Model 1819 Pistol

Description
Physical Description:
This .52 caliber smoothbore flintlock U.S. Model 1819 pistol was made by Simeon North for a U.S. army contract. This pistol has a sliding safety bolt located at the rear of the lockplate that half cocks the hammer while the frizzen covers the primed flash pan. It has all iron mountings with a swivel iron ramrod. The barrel band is secured by a spring backstrap that travels from tang to butt plate. The front sight is a brass blade and the rear sight is oval on the tang.
The lockplate is stamped “S. North” in a semicircle above the “U” and “S” on either side of an eagle with “MIDDLTNCONN.” in a semi circle below. The barrel is stamped “RJ/P” for Robert Johnson and “JD/P” for John D. Johnson – both of whom tested the barrels. The stocks are stamped in cursive “LS,” “ET,” “JM” “JN” and “JW” for ordnance inspectors Luther Sage, Elisha Tobey, Justin Murphy, John Newbury, and Jos. Weatherhead respectively.
History:
The U.S. Ordnance Department showed Simeon North a sample pair of pistols from the Harper’s Ferry Armory on June 12, 1819. North then produced a pistol similar to that of Harper’s Ferry with a few alterations. He signed a contract with the U.S. on July 21, 1819 producing 10,000 pistols. A total of 20,400 were made.
This pistol’s sliding safety bolt is rare for a pistol from this year. When these pistols were converted to percussion, this bolt was often removed because it got caught on holsters. This pistol also introduced the iron swivel ramrod. It was created because wooden ramrods often fell out of pistols and were lost.
References:
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. 164.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
pistol
pistol, flintlock
date made
1822
maker
North, Simeon
Physical Description
metal (part material)
wood (part material)
Measurements
overall: 15 1/2 in; 39.37 cm
overall: 15 1/2 in x 6 1/4 in x 2 in; 39.37 cm x 15.875 cm x 5.08 cm
place made
United States: Connecticut, Berlin
ID Number
1983.0777.05
accession number
1983.0777
catalog number
1983.0777.05
subject
Military
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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