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Holster Pistol

Holster Pistol

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Usage conditions apply
Physical Description:
This.67 caliber U.S. smoothbore holster pistol was made by Halbach and Sons. It has a pin fastened full walnut stock, an iron barrel, and brass furniture. It has a large shell design relief carving on stock around tang.
There is an eagle and shield with a cluster of 13 stars on the butt cap. The trigger guard and side plate are engraved. There are no other stamps.
Halbach and Sons originated in Baltimore, MD around 1780. They were famous for producing bronze cannon muzzle style barrels and bronze mountings. A Halbach and Sons pistol can also be identified by the brass butt cap that depicts an American spread eagle surrounded by 13 stars. It will also have a raised carving around the tang and a lockplate stamped “Halbach & Sons.”
This pistol is an example of the lack of standardization in the 18th century. The brass butt cap has an American folk art style engraving but it does not have any of the stamps that signify it as a Halbach and Sons pistol.
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.
Smith, Samuel E. and Edwin W. Bitter. Historic Pistols: The American Martial Flintlock 1760-1845, Scalamandre Publications, New York: 1986, p. 118.
Currently not on view
Object Name
pistol, flintlock
date made
ca 1790
Halbach & Sons
place made
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
Physical Description
metal (part material)
wood (part material)
overall: 13 in; 33.02 cm
overall: 12 7/8 in x 6 in x 2 in; 32.7025 cm x 15.24 cm x 5.08 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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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My Halbach pistol has a brass barrel as well as all the other features that are mentioned. The patina is very dark which I believe is original. Why is the museum pistol not being viewed? It is one of the most beautiful and important American flintlocks. Thank you for the article and would like to hear from you.

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