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Title Tap-action pocket pistol by Smith, London
Nationality British
Period c 1813

This pistol (7 3/4 inches long) has Birmingham proof marks, which date it to no earlier than 1813, although it was retailed in London. It was designed to give a second shot as a close-quarter self-defence weapon for the rough-and-tumble England of the early 19th century. Perhaps Bill Sykes carried one of these!

There is no half cock on this pistol, the bent on the cock obviously being worn down to produce this state of affairs. However, the mainspring appears sound and it functions at full cock. There is a top snap safety. The walnut butt has had some apparently old repairs to both sides of the woodwork near the action. The iron barrels have both been wire-mopped somewhat, but it would be a fairly simple matter to dress these back to a more aesthetic finish. From memory, both barrels are loose. The calibre is approximately .45.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Firearms : Flintlock Pistols : British : 19th Century]


Thank you for the delivery which arrived yesterday. The badges are in excellent condition.

P S, UK, 18.12.2012

Just picked up the bayonet,

I'm very pleased with it.

P E, UK, 11.10.2012