, but at a glance at your picture the lock plate engraving looks very similar to those on Derringer's pistols. If I recall, he did make several models. If you look at the picture shown elsewhere, the maker's details were stamped at the back of the lock plate, UNDER the wire wrapping on your pistol. Admittedly, once Derringer made a name for himself with these lil pistols, there were lots of gunsmiths who made similar looking weapons. Whatever the case, your's looks like it's in poor condition - but IF it's a genuine derringer, I'd imagine it'd still have some value. I'd be seeking an expert opinion in a forum more suited towards muzzle-loading firearms. Could you post the other pics you have ? Top, bottom, reverse side ? Keep us informed ? Happy
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 29 Jun, 2014 4:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chances are that your pistol was made by one of Deringer's (spelled with one r, not two) many imitators. Deringer never patented his pistol designs and other makers copied them freely even including the Deringer name, although always with a slightly different spelling, on the lock plate. One thing that is consistent on original Deringers is the barrel key with an escutcheon, which is missing on your gun. The barrel on yours seems to be held in by a screw on the bottom of the stock which is threaded into the barrel. That makes me think it was not made by Deringer.

I would suggest not removing the wire holding the stock together. The overall condition of your gun lessens its value considerably, as does the missing lock decoration. The wire is part of the history of the gun and, if you do remove it, you could never put it back the same way it was put on.

Interesting pistol, but probably not to a serious collector unless a rare variant of a Deringer.

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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Kent S.




Location: Newport Beach, CA
Joined: 28 Jun 2014

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 29 Jun, 2014 4:43 pm    Post subject: Update with more photos         Reply with quote

Thank you all very much for your info. I have attached the other three photos...and I've included the original photo again. Any additional info you can provide will be very much appreciated.

Kent S.



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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Jun, 2014 6:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the additional photos. After looking them over, I think there is a possibility that you my have, at least, some original Deringer parts in that gun. It could be a restock although if it was then the person who did it went to a lot of trouble to inlet the thumb piece. Further, the restock job did not last very long before a broken grip required it to be held together with the wire wrap. These two factors argue against it being a restock but that is still a possibility. The stamping on top of the barrel could be that of a retailer. Dealers in Deringer pocket pistols did that on a regular basis. However, the short list of retailers that I have does not show one with spelling remotely like what you have on your gun. Of course there were probably hundreds of firms selling these guns over the history of their manufacture.

I just cannot get past the lack of a barrel key and escutcheon which was a main feature of the Deringer pocket pistol.

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




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Jun, 2014 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe I have an answer to your question. This is not an original Deringer made pocket pistol. After posting above I consulted my references again and found a comment that some spurious copies of these pistols were made with the spelling "Deringe" where the Deringer stamp would usually be found, near the breech. The retailers' names and addresses were stamped on the top of the barrel proper. You have a copy rather than a Deringer made piece. That would explain the lack of barrel key and escutcheon which would add to the difficulty of manufacture.

That's it.

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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