What is a **** pistol, anyway?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Jim K, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Guys on here have been having a lot of fun with the term "muff pistol", but the designation is legitimate. Unfortunately, most of the flintlock or percussion pistols described using that term are pocket pistols or belt pistols, of large or medium caliber and having barrels of three to five or more inches.

    A true muff pistol is tiny. The caliber will usually be 22-32, and the barrel will be 2 inches or less. The woman's hand warmer is not large inside (the fur is deceptive) and to describe a .50 caliber pistol with a five inch barrel as a "muff pistol" is ridiculous (even if it doesn't lead to silly jokes). And they are rather rare; for years they had little value and even collectors relegated the little guns to the "junk box".

    I wish I had one of those little pistols to picture. A friend has several and I hope to be able to get some pictures later.

    Jim
  2. ka64

    ka64 Well-Known Member

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    Oh a hand warmer,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, nevermind..........
  3. Juker

    Juker New Member

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    Here ya go, Jim ...

    Attached Files:

  4. permafrost

    permafrost Active Member

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    Sorry, Jim:
    But I count at least 8 good jokes in your serious post.:D
  5. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    This is a serious question now guys, How was these little guns carried. Did the hand warmers have small pockets ?. Must have, but does any one know for sure, just curious.
  6. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    RJay yes they had pockets , opposed pockets so two could be carried , in fact in the 1834 Harrods catalogue there is a sable with ermine trim muff with two knox brothers pistols for 9 guineas and 6 pence in . 45 cal
  7. Brisk44

    Brisk44 New Member

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    Nope I won't do it, I will not do it.............. aahhh the heck with it. A double muff, one for each hand, they had it all back then. :D:D:D:D
  8. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    also remember that at the time street robberies in london where huge , slavery had ended and there where all these slave traders called moores running around robbing people ( charles dingle records there being 18,000 unemployed moores dumped in UK ports in the 3 years after the abolition of slavery )
    moores was the old name for muslims

    there where so many slaver ships stuck in port that many where converted to jails for the criminals and poor

    ladies where there favourite targets and if they did not have enough money when robbed the robbers would often slash the ladies face in return for not being rich

    also remember this was the age of the poor house and work house

    and so robbery was a real alternative to the solution provided

    7 years and transportation for robbery

    life never to be released with hard labour for being poor ....

    tough days
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  9. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    Jim K's right on target about the 'plum wore out' use of "muff". I once had a cased pair with ivory grips and accessories, pretty much as Jim described, 2" bbls, about .32 cal and with folding trigger. See them in all their glory below center bottom. The picture is of guns (not the American ones) I brought back from Europe in 1949. Prices outrageous even then - that mess of guns cost less than $500. :):):)
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  10. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    rhmc,
    Thanks for sharing that pic. VERY VERY nice collection. Heck, back then $500 is worth like what 5 bazillion Obama dollars are worth today. You have a very nice sef of muff guns.
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I think the one in the top right (my right) at the grip of the Bisley(?) would be in that class also.

    Jim
  12. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering about that one. Whether it was actually a pistol, or just a fire starter. I've seen pix of fire starters made like a flintlock pistol, and that one does not appear to have very much of a barrel.
  13. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    That little one was a gun, not a fire starter. I didn't buy anything that wasn't shootable unless it was a rarity like a wheellock. Approx prices at the time were $30 for cased duelling pistols, same for wheellocks, long guns a little less. Flint pistols around $10, percs less. I got most of these in Vienna, Austria, some in Paris. Other than antique dealers a good place to find guns was second hand furniture stores. They usually had some in a box or basket they priced as low as couple bucks. Buying was mostly 1947-48. I eventually sold/traded most of it off, some too cheap but my regret is about what I didn't buy when I had the chance. A lot of stuff down down memory lane - too long for here.:):):)
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