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Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by kBob, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. kBob

    kBob Well-Known Member

    I thought surely a BP crowd would have something to say about todays event in US history.

    As the pistols are still on display has anyone made decent copies of them?

  2. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    I was too busy with today's events at work.
  3. DoubleDeuce 1

    DoubleDeuce 1 Well-Known Member

    I beleive America Remembers produced quality copies of those dueling pistols back in the mid to late 1980's.:cool:
  4. denster

    denster Well-Known Member

    They did. The originals were taken to Italy where they were reproduced in detail by Uberti. I believe the original price was $3000 in early 1980 dollars. Not a good investment. I bought my set about six months ago on gunbroker for $1250. The going price seems to be in that range plus or minus a hundred or so. At that they are a great deal as they are very high quality and a joy to shoot.
  5. PRD1

    PRD1 Well-Known Member

    The reproduction Hamilton-Burr pistols...

    are very nice-looking and apparently well-made pistols. I had a chance to handle a pair, and was thinking about buying them for shooting. Then I discovered that the Italian maker had attached the brass nose extension/weight to the barrels by drilling and tapping the screw holes completely through and INTO THE BORE.
    You may be sure that Wogdon (or whoever altered the original pistols) did no such thing.
    If you actually shoot the guns, eventually the screw holes will serve as a starting point for corrosion, if they don't actually weaken the barrels to begin with: in any event, it is a stupid and inexplicable thing for a gunmaker to do, unless he were very sure they were never going to be shot.
    PRD1 - mhb - Mike
  6. denster

    denster Well-Known Member

    Actually no we can not be sure without being able to examine the originals. I doubt that Uberti, who was commisioned to make identical replicas, would have done this were it not present on the originals. As to being a starting point for corrosion. Not if you clean your gun. There is no problem with weakening the barrel as the threads are more than able to withstand the pressure at that point. Recall that drilling through the barrel to install a shotgun bead on guns shooting smokeless powder is the norm. I've never seen one blown out.
    In any case mine shoot fine with no problems.
  7. scotjute

    scotjute Well-Known Member

    Burr cheated!

    Signed : Hamilton relative.
  8. rajb123

    rajb123 member

    ...more people in our government today should do this ....and often...
  9. PRD1

    PRD1 Well-Known Member


    I am very confident that no original gunmaker of the period would have done such a thing: there was no need.
    The H-B pistols are a pair of Wogdon flint fullstocked pistols, which were, at some later date, altered by having the front of the stock cut off and replaced with a brass cap of the same length as the original stock - apparently to add weight and alter the handling and 'feel' of the pistols.
    I have examined a great many original duelling and other type flintlock pistols over the last 45 years or so, and have NEVER encountered an original which had any holes whatever drilled into the bore other than the vent.
    In fact, photos exist of the original H-B pistols which clearly show that the foreend extension is attached with a key/wedge, exactly as the original wood was, and probably the same one originally fitted by Wogdon.
    I really wanted to buy those pistols, but the screw holes in the bore absolutely disqualified them, so far as I am concerned.
    I do not think there is an actual safety issue with firing them, but am sure that, with blackpowder and time, corrosion will set-in at the holes. Additionally, the fact that the screws may protrude into the bore, if only minutely, practically assures that the patch will be damaged or torn in passing over them: alternatively, if the screws are below the level of the bore surface, the sharp edges of the holes themselves are likely to do much the same, and smoothbores are at least as dependent on a perfect patch as rifled ones, if any accuracy is to be achieved. I have satisfied myself by actual shooting that a perfect bore is absolutely critical for an accurate smoothbore, and, also, that the duelling pistols really are capable of outstanding accuracy within the customary duelling ranges of 10-15 yards
    Having been lucky enough to have shot original flint and percussion smoothbore duelling pistols, I wanted a modern reproduction that would perform as well, and the H-B seemed to offer a likely candidate at a price that is very attractive as compared to a true custom reproduction, or the acknowledged best non-custom modern repro, the Hege-Manton, which is long out of production, impossible to pry from the current owners, and very expensive when available (the last one I saw offered in Europe was going for 2400 English pounds).
    In the meanwhile, I acquired a very fine modern custom reproduction 20 bore flint Continental officer's pistol, which shoots very well, indeed, despite having none of the refinements which make the true dueller so efficient.
    Then, I placed an order with a well-respected custom maker for a 28 bore
    flinter in true dueller style: I should have it by the middle of next year, and expect it will be worth the wait.
    If you get out this way (SE Arizona), bring your pistols; I challenge you to a duel (with paper targets, of course)!
  10. denster

    denster Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the kind invitation and I extend the same if you make it to North central Ohio.
    Your reference to the brass forends being a repair or modification to enhance handling qualities is a distinct possibility since most Wogdon duelers were stocked to the muzzle in wood although he did make sets to the customers specifications.
    I would direct you to the photos of the originals from the J.P. Morgan Chase archives. One of which of course was later converted to percussion. Neither pistol shows any evidence of the brass forend being keyed in place. Since the forend is designed to stay with the barrel when it is removed from the stock attaching it with a key would be a poor method.
    In reference to the screw in to the barrel. The bore received it's final polish after the screw was installed and you can not detect it either when loading or cleaning and recovered patching shows no signs of damage.
    You are correct that good smoothbore pistols can be exceptionally accurate fully as much so as a rifled bore within a reasonable range. On a good day, for me, I can keep five out of five shots on a playing card at 15 yards.
    It's obvious we both have a love of fine period weapons. The screw into the barrel may be a deal breaker for you but not for me. My take on it was that to buy the quality of raw parts used in these pistols would cost nearly 600 to 700 dollars so to have a completed pair with case and high quallity workmanship for 1200 was a no brainer. To each his own I guess.
  11. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Well-Known Member

    if you want a shooter, the Pedersoli LePage or Mortimer would be your best bet short of the Hege-Manton (great gun), or talking to either Tilo Dedinski or Andy Baumkircher. Who will make you a fantastic gun, but don't ask the price.
  12. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Well-Known Member

    Just don't try to say Aaron Burr with peanutbutter in your mouth and no milk.... Seriously though, the reproductions are nice. They are getting a little more scarce though. I have only personally seen one pair, and they looked really nice. I was thinking they were made under a limited run or something , but might be mistaken...
  13. denster

    denster Well-Known Member

    If memory serves correctly the run was limited to 2000 sets.
  14. Forsbach

    Forsbach New Member

    I have a pair of Pedersoli Burr Hamilton reproduction pistols in a French fitted case with tools. I bought them in the early 80's. They are unused and I was wondering what the range of $ values are?


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