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Old 30th April 2022, 09:09 AM   #1
Tordenskiold1721
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Default Scottish Pistol Pair

My knowledge of Scottish flintlock pistols and early Scottish snaphance pistols is very limited. I just picked up this pair in the Scottish style marked / stamped Tower.

Assistance in dating and identifying this pistol pair would be much appriciated:
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Old 30th April 2022, 01:53 PM   #2
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They appear to me as somewhat crudely made reproductions. They would function well for re enactors props.
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Old 30th April 2022, 02:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M View Post
They appear to me as somewhat crudely made reproductions. They would function well for re enactors props.
Interesting, were and when by who was this reproductions made ?
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Last edited by Tordenskiold1721; 30th April 2022 at 03:03 PM. Reason: Adding photo
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Old 1st May 2022, 09:53 AM   #4
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Well Tordenskiold, Will's prompt judgement sounds as if he is well under what goes on with this type of pistols.
Alli know about them is that they are not easy to find and not cheap at all ... specially being found in pairs,a greater added value.
Let us expect Will offers further details that explain their non genuinity; or that other members step in to opine in this subject.
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Old 1st May 2022, 02:15 PM   #5
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Admittedly the quality doesn't look great and the stamped (?) Tower difficult to account for . But . A lot of Scottish pistols were in fact made in Birmingham . Bissel was prolific maker . Paradoxically a lot of modern reproductions copy Bissel type pistols from the 1770s because they are relatively plain and easier to reproduce than the engraved Scottish examples. The attached shows a late pistol by Bissel which like the pistols under discussion has a military style ring neck cock and the later style of cock spur. It's from Edinburgh castle so I think we can assume it's authentic. The two screws visible behind the cock of the pistols under discussion follow nineteenth century practice. Scottish style flintlocks with German silver stocks were being made in Birmingham the 1850s so we can assume these were regimental regalia following the fashion for all things Scottish in the early victorian period. What looks like a 2 on one pistol might have some regimental significance . On balance I can't see why these are not nineteenth century Birmingham made pistols possibly slightly out of period . Probably irrelevant but the old name for the Birmingham proof house was the Tower.
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Old 1st May 2022, 04:19 PM   #6
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Hello
Would there be any test punch in the barrels? Would you need a photo of the interior of the lock
Affectionately
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Old 1st May 2022, 10:00 PM   #7
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Hello

The Scottish model pistols provided by the Crown to the Scottish regiments had a bronze stock and the firing system was the original Scottish, horizontal movement, with a window in the plate that let out an appendage that held the cock in half- cock and that was withdrawn to shoot, not like the specimen in this post, which has a vertical trigger, like in the French lock.
I think it is a modern reproduction. Raf has made it clear that the word TOWER is stamped and we still don't know what material the stock is made of. Maybe it's a reproduction of India, I don't know

Affectionately
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Old 2nd May 2022, 07:21 AM   #8
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I cannot see the sense of the screws at the ramshorn butt. Normally these are needles to clean the ignition hole but these two items are far too thick for this purpose. So I tend to think that these pistols are fakes
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Old 2nd May 2022, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26 View Post
I cannot see the sense of the screws at the ramshorn butt. Normally these are needles to clean the ignition hole but these two items are far too thick for this purpose. So I tend to think that these pistols are fakes
You are absolutley right Udo. The Screws ends in needles that fully penetrates the touch hole. The photo is taken with the pistols up side down so you can see that the needles is well seated in the touch holes. Hope this makes more sense of the "screws" Udo ? :
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Old 2nd May 2022, 10:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K View Post
Hello

The Scottish model pistols provided by the Crown to the Scottish regiments had a bronze stock and the firing system was the original Scottish, horizontal movement, with a window in the plate that let out an appendage that held the cock in half- cock and that was withdrawn to shoot, not like the specimen in this post, which has a vertical trigger, like in the French lock.
I think it is a modern reproduction. Raf has made it clear that the word TOWER is stamped and we still don't know what material the stock is made of. Maybe it's a reproduction of India, I don't know

Affectionately
Thank you for taking your time taking a good look at the pistols. It seems to me that the triggers are placed as you describe they should be on Schottish pistols. To answer your question. The pistols are made in all weapons grade steel with the type of pitting and minor rust as can be ecpected.

The black coating that is seen on the inside of the lock and inside the pistol is old oil or grease that is very sticky(it can be confused for unpolished steel on the photo). Photos attached in half and fully cocked. The springs are made well, making the lock fuction well.

The last photo is of a few other pistols signed by well known Gunsmiths, having collected pistols for over 40 years, I have tried to find something wrong with the Tower stamped pistol pair.

After checking the needles on the screws Udo(Corrado) says are not there in fact are there and fuction well and taking the pistols apart, checking Fernados constructions descriptions. I thank Raf for his constructive inputs.

Udo says the screws are just screws when they in reality have needles in the end that penetrates the touch holes and the all steel construction seems right. The inside of the locks are correctly made for the period 1780 - 1810. Based on what I can see, I am asking you humbly, Fernando to inform me your knowledge of who and were and when in India these pistols are made ?
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Old 2nd May 2022, 11:03 AM   #11
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No proof marks on the barrels, Tordenskiold ?
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Old 2nd May 2022, 11:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tordenskiold1721 View Post
... It seems to me that the triggers are placed as you describe they should be on Schottish pistols...
I guess that what Fernando K means to say (in his translated post)is this:


.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 11:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando View Post
No proof marks on the barrels, Tordenskiold ?
The only small stamp that this photo magnefies on the inside of rusty greasy barrels are number 4 as seen on this photo. This apears to be assemply numbers:
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Old 2nd May 2022, 11:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando View Post
I guess that what Fernando K means to say (in his translated post)is this:


.
And here are some without your detail, also in all steel:
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Last edited by Tordenskiold1721; 2nd May 2022 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Change of half Cocked photo
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Old 2nd May 2022, 11:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tordenskiold1721 View Post
And here are some without your detail, also in all steel:
Not 'my' detail, but Fernando K's .
You are right, the pair you show (and edited) have a different system.
Proof marks, if there were, should be on top of the barrel; often those of Birmingham, in Scottish pistols.


.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 11:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tordenskiold1721 View Post
The only small stamp that this photo magnefies on the inside of rusty greasy barrels are number 4 as seen on this photo. This apears to be assemply numbers:
Yes, an assembly number, most certainly. Could you check if the other pistol also has a number in the same place (barrel tang) ?
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Old 2nd May 2022, 12:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando View Post
Yes, an assembly number, most certainly. Could you check if the other pistol also has a number in the same place (barrel tang) ?
The photos of several Scottish pistols shows various locking solutions in half cocked and fully cocked position. Thank you for pointing out this variations. I simply found a photo that better ilustrated a pair without any of the locking systems. Anyway the aforementioned is besides the point

Assemply number 4 with a five above:
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Last edited by Tordenskiold1721; 2nd May 2022 at 12:55 PM. Reason: Correcting typo
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Old 2nd May 2022, 01:32 PM   #18
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Surprisingly no one has pointed out that the lock internals show a remarkable similarity to a 53 Enfield. Note the swivel link to mainspring and the wedged mainspring attachment . Features that become more common in the percussion period arguing a date more towards the 1840s. The fact that they seem to have avoided proof is worrying but what is more concerning is the lack of a bolster to the barrel tang. Meaning that there is no effective way of screwing in the breech plug. If there is no evidence of a screwed in breech plug the barrels have to have been machined from the solid which is obviously completely contrary to functional firearms practice , at least in this period. Having said that I still don't think they are copies , reproductions , Indian or otherwise. I know its clutching at straws but I am beginning to wonder if they were made as non functional regalia in the early Victorian period. Congratulations on the fine pairs of pistols you posted.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 02:05 PM   #19
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Yes both locks has springs and screws but also some differences.

The lock is fasted with the main screw from the belt hock and a screw in the front as I have seen is done on most Scottish pistols:
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Last edited by Tordenskiold1721; 2nd May 2022 at 02:11 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 2nd May 2022, 03:56 PM   #20
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Looking at the new photographs of the internals Im sorry to say this just does not look credible as a period lock . Well at least we tried .Please ignore my comments about the barrel bolster . I simply misread the photographs.

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Old 2nd May 2022, 05:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf View Post
Looking at the new photographs of the internals Im sorry to say this just does not look credible as a period lock . Well at least we tried .Please ignore my comments about the barrel bolster . I simply misread the photographs.
I took one of my louse locks from Danish M/1794 musket to compare. The only difference is were the main spring connects. Otherwise no period-development difference. Photo below. I respect detailed information and refernces to literature with a photo or that somone show their own Scottish pistols as an example using it to explain a point.

Its a lot of statments but very little examples nor anything specific other than, Indian copy, Victorian Copy, looks like a springfiield lock, not period.

All of this comments could be right but most has been proven wrong such as Udo's idea about the screws and others on how the barrels are connected etc. So I apologize to the forum if I don't put any more energy into the next one that says "Chinese copy". Unless it is backed up with something credible.
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Last edited by Tordenskiold1721; 2nd May 2022 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 2nd May 2022, 07:38 PM   #22
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No hard feelings, Tordenskiold. Given that your pistols don't have any characteristics that link them to a determined pattern, like a certain decoration, simple or complex, or the signature of a known smith, more or less famous, it is not surprising that members give a try and suggest they have this or that provenance. No bad intent in that.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 07:54 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando View Post
No hard feelings, Tordenskiold. Given that your pistols don't have any characteristics that link them to a determined pattern, like a certain decoration, simple or complex, or the signature of a known smith, more or less famous, it is not surprising that members give a try and suggest they have this or that provenance. No bad intent in that.
Absolutly no bad intention read into it from my side. I'm just trying to find out what this pistols are, as you point out no known smith stamp or signature or decorations. Just plain correctly made Scottish / Scottish style pistols with a lot of questions.

35 years ago I would have thought they were fantasy pistols myself

You have lots of users here and I was hoping somone would know. I'm sure there is, but until then I just have to wait.

Keep up the great work !!!

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Old 2nd May 2022, 11:56 PM   #24
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Hi Tordenkiold,

A look at Google "scottish pistols reproduction" shows the number of reproductions that are available. I do not have access to any reproduction, I live in South America, nor do I have access to the pieces that motivate this dialogue or discussion.
I allow myself to upload this image, as an example, produced by myAmoury.com.

Affectionately
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Old 3rd May 2022, 07:28 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K View Post
Hi Tordenkiold,

A look at Google "scottish pistols reproduction" shows the number of reproductions that are available. I do not have access to any reproduction, I live in South America, nor do I have access to the pieces that motivate this dialogue or discussion.
I allow myself to upload this image, as an example, produced by myAmoury.com.

Affectionately
Lots of reproductions of antique arms. Also with fine decorations and made for black powder shooting.

The old patina and rust, the assembly stamps on the inside of the tangs, over 200 years old grease or some type of oil on the inside, just don't put the pistols posted in the reproduction category. But hey, I understand you follow your emotions

Here is one more replica. Not really a point but they are easy to find in all forms and quality grades:
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Old 3rd May 2022, 10:39 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tordenskiold1721 View Post
... You have lots of users here and I was hoping somone would know. I'm sure there is, but until then I just have to wait...
I sincerely hope that someone familiar with the precise model of your pistols show up with an expected identification. So far, current members tend to bear in mind that, besides rust and patina being nowadays possible to create by fake specialists, reproductions made in South Asia (India) are available out there, vent picks usually terminate in a thinner spike and there is not a minimum decoration detail, even the often seen oval in the butt. As for the 'apparently' crude aspect of your examples, you have them in your hands, you can judge better; notwithstanding such situation alone does not necessarily define whether the gun is genuine or a repro... in principle.
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Old 3rd May 2022, 02:00 PM   #27
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I know we do not normally discuss reproductions but as a salutary warning here is an original kit manufactured by Coach Harness in the U. K. in the 1960s. They pioneered casting from originals using the lost wax ceramic shell process .
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Old 3rd May 2022, 05:30 PM   #28
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On a more academic note here is how the stocks of these pistols are believed to have been constructed . Research from the Farmers Museum co-operative Cooperstown . New York .A complex forging operation starting from a flat sheet . Note the visible brazing where the horns are attached . A seam should be visible on the underside of the stock.
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Old 4th May 2022, 01:26 PM   #29
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Hello

Speaking of counterfeits, we must say that it is very easy to reproduce rust and pitting in a current piece by "aging" it. For that, chemical substances are used, which give up their oxygen easily. The same goes for numbers, they can be stamped and aged. The needles presented here appear to be made with a common, long screw that has been ground to a fine thread just like the head and tapered. Precisely, as the head is not very long, I leave it like this, short. There are other methods to find out, such as the pitch of the screws. In a current forgery, standard screws (metric or withwort) are used. I think you can continue investigating

Affectionately
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Old 4th May 2022, 06:43 PM   #30
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Speaking of counterfeits, digging a metal part down into wet dirt creates a more real antique rust than acids. I heard there is even good counterfeits of 100 dollar bills
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