Dragoon Pistol

Physical Description:
This .69 caliber smoothbore flintlock U.S. Light Dragoon Pistol was made by James Hunter’s Rappahannock Forge for the Continental Army. The pistol has brass mountings and a gooseneck hammer. It has a bulbous hexagonal shaped butt.
The lockplate is stamped “RAPA/FORGE” and is marked “FK K VIII” on the inside. The barrel is stamped “I. HUNTER”. The numerals “VIIII” are stamped on the inside of the brass mountings
Rappahannock Forge is also referred to as the Hunter’s Iron Works. It was built before the American Revolution by James Hunter of Stafford County, along the Rappahannock River in Virginia. The only official record of his communication with the Council of Safety deals with horseman’s swords.
This pistol is very similar to other Rappahannock Forge pistols. It is thought that only the 3rd Regiment marked their pistols because those are the only found with markings. This particular pistol was found in a house in Brookline, Ma in 1967. It was purchased by Arnold Mills then sold to the Bitter Collection.
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. 157.
Smith, Samuel E. and Edwin W. Bitter. Historic Pistols: The American Martial Flintlock 1760-1845, Scalamandre Publications, New York: 1986, p. 58.
Currently not on view
Object Name
pistol, flintlock
date made
ca 1780
Hunter, James
Physical Description
metal (part material)
wood (part material)
overall: 15 in; 38.1 cm
overall: 15 in x 5 5/8 in x 2 1/4 in; 38.1 cm x 14.2875 cm x 5.715 cm
place made
United States: Virginia, Falmouth
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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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