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New horse pistol---horse not included

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by forward observer, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. forward observer

    forward observer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    Messages:
    382
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I just wanted to show off what UPS just delivered yesterday. I've always wanted one of these so-called horse pistols--especially in shooting condition. So, here is my new US model 1842 martial single shot .54 cal smoothbore Dragoon pistol. There were two contract makers for these pistols. Henry Aston and a former partner of Aston's--Ira Johnson. Between the two makers, they produced over 40,000 pistols for the US military between 1846 and 1852. Aston produced the lions share at around 30k, but Johnson continued to produce the pistols in small spurts well toward the end of the decade. Even with the advent of the more advanced percussion revolvers, these single-shot smooth bores continued to be used by US troops well up until the opening years of the ACW---or at least until the revolvers became available in sufficient quantities.

    These were never serial numbered, but the production date on the lockplate of this example is 1847, which means that is could have possibly been carried by some US Dragoon in the Mexican-American war (1846 to 1848) It's in relatively good shape for a 172-year-old firearm, and the bore is quite clean and free of pits, so I would have no hesitation to shoot it. The nipple is a bit corroded--as is common of many of these, and if I intended to fire it very much, I would replace it. Getting it out might be a challenge since it appears almost welded to the barrel after probably not having been removed for more than 150 years.

    I'm sure the gun has been cleaned over the years and the wood probably sanded and refinished as evidenced by the rounded corners of the flats in the stock around the lockplate. Also, the cartouche, while evident on the left side opposite the lock, is basically illegible.

    Anyway here are some photos

    lock side
    Vbftl1p.jpg

    left side
    EgewWUx.jpg

    close up fairly clean lock plate still showing well-defined makers marks and dates.
    fqxHXCE.jpg

    Lastly, a glamor shot with a few pseudo-period-appropriate props. US troops during the Mexican war used mostly white buff leather, so I faked up a waist belt with the shoulder strap from my Brown Bess cartridge box. I forget where I got the M1840 forage hat (wheel cap)--but probably picked it up at a militaria show well over 30 years ago. The saber is actually an 1860 model photoshopped with extra wire wrappings on the grip to stand in for the more correct 1840 model
    2ISpUjS.jpg

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
    Remy1858, JT-AR-MG42, Gordon and 8 others like this.
  2. indy1919a4

    indy1919a4 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2019
    Messages:
    477
    Location:
    Orlando Fl
    Looks nice, always had a thing for those attached ram rods.. I like it
     
    forward observer likes this.
  3. cowboydave

    cowboydave Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2017
    Messages:
    59
    I like it.
     
    forward observer likes this.
  4. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Messages:
    764
    I like it a lot! I’ve wanted one of those. I see they kept the captured ram rod like on my 1836.

    Very cool. And in such great condition, I’m jealous!

    4025040C-2F1A-4519-848F-0A319FF9CF4A.jpeg
     
  5. forward observer

    forward observer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    Messages:
    382
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Thanks all.

    Jessesky, I read that the model 1842 was simply a redesign of the model 1836 to percussion. Of course, your flintlock seems a bit more elegant than the percussion model. Now I want one.

    Those "captured" ramrods have both good and bad points. The good part is that it is supposed to lessen the possible loss of the ramrod since the screw-on buttons on each end of the rod should keep it captured. The downside is that the swivel keeper restricts the full motion of the rod which makes using it and then replacing it in the channel sort of fiddly without some dedicated practice.

    On mine, what you can't see is that the inside screw-on brass button or cap is missing, so the rod is really not captured and slides right out of the swivel keeper when I pull it out of the ramrod channel.

    S&S firearms is my usual go-to parts supplier for stuff like this and they actually carry a few reproduction parts for the M1842 including the ramrod. However, it's the full assembly of the rod, both end caps plus the keeper swivel with arms at $45. I don't really want to order all of that stuff just to get the one little brass end cap that I'm missing. I going to hit the hardware store to see if I can find some sort of brass hardware that I can make work---maybe a crown nut that I can chuck in a drill and turn down to size. I may also call S&S tomorrow--just to see if they have an extra cap/button on hand that they will sell by its lonesome.

    Cheers
     
  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    15,615
    Location:
    Happy Valley, UT
    Beautiful pics. What’s your secret!?
     
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