Can anyone identify this device on this flintlock pistol???

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Bishop54, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Bishop54

    Bishop54 New Member

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    Consider me baffled. My father just came across this flinklock pistol and no one seems to be able to tell him what the device is for. When the frizzen is closed and you push the button on top of the frizzen it allows a small plate to remain over the pan. When you re-close the frizzen it works like a normal frizzen where sparks get thrown in the pan the usual way. What could this device for? Is there anything else you can tell me about this flintlock? Here's some pictures to help with the identification. Thank you for your help gentlemen.

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  2. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    are you talking about the flap unde rthe frizen that covers the pan?
  3. Bishop54

    Bishop54 New Member

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    Yes sir, the pan that flips down covering were the powder goes.
  4. Popeye

    Popeye New Member

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    An attempt at keeping one's powder dry?

    An early attempt at a safety?
  5. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    the frizzen down will help keep the powder dry.. but maybee a safety?

    guess it would do both really?
  6. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    While unusual and complicated in it's workings, it just seems another way to cover the pan to keep the primer powder secure and dry while carrying the firearm. Firearm designers down through the ages were the Steve Jobs of ingenious devices, some practical, some really wild. your pictures, while very good, don't show any marking clear enough identify the possible maker or country of origin. What are the various markings.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  7. Bishop54

    Bishop54 New Member

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    Interesting guys, Why would this system make a good safety? Sounds like this could be a rare find my Father made?
  8. Popeye

    Popeye New Member

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    I didn't say it was a good safety. It could be an attempt at keeping inadvertant spark from priming powder.

    I also mentioned an attempt at keeping powder dry prior to mentioning a safety as dry powder was the first thing I considered.
  9. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    maybe it's to allow one to move the frizzen forward and fully decock the hammer while not allowing the primer charge to spill out?
  10. Popeye

    Popeye New Member

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    Whatever its intent it didn't catch on. This could be for any one of, or a combination of, many possible reasons. The fact that it was not widely accepted does make it relatively rare in number. This rarity does not necessarily make it valuable although it may have some value to collectors.

    I am not speaking as an expert but as a thinking person with experience in firearms.
  11. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    thik of how the flintlock functions.. flint goes down, knocks frizen out of way and blows sparks into the pan for the flash hole.. if a metal flap is down , under the frizen.. sparks aren't as apt to make it to the pan. same with rain i guess...

    maybee this was the 1800's version of a delta force amphibous assault carbine.. :)

    pirate jumps out of the water pours the water out of his gun bbl, flips wish water 'resistant' pan cover out of the way and unleashes his massive single shot volley.. :)
  12. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    another good idea!
  13. Bishop54

    Bishop54 New Member

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    You had my father dying with laughter over this post. He says well done.
  14. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    it looked even better than it sounded as I played it out in my brain as I was typing it.. ;)

    I used jack sparrow for the pirate :) he's odd enough to do something like that.. :)
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Got me. If it is supposed to keep the pan dry, waterproof pans were in common use before that pistol was made. If it is supposed to keep the powder from falling out, the regular frizzen does that and has to be closed and the pan covered before the gun can be fired. Pan covers were common on matchlocks and snaphaunces but it doesn't make a lot of sense on a flintlock.

    If it is a safety, it is a rather crude one and looks like it would be hard to move out of the way in a hurry. The normal sliding safety was more efficient and most were automatically kicked off when the cock was pulled back. That one would have the advantage of being installed with only a change to the frizzen, no alteration of the lock would be needed.

    Jim
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
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