American Rifleman provides ins and outs of Colonial Era pistol
Garry James, oh he of Guns & Ammo fame, provided a little freelance magic for American Rifleman this month with a review of the U.S. Model 1816 Flintlock pistol:
U.S. Model 1816 Flintlock Pistol
The 1816 Flintlock pistol is considered reasonable for a historic firearm.
During the Revolutionary War, the Americans fielded a cacophony of British, French, German, Dutch and home-grown products, which created an inventory of different styles and calibers of varying degrees of serviceability. A few years later the United States decided to create its own indigenous military arms. The first U.S. pistol was the Model 1799 North & Cheney—an ungainly-looking flintlock that was modeled on the equally unprepossessing French Model 1777. Manufactured between 1799 and 1802, only about 2,000 of the unique, brass-framed smoothbores were made.
In 1805, the U.S. introduced the Model 1805, a very Yankee-looking pistol whose elegant lines mimicked, to a degree, those of the U.S. Model 1803 rifles. Highly collectible, many
experts hold that the 1805 was one of the most beautiful flintlock handguns ever built. It has since been immortalized in the insignia of the U.S. Army’s Military Police Corps and as the totem of the American Society of Arms Collectors.
In 1813 Connecticut maker Simeon North was contracted by the U.S. government to supply a beefy .69-cal. pistol. Unlike its predecessors, it featured a hefty double-strapped iron front band (all the gun’s furniture was iron), a component that was retrofitted on a number of Model 1811s. As well, the black walnut stock incorporated a reinforcing band up the spine of the stock from the grip cap to the barrel tang. The flashpan was brass and the ramrod was hickory with a threaded, slotted iron ferrule to accommodate patches, a wiper and a ball screw.
Read Garry's complete look at the 1816 Flintlock on AmericanRifleman.org