1730's-1750's single shot pistol. Anybody have information about this thing?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by lboss2010, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. lboss2010

    lboss2010 New Member

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    Just got this pistol from my grandpa this Christmas. There are absolutely no marks, numbers, or words. Its just blank. He had it appraised in 1997 and has a tag around the trigger that doesnt give much information. The tag says 1730 to 1750 est. Mr. Snider. It says it is one of two dueling pistols and that a seller offered to buy it for $600. But if he had both pistols they would be worth $3000.
    I have no idea what it fires. The hammer seems to be snapped off at the end. Anybody know anything about this? Value and history-wise? Any info is highly appreciated! Thanks in advance! :D

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  2. BillM

    BillM Active Member

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    Hmmmm---A little more info? Bore diameter? Smoothbore or rifled?
    NO marks at all--not even some weird little ones on the bottom of the barrel?
    Any marks under the grips?

    I'm not buying 1730 to 1750. Really can't be. That's the era of the flintlock,
    and this little cutie sure isn't a flinter. Maybe 1830 to 1850, which would put
    it solidly in the percussion caps heyday.

    I really can't tell WHAT this thing is supposed to be. If it's percussion,
    it's missing the nipple and that's a HEAVY hammer for a little gun.

    I'm almost leaning toward a Flobert parlor gun of some sort. Flobert came
    out with the .22 cal BB cap in the 1840's--and I have seen guns that relied
    on a heavy hammer to retain the cartridge as it fired. If the barrel is bored through and diameter is .22 on up to 6mm, my GUESS is Flobert style
    parlor gun of some sort.:)
  3. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    If "Mr. Snider" was the appraiser, I hope Grandad didn't pay him much..:D
    :D
    I'm not even sure it's a Flobert as I don't see a breech of any sort. Does it open in any way to insert a cartridge? If not, it may be a cap gun or a stage prop of some sort.
    The style reminds me of some of the toy guns shown in an old Adolf Frank catalog from around 1900.
  4. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    It is not a dueling pistol, and as stated it is not from the 1700's. It appears to a " parlor " type gun used for indoor games. I see no breech block so it either fired a low power Flobert type cartridge with the hammer acting as a breech block or else a pellet was shoved in the chamber and a percussion cap on top, or it could even be a blank firing gun.. Other wise it is not a firearm in that sense of the word. 600 dollars would have been more than 6 times it's real value. If it was a 'non' gun there may not be any proof marks applied. Could be wrong, been wrong before. However it is a fine historical piece showing the evolution of firearms and a very valuable heirloom.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  5. 22shot

    22shot New Member

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    A really wild guess but...

    A child's "cap gun" from the Victorian era???

    That hammer has a big flat face...
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    It is not an 18th century duelling pistol; it is a Flobert type parlour pistol from around 1880-1910. The chamber appears to be blocked as if someone tried to deactivate it. There is a very mild collector interest, but mostly those guns are considered novelties, and bring around $100. If anyone offers the owner $600, I strongly suggest he take the money and run.

    Jim
  7. lboss2010

    lboss2010 New Member

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    Wow, lots of replies! The breech is not plugged. And it IS rifled. It looks about the same size as a .22 and there IS bump on the hammer that could set off a cap... but it looks like its been worn dull. There are absolutley no marks except for 2 lines which i first thought were nothing but they are kind of odd. Maybe its nothing? Picture of the lines below. Sorry its not that good of quality.

    Attached Files:

  8. lboss2010

    lboss2010 New Member

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    Also, there is black powder residue inside the barrel. And the breech is too small for a .22 round.
  9. grcsat

    grcsat Member

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    lboss2010

    Can you please check the breech area and see if it was once threaded. ?
    The reson being is that at one time they used to build inline BP parlor pistols.

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  10. BillM

    BillM Active Member

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    I'm still betting on Flobert parlor pistol. There were:

    4mm Flobert---roughly .16 caliber
    5.6mm Flobert----.22 caliber
    6mm Flobert---pretty close to .24 caliber
    9mm Flobert---around .36 caliber

    and probably others.

    Does it look like the hole in the breech end of the barrel is smooth enough
    to chamber a cartridge? Is the breech end hole the same size or slightly
    larger than the bore?
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  11. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    grcsat, your picture fits it to a T, that explains a lot about the gun, why the hammer is flat and no breech block. A percussion pellet gun using only the power of the percussion cap ( these type are still being sold )
  12. swiftman

    swiftman Member

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    I have a .22cal muzzle loading rifle made like that. :)
  13. lboss2010

    lboss2010 New Member

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    The breech does look smooth enough for a cartridge and both ends measure the same at about 1/4'' :confused:
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