Model 1807/1808 Pistol

Physical Description:
This .54 caliber smoothbore flintlock U.S. Model 1807 pistol was made by William Calderwood of Philadelphia under U.S. contract. It has brass mountings, a brass blade front sight, a brass forestock reinforcing band, a pin fastened barrel and wooden ramrod.
The lockplate is stamped “CALDERWOOD/PHILA” and “US/1808”. There is an eagle over a “P” on the top left side of the barrel.
William Calderwood was a pistol and rifle maker located on Germantown Road in Philadelphia, Pa from 1807 through 1817. He was contracted on April 21, 1808 to make 60 pairs of horse pistols for Tench Coxe. Coxe was a controversial character during this time period. President Thomas Jefferson named him Purveyor of Public Supplies from 1803-1812. Before that however he was a loyalist to the British government.
These pistols were delivered in three batches from June 30 and December 22, 1808. This pistol is the only 1807 contract pistol dated on the lockplate. The proofmarks of other known Calderwood 1807 pistols are different than the proofmarks on this pistol as well. No known reason has been found for these discrepancies.
Flayderman, Norm. Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms…and their Values, Gun Digest Books, Iola, 2007. 9th edition.
Gardner, Robert E. Col. Small Arms Makers: A Directory of Fabricators of Firearms, Edged Weapons, Crossbows and Polearms, Crown Publishers Inc, New York: 1963, p. 33.
Smith, Samuel E. and Edwin W. Bitter. Historic Pistols: The American Martial Flintlock 1760-1845, Scalamandre Publications, New York: 1986, p. 226.
Currently not on view
Object Name
pistol, flintlock
date made
Calderwood, William
Physical Description
metal (part material)
wood (part material)
overall: 39.7002 cm; 15 5/8 in
overall: 15 5/8 in x 5 7/8 in x 2 1/8 in; 39.6875 cm x 14.9225 cm x 5.3975 cm
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
The Bitter Collection of Firearms
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
The Bitter Collection of Firearms
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
The Adriana and Edwin W. Bitter Family Collection
Additional Media

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