Holster Pistol

Physical Description:
This .65 caliber smoothbore flintlock pistol was made by Asa Waters. It has a brass barrel pinned to a full stock. It is brass mounted with a swollen wooden ramrod. It has decorated furniture, and a grotesque engraving of a face in the buttplate.
The left side of the barrel is stamped “PRO” / “VED”. “SUTTON” is engraved on the top of the barrel and on the button is “VI”. The lockplate is stamped “WATERS”.
Asa Waters was born in Sutton, Mass. He and his brother Andrus bought a factory in Singletary Creek in 1776. After two years in business, Andrus died. Asa continued the company and became known as a musket maker for the Council of Safety. He also served as a Lieutenant in the Lexington Alarm, an auxiliary militia group. In 1782, he moved the factory to Millbury, Mass. and named the company Asa Waters & Co. His company was succeeded by his two sons Asa H. and Elijah in 1814.
This particular pistol was produced by Asa Waters before his move to Millbury, Mass. It was most likely contracted for use during the Revolutionary War. The design of the pistol is copied from English pistols.
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. 203-204.
Smith, Samuel E. and Edwin W. Bitter. Historic Pistols: The American Martial Flintlock 1760-1845, Scalamandre Publications, New York: 1986, p. 28.
Currently not on view
Object Name
pistol, flintlock
date made
ca 1776
Waters, Asa
Physical Description
brass (part material)
iron (part material)
wood (part material)
overall: 33.8582 cm; 13 5/16 in
overall: 13 3/8 in x 5 1/4 in x 2 1/8 in; 33.9725 cm x 13.335 cm x 5.3975 cm
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Sutton
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

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.