percussson pistol ID - T. Bolton & Co.


February 15, 2011, 04:20 PM
Greetings from sunny Florida!

I was curious if anyone could help me identify this pistol. I have spent most of the day searching the internet and have not been able to find anything that looks similar. My father in law purchased this pistol in 1941 just because it was unique to him.

On the top of the barrel reads T. Bolton & Co.
There are two proof marks on the lower left flat of the hexagonal barrel. I can find no other lettering or marks. I have not been able to find any history on T. Bolton & Co. but I have found a few pistols of that manufacturer for sale online. None of the pistols that I found online had the spiked back strap. Every part of the pistol including the lock has some engraving.

Length overall = 9.6 inches
Barrel length = 4.45 inches
bore diameter is approximately .446 inches.

If anyone can provide any information on this pistol or history on the manufacturer it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


I experimented with three different cameras and about 50 pictures total from all angles and this is the best I can get of the manufacturer's name on the barrel. I am afraid to try to clean it as I am not a collector and do not know a way to clean it without damage. I only polished with a dry cloth.

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February 16, 2011, 08:47 AM
So far all I know is that T. Bolton was in London.


February 18, 2011, 11:24 AM
Nice "saw handled" pistol. I've seen that configuation on a lot of high-grade dueling pistols, but this looks to be a more utilitarian piece, with its solid brass frame. It's the kind of gun a gentleman might carry under his coat to ward off highwaymen when traveling, or keep in his night stand for things that go bump in the night. The military style captive steel ramrod was made that way so the user wouldn't lose it if he had to reload on horseback, or in a bumpy coach, and the percussion cap compartment in the butt was similarly designed to keep caps at hand so he wouldn't have to fumble around to find his cap box in an emergency.

Looks like most of the "T. Bolton" pistols that show up on the auction sites are similarly utilitarian "working guns", pocket pistols in flint or percussion made to be carried for self defense. Those are likely Birmingham proof marks if this gun was made after 1813, though T. Bolton is listed with a London address. Proof testing was not compulsory on English guns until the official proof house was established in Birmingham by Act of Parliament in 1813.

I wouldn't clean or polish this piece at all, other than a wipe with a soft cloth, and maybe some Museum Wax to preserve the patina, and keep it from rusting.

March 3, 2011, 08:20 PM
Thanks guys. I have posted this on several different forums. So far no one has ever seen an all brass saw grip.

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