View Full Version : Thoughts on a Revolutionary War dragoon pistol

4V50 Gary
May 10, 2007, 10:24 PM
I examined a dragoon pistol today (sorry, no pics) in a public collection. If you look at the upper image on page 184 of Harold Peterson's Arms and Armor in Colonial America, the pistol generally follows those lines.

However, there's no crown on the lockplate. Instead, the maker, T. Rea, is stamped where the crown would be (beneath the pan). The lock is also stamped 1778 behind the cock. No bordering was engraved on the lock plate. Instead of the swan neck cock depicted in Peterson's photo, it has a ring cock like a French Charleville. Perhaps it's a replacement? There's a gap in the stock near the bottom of the lockplate and one part seems rather sharp. It may be poor inletting, shrinkage, damage or a combination of the three.

The British Dragoon pistol's triggerguard had a finial in front of the guard itself. On the one I examined, it appears that where the finial was, it was filed or ground smooth. I suspect that there was a trigger plate on the British Dragoon, but on the one I examined a nut was clearly visible and it was inletted in front of the trigger.

Triggers on the British Dragoon were peened over slightly to give it a graceful curve, but on the model I examined it was straight.

The gun is missing its ramrod and a section of the stock near the muzzle has been patched once. The barrel has four stampings on it near the tang. The stampings are lined up and because of the protective laquer (or varnish) coating, its hard to see. What I can make out of the first & last one is that they both have a crown on the top followed buy a fuzzy spot with a diagonal cross on the bottom.

I checked out T. Rea in Howard Blackmore's book, Gunsmiths of London 1380-1850. Thomas Rea apprenticed to his father John in 1778. It struck me as odd that an apprentice's name would appear on a lock.

The sideplate has been engraved, but I'm having trouble reading the script. It appears to read, "Lavon Mvon Vuicon" but I'll have to try to photograph and enlarge it to make better sense of it.


4V50 Gary
May 10, 2007, 11:09 PM
BTW, there are no British Broad Arrow acceptance marks on the pistol.