Category: pistol


A truly magnificent wheel-lock pistol crafted by Daniel Sadeler, Royal gunmaker to the Duke of Bavaria.  Circa 1605.

British Transitional Revolving Pistol, c. 1845

A British transitional revolver, of around 1845. Wedge open-frame construction in approximately 54 bore.


Centrefire four-barrelled Large Frame Holster Model Thorn patent pistol by Charles Lancaster, circa 1881


A.A.Thorn Patent oval bore single trigger four barrel pistol. The single-trigger action operates a rotating firing-pin. A side lever operates a dolls head barrel lock on the top of the frame (known as a 1st type locking latch). Plain finish with much original bluing stamped with Birmingham proof marks. The square shaped chequered walnut butt has provision for a rod butt extension and a lanyard-loop. The hinged barrels are bored with Charles Lancaster’s patent oval bores and have open-sights and a German silver foresight. The barrel cluster is fitted with a self-acting extractor star. The assembly number, 22, is stamped on the bottom of the frame.


In 1878, the firm of Charles Lancaster Gunmakers, previously run by C.W. Lancaster who died in that year, was acquired by Henry A.A. Thorn from his widow. In 1881 Thorn patented an action for two and four barrel guns, he would subsequently use this patent in the manufacture of both shotgun/rifles and pistols. 

The pistols were designed to take a variety of calibres, but in the main they would be for the four barrel pistol .455 and .476 government cartridges and for the two barrel pistol the .577 short Snider or Boxer, they were also fitted with Lancaster’s oval bore rifling.

In all about 712 four barrel pistols and about 234 two barrel versions were produced between 1882 and 1897.

This is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, known examples of Lancaster’s four barreled pistols.


Overall Length 11 in.

Overall Length 279 mm

Overall Weight 1.085 kg

Barrel Length 6.25 in.

Barrel Length 160 mm

Calibre .455 in

© Royal Armouries


U.S. Navy Elgin Cutlass-Pistol by C.B. Allen

Serial no. 45, .54 caliber. 5 inch octagonal barrel marked on the top Elgins/Patent and CBA/PM/1837. Frame marked C.B. Allen/Springfield/Mass. Barrel, frame, blade and stock all serial numbered. Underside of barrel affixed with broad 11 inch single edged blade with beveled false edge and forged with integral triggerguard/knucklebow. Varnished walnut grips. Together with original German silver-mounted leather holster, (the leather restored) the throat fitted with frog stud and with rare brass-tipped steel ramrod.

One of 150 specimens manufactured by C.B. Allen, with blades by N.P. Ames, for a U.S. Navy contract specifically associated with the Wilkes South Seas Exploring Expedition of 1838-42. (Flayderman’s Guide, sec. 6A-038)

Authorized in 1828, the expedition was composed of six vessels, with a complement of scientists, under the command of Lt. Charles Wilkes. Leaving Hampton Roads, Virginia the fleet rounded South America, explored the Pacific coast of that continent, proceeded to the South Pacific, where they engaged in combat on Fiji in 1840 and then sailed on the map and explore the west coast of the United States. Nineteen scientific volumes were published after the fleets return and the expedition played a major contribution in the advancement of the U.S. scientific community. 


Weapons storage on board the HMS Warrior: Pattern 1889 Cutlasses, Pattern 1888 Boarding Pikes (I think), Colt Navy Revolvers.


British Chest of Arms, c.1830

Made by Woolley, Sargant and Fairfax. Pine Chest containing twelve flintlock musketoons, pistols, bayonets and cutlasses

Photo from the Butterfield & Butterfield auction catalog for the Charles Bremner Hogg Jackson bequest to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in October of 1996, and now in the collection of the Royal Armouries in Leeds.


National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

A collection of Pattern 1804 Cutlasses and Se Service Pistols

British Combination Sword & Pistol (Gunblade Spadroon!),18th Century 

Exceptionally rare 18th century English combination weapon used through American Revolutionary war, consisting of a fine silver mounted Queen Anns flint lock pistol, engraved on both sides with makers name and elaborate floral motifs, wooden stock inlaid with a silver wire and topped with a fabulous grotesque face pommel. Mounted with a long single edged multi fullered blade of typical 18th century pattern.


Belgian Folding Sword Pistol with Engraved Fittings and Ivory Grips, Rodgers Knife Pistol, William Swift Percussion Knife Pistol, 19th Century

Sword and Pistol of Harriet Ross Tubman