Original British Napoleonic Light Dragoon Tower Flintlock Pistol marked to 17th Light Dragoons - circa 1800

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This Lovely flintlock Pistol dates to prior the Battle of Waterloo, however the 9th Light Dragoons did NOT take part in the great battle that finally defeated Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815. They did however play their part in the Napoleonic Wars.

Colonel John Hale first raised the regiment in Hertfordshire on 7 November 1759 as the 18th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, which also went by the name of Hale's Light Horse. The admiration of his men for General Wolfe was evident in the cap badge Colonel Hale chose for the regiment: the Death's Head with the motto "Or Glory". This is today the emblem and motto of the "Queens Royal Lancers", which the 17th was eventually amalgamated into.

The regiment saw service in Germany in 1761 and was renumbered the 17th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons in April 1763 In 1764 the regiment went to Ireland. In May 1766 it was renumbered again, this time as the 3rd Regiment of Light Dragoons. It regained the 17th numeral in 1769 as the 17th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons.

In 1806, the regiment took part in the disastrous expeditions to Spanish-controlled South America, then an ally of France during the Napoleonic Wars. Sir Home Riggs Popham had orchestrated an expedition against South America without the British government's sanction. This invasion failed, but a second invasion was launched. The regiment was part of this second force, under Sir Samuel Auchmuty. The British force besieged and captured Montevideo. In 1807, the regiment was part of the force, now under John Whitelocke, that tried to capture Buenos Aires, but this failed abysmally. The British force (including the regiment), was forced to surrender, and did not return home until January 1808.

The pistol is a standard full stocked flintlock pistol, used by British Light Dragoons across the empire. The Lock Plate is marked (CROWN) / G.R. under the pan, with TOWER across the tail, indicating production at the Tower armory for military use. There is the correct "Lock Viewer's Mark" under the pan, and the barrel bears British proofs on the left hand side. The top of the barrel is marked 17 - L - D, indicating it came from the 17th Light Dragoon Regiment. It is also marked C / 17 on the trigger guard, for "C" company, 17th Man. There is an additional marking E / 54 on the butt cap, so it was reissued at some time during its regimental service.

The ramrod is brass mounted walnut and not of the 'swivel" type later introduced as the New Land Pattern, which was based on East India Company innovations. The pistol has a 9" long .69" bore barrel, and the stock looks just lovely. It has however been repaired, and the front 6 inches or so was replaced during service, with a diagonal joint in front of the lock, which helps increase the surface area and strength of the joint. The lock is in good shape, an functional, though with a hard trigger pull it will fire at half cock.

A highly desirable Flintlock Dragoon Pistol from the Napoleonic Wars, ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1800
Caliber: .69" Pistol
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder
Barrel Length: 9 inches
Overall Length: 15 1/4 inches
Action: Flintlock Side Action
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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