View Full Version : Japanese matchlock long pistol?

March 22, 2008, 08:38 PM
I have some pictures of the matchlock,hope these will help. It took awhile to figure out how to make them small enough to get on this forum.hope this will help you.So you can provide any info or thoughts you might have on this item.

The Canuck
March 22, 2008, 10:27 PM
Those were actually the mainstay of Japanese firearms. They are more like a musket with a pistol grip, actually. Often preferred by the warrior class and first introduced in a matchlock musket form by the Portuguese around 1543. The example you show here looks to be the refined form of the Japanese gunsmiths from around the mid to later 18th Century from what I can tell. Some anomolies are as follows. The barrel appears to be 17" long as opposed to the more traditional 40"bbl "average" length found on such firearms. Also the mainspring appears to be internal on your example, which while not unheard of, is not that common from what little (VERY little) I know of Japanese firearms of the era...

May 17, 2011, 10:29 AM
Dont knwo much about it, just was aquired in Japan during WWII, has a pistol grip, with long barrel, looks like a puccussion cap, was told that it may have been converted frmo a match lock, may be 1700 or 1800 have photos

James K
May 17, 2011, 02:14 PM
Hi, gilj,

I know nearly nothing about early Japanese firearms, but yours is much too nice to have been made in the matchlock period even though it lasted longer in Japan than elsewhere. I think it is a modern reproduction; I do know those have been sold in Japan to collectors who cannot afford the originals.


May 17, 2011, 04:36 PM
Thank you for the info, my father aquired the firearm during occupation of japan in 1945, unsure if it is a reproduction, however the wear on the barrel and wear on the metal, had led me to think it was much older. I could not find any other markings or features, but the bevel near the area where a cap is placed is beveled far too much, which led me to believe the gun started out as a match lock, It is in great shape for a firearm which may have come from an earler period, Do you have any suggestions as to who or where I can obtain more information on it. Thanks again for all your help. LIke you, I wish I knew more about it and more about how or from which area the gun came from. But, My father passed in 03, and did not get a chance to inquire.

Jim Watson
May 17, 2011, 05:16 PM
At the bottom of the page there is a small picture of a Japanese matchlock converted to percussion.

Then go through the variety of styles shown to try to find the area where it was made.