Hall Breech-Loading Pistol

Physical Description:
This .50 caliber breech-loading percussion smoothbore pistol was made by John Hall. It was converted from flintlock to percussion. It has a brass barrel and breech, a checkered grip, and a pin fastened full walnut stock.
There are no visible stamps.
John H. Hall shares a joint patent with William Thornton for the breech loading flintlock rifle on May 21, 1811. Because of this patent, this pistol had to have been produced after the invention. Hall was employed by many different armories including Harpers Ferry from 1816 through 1840. There is a possibility that this pistol was made at Harpers Ferry around 1820.
While this particular pistol has a brass barrel, typically Hall barrels are bronze or iron. This type is extremely rare. There are only four known bronze barrels in existence today.
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. 82.
Currently not on view
Object Name
pistol, percussion, breech-loading
date made
ca 1810
Hall, John H.
Physical Description
metal (part material)
wood (part material)
overall: 14 3/8 in; 36.5125 cm
overall: 14 3/8 in x 6 in x 1 5/8 in; 36.5125 cm x 15.24 cm x 4.1275 cm
place made
United States
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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