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Old August 27, 2000, 07:41 PM   #1
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Join Date: June 14, 2000
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I got a question for all the blackpowder/collector types out there.

I just picked up in trade for website work a couple of antique blackpowder pistols. Both are in pretty shoddy condition, but I've been thinking of trying to restore them. The thing is, I have no idea if this is a "you touch them and you shatter their collector value" kinda thing. Or for that matter, if they even have a collector value, being in such poor condition. Any idea as to whether I should /can try to restore them myself using new parts, find a professional for same, or just leave 'em be and see if a serious collector type would like to take one of 'em off my hands?

Anybody know where I can find more information about these pistols?

Weapons are as follows (Please bear with me if I mess up the nomenclature):

Pistol One: Flintlock, missing hammer. 10" barrel, 16" overall (give or take)
I'm told it's Danish in origin, and has beautiful lines. About the same proportions as the Harper's Ferry pistol, but the stock extends most of the length of the barrel, ending about 1.25" shy of the muzzle. There's a little aiming knob about an inch back from the muzzle, no rear site.

It's smoothbore, +/-.6 cal., no makers mark I can find, Nosecap (made of horn?) is inletted for ramrod, but no inletting in the wood. Brass pommel, trigger guard, serpentine, and medallion under barrel. The medallion has an engraving of some kind of critter -- a big cat, I think. Nice engraving on tang. This one feels so nice, I think I'll keep it regardless.

Pistol Two: Percussion Lock, missing serpentine. 10" barrel, 19.5" overall (give or take)
This thing is friggin' huge -- it literally looks like someone cut down an old musket.
I'm told it's English. Dated "1821" on tang, lock marked A-825 (nipple appears filled in),
Smoothbore, .75 cal. barrel has several overlapping markings. The ones I can make out -
Heavy brass trigger guard, no pommel cap, plain wooden ramrod.
Lockwork appears functional.
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Old August 28, 2000, 11:47 PM   #2
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,160
Hi, Kaylee,

Not really enough info on either one to tell what they are. The latter seems to be military as "Bat" and "C" probably mean Battalion and Company, with 75 as the gun number. It could well be English.


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Old August 28, 2000, 11:59 PM   #3
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Thank Jim!

I figured the one was military, but the more I look at it, the more I think someone really did take an old percussion musket and cut it down. Looks for all the world like an old-timey version of a sawed-off shotgun. Guess 1821 was pre-NFA

As for the other.. someone really mucked it up. Turns out it's missing several pieces to the lock, and I'm not even sure the mainspring is original to the gun -- don't fit quite right, and there's evidence on the inside of a previous botched spring placement. To be honest, I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't a more "modern" replica someone botched and it somehow ended up in an antique store, which is where the fella I got it from picked it up as a kid (1950s?).

Were replicas of the time usually marked?

I guess last question -- given that these are in such sorry condition already -- would I be causing a collector to tear out his hair if I tried restoring 'em by replacing missing parts, etc etc?


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