Very very very old pistol

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by unamigo, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. unamigo

    unamigo New Member

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    Hello,

    Recently we've dug this pistol in a Taino Indians site, Dominican Republic.
    Could anyone identify the pistol and share some information about it.

    Thank you!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, can only comment on the obvious- it is a single shot, percussion lock, muzzle loading pistol, with a grip shape commonly called "bird's head", and a spur type, unguarded trigger. Usually carried as a pocket pistol, most commonly around .31 caliber- basically a belly gun. Percussion caps came into use in the 1820s-1830s, and were pretty well replaced by cartridge arms by the 1880s- but guns are durable, and may have remained in use long after newer guns were on the market. Possible suspects include every cottage gun maker in Belgium and Italy.

    IF the bore is open, use a NON SPARKING rod to check to see if it is still loaded. If bore is blocked by rust and crud, it MAY be possible to XRay it- the lead ball will be denser than the steel barrel, and show up.

    I mention this because BLACK POWDER, even when soaked in sea water for over 100 years, WHEN DRIED OUT is still capable of firing- say due to heat or sparks generated as you try to clean that up. From the condition, having that fire would be very bad ju-ju.

    In earlier years would have looked SOMETHING like this- not the same, but similar- Guns For Sale : Antiques - Old Belgian Single Shot Percussion Pistol 31 cal - Auction: 7644577 (Ended 10/08/2006, 03:06:14 PST)
     

  3. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    It's a "muff" or "pocket" pistol. Eighteenth century. Centerline lock,
    percussion ignition. Usually the barrel unscrewed for loading. What are
    your plans for it?

    eta DAMMIT--I've got to type faster! C3's reply is right on ther money
    and he beat me by a minute!
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  4. unamigo

    unamigo New Member

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    Thank you both,

    But can you say when this kind of pistol were begun to produce?
    I am not sure that it came from 18th century.

    That's why:
    The Taínos were pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles.
    Columbus with his crew arrived in 1492 in Hispaniola (modern day Haiti and Dominican Republic). And in thirty years, between 80% and 90% of the population of Taino died.

    We found a Taino site and dug some pieces of Taino Art and the pistol there. Also we found a grave with two Taino's skeleton sitting in embryo pose.
    The spaniards might visit that place only when Taino lived there and I suppose there was a battle between them. So i think this pistol were used in 1490 - 1550.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  5. unamigo

    unamigo New Member

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    I am going to sell it.
     
  6. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Sorry- but unless you find the remains of a time machine on the dig, THAT pistol could not date from the 15th-16th century.

    The Flintlock came into existence in the 1600s. The percussion cap in the 1800s. Yours does not appear to be a flintlock (altho due to the state of preservation, not possible to say that with 100.00000% certainty) but a percussion cap lock. The muff or pocket pistol style also came much later- basically, 1800s.

    You might not have been the first to dig there. Sort of like "Hey! The Incas drank BEER! See? I found a Budweiser can!"
     
  7. Reinhard

    Reinhard New Member Supporter

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    what c3 says, 15th or 16th century than it should be a big wheellock gun,nice dug up relic this gun
     
  8. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    So---What's the current market value on several ounces of rust and
    muck? Did you get pics of it in situ and any documentation?

    I agree it's a maximum of maybe 180 yrs old. Could be much less than
    that. Heck--pistols of this type were and are sold as kits within the last
    50 yrs.

    You said there was indian art in the graves? My guess--it fell out of a
    grave robbers pocket at some point.
     
  9. unamigo

    unamigo New Member

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    Thank you very much for your comments!
    It became more clear what we'd dug up.

    Best wishes to all of you.
     
  10. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    So whacha gonna do with your five bucks? Pretty much what they said and what I said on the other forum you posted it on. The match lock was used in the 1400's then the wheel lock in the mid 1500's then the snaphaunce into the 1600's. It was none of those. At best a center hammer flintlock boot pistol but most likely percussion. It could have been used as a muff pistol but I doubt many ladies were on a grave robbing detail or archaeological dig. Muff pistols were used in the mid 1700's through the mid 1800's.
     
  11. unamigo

    unamigo New Member

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    I'll keep the 5 bucks then :)
    Hawg, thanks for your activity in my topic on both forums.
    Your information is useful as well.

    Kind regards.
     
  12. sloejoe

    sloejoe New Member

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    That pistol may not be much in the rusted state it"s in but those pictures of it are EXCELLENT.
     
  13. jungleman

    jungleman New Member

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    I agree with c3shooter. The barrel of the weapon seems a little too long for a ladies purse. I think it is a percussion unit also. I would guess it was a gentlemans easily concealed weapon.Similar weapons were handed into my local Police stn, when we had a gun amnesty, and no action would be taken against folk who illegaly held these weapons.
    As for where It was found, don't believe what you found, came from there.
    I collect found items from the Roman times in the U.K. I was metal detecting in a field, far, far away from any known Roman settlement, and found a silver Roman coin, many miles away from the nearest Roman areas, I also found Anglo Romano, and Samian ware pottery, I also found Elizabethan, and Georgeon coins on the same site. I can only guess that there may have been a Roman settlement near a road, and Elizabethan and Georgeon travellers used the same road, and may have stayed at a building built on the same site as the Roman settlement, and so it goes on, heck, thinking about it, I too may have dropped a coin in the field, about a year ago whilst detecting, and so it goes on.
    Was this rellic found on/near a known settlement, or road. I think a little more intell is needed on this.
    Jungleman.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  14. unamigo

    unamigo New Member

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    The pistol was dug about 50 km from a settlement (it found in 1756). Maybe someone had been on that site and lost the pistol, but what that person might doing there if the Taino Indians hadn't lived in that place for over 250 years and they didn't produce any gold things. It was well known by 17 centh.