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Old December 9, 2011, 04:21 PM   #1
sailor tom
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Need Help With Smooth-bore pistol

I have a smooth-bore pistol handed down through my family from Virginia, and before that, from England.

Simple, but elegant with some engraving on lock, hammer and trigger guard. Percussion cap lock still works.

"J. Bishop" is engraved on the lock. "London" is engraved or stamped on top of barrel. Barrel is octaginal about 8.5"long. Parts are carbon steel. No brass except tip of ramrod. Ramrod is tapered wood, with brass end for "ramming" and metal screw other end for cleaning. The grip has very nice "diamond pattern" etching. The gun has not been used much, because this etching is not worn.

Any help identifying the gun, maker, dates, etc. would be greatly appreciated. I know next to nothing about antique guns.
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Old December 9, 2011, 04:57 PM   #2
SDC
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Gardner's "Small Arms Makers" shows a J. Bishop active in London during the 1840s, but no further info; got any pictures?
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Old December 9, 2011, 05:02 PM   #3
CWKahrFan
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SEARCH is my friend... Here's a couple links that might help a little:

http://www.collectorebooks.com/gregg...y/Lot-3060.htm

http://americansocietyofarmscollectors.org/
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Old December 10, 2011, 03:57 PM   #4
sailor tom
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Thank you both for your help. I will post some photos soon.

CWK,

The photos of the "Kentucky Flintlock" you linked look remarkably like my pistol, with some exceptions (percussion cap v. flintlock). Both are engraved "J. Bishop" on the lock, and both have very similar decorative engraving on lock and trigger guard.

The linked article does not explain why or how they think that pistol is "Kentucky". Mine has "London" on the barrel, but I suppose the barrel and/or lock could have been made in England and shipped to America.
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Old December 10, 2011, 04:25 PM   #5
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"Kentucky" is used as a common description of a "style" of firearm, rather than an indicator of where it was made (usually long-barreled, with full tiger-striped wood, etc.). If you can get some pictures (especially close-ups of the lock) it might be possible to tell if your pistol was originally built as a percussion pistol, or if it was converted from a flintlock pistol (which was common after the more-reliable percussion system began to spread).
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Old December 10, 2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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I'm wondering if you're connected with this post on another forum... (Isn't SEARCH a hoot?!)... Seems maybe closer to what you're describing though the barrel isn't 8.5" long... Anyhow, seems that your gun may be worth some real $ (besides it's obvious historical significance) judging from the price on the first link above.

http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?p=828533
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Last edited by CWKahrFan; December 10, 2011 at 05:11 PM.
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