Light Dragoon Pistol

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Physical Description:
This .67 caliber smoothbore flintlock pistol was made for the Light Dragoons. It has brass furniture, a pin fastened stock, a single ramrod pipe, a wooden ramrod with a swelled tip, and a raised beaver tail carving on the stock around the tang.
The lock plate is stamped “US” under the flashpan. “U.STATES is stamped into the stock by the trigger guard. “LD” and “US” are stamped on the barrel
After the French and Indian War, the British Army recognized the necessity for a pattern pistol to be created for Light Dragoon Regiments. A version was made that became popular in England. This Light Dragoon is copied from a British Dragoon pistol and similar to the Rappa Forge pistols made by James Hunter in Virginia.
It was made for use during the Revolutionary War. The initials “LD” stand for Light Dragoon. Both the 1st Continental Light Dragoons led by Commander Bland and the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons led by Colonel Talmadge carried these types of pistols. After the Revolution, these pistols remained popular until the New Land Pattern Pistol became popular in the early 1800s.
Flayderman, Norm. Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms…and their Values, Gun Digest Books, Iola, 2007. 9th edition.
Military Heritage Site. “British Light Dragoon (Cavalry) Pistol: American Revolution – Napoleonic Wars,” Arms Collection <>.
Smith, Samuel E. and Edwin W. Bitter. Historic Pistols: The American Martial Flintlock 1760-1845, Scalamandre Publications, New York: 1986, p. 40.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1779
associated institution
Committee of Safety
place made
United States
Physical Description
metal (part material)
wood (part material)
overall: 14 7/8 in; 37.7825 cm
overall: 14 7/8 in x 6 in x 2 1/4 in; 37.7825 cm x 15.24 cm x 5.715 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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