By Lars Dalseide | May 20 2010 12:00
French flintlock pistol, c. 1770-1780, donated to the NRA National Firearms Museum on NRAblog

Every day at the National Firearms Museum is filled with possibilities. Possibilities that come in the form of new guests who visit, new inquiries for the curators to research, or – as was the case Tuesday – a new donation to prepare for display.

What we have here, according to Senior Curator Doug Wicklund, is a .60 caliber flintlock pistol. A cursory examination suggest it was made somewhere between 1770 and 1780. Thanks to the surviving engraving, we also know that the gunsmith was a man named Andre from Nancy, France.

“There was a gold wash embellishment that disappeared due to use over time,” Wicklund told NRAblog. “There also appears to be a coat of arms on the stock that has also worn away.”

Wicklund went on to theorize that the gun came from a set of dueling pistols made for someone in the French nobility. “Given the amount of detail, the remnants of gold, that would be my guess.”

This donation also marks the first appearance of the work of the gunmaker Andre in the National Firearms Museum. “It’s a real rush. There’s always a touch of excitement when we have the opportunity to display the work of a previously unknown gunsmith. Especially with such a fine piece as this.”

If you're unable to visit our world class Museum here in Fairfax, Virginia, check out the official National Firearms Museum website for a virtual tour! 

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