Model 1808 Navy Pistol

Model 1808 Navy Pistol

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Physical Description:
This .64 caliber smoothbore, flintlock Mode 1808 pistol was made by Simeon North. It was standard production for the U.S. Navy. This pistol is pin fastened with a full walnut stock and hickory ramrod with a swelled tip. It has brass mountings including a brass flashpan with fence lock. An iron backstrap extends from tang to butt cap. An iron belt hook is attached to the sideplate.
On the lockplate is an “eagle over U.STATES” stamp under the flashpan and a “S. NORTH/BERLIN/CON.” Stamp at the rear. Two internal “694” stamps are found both on the left side of the breech plug and in the stock under the backstrap.
This type of pistol was created by Simeon North as the standard issue for the U.S. Navy used during the War of 1812. The pistols were manufactured in his first factory in Berlin, Connecticut. 3,000 of these Model 1808 Navy pistols were produced – 2,000 pistols in 1808 and another 1,000 in 1810. The production for these pistols set the standard for American manufacturing.
It is believed that North paired his pistols like the Harper’s Ferry Armory. In the records for North pistols, there are two pistols that share the same three digit serial number. The stamps are internal and difficult to locate, so this discovery was not made easily.
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. 138.
Currently not on view
Object Name
pistol, flintlock
date made
ca 1808
North, Simeon
place made
United States: Connecticut, Berlin
Physical Description
metal (part material)
wood (part material)
overall: 16 1/4 in; 41.275 cm
overall: 16 1/4 in x 7 in x 2 3/8 in; 41.275 cm x 17.78 cm x 6.0325 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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
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