Original U.S. Model 1842 Internal Hammer Naval Percussion Pistol by N.P. Ames with Sea Exposure Damage - dated 1843

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This was the first percussion pistol ordered by the U.S. Government and was intended for the U.S. NAVY. 2,000 pieces were ordered from N.P. AMES of Springfield, Massachusetts as the Model of 1842, which were all delivered up until 1847. Each had a .54" smooth bore barrel of almost 6" and measured almost 12 1/2" in overall length. The locks were fitted with an "internal" hammer on the interior of the lock plate, possibly to prevent damage from exposure to the sea air.

This is a nice "salty" service used example, which has suffered some damage from exposure to the sea air on the iron and steel components. The lock plate now has light pitting over much of the surface, which means that only part of the maker's name and address is still visible:


The lock plate on this example is still faintly stamped across the tail with U.S.N., however the manufacture date only shows up as 18. However, the markings on the barrel breech are still fully intact: U.S.N. / 1843 / JCB / P. These are often worn away by powder burn or sea exposure, but these are still fully legible. "JCB" is the marking for inspector Lt. John C. Beaumont, USN, who inspected I.N. Johnson Pistols, Ames Pistols and Cutlasses.

The trigger guard and single barrel band are both made of brass, which would not rust from sea exposure. The pistol is fitted with a "trapped" swivel ramrod which the sailor could not lose. This example has lost the end cap fitting, so it can fall out, and it has also suffered rust damage like other parts on the pistol, going almost half way through the rod in some areas. In spite of the oxidation issues, the lock still functions correctly, holding at half cock and firing at full.

The stock is in good condition, with a lovely finish. It does show signs of having a repair to the wrist area, and the brass butt plate is no longer present.

A very nice sea exposed naval percussion pistol, now fully cleaned and ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1845
Caliber: .54 inches 
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder with Percussion Cap
Barrel Length: 6 inches
Overall Length: 12 inches
Action: Percussion Lock with "internal" hammer
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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    New Jersey

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