Original Prussian M1850 Percussion Cavalry Pistol by S & C of Suhl with Regimental Marking - dated 1851

Item Description

Original Item: Only one Available. The Prussian M1850 percussion pistol was in many ways an anomaly which, despite being obsolete when it was first introduced, was one of the longest-serving military percussion pistols in Europe. Coming from the same nation that in 1836 had invented the revolutionary needle fire gun, the forerunner of all bolt action rifles, this pistol had many characteristics of obsolete flintlock pistols and appears to have used much of the same tooling in its manufacture. 

The barrel is assembled from a front barrel tube, with a rear breech plug bearing the bolster and cap nipple that screws into it. The pistol also has a flat lock plate appears to have been designed for a flintlock, because it has a cutout for a flash pan, where the cap bolster sits. It even retains the frizzen spring, now used for the pivoting nipple protector. It is for this reason that many assume that they are conversions from flintlock, however they were definitely purpose made. Yet the gun was NOT a conversion from flintlock.

This fine example is dated 1851 on the right side of the barrel nocks form, with another 1851 stamped on the left side, partly on the breech plug from after the barrel was assembled. There are various proof marks on the pistol, including several CROWN / S marks, as well as a W where the breech plug meets the barrel. The flat lock plate is marked with CROWN / SUHL / S & C, for manufacture by Spangenberg & Company. This company was one of the members of the Suhl Consortium, along with V.C. Schilling and Spangenberg & Sauer. The "Frizzen spring" is still retained, however the pivoting nipple protector is no long present, as many of these were removed during service, as they were felt to be redundant. We tested the lock, and it still holds correctly at half cock, firing at full.

The pistol is also regimentally marked on the bottom of the brass trigger guard with 8. K. 3. 47., for the 8th (Rhenish) Cuirassiers Regiment “Count Geßler” (8. (Rhenische) Kürassier-Regiment „Graf Geßler“). The marking indicates it was from the 3rd squadron (eskadron), 47th weapon (waffen). This is exactly correct for the type of regimental markings that should be on this pistol.

The pistol features a very nice walnut stock, with a single brass barrel band at the front end of the stock. There is also the characteristic brass & steel trigger guard with a finger spur, and a brass butt cap. The lock side plate is iron, as is the pistol grip back strap, which definitely helped add to the strength of the stock, but also added weight. The large iron lanyard ring is still present on the butt cap, and is solidly attached.

Condition of the pistol is very good, showing a lovely patina of age. The brass components have matured to a lovely mustard color, and the iron and steel components have a lovely gray peppered look. The stock has the expected wear and small dents from service, but no major cracks or chunks missing.

Fully Cleaned and ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1851
Caliber: .63 inches (pistol)
Ammunition Type:  Lead Ball & Powder with Percussion Cap
Barrel Length: 8 3/4 inches

Overall Length: 15 inches
Action: Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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