I cover this area from mid-18th century to late-19th century, from flintlock to early cartridge guns. For me this is where hobby and profession meet, as I'm a black powder enthusiast (ex-fencer)! My particular interest is in American and British revolvers of the percussion era and, to a more general extent, in British and European service handguns from the 19th century. Good reference books include: English pistols and revolvers by J N George; Howard Blackmore's book on English service firearms of the 18th & 19th century. Museums with important collections include: the Royal Armouries, Leeds; the Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London W1; Musee de l'Armee, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna; and various other museums in European capitals.
Here is a selection of militaria from this category:
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Salter balance for Lewis gun trigger/magazine tension
This is a multi-purpose tool (overall length just under 5"): screwdriver, magazine awl and trigger/magazine tension adjustor, which would have accompanied every Lewis gun on issue to the troops. Salter was a spring-balance maker of 19th-century origins, and today make superb electronic scales.
Cartridge back action lock, Starr carbine
This is the lock for the comparatively rare cartridge carbine of 1865. Only 5,000 of these were bought by the US Government in 1865. It took a .52 rim fire cartridge and had a 21"-round barrel with a walnut stock. Starr went out of business in 1867.
Small pistol lock
This little lock (just under 10cm long) is representative of a typical mid-18th century handgun lock and, in all probability, would have been carried by an officer or gentleman for personal defence. There are no maker's marks or other indications of origin and this could just possibly be French rather than English.