Sunday, November 20, 2016

Harpers Ferry Model 1805 Flintlock Pistol

The M-1805 has the distinction of being the only production pistol ever manufactured at the Harpers Ferry Arsenal in the 19th Century. 
The M-1805 was a product of an order issued in November of 1805 by the American Secretary of war to the Superintendent and Master Armorer of Harper's Ferry arsenal. The order called for 2000 braces of pistols, made in the style of the English Light Dragoon model.

The order specified the particulars, including basic dimensions and sight arrangement, the latter specifically "Tang V-Notched Rear Sight - Small Brass -Sight near Muzzle". An error in communication resulted in the pistols originally being made with no sights, and then some of the pattern guns (including this example) being made with the rear sight on the barrel instead of the tang. 
Only 4096 of these pistols would be made in total, making them highly sought after by collectors. Values well into the 5 digit figures.
The pistol has a 10 1/16-inch round, smoothbore barrel with iron rib that supports an iron ramrod ferrule. The barrel has a dove-tail mounted front sight with brass blade and a dove-tail mounted, iron, rear sight located two-inches ahead of the tang. The lock plate is flat with beveled edges and a pointed tip. The lock has a integral, fenced, iron pan and a flat-faced, reinforced cock. 
The barrel band, ramrod end-pipe, trigger guard, side plate and strapped buttcap are brass. The pistol has a hickory ramrod with brass tip. The wedge-fastened stock is black walnut.

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