Collectible Antique Handguns
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19071 FLINTLOCK PISTOL- CIRCA 1760-1830- MEDTERANNEAN REGION? - Serial number- none. The .50 caliber barrel is 10 inches long, and overall length is 17 inches. The lack of proofmarks suggests that this is from the Mediterranean region, perhaps Spain, Italy or the Balkans. It is definitely an old gun, a real functional firearm, not one of the ubiquitous “tourist trade” items that range in quality from plausible to comical. Our best estimate is that this dates to circa 1760-1830. The lock features a pan with a bridle, and the frizzen screw entering from the inside of the lock, a gooseneck hammer, and the frizzen hs a squared off top and grooved face. Brass mountings with an iron barrel band at the muzzle, and a false ramrod. The bulbous butt has a heavy brass cap with longets. The grip features some gaudy silver(?) filigree type decorations, part of it broken off, but the part is still with the gun. One section has red stone inlay, perhaps some valuable gem, but more likely not. Much of the grip has very tightly executed silver(?) wire inlay in geometric patterns. Someone polished the brass long ago and sloppy remnants of the polish are in crevices and wood grain making this less attractive than it should be. Rear lock screw is missing and there is a crack in the wood above the sideplate on the left side. Bore is rough, but touch hole is clear. Lock mechanism seem to be okay but hard to test with it wiggling due to the missing lock screw. This sort of gun would have been fashionable in most locals around the Mediterranean, including the Muslim areas of Algiers, Morocco, Egypt and the Levant, home of the Barbary pirates and assorted other riff raff. This gun came out of New England, and perhaps is a souvenir of the actions against the Barbary pirates, or perhaps a trade deal by some seafarer, or maybe just ordered from some gun dealer’s catalog 50 years ago as a decorative item. In any case, it remains a neat decorative gun, a decent representative example of a flintlock pistol of the type used during the American Revolution through the 1830s. It should not be too hard to find or make a functional lock screw and repair the filigree work and clean off the sloppy brass polish residue. Cheap history for only $525.00 (View Picture)
17864 FRENCH/BELGIAN FLINTLOCK MILITARY PISTOL CIRCA 1800-1830 - This has the Belgian ELG in oval proof mark on the .69 caliber smoothbore barrel, eight inches long, along with a small crown over LF on the left flat. There is a poorly struck crown over E on the lockplate, similar to that used by several French arsenals. The basic design is typical of all European military pistols of the period, but has a swivel ring on the butt for a lanyard, and there are no provisions for a ramrod. These features suggest it may have been intended for use as an initial attack weapon with no intention to reload immediately, but follow up with hand to hand combat with a sword or cutlass- such as cavalry, naval use, or even coast guard/customs type groups. Although the precise identification is a bit murky, this is a handsome gun, in excellent condition. The brass butt cap, trigger guard and band have a mellow golden patina. The unsanded stock has a mellow old oiled patina, but there is a missing chip on the left side along the barrel channel. Left flat has an illegible oval cartouche of some sort. The barrel and lock are not rusted or pitted, but do have dried oil and crud and staining mixed with a dull steel gray. This would probably clean up with some steel wool and WD-40. Mechanically good, and in original flint, not a reconversion. Excellent bore. A handsome example of the classic military single shot flintlock pistol, albeit lacking specific identification. ANTIQUE- no FFL needed. $895.00 (View Picture)
FLARE GUNS FOR COLLECTORS: Note that while these were made after 1898, special provisions in federal law exempt them from the normal post-1898 handgun FFL procedures, and they can be ordered just like an antique firearm, without need for a FFL so we are listing them here:
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**NEW ADDITION** 21712 FLARE GUNS & SIGNAL PISTOLS: THEIR USE, DESCRIPTION AND ACCESSORIES - By Robert M. Gaynor, 178 pages 8.5” x 11” soft covers.
This book is the best single reference on this subject for collectors today. In fact, except for brief passage in obscure manuals, or discussion of a gun or two the scope of a more general work there is nothing conveniently available on this subject. Given the number of people who collect flare guns it is amazing that there is not more written on the subject. At this point, flare guns are still mostly modestly priced, and remain an attractive collecting field with few regulations and a good variety of items.
Some 96 different Flare or Signal pistols are covered, with dimensions and some historical background and information on maker and the intended use. This is on the same page as a good sketch of the item. There is not much information on total numbers made or other indication of relative rarity, but it is a good starting point for further research. The drawing allow you easily identify your gun with the one in the book. There is a drawing and info for each of 37 U.S. flare and signal guns, ranging from Civil War Army and Navy models up to late 20th century commercial products. He also covers 11 British or Canadian designs, 9 French, 17 German, 4 Italian, 3 Japanese, 6 Russian/Eastern European designs, and 9 from other countries.
Besides the guns Gaynor covers 29 holster or carrying kits, and 19 different types of cartridges, along with a 10 page table with more detailed info on cartridges. An excellent bibliography and good index complete this book.
This is a very useful and accurately researched book on this specialized topic, which we use every time we encounter any flare or signal gun, and one that anyone interested in Flare or Signal guns needs in their library. $25.00 (View Picture)
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