Smithsonian museums continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Lindsay Two Shot Pistol, Large Frame

Lindsay Two Shot Pistol, Large Frame

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Physical Description:
This.45 caliber muzzle-loading smoothbore two shot percussion pistol was made by the Union Knife Company of Naugatuck, CT for J. P. Lindsay. Its superposed loads were fired in correct sequence by double hammers. It has a brass frame, a part octagonal/part round barrel, two percussion hammers and two piece walnut grips.
The trigger guard and steel frame are both stamped with the serial number 112. By the two hammers is the stamp “LINDSAY ARMS/YOUNG AMERICAN”.
J.P. Lindsay was a former employee for the Springfield Armory. He began his own business by patenting cartridges and locks. On December 17, 1863, the U.S. Government contracted Lindsay to make 1,000 “Young American” single barreled two shot rifle muskets. It is likely that this pistol of the same type was made around that time.
These two shot percussion pistols were invented by Lindsay but assembled by the Union Knife Company. There were a few variations produced – including the Martial Pistol, the Pocket Pistol, and the Belt Pistol. Around 100 of each type of these pistols were made. Lindsay unsuccessfully tried to get a U.S. Government contract for the Union Knife Company 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. 117.
Currently not on view
Object Name
pistol, percussion
date made
ca 1863
J. P. Lindsay Mfg. Co.
Union Knife Co.
place made
United States: Connecticut, Naugatuck
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
brass (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 30.175 cm; 11 7/8 in
overall: 1 3/8 in x 12 1/8 in x 5 3/8 in; 3.4925 cm x 30.7975 cm x 13.6525 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
serial number
collector/donor number
Credit Line
The Adriana and Edwin W. Bitter Family Collection
See more items in
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military
The Bitter Collection of Firearms
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object