View Full Version : Does anyone make a caplock pistol over .58 cal?

the possum
March 12, 2005, 07:48 PM
I've been searching on and off for a caplock big bore pistol for a long time now. I'd like at least .62 caliber, smooth bore.

I've seen .58 percussion, and .69 flinters, but no percussion over .58.
I've thought about building my own, and still have the piece of seamless tubing laying on my bench. I thought about buying a black powder 20 guage shotgun barrel, and cutting it off to make a pistol.

But to be realistic, I just can't seem to get off my butt and build it. My shop time is rather limited since my daughter was born, and I have a whole bunch of other projects that take priority.

So does anyone make such a gun ready built?

March 13, 2005, 08:09 AM
They're not inexpensive and I don't know offhand of any reproductions but a Howdah pistol will fulfill your requirements.
Doing a net search with "Howdah pistol" yielded quite a few results.

the possum
March 14, 2005, 02:10 PM
Thanks, Fal.
I had thought about that route myself, but as you said, I've been unable to find any repros. I plan to use this (loaded with shot) for hunting small game at close range, and can't afford an origional at this point in my life.

That's actually one of the main reasons I thought about building it myself. I can get a Siler lock for less than $100, other parts that I don't care to make myself for another $30 or so, and then just put in lots of my time. Ah yes, time. Now, I'm finding my time is worth more than I initially planned.

Another thought would be to buy a .58 percussion pistol, and just have a machinist ream the barrel with a 5/8" (.625 dia) cutter. I don't think that would weaken the walls too much, and I could repolish the bore myself. The only real drawback here is that I'd end up putting time, and building memories into a pistol that I really didn't care for in the first place. (I don't like the lines and lock on the .58's I've seen)

March 17, 2005, 10:41 AM
there is an outfit out of India making semi-copies of the circa 1842 Tower/ East India type pistol. It is a smoothbore of about .62 caliber. Availability is spotty and they are supplied with solid fake nipples and no vent drilled into the barrel. According to the importer, they can be modified to shoot but are sold enert like this so they can sell them on such things as ebay.

novus collectus
March 17, 2005, 12:28 PM
The Le Mat was something like .69 caliber in the center barrel. Costs $600 new but you can buy a used for $4-500. Because it has a huge cylinder for nine shots in .44, it weighs enough to handle some of the shotgun recoil. You can order it by mail from some distributers and I think either Fillipieta or Uberti make a copy. Be carefull cutting down a shotgun barrel escpecially if you use the origional frame. Even though it would be a blackpowder item it might be easily converted back by putting a new unaltered barrel on it. Any rifle made cannot be made into a (fixed ammo) pistol but a pistol can be made into a rifle (but not back again) without an AOW tax stamp. The way to avoid this problem is to buy a short shotgun barrel that has never been assembled into a rifle or long barrel slug and to buy or make a new manufactue receiver/frame. There are no federal laws preventing you from making (or making you report that you made it) a rifle, shotgun or pistol as long as it is not a "Shortened" rifle/shotgun, full auto, or doesn't look like a gun (like cane guns or pen guns). Technically (but I have to write the ATF lab for this for certainty) a new manufactur receiver attached to a new manufacture barrel shotgun that is meant to shoot sporting ammunition (12 guage 10 guage etc)can have a barrel shorter than 16" as long as it was meant to be shot with one hand and not the shoulder. Some states dissalow what the feds allow though and if this is correct then Maryland allows this. A little note, make sure you don't use a smoothbore barrel in a fixed ammo pistol. Even if it has super shallow helical grooves for the last 1/4 inch it is no longer a smoothbore.

March 28, 2005, 12:24 AM
Here's a salute gun that will probably salute you if you buy one: