PDA

View Full Version : Pistol Identity?


PKAY
September 13, 2002, 12:34 PM
A friend has a display in his home with a lot of nick nacks he has picked up on his travels around the country and the world. One item in the display caught my attention. It is a percussion cap pistol of Derringer size (maybe a little larger) with what appears to be a birds head grip. The material it is made of appears to be brass. The barrel is not rifled. It is smooth bore with a thickened diameter at the muzzle (similar to old cannon configurations). There is a proof mark composed of an oval with what looks like a crown and the letter "G" with another letter I can't make out.

Any idea of this pistol's origin, make, value? See attached jpeg. Another one to follow.

Thanks

PKAY
September 13, 2002, 12:36 PM
Here's another view.

James K
September 13, 2002, 08:20 PM
If the proofmark is an oval under a crown, with the letter "E" over "L G" and a star in the oval, the pistol was made in Belgium, like tons of similar pistols. I have no way of knowing the maker, but maybe someone will.

Jim

PKAY
September 14, 2002, 11:38 AM
Thanks, Jim. The proof mark you describe is it. I take it this pistol is not rare or valuable from your point of view. Is that a correct assessment?

Crimper-D
September 14, 2002, 05:06 PM
There's a near twin in an antique store around here, a Belgique copy of an English "Cannon Barrel" pocket pistol. There were thousands of these things made and sold worldwide in the 19th Century. An attractive wallhanger, but I wouldn't use it as anything but a cap pistol.
Oh yea, check to see if the barrel unscrews, there were 'screw barrel ' pistols made that looked like this too...they were breechloaders, and the 'magnums' of that time.

PKAY
September 14, 2002, 05:27 PM
Thanks for the info, Crimper-D. No, the barrel doesn't unscrew (at least I don't think so). The gun and I are in separate locales. You're right about not firing it or trying to! While the cocking mechanism works, the trigger releases at about .25 lb.! I can see it now, "All guns are always loaded all the time. Never point the muzzle at anything you are unwilling to de...BLAM!! No thanks. It was a wall hanger before I ever saw it.

James K
September 14, 2002, 07:59 PM
Hi, PKAY,

You are correct. Those pistols have very little value except as novelties or decorations. I have seen them sell for between $50 and $100 just because of age and shiny brass.

BTW, with ALL muzzle loaders, check to make sure there is not a load in the barrel. Those pistols were often left loaded so the user had only to put a cap on the nipple before putting it in his pocket. (This goes double for shotguns; they were often left loaded by the farmhouse door so only capping was needed if noise from the henhouse indicated the presence of Mr. Fox.)

Jim

PKAY
September 14, 2002, 09:05 PM
Jim-Good advice!! I will tell the owner. My examination of the barrel showed lotsa powder residue, never cleaned. He is not a "gun guy" if you know what I mean. He wouldn't know the difference between a percussion cap and a thimble. No guns or percussion caps in his house. Next time I go there I will check the barrel on a bench and rap it a few times to dislodge any material that may be in there.