c1845 Percussion Coast Guard Pistol with Nickel Fittings


A very unusual mid 19th century Coast Guard Officer’s Percussion pistol in very nice condition.

The barrel measures 15 cm (6 inches) and has a calibre of 17.5 mm (0.69 inch). The barrel is bright steel, going from octagonal to round. The pistol has a captive swivel ramrod, a wood stock and brass retaining band. The pistol is unusual in that both the hammer and the lock plate are made of nickel and that the percussion nipple has a flip-up protective guard, also made of nickel, that stops the loaded gun firing by mistake. The reason for the use of nickel may be purely decorative, but most likely attests to its use as a naval pistol with the metal better protected from the sea air, than with steel.

Another unusual factor with this pistol is the complete absence of any markings that would determine its origin and maker. Its looks are somewhere between a British Coast Guard model and the American version. As such, it may be an embargo busting piece, supplied to either side in the American Civil War, although most likely the Confederate States, given the absence of markings. The mechanism is very crisp and smooth.

Size: 29 cm (11 3/8 inches)
Weight: 933 g