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Old 29th January 2021, 12:19 AM   #9
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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So more research in this web of intrigue, as I found some more books:
"British Military Firearms", Howard Blackmore, 1962
"English Pistols and Revolvers" , J.Nigel George, 1938

Blackmore, p.64,
" 1781 the gunmaker John Waters took out a patent for guns with folding bayonets. It was a very old idea- Deschamps published his in 1718 (Machines et Inventions Approuvees par l'Academic Royale des Sciences)- but it seems to have led to a revival in the gadgets, and in 1783, 100 carbines with a joint or folding bayonet were purchased. "
"Eight carbines with spring bayonets were also issued for a 'secret mission' in September, 1794 (W/O 46/24). "

This makes these bayonets sound all 'M' from James Bond.

George , p.66,
describes a bell mouthed brass pistol of the BOARDING PISTOL type sometimes carried by naval officers of this period (late 18thc)and intended for use in hand to hand combat. In the pistol he describes however(which is by Waters) the bayonet is released by pulling a second trigger. The author also errs in stating the year of the patent as 1776 (it was 1781).
He illustrates the pistol in Plate IX but it is not very good.
Another pistol of the type by James Daniel is shown, with bayonet atop the barrel, and dates 1800.
The Waters pistol is dated 1781 by the silver Birmingham mark for that year on the silver butt plate.

on p.95, George notes that the tactics of that time, with Rodney and Nelson , were to close with the enemy by boarding, and bringing the action to a decisive end.

Concerning Stephen Wallis,

Blackmore p.116, describes a shooting contest with the Duke of Cumberlands
Corps of Sharpshooters in August of 1803.
One of the first rifles used, believed to have been by the Great Packington Volunteers, had a hair trigger, a folding aperture rearsight and a bayonet stud under the muzzle. It had a 30" barrel and an unusual style bayonet to attach.

It would seem that our Stephen Wallis was already a quite accomplished gunsmith in 1803.

In another reference (George p.98) he shows a screw barrel pocket pistol which is strikingly similar but smaller, and much smaller bayonet, clearly a novelty. It has the Birmingham Proof Company mark, so is presumed post 1813, and the lock is marked London. There is a blank space for the name of the retailer so appears to have been for the London market, but apparently never sold.

This suggests that apparently there were 'blanks' made in some cases for retailers, so the name could be filled in.

The flared barrel seems indicative of an earlier pistol, or perhaps more to the naval use, as these other pistols barrels are straight.

I just wanted to see if S. Wallis might have earlier presence, which it seems he does, and to have been notably skilled as referenced by Mr. Blackmore, who was one of the most highly regarded authorities on British firearms.
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