Original Barbary Pirate Miquelet Lock Pistol from North Africa - circa 1800-1815

Item Description

Original Item. Only One Available. The problem of the Barbary Pirates based in North Africa became very serious in the early 1800's. Even the famous U.S. Commodore William BAINBRIDGE fell foul of the Barbary Pirates in the Second Barbary war of 1815 when his Flag Ship "Philadelphia" ran aground of Tripoli and he and his crew were taken Prisoner, but not before they had managed to scuttle the Flag Ship prevent it falling into enemy hands. They remained prisoners for several months but were freed at the end of the war late in 1815.

Tripoli, Algiers and Tunisia were the main bases of these latter day pirates, but Stephen Decator, another very famous U.S. Naval Officer finally defeated the threat.

This Migulet Lock Pistol measures 20 1/2" in length with the barrel of 13". The Brass butt Cap is fully decorated to match the side plate and escutcheons on the pistol. The trigger guard is engraved iron. The front of the barrel is also sheathed in an engraved brass wrap. Unusually for these Ottoman Empire style pistols, this example comes with its iron ramrod held under the barrel.

An interesting ignition system copying those of the Spanish and Italian MIGULET pistols mostly made in the 1600's and early 1700's. Cleaned, complete and ready to display.

History of the Miquelet Lock:
Miquelet lock is a modern term used by collectors and curators, largely in the English-speaking world, for a type of firing mechanism used in muskets
and pistols. It is a distinctive form of snaplock, originally as a flint-against-steel ignition form, once prevalent in Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Balkans, North Africa, Ottoman Empire and throughout Spain's colonies from the late 16th to the mid 19th centuries.

The term miquelet lock was not recorded until the 19th century, long after the appearance of the mechanism in the 16th century, and is of uncertain origin. One commonly held view is that it was coined by British troops in the Peninsular War to describe the style of musket used by the Miquelet (militia) that had been assigned to the Peninsular Army of the Duke of Wellington.


Year of Manufacture: Circa 1800-1815
Caliber: .59" Pistol
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder
Overall Length: 21.5 inches
Barrel Length: 13 inches
Action: Miquelet Lock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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