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72120274

SMALL ARMS
c^

By Frederick Wilkinson

CO

CO
CO
OJ

With 190 photographs

o
o

No one who

has ever admired

the craftsmanship

weapons

will

and lure of

be able to resist

SMALL ARMS.
Containing the complete history
of small firearms; the techniques
of the gunsmith; equipment used

by combatants, sportsmen and


hunters,

SMALL ARMS

is

the

authoritative survey of one of

the most fascinating aspects of


the craft of weaponry.

In addition, it traces the


development of the match-lock,
wheel-lock, flint-lock and percussion lock. The chapters on
collectors and collecting, fakes
and copies, repairs and restoration, and books and collections

make SMALL ARMSa collector's


treasure of both practical
information and sensible advice.

The author includes


I

a gallery of
90 vivid photographs with cap-

tions that are detailed discussions


of the objects displayed.

8298

f continued on bu.kjhip}

en

>:

SMALL ARMS

Jacket

powder

Illustration

Front:

by John Manton
and one of a pair of brass framed,
tap-action pocket pistols by Jackson of Market Harborough. Both
pistol and tester are from the
Rabett collection. Back: Silver
butt cap from a mid-eighteenth
tester

Queen Anne type flintlock pistol by Covers of Dublin


(see plate 75). Frontispiece: See
century,

plates 41

and

42.

'4^

SMALL

ARMS
Frederick

Wilkinson

HAWTHORN
Publishers

BOOKS,

New

York

INC.

(^ Frederick Wilkinson, 196^. Copyright under International and PanAmerican Copyright Conventions. All rights reserved, including the right to
reproduce

this

book, or portions thereof,

in

any form,

except for the

inclusion of brief quotations in a review. All inquiries should be addressed


to

Hawthorn Books,

Inc.,

70 Fifth Avenue,

of Congress Catalogue Card

New York

Number: 66-16162.

First

American Edition, 1966

TO TERESA AND JOANNA

Printed in Great Britain

8298

City

1001

1.

Library

CONTENTS
Introduction

PART

The Story of Small Arms

Techniques of the Gunsmith


Accessories and Extras
4 Collectors and Collecting
^ Fakes and Copies
6 Repairs and Restoration
7 Books and Collections

PART

32

42

70
77

II

The Matchlock
The Wheellock
The Flintlock
The Percussion Lock
Index

5^3

62

86

96
1

200
2^2

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Plate

numbers

are in

bold face

Many
Some

kind friends have helped, directly and indirectly, in the production of this book.
supplied information and others very generously allowed me a free run of their
collections and even allowed me to borrow some of their finest pieces. To all these
friends, especially those whose names appear in the list, I offer my very sincere thanks
and gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness. In addition, both I and the publishers wish
to thank all the following for permission to reproduce photographs:

R.

&

P. Bedford 50; 151, 152, 153, 167, 168, 169.


H. L.

17, 61, 62, 63, 81, 82, 99, 130, 141, 143, 144.

G. E. Bennett 19, 29, 44; 16,


Blackmore 13; 26, 33, 40, 48.

Bubear 30, 56, 57, 126, 127, 128, 129. R. Chapman 50, 51, 52, 53. I. Davies 170, 173.
Durrant 148, 154, 158. Dominion Museum of New Zealand 2, 38, 145, 147, 159, 161,
162. Fairclough (Arms) Ltd., 34, 49, no, 125. D. S. H. Gyngell 23, 76; 7, 12, 20,

F.
S.

21, 23, 24, 25,


80, 83, 84, 85,
38, 139, 140,
104, 134, 13s,

27, 28, 29, 32, 35, 36, 37, 39, 44, 45, 47, 65, 74, 75, 76. 77. 78, 79,
86, 91, 94, 95, 97, 98, loi, 102, 103, 105, io6, 107, 108, 132, 133,
165. G. Kellam 2j; 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 87, 88, 89, 92, 93,
172.

Littler 46, 54. E. Perry 4, 58, 109, 118, 136,


16. H.M. Tower of
Rabett, Front jacket. Smithsonian Institution
London (Crown Copyright) i, 3, 31, 43, iii, ii2, 113, 114, 157, 163. Trustees of
British Museum 40. E. Valentine 13. Victoria and Albert Museum (Crown Copyright)
5, 59, 60. Wallace Collection (reproduced by permission of the Trustees of the Wallace

G. Knowles, Frontispiece; 41, 42. A.


155, 156. Dr. R.

J.

Collection) 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 120, I2i, 122, 123, 124, 171. Westgate Museum,
Canterbury 119. Winchester Gun Museum, Connecticut 117. P. WooUacott 22.

INTRODUCTION
It

may be

asked, with

some apparent

justification,

why anyone

should be encouraged to study or collect antique firearms. It


could be argued that these are lethal weapons designed to kill

and maim and

as

such have no place in a collectors' world; the

only possible reason for such an interest would appear to be a

marked

fascination

whatsoever for

this

with violence. In
charge

when

fact,

levelled

there
against

is

no

basis

confirmed

collectors.
It is usually difficult, if not impossible, for a collector to convey any feeling of his enthusiasm to a non-collector; there is
there is no common ground shared
little or no point of contact
;

by the two

much

sides. In the case

of weapons, however, the gap

smaller than in almost any other

field.

The

is

usual reaction,

immediate and dramatic.


is no difficulty in daydreaming of pirates, high adventure and highwaymen. Few
would deny this immediate, possibly childish reaction, but at
least a response has been evoked.
For the true enthusiast this romantic stage does not last for
long. Soon the collector realises that each weapon has an intrinsic
fascination of its own and the original purpose of the weapon
recedes from his mind. A majority of collectors seldom, if ever,

at least in

When

the male, to an old pistol

is

holding an antique firearm there

Introduction
think of the purpose for which the firearm was clesicrned. This

is

not the dehberate or conscious exclusion of an unpleasant fact,

but rather the realisation that each


appeal quite divorced from

its

weapon

has an aesthetic

lethal purpose. Until the advent

of mechanisation in the mid-nineteenth century, every

weapon

was unique, differing in detail from its apparent twin. A number


of craftsmen and artists lavished their skill and care on the
weapon and produced an object which was both functional and
beautiful. Every form of decorative material was used, ranging
from rich fabrics, precious stones, down the scale to brass wire
and nails. Etching, engraving and inlay were all used to enhance
the appearance of a well-balanced and, for its period, a highly
efficient piece of machinery.
The advent of mechanisation did not mean that all weapons
became identical. Indeed the reverse is nearer the truth, for the
great advances in technology of the nineteenth centurv propagated a flood of gadgets, innovations and patents, greater than
ever before. For the collector there is a rich field in nineteenthcentury weapons.
Whatever the reason, and many are suggested, there can be
no disputing the fact that interest in collecting firearms has
increased tremendously since the end of World War 11. The
greater demand, especially from America, has meant that prices
have risen accordingly. Only the wealthiest of collectors, or
perhaps the luckiest, can hope to add top-quality pieces to their
collection. This is not to say that the enthusiast of modest means
cannot hope to build up an interesting collection - it is not easy
to find low-priced items but there are plenty about and fabulous
finds still occur.

One

could expound at length on the possibilities and pleasures

of collecting small arms, but

in this

book

have preferred to

concentrate on an outline of their fascinating history


to the practical

in addition

demands of collecting and the necessary

dis-

cussion of such ancillary subjects as techniques of gunsmiths and

Introduction
collections open to the enthusiast. Less emphasis has heen put
on the ornate, unusual and expensive and more on the ordinary

weapons. The great majority of photographs are appearing in


print for the first time and are mainly from private collections.
Finally, many lascinatino; hy-ways have reluctantly been Iclt
unexplored in the hope and expectation that the reader will
discover them for himself.

Page lo. This is one of a number of plates from


Military Antiquities by Francis Grose (1786). The
plates were based on a series of illustrations from

Arms by Jacob de Gheyn (1607). The


powder horns for charging and priming can be seen

Exercise at

of match hanging at the


The bullet pouch hangs above the horns.

as well as a spare length


left.

Xi". f?tvJn^Ar 'w^p.'

THE STORY OF SMALL

ARMS
To

the knight,

secure in his fine steel armour,

explosion and the clouds of

smoke

that

first

the

roar of

drifted across the

battlefields of Europe in the early fourteenth century must have


seemed like visitations of the devil. Indeed even the sulphurous
smell seemed to emphasise an infernal connection. The contemporary chroniclers soon began associating the black powder
with the black fiend and emphasising that gunpowder was indeed

an invention of the devil.

Both the Chinese and the Muslims have been credited with
the invention of

gunpowder

at a

very early date, but present-day

research tends to dismiss the previous extravagant claims.


best available evidence seems to suggest that the Chinese

the

first

The
were

to discover the incendiary qualities of a mixture of

some time during the eleventh


no reason to suppose that the Chinese used

charcoal, sulphur and saltpetre

century. There

is

cannons any earlier than Europeans.


How and when the knowledge of gunpowder first reached
Europe is not at all clear. There are contemporary statements
which could be taken as referring to gunpowder but there can
be no doubt that Roger Bacon knew of its composition in the
thirteenth century. This scholar gives details of

simply coded passage in one of

The invention of the cannon


but nearly

all

his
is

its

formula

likewise shrouded in mystery,

the legends ascribe the dubious honour to a


II

in a

books.

German

The Story of Small Arms

monk

of the fourteenth century.

commonly

describes

how

chemicals in a container
the lid into the air.

of explosive

The

power was

The

story varies in detail, but

Black Berthold was experimenting with

when an explosion occurred and threw


result of this

unplanned demonstration

to initiate the idea of a cannon.

delightfully feasible story but, unfortunately,


basis

It

is

seems to have no

whatsoever, and research suggests that Berthold himself

myth invented at a later date.


The earliest reliable evidence of cannon is usually accepted as
being a picture shown in an illustrated manuscript of 1326. A
was

small picture shows a knight about to

fire a

large vase-shaped

from the neck of which projects the head of an


arrow. It is of interest to note that arrows intended for muskets
were still held in the Tower of London stores as late as 1600.
Artillery powered by gunpowder was almost certainly used in
the Battle of Crecy in 1346, but its effect was more frightening
than fatal. The arrow rather than the bullet did execution in
that battle. However, from this date on references to cannon
became increasingly common.
The early cannons were usually cast in bronze or copper and
were simply barrels fastened to some form of heavy baseboard.
They were made in two sections one a long tube and the other
a short cylinder closed at one end. Into this small chamber went
the powder and a projectile of stone or iron. The chamber was
then locked into position against the end of the barrel. The tip of
a red hot iron was placed into a small touch hole situated at the
top of the chamber and the cannon fired. The gunner often
stood in as much peril as his enemy, for it was not uncommon
for the weapon to explode killina all the crew. James II of
Scotland perished thus whilst directing a siege at Roxburgh in
August 1460.
In general, artillery was used onlv in siege warfare, blasting
holes in city or castle walls and demolishing defences, and the
guns were usually fixed and not easily transportable. However,
container,

12


The Story of Small Arms
it was not long before the idea of a small, easily portable weapon
was developed and the so-called handgun was the result. These
simple tubes of iron varied in length from a few inches to several
feet but were almost invariably mounted on long wooden stocks.
The body was cast in one piece and the powder and ball were
inserted by way of the muzzle. Some of the early cannon were
loaded in the same way. Aiming was almost impossible; at best
the weapon was unreliable and at worst completely useless.

L^'-y^'-.-v

fcfraK

handgun from the Far East. The barrels arc drilled


is equipped with a separate touch-hole
at the base of a saucer-like depression. There are no pan covers
each time a barrel was discharged, the gun was rotated and the next
Three-barrel, metal

into a solid block and each

pan primed. Overall length

7 in., barrel 3I in.,

bore

-5 in.

In a document of 141 8 there occurs the first mention of a


hackbut or hookgun which was the first firearm that could be
said to be aimed. The long tube was fitted to a wooden stock
from which projected a hook or lug to fit over a wall and by so
doing reduced the kick back or recoil.
These early handguns were noisy, unreliable and often ineffective but, nevertheless, they represented the be^innina of a
/

revolution in warfare.

No

longer
13

Nvas the

armoured knight the

The Stoiy of Small Arms


most important part of the army. The simplest peasant, with a
training and a certain amount of luck, could now
the flower of chivalry. The longbow required a
great deal of skill in its use and long training was necessary the
crossbow was slow and expensive to make but the handgun
was a weapon that could be produced cheaply and in quantity.
An absolute minimum of skill was required and only the thickest,
and hence the most cumbersome, of armour was protection
against the bullet. It was the beginning of the end for armour
although it was not to disappear for several centuries.
Examples of these early handguns are extremely rare, though
an apparently ancient example occasionally comes along, in

minimum of
strike down

appearance they are very similar to the original type; but, in


fact, there is every reason to believe that they are of comparatively recent manufacture, originating in the East.
The necessity of some means of heating the 'firing' wire
severely limited the mobility of the hand gunner but by the

middle of the fifteenth century this restriction had been removed by the introduction of the slowmatch. A length of cord
was boiled in a solution containing, among other things, saltpetre, and then allowed to dry. When the cord was lit it burned
slowly with a glowing end which could be used to fire the
charge of powder. The operation was entirely manual at first
but the addition of an S-shaped lever, or serpentine, rendered it
automatic. This lever was fixed to the side of the stock, the
glowing end of the match was fastened at the top of the serpentine and pressure

on the lower section depressed the glowing

end on to the touch hole. The matchlock, as this new weapon


was called, was at first nothing more than the old handgun
equipped with a serpentine, but soon the stock was adapted ami
by the early sixteenth century it had a pronounced downward
curve. By about 1^30 the matchlock had taken on its most
characteristic form, and from Italy this style spread northwards,
reaching England via the

Low

Countries.

14

The Stoij of Small Arms


This arquebus was long-barrelled, heavy and cumbersome.

The walnut stock was usually quite plain although some specimens were inlaid with mother-of-pearl, ivory and bone. The
high combed butt was cut away to facilitate a good grip. The
up to forty inches long and weighing anything up to
twenty pounds, was so heavy that it was impossible to hold the
weapon steady enough to aim. The musketeer overcame this
problem by means of an ash staff surmounted by a U-shaped
holder. With this rest he could prop up the barrel and so take
barrel,

aim.

The simple, hand-operated serpentine was now replaced by

system of levers operated by a long bar or trigger. During the


early part of the sixteenth century a snaplock had been in use,
but it had been discarded as being unsafe the arm which held
the glowing slowmatch was at rest with the match pressed into
:

the pan.

To prepare

for firing the

arm was pulled

up, away from

the pan, and held in that position by means of a small projection.


When a stud or trigger was pressed the arm was released and,
impelled by a spring, moved forward and down to ignite the

priming. The danger of accidental discharge

is

obvious and for

more usual matchlock mechanism became


common. Here the arm at rest was away from the pan; pressure
on the lever or trigger swung the arm forward and down to fire
the weapon immediately pressure was removed the arm rose up
and away from the pan. A great many of these muskets were
this

reason

the

fitted

peep

with a small tube above the breech and this served as a


A smaller lighter version of the arquebus was known

sight.

as a caliver.

The unrest at the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century stimulated a number of writers
to produce instruction books for those who wished to become
proficient soldiers. Jacob de

some twenty

Gheyn, writing

to thirty separate

commands

in 1607, illustrates

for the loading of the

matchlock, and training recruits must have been a tedious and


^5

The Story oj Small Arms


hazardous business. The musketeer had to manage the heavy
musket, the rest and a length of matcli glowing at both ends.
Thus encumbered, he had to take a charge of powder, pour it
into the barrel, take a bullet approximately three-quarters of an
inch in diameter, insert that into the barrel and then push it
well down with his ramrod. Next he replaced the ramrod in its
housing beneath the barrel and tapped the butt smartly to ensure
some powder entered the touch hole. From a second container
he placed a pinch of Hner-grained powder, called priming
powder, into the pan. He next inserted one end of the glowing
match into the jaws of the serpentine and now he was ready to
fire. Alter each shot the match was withdrawn from the serpentine and the whole process repeated. During all this time the
musketeer was defenceless and for this reason musketeers were
often interspaced with groups of pikemen who could repel
enemy cavalry during this dangerous loading time.
Practice, no doubt, reduced the time of loadincr to a minimum,
but other drawbacks of the matchlock were less easily overcome.
The foin"-foot lenath of match was a constant hindrance and
menace. Both ends were kept alight so that an immediate
replacement was at hand should one end be extinguished. The
musketeer held the match in his hand whilst loading, and the
risk of accidental explosion wis very areat indeed. If there was
the prospect of action the match had to be kept constantly alight
and in rainy weather this was no easy task. The glowing match
effectively betrayed the presence of troops and precluded any
element of surprise.
Difficult though it was for the foot soldier to manage his
matchlock, for the horseman it was almost impossible, and
indeed matchlock pistols are extremely rare in Europe. Henry
VIII had his bodyguard equipped ^\ ith a shield, to the centre of
which was fitted a matchlock pistol which was also breechloading, a most unusual and rare combination.
The matchlock was a simple weapon, cheaply and easily
i6

The Stoiy of Small Arms


manufactured. In 1^88 a musket, rest and flask cost twenty-seven
and this low cost meant that whole armies could be
equipped with them at minimum expense. However, despite

shillings,

the large numbers which must have been produced in Europe,


comparatively few have survived, and for this reason genuine
specimens are rare and command a high price on the antique

market.
Whilst

it

acquire

European matchlock,

is

weapon made

very unlikely that the average collector will


it

is

still

easy to find a similar

The Portuguese

sailors reached
end of the fifteenth century and, of course, their
matchlocks went with them. The Indians were greatly impressed
by these marvellous weapons and sought to acquire them for
their own use. Soon the Indian swordsmiths and armourers
were applying their very considerable skills to the production of
gunbarrels. Unlike most European barrels these were commonly
inlaid with gold or embellished in some other way. The stocks
were made from many beautiful woods and again were richly
decorated with any number of materials. The matchlock was
made in India right up until the beginning of the present century
and many of the Indian princes had armouries filled with fine
quality weapons. Many of these armouries are being sold and it
is possible to find good quality specimens at reasonable prices.
The manufacture has stopped now, and Indian matchlocks will
become increasingly less common as time goes on.
The Portuguese were also responsible for the introduction of
the matchlock to Japan, and the Japanese began to manufacture
them as well. Japan is a rather special case, and owing to the
in

the Orient.

India at the

country's isolation the Japanese gunmaking industry jumped


from matchlock to cartridge weapons with little or none of the
intermediate development which took place in Europe. Japanese

matchlocks are easily recognised with their rather thick barrels,


short stocks and generally stubby butts. The barrels are usually
of very fine quality whereas their springs tend to be rather weak
S.A.

'7

The Story of Small Arms


and ineffective. The snaplock, long discarded in Europe is usually
found on Japanese weapons.
Japanese swordsmiths were experts in metalwork and their
skill produced some exquisitely decorated barrels. Brass and silver
inlay were common and brass decoration is often found on the
stock as well. Japan also produced matchlock pistols ranging
from a normal size down to tiny specimens only a few inches
long, and it is difficult to believe that these tiny ones were anything

more than

toys or models.

There is one common feature of nearly all Eastern matchlocks,


and that is in the operation of the serpentine. It is true to say
that, with few exceptions, all European matchlocks have the
serpentine moving towards the butt, but almost invariably the
Eastern matchlock has the serpentine moving the opposite way,
i.e. towards the barrel. There seems to be little to recommend
one system or the other and it is rather difficult to see how the
two systems remained so different. It may be that Eastern
conservatism,

or

mechanism of the
although

East,

it

love

of

preserved

tradition,

the

original

European matchlocks that went to the


seems rather unlikely that this is the real
first

reason
In

end of the
was mainly due to its
was, by that time, an old-fashioned and out-

Europe the matchlock continued

seventeenth century, but


cheapness for

it

this

long

in use until the

life

moded weapon.
The gunmakers had sought for some simpler system of
producing a flame or spark to ignite the priming of the gun.
The first practical solution was the wheellock. The lock, which
first appears at the beginning of the sixteenth century, was selfigniting and, unlike the match, was ready for use at a moment's
notice. The principle was simple - nothing more than rubbing a
piece of mineral known as pyrites against a rough-edged, steel
wheel. The operating mechanism was rather complicated, consisting of a strong, V-shaped spring which was compressed by
i8

The Story of Small Arms


rotating a key or spanner. When fully wound the wheel was held
by a sear or locking bar; pressure on the trigger withdrew the
locking bar and allowed the spring, via a short linked chain, to
rotate the wheel very rapidly. The grooved edge of the wheel
struck sparks from the pyrites and ignited the priming and hence
the main charge of powder. The pyrites was held between the
jaws of an angled arm known as the doghead.
The early wheellocks were fitted with various safety devices

of a wheellock from an
seventeenth-century pistol
with gilt wheel cover engraved
with simple floral pattern. The
pan-cover stud and securing pivot
for the doghead are also gilt.
Detail
early

19

The Story of Small Arms


and gadgets, and a good working generalisation is that the
simpler the lock plate, i.e. the fewer the knobs and buttons, the
later the weapon.
The procedure for loading was exactly the same as that of the
matchlock except for the priming process. The mechanism was
spanned or wound up, and a pinch of priming powder placed in
the pan, the bottom of which was formed by the roughened edge
of the wheel. A sliding cover was then pushed over the pan,
keeping the powder in place. The doghead, or arm holding the
pyrites, was pivoted and could be left well clear of the pan,
rendering accidental discharge impossible. When action was
imminent the arm was pulled back so that the pyrites rested on
top of the pan cover; the pan cover itself was automatically
removed when the tri^^er was pressed. This new system offered
great advantages, for the weapon could now be loaded and
primed and left ready for action without the fear of accidents.
Another great asset was its adaptability, for it could be made in
any reasonable size and for the first time a small, personal,
easily portable pistol was possible. Horsemen could now carry
firearms, and this development was to have important effects on
the whole science of warfare.
The wheellock was fitted to all types of weapons and many
matchlocks were altered to take this wonderful new svstem.
The expense precluded entire armies being equipped with
wheellocks, but many select groups such as bodyguards and
special cavalry troops were armed with them. The nobilitv
ordered fine hunting weapons fitted with this new lock as well
as pistols for their own use. Great skill was lavished on the
weapons, and many are works of art in their own right. Stocks
and barrels were enaraved, inkiid, chiselled - decorated in every
conceivable

decoration

style

and

material,

may have been

and

it

is

possible

that

this

responsible for the continued use of

the wheellock for hunting weapons long after the system was
obsolete.

20

The Stoij of Small Arms

The majority of

these wheellock hunting weapons have a

curious barrel-heavy appearance; this

is

because a very heavy

barrel was fitted to reduce the recoil, and the butt was

shorter than the

was

fired,

more

usual shoulder stock since the

much

weapon

not from the shoulder, but with the butt resting

aaainst the cheek.

Despite
its faults.

its

tremendous advantages the system was not without

Its

very complexity was a great weakness, for mech-

was not uncommon, and only a fairly skilled man


could hope to repair any such faults. Its complexity also made it
expensive to produce and thus it was not readily available to the
majority of people. Some writers of the period also claimed that
it was liable to jamming.
However, once the idea of mechanically produced sparks had
proved practical it was not long before a simpler, more reliable
method was discovered. This was the snaphaunce, or snaphance,
lock which appeared in the mid-sixteenth century. The pyrites
of the wheellock was replaced by the commoner flint, and in
place of the wheel and chain a simpler mechanical system was
used. The piece of flint was held firmly between two jaws at the
top of a curved arm or cock; the pan was covered, as in the
wheellock, by a sliding cover, and just above the pan cover was
a steel plate at the end of a metal arm. Loading and priming
were essentially the same as for the wheellock. After their
execution the steel was lowered into position above the closed
pan cover; the cock was pulled back, compressing the spring,
and held in this position. On pressing the trigger the cock was
released and flew forward allowing the flint to strike the steel
which was then pushed back out of the way the sparks thus fell
into the pan which had been uncovered by the automatic
removal of the pan cover the priming flashed and, via the touchhole, fired the main charge. The snaphaunce was used for only a
comparatively short period in Europe and these weapons are
very rare indeed, but, like the matchlock, the system was

anical failure

21

The Story of Small Arms


retained elsewhere long after it had been discarded in Europe.
For some reason, and again it is difficult to ascribe it entirely to
conservatism, the peoples of North Africa especially liked their
weapons to be of the snaphaunce construction. Trade guns
intended for this area were manufactured in Europe right up
until the last century, and it is still possible to find the snaphaunce being used in remote regions. The lock is almost identical
with that used in Europe during the seventeenth centurv. The
shape of the stock and decorative details will ensure that these
North African specimens are easily identified
the quality of
workmanship, moreover, is usually rather poor.
The snaphaunce was simply a stepping stone to the next
;

system, the flintlock.

systems

is

The

essential difference

that the flintlock has the

between the two

pancover and

steel united

one L-shaped piece known by a variety of names such as


steel, hammer or frizzen. This combination of the two pieces
considerably simplified the internal mechanism, and the flintlock
was to remain in use for some 25^0 years, reaching an extremely
high standard of efficiency and reliability.
into

The

true flintlock probably originated in France early in the

seventeenth century and, of course,


changes and alterations before
it

was

in use for such a

it

flintlock

weapon with reasonable

guns

there were fashions in clothes.

as

was to undergo many

reached its final form. Although


long period it is still possible to date a
it

ease, for there

The

were

fashions in

earlier locks are

usually rather banana-shaped with a slightly concave surface,


flat and straighter. Some care is
of the seventeenth-century locks also
lockplates. Triggers also changed, and earlier ones usually

whilst later locks tend to be

necessary here, for

many

had flat
have a back curling section at the tip while later ones tend to be
much straighter and simpler. The butt is a useful guide in
dating, for many of the earlier seventeenth-century pistols tend
to terminate with a flat, cut-off appearance
late seventeenthcentury and early eighteenth-century pistols are usually found
;

22

The lock of a late seventeenth-century Italian


snaphaunce pistol. The lock plate is engraved with
a simple pattern, and the steel is in the primed
position.

with a large swelling, or pommel, which tends to decrease in


century progresses, until it disappears altogether at
the end of the eighteenth century. Late eighteenth-century and
early nineteenth-century butts tend to be rather like hockey
sticks in shape. Again, most of the pommels were fitted with a
metal covering known as a butt cap. These butt caps were
sometimes plain but after the early years of the eighteenth
century they were decorated with grotesque heads. In the early
eighteenth-century flintlocks the spurs of the butt cap extended
well up the butt, and as the century progressed these tended to
shorten and finally disappear except for a slight curve on the side

size as the

23

The Story of Small Arms


of the cap.

membered

As with

all

these generalisations

that exceptions are not

it

must be

re-

uncommon.

Certain types of flintlocks are peculiar to certain areas and one

of the most

common

is

that of Spain

and North Africa known

as

the miquelet lock. Distinguishing features are the mainspring

mounted on the outside of the

lockplate, and, generally speaking,

and the

the jaws holding the

flint

and usually grooved

vertically.

It

steel
is

which are square-topped

common

to find these last

two items in Eastern flintlocks as well.


The flintlock was basically simple to construct and,
sequence, was produced in quantity.

It

in

con-

spread from Europe to

America and Asia although Japanese flintlocks are


unknown. Like the wheellock it could be made in
any size and consequently will be found ranging from massive
locks for wall pieces and cannon through pocket pistols to tiny
Africa,

practically

miniature locks only a fraction of an inch long.

The simplicity of the flintlock meant that manufacturing


were low, and it could be supplied in bulk at reasonable

costs

and
equipped the armies with flintlocks. In Britain the matchlock
was completely abandoned by the end of the seventeenth century, and the musket known to all collectors as the 'Brown Bess'
was introduced about 1720. This simple, sturdy yet elegant
weapon was to remain the principal arm of the British infantry
right up until the middle of the nineteenth century. Design and
detail varied over the years, but it remained essentially the same
weapon. There were three main types with barrels of forty-six
inches, forty-two inches and thirty-nine inches. The first two
were the earliest and are now also the rarest; the thirtv-nine
inch, usually referred to as the India Pattern, was produced in
great numbers during the Napoleonic wars and is, therefore,
much more common. A bayonet could be attached to the end of
the barrel of all three by means of a simple socket device.
Sporting guns were made with flintlocks and manv are

prices. This being so, the military naturally took advantage

24

The Stoiy of Small Arms


double-barrelled, fitted with a lock on each barrel and operated

by separate

triggers.

A tremendous amount

of effort went into

the manufacture of highest-quality gun barrels, and a consider-

Long and earnest discussions were held


by sportsmen on the best type of barrel, shot and powder, and
many gunmakers became renowned for their high quality work
able mystique developed.

in this field.

Detached flintlock of a large wall


piece. The lock bears the date,
1793, and the mark of the East
India Company. The name of a
famous London maker, H. Nock,
also appears. Length of the lock
plate

is

9I

in.

The Story of Small Arms


In the seventeenth century

and early eighteenth century the

majority of pistols were large and were intended primarily for

horsemen, but the growth of coach travel and the increase of


crime in town created a demand for smaller, more personal
pistols. These so-called travelling pistols were intended to fit
into the pockets of great coats or into travelling bags. For self
protection the pocket and muff pistols were produced. These
ranged from some four to six inches in length. Many were
double-barrelled, and others, after the end of the eighteenth
century, were fitted with a bayonet which was folded back along
the barrels when required it could be released to fly forward and
;

lock into position.

Much more

home

defence was the blunderbuss.


with a bore which increased in
diameter towards the muzzle. Experiments recently carried out
suggest that this belling has little or no effect on the spread of
This short

popular for

weapon had

a barrel

the shot, but nevertheless, the deterrent effect of gazing into a

weapon with a two-inch bore must have been considerable. The


wide mouth probably produced a louder than normal explosion,
thus increasing the overall effect of the weapon. The blunderbuss
was popular
it

as

and continued so until

in the seventeenth century

the mid-nineteenth century

when

the revolver tended to displace

the chief personal weapon. Contrary to popular belief they

did not

fire

rusty nails, broken glass or rubbish, the normal load

number of small lead balls.


as some makers acquired a reputation

being a
Just

others

acquired

Wogden was

similar

reputations

probably the best

for

known

for sporting guns,

duolHng

weapons.

in the late eighteenth

century. In true duelling pistols the barrels are usually heavy,


is very gently curved to fit
aiming position. Some are equipped with
extension to the tri^^cr jruard and this so-called spur ensured a
firmer grip. Since the normal pressure required to squeeze the
trigger was quite substantial there was a danger of going oft

frequently octagonal, and the butt

the hand

when

in the

26

The Stoij of Small Arms

The hair, or set, trigger was a series of


which could be adjusted so that only the merest touch
was required to fire the weapon. Sometimes a single trigger
serves as the normal and the hair trigger, but in other weapons a
target whilst squeezing.
levers

second trigger is fitted. Many of the so-called duelling pistols


around today are, however, ordinary target pistols.
Many of the famous makers such as Nock, Manton and Egg
improved the design and construction of the flintlock, and by
the i82o's it was probably at its most efficient. However, there
were certain inherent difficulties which could not be overcome
by any improvement the flint itself was only reliable for a certain
number of shots thirty was usually reckoned as a safe maximum
and the chances of a misfire were high. Even more serious was
the 'hangfire' this was the small, but nevertheless appreciable,
time lag between the pressing of the trigger and the explosion,
and the delay was obviously a great disadvantage when aiming at a
;

moving target.
The Reverend Alexander Forsyth,

clergyman caring for the

parish of Belhelvie in Aberdeenshire, was the


practical solution to these problems.

first

He had

upon a
working

to hit
fair

knowledge of chemistry and knew that certain chemicals or


would explode on impact. Since the explosion
produced a flame he reasoned that this flash could be used to
ignite the charge in firearms. By i8o^ he had made a lock which
produced a spark by the exploding of a chemical. This so-called
percussion lock was not the complete answer, but at least the
idea was shown to be sound and feasible. Forsyth came to London
and worked on his idea, part of the time in the Tower of
London. He used loose fulminating powder, and other designers
attempted to overcome the obvious hazards of this system by
packing the powder in pills and tubes. The system that proved
most satisfactory, however, was that using a little copper cap;
the cap, shaped rather like a top hat, had a small quantity of
fulminate deposited on the inside and the cap fitted snugly over
fulminates

27

The Story of Small Arms


with a tiny hole which communicated with the
main charge. The credit for the invention of this simple, but
highly effective, device was claimed by many, but it is now
generally thought that Joshua Shaw, an Enghshman living in
America, has the greatest claim. By the 1820's the percussion
system was becoming the most commonly used among sportsmen,
but, in general, the military remained sceptical, and the armies
a pillar drilled

continued to use their flintlocks for another ten or fifteen years.


The percussion cap was much less prone to misfire, its hangfire was considerably reduced, and it was also quicker and

Many owners of fine pistols or


guns sought to prolong the life of their flintlock by converting it
to the new system. Several types of conversion were used, but
probably the most common was the pillar system whereby a peg
or nipple was set into a small tube which fitted over the touchsimpler to use than the flintlock.

were removed and the


cock replaced by a hammer.
Converted weapons are fairly common but, in general, they
are not popular with collectors and usually fetch a lower price
than a similar piece with its original flintlock.
The introduction of the copper cap opened the way to a flood
of new ideas, but the most important was that of repeating
weapons. Revolvers had been made using the matchlock, snaphaunce and flintlock but almost without exception they were
difficult to construct, inefficient, unpopular and in many cases
hole. Steel, pan cover and frizzen spring

positively dangerous.

Samuel Colt had manufactured

revolver in the 1830's but, despite

very efficient and practical


its

many

advantages,

it

did

not achieve any really widespread popidaritv until the 1850's,


when it ousted the old-fashioned pepperbox.

The pepperbox was


solid

essentially a series of tubes drilled into a

cylinder block. Each barrel was loaded and capped;

tiie

cylinder was rotated mechanically or by hand as each was fired.

The length of the cylinder was subsequently reduced, and


28

tiie

The Stoij of Small Arms


transition revolver

came

down pepperbox with

into

beina.

It

was

a single barrel serving

in

essence a cut-

each tube.

Typical pepperbox of mid-nineteenth century with


cylinder bored for six charges. A top safety bar
slides forward to engage in a slot at the rear of the

hammer
stop

bar.

flying

length 8

in.,

The nipples are covered by a shield to


pieces from shattered caps. Overall
cylinder 3I in. and 1-5 dia., bore. 4 in.

In England Colt's main rivals were Adams, Tranter and


Webley, although numerous other makers produced revolvers.
Adams was probably the greatest competitor, and the arguments
as to the relative merit of the two weapons waxed long and hard.
One of the biggest points of controversy was over the mech-

hammer had to be pulled


back by the thumb, and the weapon was then fired by pressing
the tri^8;er. Adams and many other aunsmiths favoured the

anical systems. In Colt revolvers the

29

The Story of Small Arms


system whereby pressure on the trigger rotated the cyHnder,
lifted the hammer and eventually fired the weapon. Some experts
claimed that Colt's single action made for careful aiming and

reduced random shooting, whilst Adam's supporters claimed


that the double action meant quicker shooting and in military
use this was most important. Each side produced expert 'witnesses', but of course the matter was never settled and was in
reality purely a matter of choice.
Colt had a very effective sales service and was an expert in
what is now called public relations. Colt revolvers were prominently displayed at the Great Exhibition of 185^1 held in London.
Numerous engraved presentation weapons were distributed to
all that Colt felt would be impressed. Eventually he set up a
factory in London to manufacture his revolvers. His English
competitors made great efforts to reduce his lead in the field,
and although he became one of the greatest manufacturers of
firearms, exporting all over the world, he closed his London
factory in 18^6. Colt revolvers never achieved in Britain that
tremendous popularity which was theirs in America and many
other countries. Attached to these weapons there is a certain
glamour which has growTi up over the years, and the present-day
prices fetched by Colt revolvers reflect this popularity.
By the middle of the nineteenth century Birminaham and
London were the great centres of the arms industry, and apart

from some provincial craftsmen who managed

to stay in business

the majority of firearms of this period will have been

one of these two

When

made

in

cities.

the British

army

finally

accepted the obvious superiority

of the percussion system, tests were carried out to find the most
suitable adaptation for general issue.

The old Brown

Bess was

converted to percussion and soon the entire British army ^vas


equipped with the new arm.
When the Volunteers were once again formed in the 18^0's
there was a great revival of interest in the subject of firearms,

30

The Story of Small Arms


and numerous books were written aimed at giving the keen
volunteer advice as to which rifle or revolver he should buy, and

how

use

best to

it;

they are particularly valuable for their

contemporary assessments of the relative merits of each weapon.


From the 18^0's firearm development was swift and impressive. The percussion cap was primarily responsible, for it
enabled inventors to produce a tremendous variety of breechloading and repeating weapons - many of which were extremely

The use of fulminate also stimulated the designers


of ammunition, and soon cartridges, containing their own source
of ignition, were appearing; by the i86o's metal-case cartridges,
impracticable.

with the priming cap set on the centre of the base, were coming
into general use.

The introduction of the


last

centre-fire cartridge

step in the production of

modern

firearms.

was

really the

Powder was soon

abandoned and more efficient and powerful explosives introduced; bullets were improved in design and performance, and
highly efficient mechanical repeating-devices were introduced,
though these are all merely improvements on the basic weapon
of the 1860'sand 70's.
The story of the development of the automatic pistol and

machine gun

lie

outside the scope of this brief history, but even

modern weapons had their counterpart in the


preceding centuries. Today's military, automatic rifle, with its
tremendous punch and rate of fire, is merely another step on the
long path that started with the crude incendiary devices of the
Chinese a thousand years ago.
these apparently

31

2
TECHNIQUES OF THE

GUNSMITH
It would seem most likely that the first aunmakers were bv trade
armourers who took on the job as just another weapon to be
produced. They probably looked upon the castina of the rather
crude handguns as an extremely simple task in comparison with
the skill required to shape a helmet or breastplate bv hammering
the metal over a wooden stake.

However, the increasing demand

for auns

would soon have

created groups of specialised tradesmen, although these gun-

smiths tended, quite naturallv, to be based in towns that had


previously been noted for
is

known

armour and sword production.

Little

of the great majority of these earlv gunmakers, apart

a select few who achieved fame during their lifetime


through the patronage of some :Treat ruler.

from

The ^^heelIock mechanism

made

great

demands

on

the

mechanical skill of the gunsmith who had to fashion each part


by hand, temper his own springs, for^e his barrels and probably
make the stocks as well. For the nobility's guns he called upon
the services of engravers, goldsmiths, silversmiths and artists to

draw up his designs. He, like the armourer, probably had tlie
use of some water-powered machinery, but the great majority
of his work was done by hand.
In Britain details of the early ^unmakinsr industry - prior to the
seventeenth century - are \erv scarce. In London, however,
the craftsmen had become sufficiently organised to form a

32

Techniques of the Gunsmith


corporation and seek a Royal Charter, granted in 1638.
The new Gunmakers' Company had certain rules and regula-

proper control of the trade, and entry to the craft


was elective. Efforts were made to ensure that the regulations
were observed and Companv courts inflicted Hnes upon offentions for the

ders.

Although for the most part only one gunmaker's name appears
on any one weapon, documentary evidence of the period does
Pyrites

Do^head

LockpKit
Safety Catch

Ramrod

Pommel

Butt

typical wheellock pistol of about 1580,

showing

the main features and nomenclature. The large ball


butt was a common feature of pistols of this period.
The stock usually has some form of inlay.

suggest that

many

finished

weapons were often the

result of

several makers' labours.

London was,

at this

time, the main centre of supply with

many of the makers located in the area of the Minories, near the
Tower of London. Birmingham had also developed an arms
industry, but was greatly overshadowed by the capital. Many of
the leading makers during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
S.A.

were

to be found in the

more
33

fashionable parts of

London

Techniques of the Gunsmith

around Piccadilly and St. James's. A few were located south of


the river, but the great majority were to be found on the north
side. Collectors very soon become familiar with names like
Nock, Manton, Egg, Blisset and Harding, all of whom had their
shops in London.
Birmingham began to overtake London during the eighteenth
century, but it was during the nineteenth that the city became
pre-eminent in arms production. All this is not to say that
weapons were produced only in London and Birmingham large
numbers of provincial makers flourished during the eighteenth
and early nineteenth centuries, but better communications and
travel reduced demands for local products when famous London
or Birmingham weapons were easily obtainable.
Each country had certain makers whose work was recognised
as being first-class and, naturally, the majority of these makers
were to be found in the various capitals. Towns like Liege in
Belgium and Suhl in Germany, became famous for supplying arms
in quantity, and orders for British weapons were placed at Liege
during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Spain became
famous for the quality of its gun barrels and those by well-known
makers commanded a high price in Britain.
Naturally most makers had their own speciality or method of
production, but the majority of weapons were manufactured by
the same processes. A finished weapon of reasonable quality,
before it was ready for use, passed through the hands of some
;

fifteen

or sixteen craftsmen, to wit:

Barrel borer and fitter

Lock and furniture forger


Lock fitter

Furniture
Stocker

Ribber and breecher


Screwer

Barrel forger

fitter

Detonator
Stripper and finisher
Polisher and hardener

Maker-oflF

Lock

finisher

Engraver
Stock polisher

Browner

34

Techniques of the Gunsmith

weapons or cheap guns the processes

In the case of military

were simphfied and


but a

first-class

less

care was taken in finishing each part,

sporting gun was fussed over like a new-born

Tremendous effort went into the production of barrels


which were straight, strong and true. The methods of constructing the barrel were many and most had their supporters.
Differing methods of building up the barrel produced a different
babe.

pattern in the metal and this pattern was often emphasised by the

Top Jaw and Screw


Barrel

Tan^

Cock

Hint

Frizzen

Pan

Lockplate

Butt

Butt Cap

Ramrod Pipe

Trigger Guard

This flintlock pistol of the late eighteenth century

many of the features common to weapons


of the period. The crown and G R on the lockplate
indicate that this is a government-issue weapon.

exhibits

action of acid.

Damascus

barrels,

so called because a similar

patterning was found on sword blades from the East,

were

considered the best.

The

basic material was, of course, iron

the eighteenth century and

much

and

steel,

and during

of the early nineteenth cen-

was claimed that the best-quality iron to be found was


form of old horseshoe nails or stubs. During this period
large quantities of these stubs were imported from France,
tury,

it

in the

3^

02

Techniques oj the Gunsmith

Holland and Sweden. First they were polished by rotating them


in a cast-iron drum and then they were sorted, any poor quality
ones being rejected. A certain proportion of cut lengths of steel
springs was mixed in and batches of forty pounds of this mixture

were heated

in a

furnace to produce a resultant block,

known

as

the bloom.

three-ton

hammer and

worked the bloom

series of rollers until

half an inch

then a one-and-a-half-ton

hammer

which was then passed through a


produced a riband several yards long,

into a block
it

wide and of

slightly varying thicknesses.

The riband

was then cut into separate lengths each sufficient to produce


about one third of the barrel. The long flat strip was now
wrapped around a bar to form a spiral. As two spirals were
ready they were heated to welding heat and placed end to end
over an iron bar which was banged continuously on the ground
until the two pieces were successfully welded one to the other.
This was repeated for the third piece and the whole process
completed by hammering.
To produce a different patterning another system was used
whereby the original block of metal, the skelp, was built up in
the form of twenty-five layers, each approximately two feet by
two inches by a quarter of an inch of, alternately, iron and mild

The whole was worked into a bar some five to six feet
long and three-eighths of an inch square, and this bar was then
gripped firmly at one end and twisted round and round, shortening it to half its original length it was then used to produce the
barrel in the same manner as described above. The patterning
steel.

was not the sole object of these various processes, for the working and twisting tended to pnxkico barrels of greater strength and
reliability.

For musket barrels the skelp was rolled out to some three feet
by four inches wide, thickening slightly to\Nards one end;
it was then folded, forming a cylinder, and the overlapping edges
were welded together by hantl or by passing it through rollers.
lon^T

36

Techniques of the Gunsmith


Pistol barrels were produced in similar fashion and then filed to
render them either octagonal, or else octagonal changing to
round.
After the barrel had been formed it had to be bored out, and
to do this a square bit was rotated at hi^h speed whilst the barrel
was pushed against the end. Durina the boring the whole barrel

Safety C\ittli

Link

Fore End
Swivel Riimrod

A percussion
features

pistol

including

of about 1820 with many typical


link

ramrod

and

common,

'hockey stick' stock and butt. The safety catch


engages with a slot at the rear of the hammer and
locks

it.

was water-cooled to prevent the frictional heat produced from


temper of the metal. Next the exterior of the barrel
was ground on stone wheels so lar^e that the workmen leaned
forward, resting on a plank, above the wheel. No check was
spoiling the

made

to ensure that the barrel wall

along

its

was of an even thickness


whole length.
Birmingham sent a lar^e number of these roughly finished
barrels to London for final processing by the London makers.
Their first step was to 'set straight' by removing any irregularities, assessed entirely by eye, by a few shrewd taps with a

37

Techniques of the Gunsmith

hammer. Next the barrel was true-bored by fixing it firmly to a


carriage which moved it forward against a bit set in a lar^e
hand-rotated flywheel. The inside diameter was adjusted by the
insertion of a semi-circular wedge of wood on one side of the
square bit, thus forcing the bit to cut on two edges onlv. Slips of
paper were inserted between the wedge, or squill, and the bit
to give a fine adjustment.

Both ends of the barrel were

now

blocked and it was fitted


smoothing on the outside.
breech-plug block screwed firmly into

into a lathe to be given a final accurate

One end was

tapped and a

place.

weak spot in a barrel was obvious


law that each barrel was to be proved or
tested. The barrel was greatly overcharged with powder, the
scale of which was set out in detail, and the charge fired. If no
fault developed the barrel received an official stamp. Pin holes
were discovered by forcing water into the barrel under pressure.
The proved barrel now went to the stocker who had cut a
stock from a piece of walnut which, ideally, had been seasoned
for some two to three years and he now set the barrel and lock
into this stock. This job was considered an extremely important
one, and a craftsman in the mid-nineteenth century could earn
from four to six pounds a week a considerable wage for the
The

and

it

potential danger of a

was

set

down

in

period.
All the metal furniture and screws were now let into the stock
by the screwer who, in turn, passed the weapon to the detonator
who fitted the cock and other parts of the breech. Next, the grip
was chequered by cutting fine lines into the stock and, eventually,

the stripper and finisher took the whole thinjr to pieces and went

over

it,

correcting any minor faults.

Barrels and lock parts

by heating them

in

were engraved and the

an iron container

made from bone or

filled

latter hardened
with animal charcoal

ivory dust, and old shoos.

The whole con-

tainer was raised to red heat for an hour or so and the contents

38

Techniques of the Gunsmith


then tipped straight into cold water. A thin coat of steel was
thus formed over the whole surface and the effect of the charcoal
was to produce a beautiful blue colour which is hard to duplicate.
The whole effect was to resist rust as well as to toughen the item.
Barrels were browned - again as a precaution against rust.
If a rifle was bein^ produced the borin^-out process was much
more complicated, for shallow, accurately positioned grooves

had to be cut on the inside of the barrel. The process was


laborious and was performed by a narrow, toothed, cutting tool;
this fitted into a

the barrel, the

metal bit which twisted

amount of

as it

was pushed into

twist being carefully controlled.

The

height of the cutting teeth was gradually increased until the

groove had been cut to the correct depth, the whole process
being repeated for each groove. A lead cast of about eight inches
of the inside of the barrel was taken apart from checking that
the rifling was correct this lead billet was oiled and coated with
fine emery and pulled backwards and forwards through the
barrel to remove sharp edges or irregularities.
Methods changed but little over the years and the details
given above, based on processes of about 1830, differ but little
from those used in the Enfield Factory in 1865". Barrel production
was speeded up by the introduction of specially shaped, roller
presses and rifling was done by machine rather than hand. The
whole job involved more than seven hundred processes with
sixty-three different parts, but even so, the Enfield Factory was
producing some twelve hundred rifles a week at a cost of sixty;

two

shillings each.

Although the basic assembly methods altered but little, this


does not mean that the industry was conservative or stagnant.
A wide variety of improvements were adopted and developed
the efficiency of the lock was improved by the addition of a
bridle to support the tumbler, and small rollers were fitted to
those parts where it was desirable to reduce friction to a minimum when it was realised that metal was attacked by the
;

39

</.

t 1

yt/M I

l-l /.'I

Techniques of the Gunsmith


chemical effects of explosives, pans and touch-holes were fitted
with thin protective layers of gold or platinum, since both
metals were unaffected by the chemicals' corrosive properties;

numerous
reduced

safety devices

to a

were introduced so

minimum; ramrods, always

were
were
which

that accidents
liable to loss,

attached to the stock by means of an ingenious swivel link

allowed free use, but which ensured that the attachment could
not be dropped. Many of these improvements were patented,
and details are readily available from patent lists of the period.
Much of the old pride of workmanship still remains in the

gunmaking industry today. One feels that the eighteenth


centurv 8|unmaker would feel very much at home in the workshop of some of the high-quality, sporting-gun manufacturers,
where modernisation has not meant a loss of personal attention
to detail or a pride in craftsmanship.

on Arquebusier from Didewhich was written between 1762


and 1772. This particular page shows the interior
and exterior view of a flintlock as well as certain
plate from the section

rot's Encyclopaedia

details of construction including a so-called 'false

breech' at the bottom.

41

3
ACCESSORIES

AND EXTRAS

earliest hand-gunner needed only a basic minimum of


equipment. Supplied with ball, powder and a burning ember he
was ready for action. As more complex systems of ignition were
developed so the number of devices required to operate the gun
increased, and by the early seventeenth century the musketeer
or caliveer had become festooned with an array of extras.
As well as his heavy, cumbersome musket and rest the
musketeer held a glowing match in his hand, and a few extra
lengths were stored in his hat or dangled from his belt. Two
containers held his coarse powder for loading and his fine powder

The

for priming, and in a leather

was more fortunate

pouch were

his lead bullets.

The

he did not have to carry a


heavy rest as did the musketeer. Flint and steel were also
required to kindle flame to ignite the slow-burning match. In
addition to all these extras he carried a sword or dagger and
caliveer

in that

wore a metal helmet.


The gunpowder was carried in a powder horn or flask and
these were of four main types. The musketeer had his large,
iron-bound, triangular flask made of wood, but more popular
with the hunter were those of horn; they were usuallv made
from a forked section of antler and were often embellished with
carving in high relief. The 'ring' flasks, inlaid with mother of
t-

pearl and similar decorative materials are

and are generally of high quality

42

both

much
in

less

common

construction

and

Accessories

and Extras

decoration. The most common everyday type was simply made


from a section of cowhom which had been boiled until it was
pliable, then pressed nearly flat and finally allowed to harden.
Decoration on these is often a simple, almost crude, engraving
usually depicting a rural or hunting scene.

Nearly all these containers were fitted with some kind of


nozzle which was designed to measure out the exact quantity of

powder required. On the command "Gage your Flask", the


seventeenth-century soldier placed his finger over the open end
of the nozzle and inverted the flask, at the same time pressing

powder to run from the


main body of the flask into the nozzle the cut-off was then
released and when the flask was righted the nozzle contained the
correct charge of powder.
The wheellock needed a spanner, and some flasks were made
with a spanner set into one side. Another type reversed the
process and had a spanner which was designed to act also as a
powder measure. The latter were intended for use with a flask
that had no automatic measure.
In the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth master
gunners were supplied with large horns of powder for priming
the cannon. These were of cow horn with the wide end closed
by a wooden disc and screw peg; the pointed end was fitted
a spring-loaded cut-off to allow the

with a simple spring-operated brass stopper. Some of these horns


W.D. (War Department), but the
majority are quite plain. Similar, smaller horns were carried at
the gunner's belt in the late seventeenth century.
Later flasks are usually of brass or copper, tend to lack the
decoration of the earlier flasks and are mostly pear-shaped. A
few, however, are embossed with a variety of patterns, hunting
scenes and trophies. The brass nozzles are frequently fitted with
a simply graduated dram-measure, which can be adjusted to give
three or four different quantities of powder. In England the
majority of this type of flask was produced by the two firms of
will be found with the letters

43

Accessories

and Extras

Hawkslev and Dixon who exported very

large quantities all over

the world.

Modern

now

copies of this type of flask are heina manufactured

and, although they are supplied by the manufacturer as

being copies,

some

are

already

finding their

way on

to

the

antique market.
Flasks of very similar shape but made of leather are commonly
encountered. Although at first glance they appear identical it
will

The

soon be seen that the nozzle


flasks

in particular

is

quite different.

contained the small lead pellets or shot, and the

ounces rather than drams. Some leather


in the form of a belt carried across the
shoulder and these are also intended for shot.
Many of the seventeenth-century musketeers were equipped
with a bandolier or broad shoulder belt from which dan8;led a
dozen or so wooden or horn containers. Each container held just
the precise charge required for one shot so eliminating the
measuring needed with an ordinary flask. Despite its obvious
advantages the bandolier was not without its hazards, and not
least was the danger of the containers taking fire. The rattling
of the containers, one against the other, was a serious handicap
when attempting a secret move, and for this reason many
military writers of the period recommended the use of cartridges.
By the middle of the seventeenth century cartridges had
reached fairly general use. Essentially they consisted of a sheet
of stout paper rolled round to form a tube which contained a
measured charge of powder and a lead bullet. To load, the
gunner bit or tore open the tube, poured the powder down the
barrel and then rammed home the paper and bullet with his
ramrod or scouring stick. These paper cartridges were often
carried in specially partitioned boxes of wood or leather.
nozzle

is

graduated

containers were

in

made

Simple powder horn, from the flattened section of


a cow horn, engraved with hunting scene. Belt
hook and carrying rings are both fitted. The nozzle,
lacking a spring, measures 2 ins., horn section 9-5 in.
It is probably German early seventeenth century.

Accessories

and Extras

were easily made, but production of lead bullets


simple for they had to be cast in a bullet mould. In the

Cartridges

was

less

case of an arsenal or military bodies the

moulds were often

designed to cast several bullets at one filling. The majority of


ordinary moulds cast only one projectile, but the advent of the
revolver introduced the double

mould which was

drilled for a

conical bullet or a ball.

The lead was heated in a crucible until it was just the right
temperature to ensure a smooth flow and even cooling. A small
amount was taken in a ladle and poured into the hole at the top
of the closed mould. After a short interval the mould was
opened and the ball removed. The small tail, or sprue, was
cut off by means of a simple cutter built into the mould. In the
mid-nineteenth century a David Napier invented a machine for
pressure-moulding
bullets,
and subsequently military-issue
moulds became much

The powder

less

common.

was extremely variable in content and


performance, and for accurate and consistent shooting it was
important to have some idea of the quality of the powder. The
only means available was to explode a given amount and assess its
strength. To do this some form of eprouvette, or powder tester,
was used, the majority of these little devices consisting of a wheel
which operated against the pressure of a spring. A measured
amount of powder was exploded, and the amount of rotation
produced measured, thus giving a rough idea of the force. Other
in use

eprouvettes raised weights or


basic idea

moved

was always the same. As

plungers but in essence the


a result of the various tests

one researcher in 1742 stated that the official-issue British


powder compared favourably with any made abroad. He dismissed with contempt the trade, or Guinea, powder as being the
worst of all.
The majority of weapons from the sixteenth to the nineteenth
centuries were muzzle-loading, but there were many designed
to be breech-loading. The most common of these breech-loaders

46

Accessories

and Extras

plate from the Book of Field Sports (i860) by


H. Miles showing the items recommended for the
hunter. Top left (3) is a shot belt intended to hold
2 lb. of shot. Top Right (5) is a patent cartridge carrier
which held 20-35 cartridges in a number of spring
clips attached to a revolving band. The case (17) is
described as being for a Westley Richards 'double'.
Centre bottom (9-15) shows a complicated sportsman's
knife designed by a foremost shooter of the period,
Lieutenant Hans Busk.

47

Accessories

and Extras

were small pocket pistols. In these weapons the short barrel


was unscrewed and powder and ball were placed in the breech
and the barrel screwed back on. To ensure a tight fit a barrel
key was provided and this fitted over the barrel and engaged
with a small lug, thus ensuring a good leverage. Another t\pe of
key fitted into the muzzle and engaged with a series of notches
cut into the end of the barrel. At first glance these notches give
the impression of rifling, but it will soon be seen that the notch
extends only a very short way

down

With muzzle-loading weapons

the

the inside of the barrel.

ramrod was most important

which was not properly rammed home could


The ramrods of many weapons are
often fitted with a detachable end which may be removed to
disclose a corkscrew-like attachment; known as a worm, it was
used to withdraw a charge should the weapon misfire the ramrod was pushed into the barrel and the worm rotated to bite into
the lead bullet which could then be pulled out. Other ramrods
had one end fitted with a powder measure which, filled with
powder, was inserted vertically into the barrel when the pistol
was held with the barrel pointing down. The pistol and ramrod
were then inverted and the powder deposited directly into the
since a charge

easily cause a burst barrel.

breech without the risk of any grains adhering to the inside of


the barrel.
In the case of Balkan,

rod

is

not housed

simulate a ramrod,

in

Turkish and Near-East weapons the ramMany stocks were carved to

the stock.

when

in fact it was carried separately susThese detached ramrods, or siima, are often
found with tweezers, powder measures or even daggers, designed
to screw into the rod.
Many powder flasks and pistols were fitted with a belt hook.
This was simply a metal bar which was affixed to the back of the
flask or pistol and thrust behind the belt, allowing the pistol to
hang on the outside. This device continued in use until well into
the nineteenth century and because of this holsters were not

pended from

a cord.

48

Accessories

and Extras

commonly used, except -for obvious reasons by horsemen.


Horsemen carried their holsters in pairs, one on either side
of the saddle. They were of thick leather and the top opening
could be covered by a heavy cap which was either strapped down

or else held
pistols

were

in place

single

by
shot

Since the great majority of

friction.

and

circumstances

necessitate several shots, the only solution

were

likely

was to carry

to

a large

number of pistols. Many of the eighteenth-century engravings of


show them equipped with a belt across the chest with
as many as twelve small holsters, each carrying a pistol. With the
advent of pepperboxes and revolvers the holsters became more
commonplace; at first they were often mounted on the saddle,
pirates

as in

the case of Colt's early revolvers, but soon smaller personal

holsters attached to the belt

shop in

Pall

holster, belt

Mall

made

were

in general use. Colt's

London

a point of advertising his patent-leather

and cartridge box. Contrary to general belief the


flap or strap which

majority of belt holsters were fitted with a

buttoned across the top of the holster ensuring that the revolver
would not be shaken out.
During the eighteenth century the usual containers in which

were sold were small cloth bags, often mentioned in


contemporary accounts. Towards the end of the century and

pistols

especially during the nineteenth,


sell

the weapons in

it

became common practice

wooden boxes. These

to

oak or
the arrangement

cases, usually of

mahogany, are of two main types, differing in


The great majority had the inside divided into
various sections to hold the weapon and its accessories. The
second, and less common, type is padded, and the compartments are actually moulded to the shape of the weapon, powder
of the interior.

flask, etc.

The number of 'extras' varied greatly and, in many cases,


included additional cylinders for revolvers, spare barrels and
multi-purpose tools. Colt's nipple keys were designed to serve
as screwdrivers as well. Sporting guns were often supplied in
s.A.

49

\f<

Rare nipple gauge, probably part of the


left
equipment of a gunmakcr's shop made by W. & C.
Eley of London. Top left Capper, marked S. Allport

Bottom

made of German silver. Middle Brass


capper marked J.S. Improved. Ry/ir Fulminate pill
dispenser marked C. Moore London. As the toothed
wheel was rotated a small pill of explosive fulminate
passed through the nozzle at the bottom.

improved,

.-

cases, although these

were frequently of leather and

fitted

ith

a handle so that they could serve as carrying cases.


In

general the soldier was not encouraged to tamper with the

mechanism of

his

firearm,

but of course the armourer was

SO

and Extras

Accessories

supplied with tools for this purpose. In the nineteenth century


a great variety of

combination tools were produced and usually

incorporated simple screwdrivers, worms, prickers for cleaning


nipples, and spring clamps

as

well as sections carrying spare

nipples.

The introduction of percussion

caps greatly facilitated the

loading of firearms, but the cap was so small that fitting


nipple could be tedious, especially
cold.

To

if

it

on the

the hands were gloved or

ease this important operation various cappers, or cap

were designed. The commonest type was a flat,


which unscrewed, revealing
a spiral channel, and into this the caps were placed; a springloaded arm exerted a gentle pressure on the line of caps, ensuring
that as one cap was fitted on to the nipple another moved into
dispensers,

circular container, the top plate of

position at the opening.

was of great importance that the tube joining the priming


and free from clogging. In the
case of the flintlock this was easy and could be done by a needle.
The connecting tube on a percussion lock, however, was very
much finer, and if it became badly clogged cleaning was difficult.
Exploding a cap on the nipple was one method, but to increase
the effect nipple-primers were designed. These gadgets inserted
a few grains of powder right into the nipple and the tiny explosion was sufficient to clear the stoppage.
For the discriminating shooter numerous other devices were
produced such as muzzle protectors which were designed to fit
over the end of a rifle barrel, keeping out the dirt and, at the
same time, guarding the foresight. Nipple guards, heavily
padded with leather, were made to fit over the nipple ensuring
that it was kept clean and free from knocks when not in use. It
could also be used for practice firing since the leather cushioned
the hammer and so prevented any serious damage.
Bayonets were often supplied as an extra item with many long
arms, and were not exclusively military. The earliest plug
It

to the charge should be kept clear

51

D2

Accessories

and Extras

bayonets were simply pushed into the end of the barrel once the
weapon had been fired. Soon this type was replaced by the
socket bayonet which fitted round the barrel and could be left in
place whilst the weapon was fired. In some countries, however
- notably Spain - plug bayonets were manufactured long after
the socket type had become common. The more modern type,
locking over the muzzle and on to a stud, came into general use

about the middle of the nineteenth century, but again the


socket type was retained by the military until much later. The
scabbards of the bayonet are usually of leather with steel or brass
fittings. Some American and Continental scabbards are entirely
of metal.

Only the more common accessories have been dealt with


here, but there were many others produced and it is always
worth turning over boxes of odds and ends in the hope that
some of these unusual items will come to light.

52

4
COLLECTORS AND
COLLECTING
Most collectors would aaree
there

is

usually

everything

is

distinct

that, in the Hrst

'magpie'

Hush ol enthusiasm,

approach.

sought after and the main object

acquisition of pieces.
financial reach

is

Any

pistol,

acquired, and

Anything and
is simply the

long arm or accessory within


it

is

only very gradually that

becomes channelled and specialisation


Inevitably some purchases made during this early
interest

takes

over.

stage will be

is something to be
magpie period.
In the first place every weapon, no matter how ordinary and
commonplace, adds something to the collector's experience and
knowledge. Secondly, a reserve of weapons is built up which can
be 'turned over', or sold, at a later date. As better and more
expensive specimens are acquired the money raised by the sale
of surplus items is most useful and welcome.

regretted later, but despite this danger there

said for the

The

new

disposal of items

is

much

easier than the acquisition of

ones, althouah the channels are

purposes. In the search for

new

much

the same for both

pieces for the collection per-

is the most important attribute. Every possible source,


few impossible ones, must be tried, and, what is most
important, tried regularly. The popular antique markets are not
littered with bargains, and dealers have usually swept the market
clear early in the morning long before the first hopeful tourist
arrives; moreover, a piece may well have changed hands several

sistence

and

Si

Collectors

and

Collecting

times, each change raising the price, before the


to the scene.

Thus

it is

unlikely, though

first visitors

get

by no means impossible,

made. However, there is always the


up', and for this reason
frequent visits are worthwhile.
Ordinary street markets which flourish in most towns in Britain
and Europe can also produce items of interest and are always
worth visiting.
Antique dealers should be visited frequently and soon the
dealer will begin to put aside pieces likely to be of interest and,
when buying, he will keep an eye open for items which he
knows he can probably sell to particular collectors.
that any great finds will be

possibility

of something

'turning

Notice from a provincial gunmaker. The James Wilson mentioned is listed as working towards
the end of the eighteenth century.

THOMAS MONCK,

STAMFORDj

GUNSMITH,

TA K E U
the
Brother,

Edmund Monck,

Journeyman

ND

S, and
I E
S the liberty to acquaint his F
his
engaged
has
he
that
B L I C in General,
to James fTtlfon

Clock and Watch-maker, late


and that he intends carrying

on the Clock and Watch-making bufniefi.


Thofe who pleafe to fav.our him with their Commands,
may depend on their Orders being well executed, in the heft
Manner, on the loweft Terms, and the flavours gratetuUy
acknowledged, by their moft obedient Servant,

THOMAS MONCK.
STAMFORD:

Printed by

T.

HO

WG

RAV

E.

Collectors
It

and Collecting

can be both advantageous and frustrating to buy from a nonany profound knowledge
possible that an unusual piece can be purchased at a reason-

specialist dealer. Since the dealer lacks


it is

able

figure.

On

the other hand such dealers tend to price

commonplace pieces

at a higher figure than the collector

expect, simply because a similar but possibly

more

would

interesting,

is reported to have reached such a figure.


Auction sales as a source of supply have a number of hazards
the first, and often the greatest, is the catalogue. Catalogue
descriptions can be most misleading and on occasions wildly

piece

inaccurate.

No

reputable firm would publish a false description,

but since the description must be brief


unintentionally

wrong

idea.

The

it

is

possible to give an

biggest danger

comes when

putting in a postal bid, for here one must judge on description


alone.
If

possible the lots should be

examined

at the

viewing

when

they are available for close study. After a few comparisons of


lots and descriptions it should be possible to assess the accuracy,

or otherwise, of the catalogue and so decide

may be

placed on

it

how much

reliance

in future.

If attendance at the sale is impossible a postal bid can be made


or the services of a commission buyer utilised. These buyers

will act

on behalf of the

collector,

examine the piece and bid up

to the figure decided on. Their fee

is

a percentage, usually five

to ten per cent, of the purchase price. Naturally the


will

now

prove that

much more

weapon

expensive, but the piece has

been examined and, unless specifically so-instructed, the dealer


not bid if he feels the piece is at all doubtful. He will also
advise as to what would be a likely and reasonable price.
Price is always an extremely difficult problem especially at
auction sales. The only real answer to the question "what is it
worth?" must always be that it is worth just as much as the
collector is prepared to pay for it. If two collectors want the
same piece the price will rise accordingly. For this reason
will

55

and Collecting

Collectors
similar pieces

may

fetch ten pounds at one sale and thirty at

another, simply because at the second there happened to be

more competition. Some guidance


obtained by studying the

list

as to

current values

may be

of prices realised at previous sales.

Most auction rooms will supply these lists for a small charge.
At an auction it is generally best to set a price and stick to it.
If the bidding passes this figure do not continue in the hopes
that another ten shillings may secure it. The usual result is that
the price continues to rise, and even
collector finds he has paid

much more

if

he

is

successful the

than was intended.

There are several ways by which a collector may dispose of


surplus items. Probably the most advantageous course, as

his

far as price

is

concerned,

is

a private

sale direct to

another

There are no charges or commission, but the biggest


problem of course is finding a suitable customer at the right
time. There is no such problem when selling to an antique
dealer, for they are available all the time and will usually buv
any weapon in reasonable condition. However, they are in the
trade to make a profit and the price that they offer will be less
than that from a private collector. The dealer will know fairly
accurately the price he can hope to get and from this sum he
will deduct his profit, the resultant figure being the one he
collector.

offers.

Auction rooms are

a third

means of

disposal and the

number

of rooms dealing with arms and armour has risen considerably

over the last few years. There are some half a dozen in London
and at least another three or four in the provinces. Weapons
handed into a sales room should be accompanied by a reserve
price and a detailed description for the catalogue. The reserve
price represents the lowest figure at which the item can be sold.
Should the bids fail to reach this figure the item will then be
withdrawn. Nearly all auction rooms require that the lot should

Book of Field Sports by H. Miles, showing


weapons which the author recommended in glowing phrases. The target was six feet
by two feet with an Sin. bullseye; 48 rounds were
Print from

some of

Colt's

fired at a

range of 400 yards, using a Colt regulation


by Lt. Hans Busk.

rifle, as

illustrated

Collectors

and Collecting

be handed in some time in advance of the sale, but a few will


allow lots to be 'written in'. If a piece is to be written in it can
be handed in right up to the day of the sale, but, of course, this
means that no description appears in the catalogue and the only
people to
a

know

of

it

will be those present.

If the weapon is sold (and even if it fails to reach its reserve)


charge is made by the auction rooms; this figure varies, but in

the U.K.

it

is

usually

around ten per cent of the

in the U.S.A. the figure

is

frequently

much

selling price;

higher. This

sum

is

deducted from the price received, and the balance will be


forwarded to the vendor, although it may be days or weeks
before the cheque is actually sent.
It is quite obvious that price must be a deciding factor in
what can be collected. Wheellocks are delightful and beautiful
weapons, but only the wealthiest can hope to build up a collection of them. The flintlock was in use for a much longer period
and many more were made and it is still fairly common. Percussion weapons were produced in quantity and being more
recent many more have survived, but on the whole they are less
attractive to collectors than the flintlock. Long arms are bulkier,
less easy to display and store, and for these reasons tend to be
popular with collectors than pistols.
Cartridge weapons are outside the province of this book and,

less

any case, require a firearms certificate in Britain. The 1937


Firearms Act sets down that firearms kept as curios and decorations do not need to be licensed if they are over 100 years old.
It must be emphasised that this exclusion applies only to weapons
which are not used for shooting, and if they are so-used, then a
in

licence

is

required.

The

local

police are responsible for the

enforcement of the Act and sliould be consulted

where there
It

is

will be seen that for

normal means

in

any case

doubt.

is

all

practical purposes the collector of

limited to Hintlock and jHMxussion pieces, but

within these two broad categories there are many approaches.

Collectors

and Collecting

The period in time covers nearly three hundred years, and both
types of weapon were made and used over the whole world.
Most

collectors

would agree

that

specialisation

tends

to

develop gradually and the theme selected is seldom deliberately


chosen. Perhaps some association, form of design, or mechanism
will strike a response and from this point on all other items are

eschewed.

Whether

the collector specialises or not the procedure on

new item

be the same. In general the


a close examination.
This will enable the collector to decide just how much cleaning
or restoration is likely to be needed. Having decided on this the
weapon should be stripped down to its component parts, but no
matter how familiar one is with the type of weapon care should
be taken and the whole operation done carefully and methodically. When the stripping has been done the parts should be
cleaned and examined for cracks, marks or pitting. Details of all
marks should be made and any relevant measurements taken.
Some form of permanent record should be made of each
weapon, and the degree of detail must be a matter for each
acquiring any
first

is

likely to

step should be nothing

collector.

more than

The example given below

collectors but obviously

it

will

suffice

for

most

may be extended or contracted

as

desired.

DESIGNATION
ITEM

MAKER

(i.e.

number

in collection etc.)

DATE

Twigg, London.
C.I 800

MARKS

London Proof.

OVERALL LENGTH
BARREL LENGTH
BORE

S"

DETAILS

26.

Boxlock, brass barrel, F/L pocket pistol.

3"
."
diameter of barrel)
Slab-sided butt of walnut, concealed trigger,
top-sliding safety catch top jaw replacement.
(i.e. inside

^9

and Collecting

Collectors

SOURCE

Purchased Portobcllo Market, Jan. 1964.

Vy\LUE

REFERENCES
These

details

See George,

on

a card,

Pistols

and Revolvers, page 98.

together with a drawing or photoaraph

will give all relevant information at a glance.

The

value entered

requires revision at intervals as prices rise over the years.

privacy this value


figure

is

When

may be

represented by

For
simple price code where every
letter known only to the collector.
in a

made the

the entry has been

must be considered. Some

like to

display of the

weapon

put the whole collection on

view, whilst others like to limit the display to one or two


is obviously a matter of personal preference,

choice items. This

decided some means of hanging the weapons is


a simple, cheap and versatile means
for the surface may be painted, papered or covered with material,
and the fittings available will usually accommodate all but the
heaviest and bulkiest items. If a suitable fitting is not available
but whatever

is

needed. Pegboard provides

it

can be easily constructed from soft iron wire. The wire used
is very suitable and easily obtain-

for securincT crates and parcels


able.

Ideally the collection should be behind ^lass, but this

always possible or desirable;

if

the

weapon

is

is

unprotected

not
it

is

and oiling, for dust and


dam|:> can quickly mar the finest of specimens.
Those weapons not displayed should be oiled and packed
away. Ideally no two items should be in contact, but a^ain if
this is impossible the weapon should be wrapped. Old socks
form a convenient and useful container, taking all but the longest
of pistols. Filing cabinets or chests of drawers form useful storage
cabinets and a lining of rubber or foam plastic will help to
guard against accidental ban^s when opening and closing the
drawers. The patent rust inhibitors are useful assets and may
be placed in each drawer.
essential to carry out frequent cleaning

60

Collectors

and

Collcctincj

The handling of weapons calls for a certain amount of care


in general, no weapon should be cocked without first
checking with the owner that it is safe to do so. When the

and,

hammer

or cock has been pulled back the trigger should never

be pressed unless the

hammer

is

firmly held and allowed to

return slowly to the fired position.

Failure to observe this


important rule will inevitably lead to broken cocks, hammers
and nipples.

One final point to bear in mind is the question of insurance.


Many insurance companies will arrange coverage at a modest
premium. The company will usually require some verification of
value and this can be done by any competent dealer for a small
fee.

simple display using peg wires plus standard and

home-made supports; re-arrangements

6i

are

easy.

5
AND

FAKES
Prior to

World War

II

COPIES

the market for antique pistols was

meet the normal demand.


Pre-war collectors and dealers love to regale newcomers with
tales of incredibly cheap prices paid for fine-quality pieces.
Any weapon not in first-class condition was simply rejected out
limited, and supply was sufficient to

of hand. After the war interest in the

field

of antiques gradually

expanded, and with the increased interest came a rise in output


of published material. These books stimulated further interest,
and a spiral movement started with a greater demand for a
diminishing supply. As is the case in every field of scarcity a
certain amount of questionable material began to find its way
into the markets, and it is to be regretted that this supply has
increased to meet the demand. It therefore behoves the collector
to take care when buying any new piece.
The amount of care that a collector must take depends
greatly on the source of the supply. A reputable and established
dealer will never knowingly sell any weapon without pointing
out doubtful features. His reputation is the collector's safeguard
and in every case the dealer should be prepared to sign a receipt
describing exactly the item beina sold.
this,

then the purchaser

description.

At

least

may

If

the dealer refuses to do

well query the value of the dealers'

one very well-known London dealer

antique weapons will allow

known

on approval before deciding

to buy. This

62

in

collectors to take an item


is

the fairest possible

Fakes and Copies

method, but of course it is a system which cannot be adopted


in every case being open to abuse.
The majority of auction rooms sell the lots as they stand and,
it is therefore up to the purchaser to arrive at his own decision
in the majority of cases he has no redress if the piece turns out to
be a fake, unless it has been specifically described as genuine.
In the case of purchases from an unknown dealer or collector
the buyer must be even more vigilant.
The blatant fake is likely to fool only the most inexperienced
collector, but it is the adapted and altered piece that requires
some skill to detect. It is not always easy to be dogmatic, and
experts have often been known to differ over the authenticity of
a piece. In many cases it is no more than a matter of opinion,
cogent arguments being advanced by both sides. Obviously
opinion must be guided by experience, and the expert's opinion
is valued because he has studied the subject and, above all, has
examined a large number of items. It is the experience that comes
from handling the various weapons that is of most use to the
collector.
It

is

easy to advise a collector that he needs experience and

much

must be admitted
go about getting it.
Many firearms dealers are sympathetic and will allow collectors
to browse in their shops, handling and examining their stock,
but their time and patience are obviously limited. The same
remarks apply to museums which cannot allow all and sundry to
open their cases and examine the exhibits.
Possibly the best places to recommend are the sale rooms.
Here it is possible to pick up and examine in detail a large
variety of specimens ranain^ from top-quality pieces to the more
suggest that he gets as
that

it is

as possible,

not quite so easy to advise him

but

mundane, run-of-the-mill material.


Even more beneficial, though not always
contact with fellow collectors.
will not be delighted to

It

show
63

is

it

how to

so easy,

is

to

make

very rare that a collector

off his collection to a fellow

Fakes and Copies

museums and libraries can often help in this


some of the better-known societies

enthusiast. Dealers,

matter, and the addresses of

can be obtained from appropriate reference books. There exists


a camaraderie

amongst collectors which will ensure

perience and

resources

available to a

newcomer.

Museums
for

of fellow

many

that the ex-

be

readilv

it

means of study, but except


must be regretfully admitted

cases the labels are not always reliable. Standards

are improving and this

by local collectors. In

is

partly

many

due to pressure brought to bear

cases

it

is

better to visit collections

frequently, examining the exhibits from


as

will

will provide a second-best

the well-known collections

that in

collectors

all

the cases will allow, but limiting each

directions, as closely

visit to a

certain selec-

tion of the exhibits.

Books are the third source of knowledge and experience. The


of books dealing with firearms and associated subjects is now
quite formidable and it is almost impossible to keep up to date
with the flood of new titles. Many of the earlier books have been
superseded by more reliable, modern volumes published at
prices ranging from a few shillings to several guineas. The new
collector is faced with an imposing list of titles. Obviously the
scope of his interests will limit his choice, but it is possible to
build up a basic reference library which will help in most
matters. One very important point in deciding on a book must
be the illustrations and it will be found that a few good photographs are often worth a whole chapter of text.
list

The perfect book has yet to be written but the bibliography


on page 77 lists a number of titles which may be easilv obtained
and which can be relied on for general accuracy. The titles are
limited to those written in Hnirlish, but there are also

published

in Italy,

Germany and France

many

that arc of the greatest

- allowintJ for the lanuuaije problem.


The books should be studied and comjwred and

value

means

it

is

bv no

waste of time to cover the captions and attempt to date

64

Fakes and Copies

and identify the various pieces before readina about them.


Assuming that a beginner has now acquired a fair basic knowledge and is anxious to add to his collection, how is he to decide
on the authenticity of a piece? The first step must be to handle
the item, for there is a 'feel' about a good quality weapon that is
difficult to describe but is nonetheless tangible. If the barrel
has been changed it is not uncommon for the balance to be upset,
although, in general, this applies only to top-quality pieces.

The next

examine the visible metal work. If there


uniform and if not, is there a reasonable
explanation for the discrepancy? Replacements will not, unless
carefully worked, bear the same degree of pitting. The most
commonly replaced parts are likely to be the cock, top jaw, and
screw, and particular attention should be paid to these. It is now
possible to obtain cast blanks of these items which need only be
is

pitting

step

filed to shape,

old

is

to

and rusting

worked

but these are of a different metal texture to the

steel

tinguish them.

is it

and

it

is

possible for a practised eye to dis-

The shape of

the cock, jaw and tri^^er should all


be critically appraised and they should conform to certain broad
patterns

which are

fairly

easily

discrepancy should be examined

been

recognisable.

more

Any obvious

closely to see

if

there has

a replacement.

Next the stock and furniture should be examined. The lock


and similar parts which are let into the stock should fit snugly
without gaps. Any fresh cutting or shaping must be suspect. If a
piece has been stored in a warm dry place for a long period the
stock may shrink, but the gaps left by shrinkage are small and
follow closely the line of the lock or similar fitting. If possible
the lock should be removed and the recess examined, for it is
not unknown for locks to be replaced and the stock cut to
accommodate the replacement. Any fresh cutting here should
condemn the weapon as having been tampered with. The chances
of a lock fitting perfectly into a different stock are small for

each weapon was a unique piece


S..4.

albeit from the same craftsman,

6^

Fakes and Copies


hand-finished, and thus varied sHghtly from

Any marks should next be examined

its

companions.

for these can be of the

a specimen. The great majority of


were tested or proved, and a mark verifying this proof
was stamped on to the barrels. Since there was a considerable
export market it is not uncommon to find English barrels in

utmost value in identifying


barrels

French

or Spanish barrels in English stocks.


proof marks there may be a maker's mark
or name on the barrel and lock plate, and obviously these should
correspond. This was not necessarily the case with top-quality
early pieces where there may be as many as three or four names.
pistols

In addition to the

barrel, lock, stock and decoration were done by separate


craftsmen each of whom placed his mark or name on the weapon.
There are many lists of makers' names and marks and many

The

of the books in the bibliography contain such


not to be accepted as definite, for research

lists.
is

These

lists

are

necessitating fre-

quent revision. However, for general purposes the dates given


may be accepted as being reasonably accurate.
Absence of a maker's name means no more than that it was
probably made by a smaller gunsmith who did not feel that his
name was likely to enhance its value. It was not unknown for
retailers to have their names inscribed on the weapon, and in
this case

the

name on

the

weapon

will not appear in any

list

of

makers.

Any

silver

hallmark

or gold work on a weapon will normally bear

the date of the hallmark should obviously tally with

the date of the weapon.

The maker's name or mark will usually be engraved on the


metal work, and engraving will also be used for decorative
effect as well it is a skilled job and amateur embellishments are
normally easy to distinguish. Inscriptions should always be
examined extremely carefully, especially if they purport to
prove an association with a famous event or person. Since such
an association will certainly mean that a high price is being
;

66

Fakes and Copies


asked
If

it is

a very wise precaution to get a second expert opinion.

a piece

cased the accessories and case should also be

is

Check that the bullet mould matches the calibre of


the weapon; see if the maker's name and the trade label, if
present, are the same. The weapon should rest snugly in the
scrutinised.

compartments and any breaks or cutting should be


examined closely. The lining will normally show signs of rubbing
and wear and these marks should obviously match the weapon
and accessories. The majority of cases were of oak and mahogany,
and the method of construction was fairly uniform so it is as
well to examine some genuine cases.
It is easy to suggest these points to bear in mind, but impossible
to be dogmatic, and each item must be assessed as a whole.
There may be a perfectly acceptable reason for an apparent
discrepancy and it is a rash collector who condemns too hastily.
Weapons by their very nature and purpose were subject to
hard wear and must have suffered damage and consequent repair.
It is thus not uncommon to find pistols with damaged stocks
carefully put together, but once again - experience will
enable the collector to judge whether it is a modern repair or
not. In the case of later revolvers the various parts were numbered and if it happened that a piece was broken it was replaced
and the number, therefore, differs.
Dirt should not, of itself, be a reason for rejecting a piece,
for accumulated fluff, dried oil and dirt can make a genuine
piece look like scrap material and yet when this filth is removed
a piece well worth having may be revealed. On the other hand
there is a deeper ingrained dirt which is extremely difficult to
remove and this can be a real problem. In the case of fakes the
fitted

first
is

type of dirt

less likely to

Having

weapon
decision

is

looked

a decision
is

fairly easily simulated,

but the ingrained dirt

conceal a dud.
at,
handled, examined and prodded the
must be made and it is unfortunate that the

usually required at short notice.

67

Some

dealers will
E

Fakes and Copies


hold an item for
his

mind, but

Wherever

limited period whilst the collector makes up

many

is out of the question.


grounds for doubt, do not
a second opinion, for no reputable dealer will

in

possible,

hesitate to call in

if

cases this grace

there

are

object.

To buy or not?

genuine and is something; that


no problem apart from the
the biggest problem arises when there is some doubt
price
about one aspect. There are some who will not consider any
item which isn't completely original and this is understandable,
but, for the average collector, just a little too idealistic. In general
every collector must compromise and accept pieces which are
If

the piece

is

the collector wants, then there

is

is how far one is prepared to


and
the
best
answer
must surely be 'as little as
compromise

not perfect. The areat decision


possible'.

How common
forgeries

are

are fakes and copies? Deliberate out-and-out

not really

common,

the

for

amount of work

Except with the higher-priced


weapons, like early and rare Colts and fine-quality wheellocks,
involved

is

usually

excessive.

The number of

'near'

higher. Barrels can be cut

down

the return would hardly justify the labour.


forgeries

is

regrettably

much

or extended, locks changed, stocks re-cut, decoration and


inscriptions added, and it is not unknown for weapons to be

from spare parts metal work can be treated


copy of genuine pitting, and the
pitfalls for the unwary can be many. There are now firms,
especially in America, which specialise in the production of
blanks, screws, springs and even produce do-it-yourself kits to
build pistols and guns. These pieces are sold in good faith, but

practically rebuilt
to

produce

a very creditable

of course the unscrupulous

may

materials. In certain fields there

increased

demand

has given

produce extremely
I

lintlock pistols.

well take advantage of these


is

rise

fine replicas

The weapons

a greater

to

danger

number of

still

of Colts, Remingtons and


are well

68

for the

firms

who

Tower

made by craftsmen

in

Fakes and Copies


Belgium,
nearly

all

and Japan and are intended to be Hred. They are


marked by the firm producing them and show clearly

Italy

that they are reproductions, but again

few years' time wear and the

some of

these into fakes

skill

which

it is

to be feared that in a

of the forger will have turned

many collectors. Not


made but other accessories

will fool

only are pistols and revolvers beina

- bullet moulds, powder flasks and nipple keys - as well.


Despite the apparent hazards and snags listed above the
collector should not be too frightened of making a decision.
Inevitablv there will be times when a wrong decision is taken,
but this must be borne with. In conclusion it must be stressed
once again that there is no substitute for experience in handling
weapons, and no opportunity of gaining this experience should
be missed if the collector hopes to build up a decent collection.

69

6
AND

REPAIRS

RESTORATION
When

does a repair become

when

restored and

problem

it

restoration?

When

a piece

is

faked? These two questions pose a

that faces every collector at

sible to replace a

new

is

broken spring

is

it

some time.

If it is

permis-

not equally right to cut a

stock?

The

of the problem may be debated and argued


most collectors would agree that in general it is

niceties

endlessly, but

acceptable that a piece be restored as nearly as possible to


original condition, but

no additions, embellishments or

its

altera-

tion can ever be justified; to repair a stock

is right, to add an
wrong. From this it would seem reasonable
to argue that the difference between a restored piece and a fake
is simply one of intention. The guiding idea behind any work
should be the restoration of the weapon to the condition it was
in when first made. Accepting this principle any piece which is
changed in any way from its original design may, with justification, be called bogus. The putting together of disassociated
pieces to make a weapon must be condemned, for it con-

inscription

is

utterly

travenes this basic principle.


If

restoration or repair

is

permissible

how

far

may one go?

probably one of the most hotly debated points amongst


collectors. In spite of what has been said most would not agree

This

is

to the

complete restoration of

and coloured,

all

weapon with

decoration restored,

70

new

parts

barrels buffed

made and

the

Repairs and Restoration

mechanism overhauled. Collectors tend

to

condemn

a piece that

and usually prefer a piece that has just


been carefully cleaned and a minimum of essential work done.
However, the final decision is the individual collector's and
must be largely a matter of taste.
Obviously the amount and extent of restoration undertaken
personally must be determined by the collector's skill. If he
lacks the appropriate skill the only right course is to find someone else to do the job. There are few more depressing sights
than a badly restored piece. A poor restoration is frequently
much worse than the condition it sought to remedy and means
that more work is involved in renewing the poor-quality work
and in refurbishing.
Even if the collector lacks the requisite mechanical and
technical skill he can still do a great deal. It must be emphasised
that the first action on acquiring any muzzle-loading weapon
should always be to check that it is unloaded, for it is not
uncommon to find weapons still charged with powder and shot
gunpowder does deteriorate with age but is still capable of
producing a nasty explosion. The easiest method of checking is
to push a piece of dowel down the barrel until it will go no
further. Mark off the length of dowel inside the barrel, and if
this measurement corresponds with the outside length of barrel
it may be taken that no charge is present. Should a charge be
found the greatest care must be taken in drawing the ball and
shaking out the powder. It would be as well to wash out the
barrel with warm water.
Assuming that the weapon requires some attention the first
useful job is to strip the whole thing down, but taking the
greatest care with each step. The procedure will vary slightly
for each weapon, but, in general, the lock should be removed
first by unscrewing the one or two screws passing through the
stock. Often the screws are stubborn and rusty and the importance of a correct sized screwdriver cannot be over-emphasised.

has had this full treatment

71

Repairs and Restoration

A well fitting head can make all the


when trying to loosen a screw, and it
screwdrivers and

worth buying several


snugly into the most
the screw refuses to move, pene-

the blade until

filing

common-sized screw heads.

difference in the world

If

is

it fits

trating oil can be used as well as a very gentle tapping of the

screwdriver.

the screw resists every effort, then

If

have to be drilled out


After the lock,

as a last

barrel

tiie

it

may

well

desperate measure.

next to be removed by undoing

is

the tang screw and tapping out the securing pins, or removing

The

the securing bands.

trigger guard,

butt cap and ramrod

pipes are usually held in by pins or screws and these can also be

When

removed.

tapping out the pins, a blunted metal dart forms

Very great care

a useful punch.

pin rusts and fuses to the

knock can break

When

oft

wood

is

necessary, for sometimes the

of the stock.

hard, incautious,

quite a large piece of the stock.

weapon has been stripped as far as possible one can


amount of restoration and cleanini^ required. The first
step is usually the removal of rust. The collector soon learns to
recognise two kinds of rust, the easily-removed, reddish layer
the

assess the

and the tougher, more-penetrating, blackish film. Both require


some form of abrasive and, in general, the least abrasive material
which is effective should be used. Jewellers' emery paper is very
useful indeed, the grades varying from mildly coarse to one so
fine that

are
If

it

feels

still less

work

is

almost like ordinary paper. The coarsest grades


most grades of emery cloth or paper.

abrasive than

started with a coarse ^rade and replaced with finer

grades as the rust


finish.

Much

is

reduced the

final

result will be a

mirror

labour can be saved by soaking off the worst of the

rust with a mixture of oil

and

paraffin.

The mixture may

be wiped on, or small pieces immersed and

left

either

to soak.

There are certain proprietary rust-removers on the market


which are very effective, but they must be handled with care.
If

the metal

^n^\,

is

in eftect,

left

too long in the solution the surface

etched.

When

is

attacked

taken out from the rust-remo\er

72

Repairs and Restoration


the surface

with very

When

often a rather leaden colour, but further polishing

is

fine

emery

will restore a shine.

the metal surface has been brought to the desired

degree of finish a thin layer of oil should be applied and handling


with bare hands avoided, for grease from the pores can leave
quite a corrosive deposit which will lead to rusting.

If oil

is

undesirable certain proprietory dusters can be obtained. These


are impregnated with a silicone preparation and,

when wiped

over a surface, leave behind a thin protective film.


The stock will also require cleaning, and one of the best
methods here is to work the surface gently and carefully with
linseed oil and fine steel wool. Properly applied this process
will remove most of the old varnish and dirt. Once a good finish
has been achieved it will probably require little more than an
occasional wipe over to maintain a good surface. Polish may be
used, but aaain this is a matter of choice.
Dents can be removed, or at least greatly reduced, by the
steam method. A piece of cloth, soaked in hot water, is placed
over the dent and a hot iron applied until steam is given off. The
hot steam causes the wood to swell, so reducing the dents.

Improved polishes now available will give a fine finish to ^old,


pewter and brass. Normally nothing more than a good

silver,

clean

is

required to bring out the beauty of the decorative effect

of these

metals,

but

the

collector

advisability of lacquering the surfaces

The lacquer
polished

may wonder about the


when they are cleaned.

has a tendency to reduce the brilliance of a finely

surface

but,

of course,

it

does mean that cleaning

problems are greatly reduced. If lacquer is used it should be the


very best quality otherwise it will darken and so defeat its own
purpose.

Cleaning and stripping really present no serious problems,


but the restoration of a broken or missing part
easy.

The

Of course,

first
it is

is

not quite so

must be to decide exactly what is missing.


easy to say that the top jaw or cock is broken and

step

73

Repairs and Restoration

must be replaced, but before anything can be done it is essential


to know exactly what the missing piece looked like. Reference

made

should be

to photographs,

museum

items or similar pieces

Measurement and sketches must be made


or else photographs taken. A working sketch must then be
produced and shaping started. Nowadays it is possible to obtain
cast blanks of cocks and top jaws and this has removed a lot of
the drudgery from the job of making these pieces, but it is
still very much a matter of working slowly, shaping and checking
on the pistol and on the diagram to ensure a reasonably finished
in other collections.

piece.

great deal of skill

is

required to manufacture a spring;

own they would


an easy business. The temper must
be just right or the spring will snap after one or two compressions. In general it is more satisfactory to have the job done by a

although

many

collectors

certainly not claim that

do make their

it is

professional spring-maker. If ordering a spring

it is

essential to

give the fullest possible details as to dimension and strength.

Preferably the lock should be sent with the order.

Ramrod

and butt caps can all be obtained


fit. As pointed out in
the chapter on fakes, the brass tends to be slightly different in
colour since brass is an alloy and its composition may vary
pipes, trigger guards

pre-cast and, usually, need only be filed to

considerably.
Barrels normally require little in the

way of

restoration apart

from cleaning. In the case of octagonal barrels the cleaning cloth


should be wrapped round a flat stick to ensure the whole surface
is

evenly cleaned.

When

removed from the stock some of


brown colouring will often be seen on the

the barrel has been

the original blue or

underside. This particular effect was obtained by a controlled


rusting process which left a surface that would not easily rust
any further. The effect is rather pleasing and the collector may
well feel that he would like to re-brown the barrel. There are

74

Repairs and Restoration


dozens of formulae and most collectors have their own favourite,
but with all of them two things are essential before the solution
is applied the barrel must be given a fine mirror finish, though if
:

the surface
started;

not recommended that browning be


been obtained the surface must
grease. Strong detergent or stain-removing

pitted

is

when

it

is

a fine polish has

be cleansed of all
fluid may be used, and once the grease has been removed the
metal should not be touched again with the bare hand. It is
useful to push a wooden stick down the muzzle and use this as a
convenient handle. The solution is then applied evenly over the
whole surface and the barrel left until an even layer of red rust
appears. This layer of rust is removed and the process repeated
a large number of times. After a recommended time the barrel
is washed in hot water and polished, and if the procedure has
been successful a fine, deep brown colour will appear. The
process can be rather chancy but if it is unsuccessful there is no
damage since the barrel can easily be restored to a bright polished
state with no harmful consequences.
Blueing is both easier and less effective. The original blueing
is distinctive and was obtained by a process involving heat.
Patent preparations are available to provide a cold blue and, once
again, it is imperative that the surface be absolutely free from
grease.

The

resultant

blue

is

nearly always a

much

deeper,

darker blue than the old original colour but, nonetheless, many
collectors would sooner see this than a plain polished surface.
Stocks are often cracked or split and once again technology

many fine impact adhesives which form an


bond.
Some of these preparations are instantly
immensely strong
adhesive and great care must be taken to ensure that an accurate
join can be made before uniting the pieces. If a piece of the stock
Plastic
is broken the job is obviously much more complex.
has

made

available

wood, in general, should be eschewed for it is seldom satisfactory


and gives a poor amateur look to the job. If a new piece of wood
is to be inserted it is essential to study the grain and it can be a

75

Repairs and Restoration


long and tedious process finding just the right piece of wood to
match the stock. The result of a successful search, however,
will always repay the

Missing ramrods of

time and trouble spent.

wood

taperina steel ramrod of

are easily replaced, but the gradually

long arm

is

much

trigger

problem

and unless there are extensive machine-shop facilities to hand it is


probably best to compromise with an ordinary parallel -sided

ramrod.
This very general survey of restoration cannot possibly do
^ive a few general hints and suggest possible lines of

more than

approach. The bibliography gives the titles of several books


which may prove of use, and many of the periodicals often include

which contain

articles

One

final

useful tips.

word of caution -

if at all in

to restore or not, the best advice

piece

is

much

the latter

is

less attractive

missina

some

is

doubt about whether

'don't!'

poorly restored

than an untouched item, even

if

essential part.

An example of

restoration or a fake

it is

impos-

sible to say. This strange but very interesting pistol

basically of Scottish manufacture but at some


time it has been fitted with a wooden stock and an
ivory butt and fore-end. A trigger guard has also
been added, and the lock and barrel were probably
is

associated.

7
BOOKS AND COLLECTIONS
The

literature of guns

Many

continuously.

and shooting

is

extensive and growing

of the books are of a very specialised nature

and others are outdated and almost worthless. Every collector


will need a certain number of reference books, and since there
are at present something like 3,000 titles listed, it is often
difficult for a beginner to decide which are of value.
list of suggested titles is divided into two sections, the
comprising those still in print and readily obtainable, and
the second listing out-of-print titles. Many of the titles in Section
II are very rare and, in general, of antiquarian value rather than
practical use. For those anxious to build up a comprehensive
library the most likely sources of supply are the few booksellers
who specialise in books on arms and armour. Antiquarian

This

first

catalogues are always worth studying, and


find a bargain.

It

is

rooms often contain


tion.

Many

worth noting

it

is

still

possible to

that catalogues issued by sale

fine-quality plates

and much useful informa-

of the larger collections also issue catalogues, and

these, too, are valuable reference books.

The

titles listed

below are

many other

languages,

all

of books in English, but

it

should

wealth of material available in


notably German, Danish, French and

be pointed out that there

is

Swedish.
I

General Books
Blackmore, H. L. -Firearms (London, 1964)

77

Books and Collections

European and American Arms (London, 1962)


Boothroyd, G. - Gun Collecting (London, 1961)
Hayward, J. F. - Art of the Gunmaker, VoL I (London, 1962
second edition, 196^)
Hayward, J, F. - Art of the Gunmaker, Vol. II (London, 1963)
Hayward, J. F. (Victoria & Albert Museum) - European Firearms
(London, 19^^)
Held, R. Age of Firearms (London, i95'9)

Blair, C.

National Rifle Association of America

(Washington,

19^9);

reprints

of

- Gun

Collectors

selected

Handbook

articles

from

American Rifleman
L. (Editor) - Encyclopaedia of Firearms (London,
1964)
Peterson, H. L. - The hook of the Gun (London, 1964)
Riling, R. - Guns and Shooting, A Eihliographj (New York, 19^1)

Peterson, H,

Recent books of a more specialised nature


- Duelling Pistols (London, 1964)
J. A.
Blackmore, H, L. - Guns and Rifes of the World (London, 196^)
Blackmore, H. L. - British Militarj Firearms, i6jo-i8jo (London,
Atkinson,

1961)
Carey, A.

M.

English,

Irish

and

Scottish

Firearms Makers (re-

printed London, i960)


Dillin, J.

19^9)
Dowell,

G. - The Kentucky Rife (fourth edition:

W. C. - The
W. B. -

Edwards,

New

York,

Wehley Storj (Leeds, 1962)


The Storj of Colt's

Revolver

(Harrisburg,

Pennsylvania, 19^3)

George,

J.

N. - English Guns and Rifes

(Plantersville,

South

Carolina, 1947)

English Pistols and Revolvers (Onslow County,


J. N.
North Carolina, 1938; London reprint, 1963)
Gyngell, D, S, H. - Armourers' Marks (London, 19^9)
H. M. Patent Office, London - Abridgments of the Patent Specif ca-

George,

78

Books and Collections


Relating

tions

to

Firearms and Other

Weapons, Ammunition and

Ij88-i8j8 (London reprint, i960)


Kauffman, H. J. The Pennsylvania- Kentucky RiJJe (Harrisburg,
Accoutrements,

Pennsylvania, i960)

History of Spanish Firearms (London, 1965^)


Lenk, T. The Flintlock Its Origin and Development (Stockholm,
1939; London reprint, 1965)
Lister, R, Antique Firearms Their Care, Repair and Restoration

Lavin,

J.

(London, 1963)
Logan, H. C. Underhammer Guns (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,
i960)
Neal,

W.

K. Spanish Guns and

Partington,

R.

J.

y4

Pistols

(London, 19^^)

Historj of Greek Fire and Gunpowder

(Cam-

bridge, i960)
Riling,

R.

The Powder Flask Book

Roads, C. H. The

(New Hope,

Pennsylvania,

18^01864 (London,

British Soldier^ s Firearms,

1964)
Serven,

J.

E.

Colt Firearms,

i8j6-ig^8

Ana, California, i95'9)


Winant, L. Early Percussion Firearms

(third printing: Santa

(New York,

195^9

London,

1961)

Winant, L, Firearms Curiosa (London, 195:6)


Winant, L. Pepperbox Firearms (New York, 19^2)
II

Remarks on Rijle Guns (second edition: London, 1804)


Beaufoy, Capt. H. (Corporal of Riflemen) - Scloppetaria (London,
Baker, E.

1808)

y4 Centurj oj Guns (London, 1909)


Borworth, N. - ^ Treatise on the Rijle, Musket and Fowling

Blanch, H.

J.

(New York,

846)
The Volunteer Rijleman and the

Piece

Boucher, J. Busk, H. - The Rijleman

Rifle (London, 18^3)


Manual (London, 18^8)

79

Books and Collections

Deane, J. Dcane's Manual of the History and Science of Firearms


(London, 1888)
De Gheyn, J. Exercise oj Arms for Calivers, Afuskets and Pikes
(The Hague, 1607)
Dove, P. E. The Revolver (Edinburgh, 185^8)
Ffoulkes, C. J. Arms and Armament (London, 194^; reprinted,
1947)
Ffoulkes, C.

Ffoulkes, C.

J.

J.

Armour and Weapons (Oxford, 1909)


The Gunjounders oj England (Cambridge, 1937)

- Inventory and Survey oJ the Armouries oJ the Tower


cj London (two volumes; London, 1916)
Freemantle, T. F. - The Book oJ the Rifle (London, 1901)
Greener, W. Science oJ Gunnery (London, 1841)
Greener, W. The Gun (Edinburgh, 183^)
Greener, W. W. - Modern Breech Loaders (London, 871)
Greener, W. W. The Gun and its Development (eiahth edition:
London, 1907)
Grose, . A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons (London,
Ffoulkes, C.

J.

1786)

Hawker,

Young Sportsmen (London, 1814)


Our
Engines
oJ War (London, 18^9)
J.
Jewitt, L. Rifles and Volunteer Corps (London, i860)
KaufPmann, H. J. -Early American Gunsmiths, i6^o-i8jO (HarrisP.

Jervis, Capt.

Instructions to

W.

burg, Pennsylvania, 19^2)


Page, T. - Art of Shooting Flying (Norwich, 1766)
Pollard, H. B. C. LListory of Firearms (London, 1926)

Stonehenge (J. H. Walsh) The Shot Gun and Sporting Rife


(London, 1859)
Thornhill, R. B. The Shooting Directory (London, 1S04)
Wilkinson, H. -Engines of War (London, 1841)
Section

III

has periodicals

which cater

for firearm enthusiasts,

and section IV those which contain an occasit)nal article on


antique firearms.

80

Books and Collections


III

The American Rifleman (Washington, U.S.A.)

Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting (Mount Royal, Canada)


Gun Digest (annually; Chicago, U.S.A.)

Gun Report (Aledo, U.S.A.)


Guns Review (Leeds)
Gun World (California, U.S.A.)
Journal of the Historical Firearms Societj of South Ajrica (Cape
S.A.)

Town,

Shooting Times (London)

IV
The Connoisseur (London)
Appollo (London)
Collectors

Guide (London)

Country Life (London)


Journal of Arms and Armour Societj (London)
Journal oj the Societj for Armj Historical Research (London)

V
Collections of Small Arms
Only a few of the collections are listed below, and many
smaller museums provincial and regimental also contain
items of interest; details are given in reference books.

Great Britain

Birmingham
London

City Museum and Art Gallery


H.M. Tower of London

Rotunda, Woolwich
Victoria

and Albert Museum

Wallace Collection
Enfield

Pattern

Room

(special permis-

sion required^

Lincoln

City

Museum

(small collection

of firearms^

Canterbury
8i

West Gate

Museum
F

Books and Collections

G.B.

(cont'd)

Yeovil

Wyndham Museum

Glasgow

Kelvingrove Art Gallerj and

Edinburgh

Scottish

Museum
United Services

Museum

Austria

Graz

Steiermarkisches Landeszeug-

Vienna
Vienna

Kunsthistorisches

Heeresgeschichtliches

Liege

Musee D'Armes

Brussels

Porte de Hals

haus

Belgium

Denmark

Copenhagen

Tojhusmuseet

France

Paris

Musee de

Italy

Turin
Oslo

Armeria Reale

Norway
Spain

Museum
Museum

V Armee

Haermuseet

Madrid
Madrid

Museo

del Ejercito

Armeria Real

Sweden

Skokloster

Switzerland

Stockholm
Bern

Bernisches Historisches

Geneva

Musee

Solothurn

Zeughaus

Zurich

Schweizerisches Landesmuseum

California

Anaheim

Disneyland

Connecticut

Los Angeles
Hartford

State Library

Hartford

Wadsworth Atheneum

Castle

Kungl Livrustkammaren

Museum
d^ Art et d'Histoire

United States
County Museum

Newhaven

Winchester

Georgia

Fort

Chickamauga- Chattanooga

Oglethorpe
Chicago

National Military Park

Illinois

82

Museum

George F. Harding Museum

Books and Collections


Massachusetts

Boston

First Corps Cadets

Springfield

Worcester

Nevada
York

New

Reno

New

Armory
Armorj Museum
John Woodman Higgins
Armorj
Harold's Club

York

Metropolitan

Museum of Art

West Point

United States Military

Ohio

Cleveland

Museum of Art

Virginia

WilHamsburg

Academy

Washington, D.C.

The Powder Magazine


Smithsonian Institution

83

84

PART

II

A
Sequence

of
Photographs

85

THE MATCHLOCK
This was the earliest form of mechanical ignition for firearms,
originating in Europe at the beginning of the fifteenth century.

The serpentine replaced the manual use of a glowing match


which had previously replaced the heated wire and glowing
ember. The mechanism reached its ultimate form by the third
quarter of the fifteenth century.
In Europe the matchlock for military purposes was abandoned
during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, although
it lingered on for some time among the peasantry. Slow match

was used to

common
The

to

early

the cannon for

fire
fit

many

years,

until

it

became

these weapons with flintlocks.

European explorers introduced the matchlock to

the East, and here the system continued well into the nineteenth

century long after Europe had adopted newer systems.


Indian weapons

were

usually long-barrelled and fairly light,

Some Tibetan and Chinese


weapons are found with a swivelled bipod attached to the stock,
but this was for aiming rather than a support necessitated by
weight. The locks are usually of the trigger type where the
requiring no rest to steady them.

serpentine

soon

falls

as pressure

when
is

the trigger

is

pressed and then rises as

released.

Japanese weapons tend to have a shorter, though heavier,


barrel. Snaplocks are

matchlocks

The

it is

common, and

in

both Japanese and Indian

unusual to find a trigger-guard

fitted.

great majority of matchlocks are long arms of various

sizes,

including a few repeating weapons. Matchlock pistols were

made

in Eastern

Europe and Japan, but

they were intended as serious weapons

it

seems unlikely that


rather as models or

toys.

Cheapness and simplicity were two great advantages of the


matchlock, but its serious inherent disadvantages were so many
that it was inevitably displaced by more efficient systems of
ignition.

86

:%:_

PLATE

An example of

a very

sixteenth-century matchlock which has an octagonal barrel


of bronze. A rear sight is fitted.
The lock is missing, but was
probably of the hand-operated,
early,

serpentine type, for matchlocks

such as this are commonly shown


in engravings of the period. A
hole pierces the butt and was no
doubt for attachment of a lanyard.
Overall length 42 in. Barrel length

295

in.

Bore

-625.

PLATE 2 Lock of a seventeenthcentury matchlock with pan uncovered. The pan, which w^as filled
with fine priming powder, is
rectangular; a short length of
match is gripped between the jaws
of the serpentine. This weapon is
very much plainer than that in
plate 4 and is almost certainly
a

common

military pattern.

PLATE 3 This harquebus of the late sixteenth


century is beginning to assume the characteristics
of later models. The barrel is circular for the greater
part of its length, but becomes octagonal at the
breech. A large V-shaped rear sight is fitted. There
is no trigger-guard, but the stock is shaped to fit the
hand. The lock mechanism is of the snaplock type.
Decoration comprises ivory inlay of mermaids and
scrolls. Barrel 48 in. Calibre -58 in.

PLATE 4 The lockplate is from a very finely restored specimen of a seventeenth-century matchlock. The tube peep sight can be seen above the
breech. The priming pan has the cover in the safety
position.

A screw

and

would normally have been tightened

this

is

lacking from the serpentine,


to

hold the match firmly in place. Mother-of-pearl is


used to decorate the stock. The trigger is the same
shape as those found on north-African weapons two
centuries later. Weight of the weapon is 16 lb. Overall length 61-5 in. Barrel length 47 in. Bore -7 in.

m,

PLATE

Group of four high-quality Japanese


i
matchlocks. The butts all have the highly characteristic Japanese shape and the barrels bear typical
inlay decoration. In each weapon it will be seen
that the serpentine moves forward i.e. away from
the stock. The bottom matchlock of the group is a
repeating weapon with hand-rotated barrels.

E^---'

fi<^

l-.-

-i^ll

'

1**

SM.5
J*

PLATE
Indian

A fine specimen of an
matchlock known as a

Bandukh

Torador.

straight butt

is

The

long,

characteristic of

these weapons, and the stock of

PLATE

matchlock

miniature, Japanese

pistol,

probably made

in the early nineteenth century

and

possibly intended rather as a toy

than a weapon. The ebony stock


is decorated with small inlays of
brass and mother-of-pearl. The
octagonal barrel is pinned into
place on the stock which is also
drilled to hold the missing ramrod.
The lockplate, spring and match
holder are all in brass. Overall

48

in.

Barrel

23

in.

Bore

in.

rosewood is decorated along its


whole length with tigers and
other animals. The trigger is
shaped and the serpentine moves
forward towards the pan. Dating
of these weapons is extremely
difficult since the

pattern changed

over the centuries. This


particular weapon is probably
but

little

eighteenth-century. Overall length


64 in. Barrel

468

in.

-6

calibre.

PLATE
weapon

Detail

of

to that of plate

similar

showing
the fine ivory inlay. The two spikelike objects attached by a chain
6,

are prickers to clear the touch


hole of any clogging. The barrel is

decorated and damascened, and


silver decoration has also
been added. Probably late eighteenth century. Overall length 68-2

some

in.

Barrel

4875

in.

Calibre

55.

PLATE

An unusual

repeating

matchlock from India. The six


chambers were loaded separately
through the opening seen at the
top of the swelling. Each chamber
is fitted with its own pan and
cover, and as each was fired the
cylinder was rotated by hand and
locked into position by a steel
spring situated on top of the
barrel. The top of the barrel and
ribs of the chambers are decorated
with silver-wire foliate patterns.
The redwood stock has a few
simple inlays of white bone.
Possibly

Overall

seventeenth
length 40-2^

length 155

in.

Calibre

century.
in.
-52.

Barrel

THE WHEELLOCK
This complex and mechanically intricate system was probably
first developed in Italy, early in the sixteenth century. Leonardo

da Vinci had produced an idea for a wheellock mechanism, but


it is not clear whether any were actually constructed.
Basically the system relies on the friction between a rotating,
rough-edged wheel and a piece of pyrites. The friction produced
sparks which fired the priming and thus the main charge.
The main spring which supplied the motive force was usually
mounted inside the lockplate, although it was occasionally fitted

on the outside.
Since the mechanism was complex and thus expensive,
not normally

fitted to

it

was

poor-quality weapons, and the majority

of wheellocks tend to be ornate and decorative.

By the mid-sixteenth century the wheellock had become

common among the wealthier members of society, but


by the middle of the seventeenth it had been displaced by the
cheaper, more robust, flintlock. In Germany, however, hunting
and target rifles utilising the wheellock continued to be made
fairly

well into the eighteenth century.

The wheellock represented


several reasons

could
in

possibly the

a very

important step forward for

most important was

now

that

weapons

be loaded, primed, then put aside for long periods


complete safety, and yet be quite ready for instant use.

96

PLATE lo Extremely fine pair of double-barrelled


wheellock pistols. Each barrel is fitted with its own
lock although both are operated by a single trigger.
The front lock is fired with the first pressure and the
rear lock operates

when

further pressure

is

applied.

The stock is entirely of steel etched with floral


scrolls. Cord or wire was originally bound around
the circular section of the butt. These pistols were
made in Nuremberg about 1570. They bear the mark
of the guild of that city as well as the initials, P.D.
Overall length 20 in. Barrel length of the top pistol
is 12-5 in., of the bottom
10-5 in. Bore -4 in.

PLATE

fine wheellock pistol made in Augsburg, Germany,


The stock is of walnut, beautifully inlaid with engraved
stag's horn. The large, spherical butt was not designed to be used as a
club, but was most likely to provide a firm grip for a horseman.
Overall length 19-5 in. Barrel length iii in. Bore -55 in. Middle one
of a pair of similar German pistols dated 1577 and 1578. These are
fitted with belt hooks. Overall length 21 -8 in. Barrel length 127 in.
Bore '5 in. Bottom similar German pistol (c. 1580) but with the doghead in the safety position well away from the wheel. It will be noted
that all three pistols are fitted with safety-catches on the lock plate.
Overall length 21 in. Barrel length 11*9 in. Bore -65 in.

about

II

Top

1590.

igin*Tiwwtr7 -Ti^

PLATE
PLATE

Wheellock pistol from


Augsburg, Germany, c. 1590. The
shape

is

13

characteristic of its period.

The mark of the maker (Anton


Krugg), a tankard, is stamped on
the breech together with the fir
cone of Augsburg. A chiselled and
gilt steel case

completely encloses

the wheel. Overall length 19-5

in.

Barrel length 14 in.

y^

12

wheellock

pistol,

or

petronel, with carved stock inlaid

with mother of pearl and staghorn.


All

fittings

are

steel,

including

the butt cap. The lockplate

and

the

wheel

has

no

is

plain

cover.

Probably made in Brescia dating


from the early seventeenth century. A maker's mark is on the
inside of the lock. Overall length
2075 in. Barrel 15 in. Bore -5 in.

T^l^asj^

PLATE 14 An example of a weapon being converted from one


system of ignition to a newer one.
The barrel bears the date 1624 and
at this time it would have been a
matchlock. Around 1680 the lock
was changed, so prolonging the
weapon's useful life. This weapon
was Flemish or Dutch, but the lock
was made in Dresden by a member
of the famous gunmaking family,
Ertel. Overall length 607 in. Barrel
length 487 in. Bore 75 in.

PLATE IS The barrel of this


wheellock is rifled with 8
grooves to give greater accuracy. Silver decoration
covers the lock plate and it
will be noticed that the safety-catch seen on many earlier
specimens is no longer fitted.
The stock is again of walnut
and inlaid with horn in the
form of classical scenes, and
bears the date 1563. Recent
research has

shown

that the

of lock on this weapon


was from Lithuania and dates
from about 1620. Overall
length 46- 5 in. Barrel length
346 in. Bore 5 in.
style

ft-

HHHBIHHHHWK

mws^mi^mfumtmsmfm^

r.

PLATES i6 AND 17 One of a pair of wheellock pistols of about 1620.


The wheel is totally enclosed by a gilt cover. A bar has been fitted
from near the base of the butt to the trigger guard and it is difficult
to see the purpose unless it was to provide a firmer grip for the hand.
The butt plate is of steel, and the fore-end of horn. The engraved
wheel cover and pierced, pan-release button can be seen in detail
below. Overall length 19 in. Barrel length 11-7 in. Bore 55 in. Diameter of the pan cover

i-6 in.

0^'
,v

If;-

IBRH^Ii^MnB^a^^

PLATES

'^^t^w-y^.'ii'^--

i8

AND

19

Wheeliock pctronel of about

:.^.*:"^vaSMeasaE

1600.

The walnut

stock has a simple bone inlay, some pieces of which are engraved in
straightforward patterns. The barrel is octagonal at the breech and

then circular. Rear-sights and fore-sights are fitted. The lock plate is
very plain and the wheel is completely unenclosed. Overall length
33'3S ^"' Barrel length 2475 in. Bore -45 in.

PLATES 20 AND 21 One of a pair of wheellock pistols of about 1640.


The barrel is octagonal for 45 in. and then becomes circular and is
secured by a screw which passes from inside the trigger-guard up
through the stock and screws into a metal bar, or tang, protruding
from the rear of the barrel. The stock is completely plain except for a
rather crude figure 5, cut into the underneath of the wood. The plainness of the weapons suggests that they were for military service.
The doghead, or arm, has a moveable lower jaw, and this was adjusted
by the screw so that the pyrites was gripped firmly. Overall length
20-5 in. Barrel 14 in. Bore -45 in.

PLATE

22

Fine leather holster of

early seventeenth century. Inside


is considerable wear where
lock rubbed as the pistol,
either wheellock or flintlock, was
drawn and replaced many times.
The cap which normally covered
the top is missing. A pair of these
holsters would have been carried,
one on either side of the saddle.
Length 17-75 " Width 6-75 in.

there

the

PLATE 23 The lock of a late


vvheellock
seventeenth-century
hunting rifle. Despite the introduction of the flintlock many
hunters preferred the vvheellock,
and manufacture continued for
some long time. The lockplate is
engraved with a classical scene
and the wheel

is

situated

on the

inside of the lock, a characteristic

of many of these later weapons.

PLATE 24 Detail of the butt showing a fine, horn patch-box cover


approximately 6 in. long. Set in the
walnut stock is an engraved horn
inlay showing the huntsman with
his hounds. The trigger guard is
indented to take the fingers. In
front of the normal carved trigger
is

the hair trigger adjusted to set

off the

mechanism

at

touch.

PLATE

25

Reverse side of the butt of plate

24,

showing a fine inlay. These weapons were not fired


from the shoulder, and the butt is, therefore,
recessed to fit against the cheek. The metal ball at
the end of the butt served to protect it when the
weapon was rested on the ground. Overall length of

weapon 44

in.

Barrel length 33 in.

Detached wheellock of late manuprobably eighteenth century. The entire


mechanism is fitted behind the plate. There are
examples of wheellocks being made as late as the
nineteenth century, but they are unusual. Length of

PLATE

26

facture,

lock

65

in.

^-:s:^.ia5Si:.

PLATES

27

AND

28 (two views)

for a wheellock; the loop

is

Combination tool

for attaching the tool

to a carrying thong. The shaped end is a screwdriver and also has a square-cut hole which fits over

the spindle to span the lock. The body is a tube


which slides over a central block; the size of the
container can be adjusted by means of a springloaded clip mounted on one side. This container
also served as a

(closed)

75

in.

powder measure. Overall length


Outside diameter of tube 4 in.

PLATE

29

Powder flask fashioned


antler. One

from a section of an

is still in the natural state, but


the opposite side has been roughly

side

engraved with a man and woman


whose bodies form part of a
quartered shield. One of the four
carrying rings

is

missing.

century.
seventeenth
length 9 in. Nozzle 2-7

Early

Overall
in.

long.

'^y.

30 A similar powder flask


to plate 29, with brass mounts and

PLATE

a plunger charger instead of the


cut-ofT.

may be

Dated

1610,

though

spurious. Length 7-5

this
in.

PLATE

An

specimen of the
The body is covered
with red velvet, is pierced and has gilded copper
fittings. The medallion in the centre bears the arms
of the Goldsmiths' Company. It dates from the
31

unusually

musketeer's large

powder

sixteenth century.

fine

flask.

PLATE
bone

32

inlay.

An example of

Two

the annular flask with


carrying rings are fitted, and the

pourer is of ivory. The stopper is missing. Probably


German, seventeenth century. Diameter of flask 5 in.

PLATE 33 Another and more common type of


whccllock key, serving only as a screwdriver and
spanner.

THE FLINTLOCK
By definition the experts make no distinction between the snaphaunce and the flintlock, but as far as collectors are concerned
the snaphaunce is the lock in which pan-cover and steel are

Most

separate.

would describe

collectors

a flintlock as having

the pan-cover and steel united into one L-shaped piece, but the
full definition

the cock

block

is

of a flintlock goes a

cut with

two notches which

When

metal tongue, or sear.

notch
the

it

is

further.

known

as a

Connected to
tumbler; the

are engaged in turn by a

the sear

is

locked in the

first

described as being at half-cock and in this position

weapon cannot be
full -cock,

the cock is pulled further back


notch and into the second. This

fired. If

the sear slips out of the

second, or

little

a shaped block of metal

is

first

position means that the lock

is

now

set

for firing.

The

and pan-cover were united as early as the i ^8o's, and


with half- and full -cock positions were in use by
1600, though the two ideas do not appear to have been united
before the period 1610-161^. The credit for the union is usually
ascribed to a Frenchman, Marin de Bourgeoys. By the middle
of the seventeenth century the flintlock was fairly common and
continued as the main system until well into the 1830's.
Spain produced a variant knowTi as the miquelet lock with
the mainspring most commonly mounted on the outside of the
steel

Italian locks

lockplate.

The

sear

also

operates

horizontally

rather

vertically.

11^

H2

than

PLATE

34

hauncc

An outstanding Scottish, all-metal, snap-

pistol.

The Scots had certain idiosyncrasies

of pistols. Generally they are all


metal gilt brass is common; the trigger is often of
the ball type and usually there is no trigger-guard.
A pricker for clearing the touch-hole usually
screws to the pommel. This particular pistol is engraved overall with Celtic patterns and bears the
mark, l.G. just below the cock. It dates from about
1625 and, as is common, is fitted with a long belt
hook. Overall length 17 in. Barrel 1 1-8 in. Bore -^ in.
in their design

PLATE

35 The flintlock mechanism soon displaced the snaphaunce, but in Italy pistols with
separate pan cover and steel were

made

until

well

into the eigh-

teenth century. This pistol is one


such, with all furniture trigger-

guard,

butt

cap,

ramrod

and

escutcheon plate made of steel.


The inside of the lock is signed //
BrentO. This type of weapon
originates
from Central Italy.
Overall length 8-6
4-7 in.

Bore

in.

-45 in.

Barrel length

ail:

PLATE 36 Another Italian snaphaunce, one of a pair, probably


earlier than plate 35, but similar in

many respects. A belt hook is fitted.


Overall
length

length

8-2 in.

13-6

Bore

45.

in.

Barrel

M'

37 An English flintlock
made between 1650 and
1660, by J. Tarles, whose name
appears on the lock. The fluted

PLATE
pistol

butt cap of steel is fixed to the


butt by means of two screws. The
barrel,

octagonal at the breech

and then round, is cut with 8groove rifling. To load these


pistols the barrel was unscrewed
and powder and shot placed in the
breech.

These

turn-off

barrel,

were not uncommon


and thereare several contemporary
rifled pistols

Some have a
between the barrel and stock

references to them.
link

as a precaution against the loss of

the barrel. Overall length 14-^


Barrel length 8-5 in. Bore -5

in.
in.

PLATE 38 Detail of a singlebarrelled, Spanish, 12-bore gun


with a barrel by Caspar Fernandez
of Madrid, dated 1699. ^t the
breech is set the gold mark of the
maker. Spanish barrels were highly
esteemed and commanded high
prices

in
the eighteenth
nineteenth centuries.

and

-^

PLATE

Flintlock from the time of James II. The


rounder than previously, for the lockplate
was usually flat. The brass butt cap is plain and
lacks side spurs. The barrel is stepped and the tang
screw passes through the stock from the triggerguard. London view and proof marks are stamped
on the left-hand side of the breech a common
practice with British gunmakers. Overall length
i8-2j in. Barrel length ii-6 in. Bore -j^ in.-^

lock

39

is

'n'^isrjif^.

'.r^:

PLATE 40

fine pair

of double-barrelled

The two

flint-

one above the


other, usually described as over and under, have
separate pans and frizzens. When the pistol was
fully loaded and primed the top barrel was discharged first and then the small lever in front of the
trigger guard was pressed. This released the barrels
and the lower one could be rotated into a position
ready for firing. Each pistol has a steel-tipped, ebony
ramrod housed at the side of the fluted barrel. A
short belt hook (25 in.) is fitted to each pistol. Overall length 22 in. Barrel length 14 in. Bore -45 in.
locks of about

690.

barrels,

PLATES

AND

42 Pair of Engof about 1680. The


stock is of field maple. The barrel
and furniture are of brass and bear
lish

41

pistols

London proof marks and the


name I. Hall. The ramrods are also

the

brass-tipped, one being fitted with


a

worm

other

the

plain

(see

frontispiece). Overall length 18 in.

Barrel length

1-25 in.

Bore

-6 in.

^w^-^w

PLATE

Top
late seventeenth century fusil, or
43
musket. The lock plate is flat like many
weapons of the period and bears the Royal cipher,
W.R., below a crown. The cock is flat and is cut with
a notch into which slips a catch which then holds the
cock in a locked safe position. The dog-lock was
common on English weapons. Barrel length 465 in.
Bore -79 in. Bottom early eighteenth-century musket
similar to the one above. The dog-lock was abandoned at about this time, and by 1720 the army was
issued with a normal flintlock. The lock plate bears
the name R. Wolldridge. The furniture triggerguard etc. is often nailed, rather than screwed.
Barrel length 45-5 in. Bore -79 in.

small

v:***-:'

:w

3'Tj*.-:''ias

r^'

ft

PLATE 44 Pistol, late seventeenth


century, from the famous gunmaking town of Brescia in north
Italy. The barrel bears the signature of Lazarino Cominazzo, one
of the most renowned of all
barrel-makers. His name was so
highly revered in the trade and
outside

it

that

barrels

made

in

Belgium and elsewhere were fraudulently stamped with his signature. The barrel is octagonal at the
breech, and the tang screw enters
from below. Overall length 17-5 in.
Barrel length 12 in. Bore -5 in.

PLATE 45
44.

The

Lock of

pistol in plate

fine chiselling

can be seen

on the cock and steel triggerguard. This work was characteristic


of Brescian firearms. The signature
here is that of Diomede Barent.

PLATE 46

silver-mounted
pistol with a
carved stock. The lock bears the
name of I. Reed and was made
flintlock

about

Fine,

holster

1710.

PLATE 47

marked stock of burr maple and


make this a rather eyecatching piece. The ramrod is brass-tipped, but the
other end is fitted with a worm which can be
removed, revealing a screw. The barrel is fitted with
a gold-lined touch-hole. Gold is a very inert metal
and was well suited to resist the chemical corrosion
produced by the powder. On the top of the barrel is
the mark of Geronimo Fernandez, a Spanish gunmaker who worked from about 1690 to 1720. Overall
finely

the plain steel furniture

length 17-6

in.

Barrel length ii-2 in. Bore -68 in.


I

PLATE 48

Pocket flintlock pistol,


by John Harman of London. There is no trigger-guard and
a ball trigger, unusual on these
weapons, is fitted. Another un-

c.

1690,

usual feature

is

that the fore-end

unscrews from the barrel. Length


in.
525 in. Barrel 2-9 in. Bore
1

PLATE 49

One of a pair of late seventeenth-century


by W. Hawkes of Oxford. The barrel has a
small lug underneath and over this fitted a barrel
wrench togive leverage when removing or replacing
the barrel. The lock plate, as is typical of early
weapons, is convex not flat. A safety catch engages
with a notch at the base of the cock. Since these
were intended to be breech-loaded, no ramrod is
attached to the pistol. The butt is embellished with
silver-wire inlay, steel escutcheon and butt cap.
Overall length 75 in. Barrel 375 in. Bore 4 in.
pistols

PLATE

Top

50

fine,

all-metal, Scottish flintlock

The lock is stamped D.H. Decorated


with silver leaf and rosettes it also has brass furniture. There is another pistol in the Glasgow Museum
and Art Gallery which almost certainly makes up a
pistol of c. 1700.

pair with this one. Overall length

length

2-

25

in.

Bore 625

in. Bottom

17 in.

Barrel

an outstanding

snaphaunce
no restored parts at
all, with the possible exception of the jaw screw.
The first ramrod pipe has been worn through, perhaps by friction in a holster. The pistol was, at one
time, in the possession of the family of Graeme of
Garvock. The marriage of a James Graeme of
Garvock is recorded in 1678, and it is possible that
this pistol originally belonged to him. The lock
is engraved and bears the name of I O Stuart. The
weapon is inlaid with silver bands, a panel,
rosettes and scrolls. Overall length 1975 in. Barrel
length 14-5 in. Bore 625 in.

example of a

late seventeenth-century

Scottish pistol.

The

pistol has

PLATE

51

Details of locks of

two

pistols in plate 50.

flintlock

holster pistol by Barbar of London. The


but the masked butt cap is silver. The breech of the
barrel bears the name, Barbar, in gold, but is slightly unusual in that
it is in script rather than block letters; it is possibly a copy of his
signature. Overall length 19 in. Barrel length 12 in. Middle one of a
pair of flintlock pistols by I. Wilson of Dublin. Furniture, barrels and
even lock plates are of brass. Overall length 185 in. Barrel length
II in. Bottom
fine, early English pistol, c. 1650, by Ralph Venn. The

PLATE 52
mounts are

Top

steel,

of the barrel bears the crown and R.V. The stock is rosewood and
all mounts are steel. The lock is attached to the stock by two side
nails only. There is a catch to hold the cock in a safe position
common feature on English pistols of this period. Overall length
17-25 in. Barrel length 10-625 in.
flat

PLATE

Butt and lock of a fine sporting gun by


The barrel is richly gilded with
monsters' heads, etc. Silver filigree work decorates
the full stock, and the lock is gilded and chiselled,
as are the mounts. The lock is dated 1723.
54

Foulon of

PLATE

53

52. Middle

Right

Left

side view of Barbar pistol in plate

side

side

Paris.

view of Wilson pistol in plate


view of the D.H. pistol in plate

52.

50.

PLATE 55 Print from an cightecnth-ccntury


military hand-book, showing two movements
of the musket. The one on the left is closing
the pan cover and the other, rather surprisedlooking soldier is presenting, immcdiatelv
prior to firing.

PLATE

56

Superb chiselled lock

bearing the name of Johan Stockl,


Ncustat. The lock is on a flintlock

fowling piece,

c. 1730.

H
V

:v..
.

'o;?:^/

PLATE

57

Barrel of the fowling

piece in plate 56. The barrel

is

of

manufacture (made of
Damascus steel) and is encrusted
with silver and garnets (semiprecious stones). The maker's
signature is on a gold stamp set

Turkish

in the barrel. Overall

length 56

in.

Barrel length 41

Bore

in.

in.

-65

-V *'

PLATE 58 Powder tester of late


seventeenth century. A small quantity of powder was placed in the
breech and fired with a match.
The force of the explosion rotated
the wheel, and the number (i to 8)
which stopped opposite the poin-

gave a purely comparative


reading of strength. The grip is of
walnut and the rest is brass. Overall 6 in. Diameter of wheel 1-4 in.
ter

PLATE 59 Top one of a pair of Brescia pistols from


the second half of the seventeenth century, inscribed
Filtpiis Spinodus Fecit JJhe stock is inlaid with pierced
and engraved

steel

and brass; the trigger-guard and

lock are chiselled. Middle an unusual, }-barrelled


which was hand-rotated. The mounts
flintlock
are engraved, and the lock is signed Lorenzoni.

The escutcheon bears the arms of Cosimo De


Medici who was Grand Duke of Tuscany between
1670 and 1723. Bottom a mid-eighteenth century

fowling piece with the lock signed Galvarino.


The whole weapon is beautifully decorated with
Italian

silver

and

gilt.

'\

.L,

PLATE

60

Top

fine flintlock fowling piece bearing

the arms of Saxony and inscribed Tanner


1724. Bottom

another fowling piece, with

A Gotha

gilt barrel

and mounts chiselled from the workshops of J. N.


Stockmar. The Stockmar family was for years Court
Gunmakers to the Electors of Saxony.

^.aam

PLATES 6i AND 62 Flemish pistol, one of a pair,


with brass furniture including a sighting rib along
the top of the barrel. The barrel also has a small
brass grotesque mask (see detail). The lock bears the
inscription, G. De Cologne. The shape of the lock plate
long spurs descending to the butt cap and backward curling trigger indicates a date during the
first quarter of the eighteenth century. Overall
length 21 in. Barrel length 13-5 in. Bore -6 in.

PLATE

^!?

-'^^.,'-^--

63

Brass side plate of pistol in plate

61

PLATE 64

Dutch

pistol

from the

quarter of the eighteenth


century, with brass furniture
including a rather unusual brass
lock plate. Inscribed on the lower
edge of the lock plate is Christof
Wenner Mastrich. Overall length
first

17 in.

Barrel

107

in.

Bore

-6 in.

#*-*j!^**v::.:

PLATE 65

Brass side plate from

of pistols from Liege;


they date from the first quarter
of the eighteenth century. Overall

one of a

jiair

length 19 in. Barrel length 1225


Bore 625 in.

K2

in.

PLATE 68 Another military pistol, this time with


Royal Horse Guards inscribed on the barrel the lock
is stamped with the royal cipher and Tower 1756. It
will be noted that there is only one ramrod pipe
unlike the others on the page. The side plate is flat
and there is a grotesque mask on the butt cap
most unusual for military pistols. Overall length
of the gun 16-5 in. Barrel length 10 in. Bore -6 in.
;

PLATE 66 (top left) cavalry pistol from the first


quarter of the eighteenth century with brass butt
cap and fittings; it was made by I. Johnson. Overall
length of the gun 17-9 in. Barrel 11-7 in. Bore -6 in.
PLATE 67

Royal Dragoon pistol the brass butt cap

has very long spurs.

On

the lock

is

inscribed the

crown over G.R., the maker's name, R. Edge and


1730. Overall length 19

in.

Barrel 12

in.

Bore

-6 in.

PLATE 70 A blunderbuss, or musketoon, with brass


barrel and furniture, dating from about 1750. The
blunderbuss was a very popular weapon for

self-

defence, since the dozen or so balls that

fired

it

reduced the need for aiming. This weapon is fitted


with a small sliding bolt, situated on the lock plate.
When the bolt is pushed forward it engages in a slot
at the rear of the cock and locks the weapon at
half-cock.
20 in.

PLATE 69
maker

is

Bore

Overall length
(at

muzzle)

355

in.

-9 in.

Similar to plate 67, but this time the


1744. Overall length

Farmer and the date,

of weapon

19-2 in. Barrel

length

i2

in.

Bore

-6

in.

Barrel

length

PLATE

71

Holster

pistol

by

Shuter, dated 1776 and bearing the


East India Company mark. The
is now flat-sided unlike previous ones which were curved in
section. Overall length 15-7 in.
Barrel length 9-2 in. Bore -7 in.

cock

PLATE

72

pistol
by
Although very

Military

Vernon, dated

1760.

similar to that of plate 67

it

will

be seen that the spurs of the butt


cap have shortened considerably.
Overall

length 9

length
in.

Bore

14-6
-7 in.

in.

Barrel

PLATE 73 An attractive military blunderbuss pistol


with a brass barrel, bearing the name, Galton, the
date, 1760 and the Royal Cipher. The sideplate of
brass is quite flat. Overall length 12-5
length 6-8 in. Bore (at muzzle) 115 in.

PLATES 74

AND

75

in.

Barrel

So-called

Queen Anne

pistols:

although many were made long after her reign,


these date from around 1750. The upper one is by T.
Richards. Silver-wire inlay

is

used to embellish the

butt as well as a silver side plate and grotesque butt


cap. Overall length ii-8 in. Barrel length 4-8 in.
-6 in. The lower pistol is very similar to the
but was made by Covers of Dublin. The butt
cap and escutcheon are of silver but there is no

Bore

first,

silver-wire inlay. This pistol has a sliding trigger-

guard which

is

Overall leui^th

designed to serve as a safety-catch.


Barrel length 5- j in. Bore -6 in.

12 in.

A
t

z^

,1

-^^-,..

>

'

._

-.- -

-T^jwfMB^^^^^^^^B

gJlMt
"

jjli
w^^^^^^^^^^r^^"3P^^-**

^^

^=.-.

if

"*'

^^HMV'1

'

<

AND 77 Massive, double-barrelled


French pistol of c. 1800. The barrels are mounted
side by side, each with a separate lock one lefthand and one right-hand. The butt has no butt cap
a feature common in pistols of this period.
at all
PLATES 76

The front portion of the trigger-guard narrows into


more common on

a pillar shape, this design being

French pistols. Overall length


in. Bore .7 in.

15 in. Barrel

length

PLATE 78 A pocket pistol with over and under barrels. This is a


tap-action pistol; the barrel to be fired was selected by turning a
projection on one side of the breech. The two barrels were loaded
and primed; after the first was fired the pistol needed to be cocked
again, and the tap turned to the second position. There is a silver
butt cap bearing assay marks for 1789. The breech is inscribed on
one side Meredith and on the other Chester, both in script. Overall
length 85 in. Barrel 26 in. Bore 5 in.

PLATE 80 Rather an unusual, large, over and under holster pistol,


probably dating from the second half of the eighteenth century. The
butt is of brass with engraved scroll work. Pans and frizzen are
secured by an ornamental strip which is screwed to the barrel. It
seems very likely that the weapon originally had much longer barrels
and that these were shortened during its working life. The lower
barrel bears a partly illegible signature impossible to reproduce.
Overall length 95 in. Barrel 48 in. Bore 65 in.
^^

PLATE 79 Another example of a side-by-side pistol. The locks this


time are built into one breech, the whole being known as a box lock.
Overall length 6-3 in. Barrel i-2 in. Bore -35 in.

Double-barrelled, over and under pistol,


PLATE 8
by Durs Egg. This is a very fine quality weapon
made by one of the outstanding gunmakers of his
time. Egg, Swiss born, was to become one of the
most famous of London's gunmakers. The locks are
fitted with sliding-bolt safety-catches which also
lock the pan cover into position. The barrels
retain much of their original browning. Overall
length 1} in. Barrel length 75 in. Bore -7 in.
1

PLATE

82

gold-inlay

showing a
and two gold bands.
platinum-lined. The small hole
is the point at which the safety-

Detail of the pistol in plate 80,

name

(the maker)

The touch-hole is
visible on the steel

catch engages to lock

down

the cover.

PLATE 83 One of a pair of double-barrelled pistols made by Wilson


of London. The ramrod is of the swivel type whereby the metal rod
is affixed permanently to the barrel by a link which still allows it to be
used freely. Both this pistol and the one in Plate 81 have patent pans
designed to ensure that the priming stayed dry even in rain. Many
of the later flintlock pistols have small wheels or rollers fitted at
points where smooth movement is essential. Both pistols have such
the one by Egg, on the spring and this one, on the pan.
rollers fitted
Both pistols were made early in the nineteenth century. Overall

length 12

in.

Barrel 7 in. Bore

y^

-j in.

7-yf777^d!gl^Hf>tt.'

PLATE

Yet another type of double-barrel this time they are side


Here the box lock is fitted with one steel and one cock. The
barrels have separate pans; a slide covers the left-hand pan whilst
the right-hand is left open ready for firing. The trigger-guard is the
sliding safety-catch type. The breech is marked Joiner, London. Overall
length 1-6 in. Barrel 4-3 in. Bore -45 in.

by

84

side.

%"^^
^r

^^>^-i

r
^^^'"nJ

f?r-.sg.-;

^'

t4t-

^*?r***,

4.\
S^

^^

PLATE

85

Detail

showing

silver inlay

and the butt

cap of the pistol in plate 84. Such inlay work is very


typical of English weapons of the eighteenth
century. The stud for operating the slide cut-off can
be seen in the bottom left-hand corner of the
illustration.

PLATE 86 Small pocket pistol with 4 barrels,


bearing on one side G. Devillers, and on the other A
Liege. A small stud releases the barrel block so that,
as the top barrels are discharged, the lower two can
be turned up into the firing position. A double
safety-catch locks both cocks by engaging in notches
at the rear. Overall length of pistol 6 in. Barrel
length 1-3 in. Bore -35 in.
-^

PLATES

Many

87

AND

pistols,

88

Pistol

and

with a detachable stock.


were made with

later revolvers,

the idea of converting them into carbines for


cavalry use. Here the stock has been cut to reduce

weight and the ring

at the side

enabled the user to

weapon when on horseback. The stock and


were both made by Egg. The barrel is blued.

sling the
pistol

The stock engages in a slot cut into the back of the


butt and is locked into place by means of a spring
clip operated by the projection below the stock.
overall length 15 in. Barrel length 9 in. Bore
Pistol

6 in.

Stock

10-5 in.

PLATE

Large blunderbuss pistol by P. Bond, about 1790. The butt


91
not rounded but flat, or slab-sided. Although the barrel is brass
the trigger-guard is of steel. On one side of the breech is the maker's
name and on the other side is his address 45, Cornhill, London.
Philip Bond was one of a family of gunmakers which produced
pistols over a long period. A sliding safety-catch is missing from the
top of the breech. Overall length 125 in. Barrel length 72 in. Bore
at muzzle -9 in.
is

PLATE

military

pistol fitted with a patent Nock lock,


of lock, invented by Henry Nock, a prominent
London gunmaker, was completely enclosed and had only one
screw in the whole construction. It was easily dismantled. This pistol
is unusual because of its very large bore. Overall length 15 in. Barrel
length 8 in. Bore -8 in.
c.

89

Top

left

1795. This type

^ PLATE

90 Sea-service flintlock, the stock is stamped with the date,


The trigger-guard, butt cap and ramrod pipes are all of brass.
These pistols were usually fitted with long belt hooks. Overall length
i9'75 in. Barrel length i2 in. Bore -6 in.
1803.

^5^

if

d PLATE

Steel-barrelled blunderbuss which has had an interesting


The weapon was made originally by I. Gill for government
for it bears the Tower mark and G.R. with a crown. At some

92
existence.

service,

time it passed into native hands, for the weapon is now decorated
with steel-headed nails hammered in the stock. Some native characters are inscribed on the barrel with a passable imitation of the East
India Company's mark. Most unusual is the inscription, presumably
the reverse of TOW(ER) 1790. Overall length 2875 in. Barrel 18 in.
Bore 1-6 in. at muzzle.

PLATE 93 Details of plate 92 showing marks on the barrel and some


of the hammered nail decoration. The East India Company sign differs
from the usual mark onlv in that it has I.I. instead of E.I.
-^

PLATES 94 AND 95 Brass-barrelled blunderbuss


with a spring bayonet mounted on top. The bayonet
is held down by a catch above the breech. When the
catch is released the bayonet flies forward and
locks into position. This spring-bayonet system
was patented in 1781 by John Waters although the
idea was not new. The lock plate is marked Wiggin &
Co. Overall length 27 in. Barrel 1 1-75 in. Bore 1-5 in.
at muzzle. Bayonet 10 in.

PLATE 96

Brass-barrelled pistol with a spring


bayonet. Here the bayonet is fixed beneath the
barrel (unlike the blunderbuss) and is held in position by the trigger-guard. When this is pushed back
the bayonet springs forward into position. A top
safety-catch locks cock and pan cover. Made by
Twigg of London, c. 1780. Overall length 8 in.
Barrel length j in. Bore -45 in. Bavonet 35 in.

PLATE
Nock c.

97

Brass-barrelled

1800.

pocket pistol bv H.

The trigger normally

fits

into a recess

underneath the breech. When the cock is pulled


back the trigger snaps down into the position shown
here. The slab-sided butt is inlaid with silver wire.
A top safety catch is employed. Overall length 6 in.
Barrel 1-7 in. Bore in.

PLATE

98 Duelling pistol, one of a pair by R.


Clarke of London. The butt is cross-hatched (i.e.
incised with a series of criss-cross lines) to afford a
more secure grip. On the top plane of the octagonal
barrel is No. 62 Cheapside, London. As with the Key
pistol (plate 99) there is a set trigger. Overall

length 14

PLATE

in.

99

Barrel length 9-2

Duelling pistol,

c.

in.

Bore

1800,

-65 in.

by A. Key of St.

Andrews. The maker's name is set in a small gold


panel on the top of the barrel. The pistol is halfstocked, i.e. the wood does not extend the full
length of the barrel. The trigger is a set one (see
above), whereby the pull can be adjusted by the
screw set just in front of the trigger. All furniture is
blued as is the barrel. Overall length 14 in. Barrel
length 8-1 in. Bore -6 in.

PLATE

Large-bore pistol by H. Nock. This


breech where the barrel terminates
in a hook-shaped projection which engages with a
metal plate affixed to the stock. To remove the
barrel a wedge near the front of the stock is pushed
out and the barrel is then lifted up, disengaging the
hook and so freeing it from the stock. The touchhole is platinum-lined. Overall length 10-5 in.
Barrel length 5-9 in. Bore -8 in.
100

pistol has a false

8.A.

loi
One of a fine pair of duelling pistols of around 1815
by the very famous London gunmaker, Joseph Manton. The pistol is
half-stocked with a horn fore-end. The browned barrel is ribbed
underneath, with two ramrod pipes fitted. Touch-hole and panel
bearing the maker's name are both of platinum. The frizzen spring is
fitted with a cam which engages a roller on the frizzen itself. To ensure an accurate shot these fine-quality pistols were fitted with very
thick and heavy barrels and this pistol is heavier than similar pistols
of the period. Manton went bankrupt in 1826. Overall length 15 in.
Barrel 10 in. Bore 5 in.

PLATE

PLATE

102
All-metal pocket pistol of the mid-eighteenth century by
H. Devillers of Liege. The butt is of silver and there is no trigger-guard.
Overall length 57 in. Barrel 1-9 in. Bore '4. in.

PLATE

103

All-steel, Scottish pistol.

Despite the

early

ninteenth century this pistol


still exhibits many characteristics of earlier types,
such as the ball trigger and the lack of a triggerguard. The butt is of the ramshorn type with the
later

date

screw-in pricker set between the inward curves.


The lock is engraved with the name, Macleod. The
barrel is Birmingham proofed. A 4 in. belt hook is
fitted on the side of the pistol. Overall length 12 in.
Barrel 7-4 in. Bore

-7 in.

PLATE

Although the shape suggests a Belgian


one was made by Shuter for the East
India Company. The lock bears the maker's name,
the mark of the Company and the date, 1776.
Overall length 1^-7 in. Barrel 9-2 in. Bore 7 in.
104

pistol, this

'i^.xm^^

^
PLATE

One of a pair of silver-mounted holster


by Stanton of Holborn, London. Although
this pistol was made at approximately the same time
as that of plate 104 the difference is obvious. Overail length 13-75 i"' Barrel length 7-75 in. Bore -65 in.
pistols

105

PLATE 107 Spanish pistol of mid-eighteenth century with typical miquelet lock. In this type ot
lock the mainspring is mounted on the outside and
the sear operates through the lock plate. Brass and
silver are used to decorate this pistol,

and a long
The barrel is octagonal at the
breech and bears the mark of Pedro Esteva. Overall
length 10-7 in. Barrel length 6-j in. Bore -7 in. ^'
belt

hook

is

fitted.

PLATE

106 French holster pistol


of the mid-eighteenth century. The
stock has some carving and is fitted
with a small butt cap which has a
short spur at the rear. The slightly
convex lock plate bears the inscription, A St. Etienne. The ramrod

has a horn

tip.

of weapon 13.7s

Overall length
*"

Bore

-68 in.

PLATE

08

plate 107.

browned
sight

is

Barrel of the pistol in

Gold inlay
barrel.

is

set into a

Around the

fore-

a sunburst then a light-

ning flash. The word, Tordu, inlaid


round the barrel, refers to a method
of

construction using twisted


Below the rings or balusters
appears a trophy of arms.
metal.

PLATE

109

Large Continental holster pistol fitted

with a left-hand lock. Occasionally pairs of pistols


were made with left and right-hand locks and this is
the left-hander of such a pair. Brass fittings are used,
including a strip at the fore-end. On the triggeris deeply engraved Zes No. 33. Originally,
there was probably a D-ring attached to the bar
at the pommel. Overall length 18 in. Barrel length

guard

10-7 in.

Bore

-8 in.

'i(i

PLATE no
pistols

and

An unusual
2

initials, T.A.,

case

is

set

containing

pocket

holster pistols. Each pistol has the

on the

silver escutcheon. Also in the

a red leather wallet containing a series of

and

The two pocket


marked Stokes and Co., and the two holpistols Stokes and Hunt. Pocket pistols: overall

flints

a pair of bullet tweezers.

pistols are
ster

length 6-5 in. Bore -5 in. Holster pistols: overall


length 14 in. Barrel length 9 in. Bore -6 in.

PLATE

III

grenades. The

way and

hand weapon for discharging


weapon was loaded in the normal

small

a grenade, instead of a ball, placed in the

The barrel

is of brass and 2 in. in diameter.


The lock bears the name, Jourson, and almost certainly dates from the mid-eighteenth century. '^

barrel.

PLATE

12

A group

are of good quality

Red Indian

Chiefs.

of three rifles made by Tatham of London. They


and traditionally were made for presentation to
There are some 28 of them; the majority have

engraved on the patch-box cover. Barrel lengths are 29-5


and they all have lo-groove rifling. Bore of each one is -59 in.
stags

in.,

PLATE

113

Flintlock musket by

Ransford. The lock bears a crown,


G.R. and 1717. Overall length 4 ft.
9 in. Barrel 42 in.

PLATE 114 Powder horn with an


engraved scene depicting the withdrawal of the British forces from
Havana

in

1763

when Cuba was

returned to Spain. The arms of a


member of the Peyton family are
also engraved on the horn.

PLATE 116 Rifle made by D. Egg


of London, c. 1780. The weapon is
breech-loading using the system
patented by Captain Patrick Ferguson in 1776. The trigger guard was
rotated, so unscrewing a plug at
the breech, allowing powder and
ball to be inserted.

PLATE

115 Powder horn for use


by gunners. The brass tip has a

simple

The

spring-operated

sling

is

modern

cut-oflf.

restoration.

Overall length of horn 13

in.

PLATE

revolving-cylinder shotgun made by


The five-shot cylinder w^as rotated
by hand. Overall length 465 in. Barrel 27 in.
117

Collier, c. 1825.

r.w>v*>SBSKiwiSMwa'

PLATE ii8 Silver-mounted, flintlock holster pistol. Basically it is a


mid-eighteenth
century
pistol
which has been embellished with
silver wire and panels of embossed
silver, and has had a silver triggerguard

substituted.

There

is

simulated ramrod replacing the


original one. The decoration suggests a Turkish origin. Overall
20 in. Barrel 13-7
S.A.

in.

Bore

-6

in.

fSrr.ifi'-^'!

i^^

Unique combination weapon comprising two flintlock


which have been fitted to an arm piece. The
knife is spring-operated rather like those fitted to the weapons
shown in plates 95 and 96. The pistols were made in India. Length of

PLATE

119

pistols

and

a dagger,

barrels 2-4 in. Bore 4 in. Length of blade 8-5 in.

^-^a^MJ^:

sX7

PLATE

120 Superb pair of early nineteenth-century Turkish flintThe lock plate and barrel are blued and encrusted with gold
foliage whilst the touch-hole and pan are lined with gold. Sumptuous
silver-wire inlay, scrolls and foliage, decorate the walnut stock. All
locks.

the silver-gilt furniture

is

chiselled in the shape of acanthus foliage.

The escutcheon bears the name of Hamadan Ibrahim. Overall length


20-1 in. Barrel length 129 in. Bore -6 in.

N2

PLATE

121

Afghan stocked gun. The barrel

is

ridged for the greater

of outstanding quality. The muzzle and


breech are decorated with gold, including the owner's name. The
stock is of ebony. The barrel is rifled 8 grooves. Overall length
6o-6 in. Barrel length 43-75 in. Bore 5 in.
part of

its

length and

is

PLATE

122

typical lock

Top

Turkish

and circular

gun of the eighteenth century with a


The barrel is rifled 8 grooves. Overall

butt.

length 535 in. Barrel length 41 in. Bore 52 in. Bottom left similar.
Overall length 2875 in. Barrel 186 in. Bore -52 in. Bottom right
cartridge case: tubes of ebony tipped with ivory.

I
m^

iiii
litiiiiiii^'

PLATE 12} Top one of a pair of flintlocks, probably North African.


The wooden stock is overlaid with plaques of metal gilt. Overall
length 1975 in. Barrel length 12-3^ in. Bore -6 in. Bottom flintlock
pistol from the Caucasus, dated 1788 on the barrel. The strongly
curved stock is of mahogany and is decorated overall with silverheaded rivets as well as plaques of silver with niello decoration. The

barrel

is

inscribed Bortolo Comiiiazzi- Overall length 18-25

length 12-5

in.

Bore

in.

Barrel

-6 in.

PLATE 24 left Turkish or Circassian gun from the early nineteenthcentury. The stock is decorated with embroidered cloth, and there
1

decoration on the barrel bands and lock. Three large tassels,


mounted, arc fixed near the trigger. Middle eighteenth-century
Persian rifle. The barrel, with 9-groove rifling, is octagonal and fitted
with a peep back-sight. Overall length 455 in. Barrel 31 75 in. Calibre
6 in. Riijht
Turkish gun from the nineteenth-century. The stock is
decorated with velvet. The barrel appears to be European and bears
is

silver

silver

an armourer's mark. Overall length 59-7

in.

Barrel

448 in. Calibre

62

in.

PLATE 125 This fire-carriage is a mid-eighteenth


century forerunner of the machine-gun. Each set of
barrels (15 per set) was fired simultaneously by
separate locks. The barrels are

London proof and

are octagonal for approximately one third of their

took just about four minutes


The plates are mostly of
brass as is the frame. The unit has been mounted on
a carefully reconstructed carriage. King Edward VII
presented the firing unit to the Royal United
length. After firing

it

to re-load the weapon.

Services

Museum, Whitehall.

THE PERCUSSION LOCK


The

internal

mechanism of the percussion lock

is

the same as

the flintlock with half- and full-cock positions. This fact enabled
easy conversions to be made from the flintlock system to the
cap lock. The simple copper cap offered much greater reliability
- in one test, one misfire in sixteen shots compared with one

Moreover, priming was no longer


directly ignited the main charge.
Percussion locks were in vogue at the same time as mechanisation was becoming commonplace, and the variety of uses to
which the system was put was enormous. Percussion locks were
fitted to weapons varying from tiny pocket-pistols to cannon.
Repeating weapons became a feasible idea and started the era
of the revolver. Lar^e numbers of all types were produced and
each claimed some intrinsic advantage. At the same time rifles
became much more common, and armies all over the world were
in

six

using the flintlock.

necessary, for the

first flash

equipped with percussion rifles.


Basically the lock remained unaltered throughout its working
life of some fifty years, and there is little to distinguish a percussion lock of 1830 from one of 1870.
The percussion cap was soon incorporated into the cartridge,
and although many systems were developed it was the centre
fire that proved the most successful. Here the cap was set in the
centre of the base of a metal-cased cartridge. This
system in use today.

PLATE
1820.

126

Double-barrelled

The two locks are

fitted

is

still

the

fowling piece, c.
with swivel, Forsyth

scent-bottle primers. These containers held a small


amount of fulminating powder and were rotated
to allow a small quantity to enter the priming

The hammer struck the small plunger


which, in turn, detonated the fulminate. Smith,
the maker's name, appears on the lock. Overall
length 46 in. Barrel length ]o in. Bore -65 in.

section.

202

\^

>m -r iitwSi5k
i

PLATE

129

Nock of
powder was made

Half-stocked, 8-bore fowling piece by Samuel

Regent Circus. In

up into small

this type of lock the fulminating

pellets. Overall length 50 in. Barrel length 33 in.

PLATE 127 Top left a tube lock by John Cox, 7, Bernard Street,
Southampton. This fowling piece is mounted in silver which bears
Birmingham hallmarks for 1847. The weapon is supplied with an
ii-bore fowling barrel and a hexagonal rifle barrel of -577 calibre.
The lock is fitted with a set trigger. A pistol grip is fitted to the half
stock. Overall length 49 in. Barrel length 32 in.

PLATE

Fowling piece by Geo. Fuller, 104, Wardour Street, Soho,


The 8-bore barrel is octagonal at the breech, changing to
circular. On this weapon the fulminating powder was contained in
small copper tubes which were placed in the hole with one end facing

c.

128

1820.

the touch-hole; the

hammer crushed

the tube, thus exploding the

fulminate. Overall length 50 in. Barrel length 35 in.

PLATE

30

in the 1820's

When

the percussion cap was produced

many owners had weapons converted


take the new cap. In this eighteenth-

from flint to
century pocket pistol the

steel has been removed


and a large hammer has
replaced the cock. The j>istol is marked with T.

and

ni|)|)le

inserted,

Jackson, Maidstone. 0>erall length


length 2-3 in. Bore 45 in.

79

in.

Barrel

PLATE

Another type of conversion to a duelby Diirs Egg. The touch-hole has been
drilled out and a pillar inserted, into which is
screwed a nipple. The cock, frizzen and spring have
been removed from the lock and all screw-holes
filled in. The pistol is a duelling pistol with a set
trigger. Overall length 13 in. Barrel 8 in. Bore -5 in.
i}i

ling pistol

A similar conversion of a pistol. The original pair dated


}2
from the mid-eighteenth century and the owner obviously valued
them sufficiently to have them converted, even though they were
probably some 60 to 70 years old. The barrel is circular with a top rib
bearing the silver-inlaid name. J. Christoph Kuchenreuter, one of a
family of gunmakers from Regensberg in Bavaria. The butt is cut to
take a stock and the locking hole is covered with a brass disc.
Overall length 16 in. Barrel 10 in. Bore .^^ in.
PLATE

PLATE 133 Typical back-action percussion pistol by Nock from the


mid-nineteenth century. The lock plate extends down the butt, and
since the mainspring, etc., is arranged behind the hammer the lock is
described as a back-action. Overall length i o in. Barrel 5-7 in. Bore -5 in.

PLATES 134 AND 135 Heavy, military, rifled pistol,


dated 1859. ^^^ pistol has a lanyard ring and the
butt is slotted to take the stock. The barrel is rifled
with 4 grooves. The lock is dated 1859 '^"^ bears the
Tower mark and the initials, V.R., under a crown.
A sling swivel is fitted to the stock which bears an
arrow and the initials, fV.D. Pistol: overall 157
Barrel 10 in. Bore '6 in. Stock 11 in.

in.

PLATE

Norwegian

36

rifled pis-

an 83 model, converted to
percussion in 1846. This pistol has

tol

several

interesting

features.

The

barrel bears English proof marks

and has shallow, 4-groove rifling.


The hammer is fitted with a catch
which engages in a notch at the

a feature of English seventeenth-century weapons. The tang


screw also goes through the stock
from the trigger-guard. The butt

rear

was originally cut to take a stock,


but this has been filled in. Like
many Continental weapons, especially military ones, the barrel is
secured by a nose cap fitting over
the barrel and stock, held in place
by a spring clip. Overall length

165

in.

Barrel

99

in.

PLATE

Large percussion pistol by Joseph Wil137


son of Birmingham. The lock bears a crown over the
letter, EIG and the date, 1871
a very late date. It is
not rifled, but is fitted with sights. Overall length
14 in. Barrel length 8 in. Bore 65 in.

PLATE j8 Double-barrelled percussion pistol with swivel ramrod.


The butt is fitted with a small compartment for holding percussion
I

caps.

On

the strap joining the barrels

Hiah Holborn, London. Overall length

is

engraved John BUssett, 321


38 in. Bore 45 in.

8 in. Barrel

PLATE
barrel

139
is

All-metal, saw-handled pistol,

browned

whilst the

hammer

situated in the base of the butt.

is

c.

1850.

blued.

The octagonal

small cap-box

is

The barrel bears Birmingham proof

marks, the only ones on the pistol. Floral engraving embellishes the
butt. Overall length 8-3 in. Barrel 35 in. Bore -5 in.

PLATE

140 One of a pair of


percussion pocket pistols with
blued,
fluted
barrels.
The

hatched butt has a diamondshaped escutcheon. There is a


top safety catch, and the breech
is
inscribed
Manton and
London. There is a concealed
trigger. Overall length

Barrel

2 in.

Bore

-6 in.

62

in.

PLATE

Pepperbox revolver;

141

the cylinder block

is

drilled for six

The nipples are guarded by


a shield which encircles them all
except for the topmost under the
hammer. The German silver body is
marked Colson and Stowmarket.
The top safety-catch engages in
shots.

the

of the

slot

Length

8-

in.

hammer

Barrel 6

in.

bar.

Bore -4

in.

PLATE 142 Percussion


W. Parker of London, c.

pistol

by

1830. This

is sometimes described as an
overcoat pistoL The octagonal
barrel is fitted with a fore-sight

size

and

is

inscribed

Maker

to

His

Majesty, London. Overall length


8 in. Barrel 4 in.

Bore

-5 in.

PLATE 143 Transition revolver. In effect it is a truncated pepperbox with the barrel fitted. This type was produced in quantity,
especially in Birmingham, in the mid-nineteenth century.
rifled barrels. Overall

length 11-7

in.

Many have

Barrel 5-5 in. Bore -45 in.

PLATE
one

144

Transition revolver. The design

in plate 143

the barrel

is

fitted a little

an improvement on the
more securely, and it has

is

hammer. The cylinder reciprocates as the revolver is


moves forward slightly to ensure a good fit against the
barrel. The barrel itself has both rear- and fore-sights and also 16groove rifling; it is marked Mortimer London. Overall length 15 in.
Barrel length j in. Bore -45 in.
a reasonable
fired, i.e. it

PLATE

146

The Colt Navy model of

851.

One

of

the most popular of Colt's percussion revolvers. A


six-shot weapon with a high reputation for accuracy

and

reliability.

The revolver was manufactured

in

the U.S.A. and England. The cylinder was loaded


and the bullet, conical or round, was pressed home

beneath the barrel. This


on the barrel Address
Col. Colt London, and each part bears the number
51 54. The cylinder is engraved with a sea-battle
scene. The lanyard ring at the base of the butt is a
little unusual. Barrel length 7-5 in. Bore
36 in.

by the loading lever

particular

model

is

fitted

inscribed

Heavy Colt of the type known as the


Dragoon. Some 700 of these
weapons were made in Hartford for sale in England
around 1853. This weapon bears English proof
marks and the cylinder is engraved with Indians

PLATE

145

Hartford

English

fighting soldiers. Barrel length 7-5 in. -44 calibre.

PLATE 148 New Model pocket


pistol made by Colt in London was
weapon. The cylinder is
engraved with a scene of a stagecoach hold-up. This model was
made from 1 861-1872, serial numa 5-shot

ber

7 179.

Bore -136

Barrel length 6-5 in.

in.

PLATE

147 Revolver patented in


England by Robert Adams in 1851.
These revolvers were cocked and
fired by pressure on the trigger and
did not require cocking manually
(as did the Colts). This particular

weapon
during

has had the grip replaced


its

life,

since the normal

grip has cross hatching and a metal


It was used on escort duty for
shipments of gold on the West
Coast of New Zealand during the

cap.

period, i860 to 1870.

S.A

i?^

PLATE
Adams

149

Five-shot, self-cocking,

^:-.-'f,Jlg'Ka.?-

,"*'

g.-..^

54-bore revolver by Robert

the second model of 1853. Like many English revolvers

it is

only a five-shot weapon. The barrel, which has been considerably


shortened, is marked Deane Adams & Deane {Makers to H.R.H.
Prince Albert) 30 King William St. The serial number of the weapon
is 8608. The revolver is cased and complete with all its various accessories.

PLATE

150

Deane Adams, 5-shot

Unlike plate 149


could be cocked by the thumb
or by pressure on the trigger. This
revolver,

c. 1855.

it

Birmingham made; others,


were made in
London.
one

is

differing slightly,

Ma
^

PLATE 151 lop double-action, j-shot, 54-bore


revolver by Daw, serial number 1270. Engraved on
the top strap is Alex R. Henry Edinburgh. MiJJk
another double-action, 5-shot, 54-bore revolver by
Daw; on the top strap is engraved A. Henry

Edinburgh. Bottom self-cocking, 6-shot revolver by


Daw, but this time with the very unusual calibre
of -28. This revolver has 7-groove shallow rifling,
unlike the other two which have five grooves only.

PLATE

Dual-system (No. 855-) 6-shot, 120-bore


152
Webley. Cased with accessories and alternate percussion cylinder. On the top strap and case label is
engraved W. & J. Kavanagh, Dame Street, Dublin.
Webley's Patent is stamped on the right side of
the barrel. There is a Kerr-type rammer on the left,
as well as a loading gate and ejector for use with
cartridges.

<"
>

'mmiz-*

PLATE 153 Top revolver from plate 152; a view of the other side,
showing the rammer on the side of the barrel, and the ejector under
it. Bottom
Beaumont-Adams revolver made under licence by C. Dandoy
of Liege. It has a 7 mm. (-276) calibre. The makers name is in gold on
the top strap. The weapon has a chiselled-silver butt cap, and the
silver trigger-guard is chased with a hunting scene. The frame and
cylinder are lined out and engraved with stags and trees.

PLATE
it

154 Webley, first model, percussion revolver, patented 1853;


has a detachable loading lever and all the accessories sold with the

gun; these include


driver, nipple key,

mould, a cleaning rod, screwand metal oil bottle.

a typical bullet

powder

flask

smiM^S^

PLATE

55

Cased, double-trigger, Tranter revolver.

The mahogany case

is

lined with green baize and

retains all the original tins

Inside the lid

is

and other

accessories.

the trade label of Stephen Grant.

PLATE

The Tranter double-trigger, five-shot


weapon was cocked by pressing the
lower trigger and fired by pressing the upper
trigger. Thus the weapon could be held in the
cocked position indefinitely until ready to fire. The
156

revolver. This

loading lever

is

mounted

at the side

of the barrel

and the double-armed spring at the side is a safety


device which holds the hammer clear of the nipples.
The octagonal barrel is six inches long and has
five-groove rifling.

PLATE

157

Left

military

percus-

sion musket of 839. Overall length


47 in. Barrel length 39 in. Bore
1

753

in.

Right

sealed

pattern of

1842; the dimensions are the same


as

above, but the lock

PLATE

158

differs.

Percussion knife-pis-

and sheath. Many of these combination weapons were made with


tol

pistols fitted into purses, knives

and

knuckle dusters. This is


probably French, from about i860.

PLATE 159 A double-purpose weapon usually known as a Le Mat


revolver. Basically it is a percussion revolver with nine chambers, but
beneath the normal barrel is fitted a second smooth-bore barrel. This
was loaded with buckshot and was fired by setting the adjustable
nose of the hammer. This revolver and many others like it were used
quite extensively by the Southern States during the American Civil War.

PLATE 160 Holster and belt for a Navy Colt. The leather belt is 42 in.
long with a brass hook to secure the loop when adjusting for waist
size. On the end which loopsback to shorten the belt is stamped Rock
Island Arsenal T.C. The holster is made to be worn on the right, and
is held on the belt by a loop secured at the top and bottom by copper
rivets. There is no top flap, but the top has been cut on the curve.
Wear from long use is very apparent.
^

m
PLATES

i6i

AND

162

Interesting

superimposed, i2-bore, doublebarrelled shotgun. It was made in


Amiens and was presented to a
Maori chief by the New Zealand Governor, Sir George Gray,
in

The two loads were inand the forward ones


first.
The wadding was

1853.

serted
fired

sufficient to

prevent a flashback

fir'ng the rear charge.

Underhammer rifles by Nicanor Kendall


163
of Windsor, Vermont, U.S.A. This maker was one of
the first to produce repeating underhammer guns.
These two weapons are very similar, varying only in
overall length 3 ft. 9 in. Barrel length 2 ft.
size. Top
4 in. Bore -j in. Bottom overall length 3 ft. 6 in.
Barrel length 2 ft. 4 in. Bore -5 in.
PLATE

PLATE 164 Group of commonplace, mid-nineteenth


century accessories. The powder flask is a three-way
flask in that

it

has compartments for powder, flints


bullets. The bullet mould has the

and a number of

below the rivet


The shot measure can be set for five different
amounts. The shot charger holds two charges of
shot and was always carried full, ready for use.
built-in cutter clearly visible (just

head).

d^'j^'itiHA

Wmm

165 Brass capper with the lid removed. The percussion capS''
were loaded into the circular channel and, impelled by the springloaded arm were pushed through the top. Diameter 2-i in.

PLATE

PLATE

166

Enfield

rifle.

Steel mould for casting a 557, belted bullet to fit the


The top, flat section serves as a simple funnel and also as
oz. and had a circular groove
a sprue cutter. The bullet weighed
3 in. up from the base. Overall length 8-5 in.
^
i

,*-,';v>^<

V ^,Vr "^'^y^^!^^-;TT^g^*^'^^^5^^^:^y^y^^ ^
;

'!

j'/'f-^'J. 'a^j^J '/ 'J.'/'/*f^fA/A^A'j>A

PLATE 167 Mainspring clamp and


combination tool {left). The clamp
was used to compress the main
spring, allowing its removal from

the lock.

pricker, nipple key,

screwdriver,

worm

are

PLATE

168

oiling

probe

and

contained in the
Enfield combination tool (bottom).
The second tool (top centre) is less
complex and has fewer gadgets.
all

Top Paton and Walsh


combination
nippleprimer, enclosed pricker and capper. Centre a very small capper by
patent,

Sykes, i'4

in. in

diameter. Bottom

combined capper and nipple


primer by Gertner today, an
extremely rare and unusual piece.
a

l^iv%
i-'-f^

rather a different type of capper from those in


small brush for cleaning revolvers, etc.
bar capper, 8-5 long. Top comparatively small nipple
primer.
ordinary nipple cleaner.
PLATE

169

Top

left

plate 168 by Beetz. Bottom

in.

Centre

left

right

Bottom right

PLATE 170 Patent waterproof lock by Charles Jones, fitted to a 13bore shotgun. The internal mechanism was arranged concentrically.
Overall length of the shotgun 46-5 in. Barrel length 30 in.

PLATE

171. Top

century. Top

century.
century.

Centre
.

three cartridge pouches from India nineteenth


three cartridge pouches from Turkey nineteenth
Persian powder horn of ivory nineteenth

left

right

left

white-metal

bullet pouch from the Caucasus. Bottom


of steel with a silk hanger to which is attached a gold
inlaid ramrod; it is of nineteenth-century Persian manufacture.
Centre right

powder

flask

Group ol combination
172
of various types. The Tshapcd one at the top and the
thrcc-armed one at the bottom are
almost certainly those issued to
sergeants for use with the Enfield

PLATE

tools

rifle.

PLATE 173 Lock of a pinfire,


double-barrelled rifle by James
Purdey, a famous London gunmaker. Overall length 46 in.
Barrel 30 in. Bore

-5 in.

INDEX
Plate

numbers are

in

bold face

Ch 3; 154-5, 164, 167171-2


Adams, Robert 29; 147, 149, 153
Afghan stocked gun i2i

Book of Field Sports 47, j

annular

flask 32
antique markets 53-4

breech-loaders (earlv) 46, 48; 49,

armour 14

Brescia 44-5, 59

accessories

books 64
Bourgeoys, Marin de

9,

armourers 32
arquebus (harquebus)

army 24, 30
'Brown Bess' 24, 30
browning 39, 745^
British

46;
(moulds)

bullets
3

116

auctions ^j, 63
authenticating 6j

automatic weapons

box lock 79, 84

146,

154,

164,

166

Busk, Lieutenant Hans 47, j


butts 22, 23 (caps); 24-5, 91, 102
back-action percussion pistol 133
Bacon, Roger i
1

bandolier 45

calibre 151

Bandukh Torador 6

caliveer 10, 42

Barbar 52, 53

calivers 10

Barent,

Diomede 45

cannon 2, 86
cap-box 139
i

barrels 17-8, 24-5, 3^ (Damascus),


36-7 (manufacture), 72; 11 1

capper jo, ^i

165, 168, 169

carbines 87-8

(grenade), 140-1 (fluted)

bayonets 24, 26, ji-2; 94-6


Beaumont- Adams revolver 153

cartridges 31, 45-7, 202

Beetz 169

cased pistols 49, 67;

hooks 48
Birmingham 30, 33-4, 37

Caucasus 123-4, '7*

cartridge pouches 47; 171

belt

Black Bcrthold
Blissett,

cavalry

China

John 34; 138

bloom 36
blueing 39, yj
blunderbusses 26; 70,

(see

pistol

pistols) 66,

1,

no,

152, 155

also

military

88

86

Clarke, R. 98
cleaning 72-3
73,

cocks 21, 28, 61

91-2,

74

collecting 17 (matchlocks), Ch. 4


collectors 7, 8, Ch. 4, 62, 63

94-S
Bond, Philip 91

2^2

Index
Collier, E.

Farmer 69

17

Colson 141
Colt, Samuel 28, 30, 49, ^7
Colt weapons 68; 146, 160 (Navy
Model), 145 (Hartford English
Dragoon), 148 (New Model)
combination tools 27-8, 167, 172

Ferguson, Patrick 116


Fernandez, Caspar 38

Fernandez, Geronimo 47
'Filipus Spinodus' 59

Firearms Act j8
fire-carriage

combination weapons 119, 158


Cominazzi, Bortolo 123
Cominazzo, Lazarino 44
commission buyers jj

flint

125

21,27

flintlocks

22,

27-8,

2f,

58,

11^;

34-125
Forsyth, Alexander 27; 126
Foulon 54
four-barrelled pistol 86

conversions 28; 14, 130-2, 136

Cox, John 127


craftsmen (various) 34, 38

fowling

pieces

57,

59,

60,

126,

128-30
Dandoy, C. 153

France

dating 22

French weapons 54, 76-7, 106

Daw, G. 151

frizzen

2 2

dealers jj, 57, 62

Fuller,

Geo. 128

Deane, Adams

& Deane

decoration 20, 66,


8j. 97, 108
Devillers, G.

149, 150

73;

15,

2 2

128-9
musket) 43

fulminates 27, 31

23-5,

tusil (see also

86

Galton 73

Devillers, H. 102

German weapons

Diderot, Denis 40-1


display 60-1

13-4, 60, 132


Gertner 168

Dixon 4j

Ghevn, Jacob de

doghead

Gill,'

19, 20

dog-lock 43
duelling pistols

I.

12,

9,

34,

10,

if

92

gold inlay 108

26-7; 98-9,

lOi,

Covers 75
Grant, Stephen 155
Great Exhibition of iSji

East India

44;

Company

71, 92, 93, 104

grenade weapon

Edge, R. 67
Egg, Durs 81-2, 87, 116, 131

Grose, Francis

9,

30

1 1

10

Gunmakers' Company 33
gunpowder (see also powder, etc.)

ejector 153
Enfield rifle 39; 166, 172

engraving 66

gunsmiths Ch.

eprouvette 46
Ertel family 14

hackbut

Esteva, Pedro 107

Hall,

^5}

I.

41, 42

Index
hammers

2 2,

loading

28, 61

20-1, 28, 48

i^^,

haiuli^uns 13-4, 32, 42

London

'hnn^tire' 27

Lorenzoni 59

30, 33-4, 37

Hardintj 34

Harman, John 48
Hawkes, W. 49
Havvkslev 4f
Henry, Alex R. 151
holsters 48-9; 22, 160

Macleod 103
makers' marks 66
Manton, John and Joseph
Mastrich, Christor

holster pistols 71, 80, 105, 109-10,

horsemen 49
hunting weapons
20-1

piece),

Miles, H. 47, S7
military pistols 67-8, 72, 89, 134
miquelet lock 24, iif; 107

(see also fowling

(wheellocks),

Wenner 64

matchlocks 14-8, 24, 86; 1-9


Meredith 78

118
hookfiun

jacket,

loi, 140

2f,

Monck, T. J4

41, 96; 23-s

Mortimer, H. 144

museums 64
Hamadan i2o

Ibrahim,

musketeers 15-6, 42, 4j

hidia Pattern 24

Indian
Italy

weapons

musketoon
17, 86; 6, 8, 9, 171

(see also blunderbuss)

muskets 17 113, 157


Muslims (see also North African)

70

14

muzzle-loaders 48
Jackson, T. 130

Japanese weapons 17, 24; 5, 7


Johnson, I. 66

Napier, David 46
Navy Colt 146, 160

Joiner,

nipple

84

J.

Jones, Charles 170

Jourson

1 1

Kavanagh,

Krugi^,

accessories)

also

50

141, 168 (primers)

W. &

J.

Nock, Henry 25^, 27, 39; 89, 97,


100
Nock, Samuel 129, 133
North African weapons 22, 24; i2i,

152

Kendall, Nicanor 163


Key, A. 99
knights

(see

(gauge), i> (guards); 8 (pricker),

123

1-3

Norwegian

Anton 13

Kuchenreuter,

J.

pistol

136

Christoph 132

Orient (see also China, India, Japan)


left-hand locks 109

17, 24
over and under (barrels) 40, 78,
80-1, 83

Le Mat revolver 159


Liege 34; 65
Lithuanian weapons 15

overcoat pistol 142

2^4

Index
pan-cover

W.

Parker,

saw-handled pistol 139

sear

shot 4j (containers), 47 (belt)


shot-gun 161, 170

124

Shuter 71, 104

pinfire rifle

side-by-side (barrels) 76, 79, 84

173

pocket pistols 26, 48


140

pommel

97, I02,

sights

10,

slowmatch 14-6, 86
Smith 126
snaphaunce weapons

42
42-3, 4j, 48; 31-2,

11, 12, 16, 20, 27, 31,


flasks

144

silver-wire inlay 85, 97, i2o


skelp 36

23

Portuguese

powder
powder

Shaw, Joshua 28

rifle
i

serpentine 14-6, 18, 86; 2-9

126-73
Persian

50, 103

screwer 38

Paton and Walsh 168


pepperboxes 28-9; 141, 143
percussion system 27-31, ji, 202;

pikemen

weapons 34,

Scottish

142

21,

34-6,

164, 171

powder horns

9,

10,

snaplocks 15, 18, 86

42-j; 29, 30,

societies (arms)

14-5, 171
powder measures 43
1

powder

testers, jacket,

46

58

Spinodus, F. 59
Stanton 105

prickers 8, 34

priming 16, 20-1


proof marks 66
Purdy, James 173
pyrites

8-9,

steel

(hammer or

2,

J.

N. 60

stocks 14, 38, 73, j, 86; 10, 15,


87, 121

74-5

rammers 152-3
ramrods 16, 41, 48; 138, 171
Ransford, M. 113
Reed, I. 46
repeating weapons 28-31, 2o2; 9,
141, 143-73
revolving-cylinder shotgun 117

Stokes and Co.

no

stripper and finisher 38

stripping
Stuart,

down

50
Suhl (Germany) 34
suma 48 171
Swivel ramrod 138
Sykes 168
I

Richards, T. 74
rifling

stocker 38

pistols

frizzen)

Stockel, Johan 56

Stockmar,

Queen Anne

64

Spain 24, 34; 38, 47, 107


spanners 43

39

Royal Charter (1638) 33


Royal Horse Guards 68

tap-action pistols
Tarles,

37
Tatham, H. 1 12

rust 72

2^^

J.

jacket,

78

Index
Tower

of London 12, 27, 33

transition revolvers 28-9;

Venn, Ralph 52
Vernon 72

143-4

volunteers 30

Tranter 29; 155-6


triggers

i;,

22,

27

(hair or set);

wall piece

48 (ball), 140 (concealed),


156 (double)
tube lock 127
Turkish weapons i20 (flintlocks),
34,

2if

Waters, John 94

Webley 29

wheellocks

10-33
Wiggin & Co. 94
Wilson, I. 52
Wilson, Joseph 137

122, 124, 171


turn-off-barrel pistol 37

Twigg, T. 96

Wogden, R.
underhammer

rifles

152, 154

18-21, 32-3,

26

Wolldrldge, R. 43

163

2s6

J8,

96;

(continued from front fapj

Frederick Wilkinson began his

own

private collection of small

arms soon after World War II


and in twenty years has built up
a substantial

and

A
he

schoolmaster by profession,

now

is

known

well

of antique weapons

field

his

reserve of practical

academic knowledge.

many

articles

in the

for

on arms and

armour in various journals, his


participation in volunteer movements, and to his position as
Honorary Secretary of the Arms
and Armour Society in Great
Britain.

FRONT COVER: A

powder

John Manton and one of

tester

by

a pair of brass

framed, tap -action pocket pistols by Jackson of Market Harborough. Both pistol

and tester are from the Rabett collection.

BACK COVER Silver butt cap from a


mid-eighteenth century, Queen Anne type
Hint-lock pistol by Covers of Dublin (see
:

plate js)-

HAWTHORN

BOOKS, INC.

Publishers
;'

Avenue,
Primed

in

New York

City looii

Great Britain ( l)

-'