Original British Napoleonic Heavy Dragoon Tower Flintlock Pistol marked to the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards - circa 1800

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. These early heavy flintlock pistols are always very hard to find. This is in fact only the third one that company director Christian Cranmer has ever encountered. He never liked that they were never fitted with Butt Caps, but that was his own choice nevertheless. 

This substantial flintlock pistol looks to have been purchased directly by the Regimental Commander for his troops, as the lock is marked CROWN / T - KETLAND & CO, for maker Thomas Ketland, the preeminent gun-maker in the City of Birmingham. His markings were so well known that they were later adopted as the official proof marks of Birmingham in 1813.

The lock is also marked with the correct TOWER across the lock plate tail. The pistol features a 9" long barrel with a huge .75 bore, the same as a line muskets of the day, which has the correct CROWN / CROSSED SCEPTERS / BPC proof and CROWN / CROSSED SCEPTERS / V viewed marks for Birmingham, England, surrounding a makers mark. There is also a CROWN / JC stamping where the tang meets the barrel, and the same mark is on the left side of the stock.

The stock also has some other markings, as well as 4 R over H C, for the British 4th Regiment of Heavy Cavalry, which in this case would be the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards. The pistol comes with its original all steel ramrod. The pistol is in very fine condition overall with a fully functional lock.

This type of pistol was issued only to the HEAVY CAVALRY regiments during the Napoleonic Wars. The regiment was first raised by James, Earl of Arran as the Earl of Arran's Regiment of Cuirassiers in 1685 as part of the response to the Monmouth Rebellion, by the regimenting of various independent troops, and was ranked as the 6th Regiment of Horse. It fought at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690 and the Battle of Steenkerque in August 1692 during the Williamite War in Ireland. In 1691 it was re-ranked as the 5th Horse, and in 1746 transferred to the Irish regiment establishment where it was the ranked 1st Horse. It returned to the British establishment in 1788, as the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards.

During the Napoleonic wars, the regiment was involved in activities in support of the failed Invasion of France by émigrés in June 1795, before returning to Ireland to combat the Irish Rebellion of 1798. In 1811, the regiment then was deployed to the Peninsula in 1811 and fought under General Sir John Slade at the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo in January 1812 during the Peninsular War. During this time their regimental commander was Lt-Gen. Miles Staveley.

The regiment later took part in the charge of the Heavy Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava in October 1854 during the Crimean War and in the Battle of Tel el-Kebir in September 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War.

A very rare British Heavy Cavalry Pistol which may very well have seen action during the Peninsular portion of the Napoleonic wars.

In great shape and ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1800
Caliber: .75" Pistol
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder
Barrel Length: 9 1/4 inches
Overall Length: 15 1/2 inches
Action: Flintlock Side Action
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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