Model 1808 Navy Pistol

Physical Description:
This .67 caliber smoothbore flintlock U.S. Model 1808 Navy pistol was made by Simeon North. It varies from the North Model 1808 Navy Pistol, Standard Production (1983.0777.07) because of the bag grip. This pistol is pin fastened with a walnut stock and a wooden ramrod with a swelled tip. It has brass mountings including a brass flashpan. There is an iron backstrap extending from tang to butt cap, and an iron belt hook attached on reverse.
The lockplate has an eagle over “U.STATES” stamp under the flashpan and “S.NORTH/BERLIN/CON.” stamp at the rear. The stock has a “V” at the rear of the side plate. The serial number is 335.
North made this type of pistol in two contracts – one in 1808 and the other in 1810. This type of pistol was most likely produced during the 1808 contract because of its grip. A bag grip makes a pistol heavier and therefore would not have been as efficient as the Standard Production pistol.
While the grip is unusual for use in the U.S. Navy, there is another unusual feature. The stamped letters are smaller than the Standard Production Model 1808 pistols. The text and symbols however are the same.
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, 142.
Smith, Samuel E. and Edwin W. Bitter. Historic Pistols: The American Martial Flintlock 1760-1845, Scalamandre Publications, New York: 1986, p. 140
Currently not on view
Object Name
pistol, flintlock
date made
ca 1809
North, Simeon
Physical Description
metal (part material)
wood (part material)
overall: 16 1/4 in; 41.275 cm
overall: 16 1/4 in x 6 1/2 in x 2 3/4 in; 41.275 cm x 16.51 cm x 6.985 cm
place made
United States: Connecticut, Berlin
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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