Model 1813 Army Contract Pistol

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Physical Description:
This .69 caliber smoothbore flintlock U.S. Model 1813 pistol was made by Simeon North under Army contract. It has an inclined brass flashpan with no fence. The larger sized hammer denotes that this pistol was made in Middletown. The barrel is nine inches long with an octagonal breech and no sight.
The lockplate is stamped “S. NORTH/MIDLN/CON.” in two semi circles around the “U.S.” and eagle stamp. The barrel is stamped “P./US” on the left side of the breech. The right side of the breech is stamped “H.H.P” for ordnance inspector Henry H. Perkins. The left side of the stock is stamped “LS” in script for ordnance inspector Luther Sage.
Simeon North was the first to produce mass orders of pistols for the U.S. government. His factory in Berlin, Connecticut grew so large that in 1813, he opened a larger factory in Middletown, Connecticut. This factory employed 50-70 people, had nine water wheels, three trip hammers, two lathes and boring, drilling, polishing, turning, and milling machines.
The U.S. Model 1813 Pistol was made at the Middletown factory. These new pistols were the first firearms produced under a government contract that required standardization and interchangeability of parts. The Model 1813 is somewhat rare because production ceased in January 1816. Lieutenant Colonel Bomford from the Ordnance Office in Washington sent a list of alterations of this pistol to North. The caliber would be reduced to .54 because the recoil was too strong, the barrel, tang, and mountings were to be browned, and a sight would be added.
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. 150
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1815
North, Simeon
place made
United States: Connecticut, Middletown
Physical Description
metal (part material)
wood (part material)
overall: 15 1/4 in; 38.735 cm
overall: 15 1/2 in x 6 3/4 in x 2 1/2 in; 39.37 cm x 17.145 cm x 6.35 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
Credit Line
The Adriana and Edwin W. Bitter Family Collection
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
The Bitter Collection of Firearms
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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