McCormick Type Ship's Pistol

McCormick Type Ship's Pistol

<< >>
Physical Description:
This .67 caliber smoothbore flintlock U.S. Model 1799 McCormick-type Ship’s pistol has an unknown maker. The lock was made in Great Britain. It has a pin fastened stock, a gooseneck hammer, a holster pistol type side plate and belt hook.
This pistol has “KETLAND” in script under the flash pan and “UNITED/STATES” stamped at the rear of the lockplate. It also has a raised “P” and “WNY” stamps. On the top of the barrel “US” and “MARSH” are stamped. On the left of the stock are the stamps “M.A.” and “V”.
This pistol is a McCormick type. Robert McCormick was an Irishman who came to America and leased the Globe Mills in 1798 to produce firearms. He was contracted by the U.S. government for Muskets that same year. In 1799, he had another contract, but did not finish it because he was thrown in debtor’s prison in 1801. That contract was finished by an employee named James Haslett – who would move on to run the Virginia Manufactory. It is possible this particular pistol was made by McCormick because it is the same type that McCormick was producing.
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. 122.
Smith, Samuel E. and Edwin W. Bitter. Historic Pistols: The American Martial Flintlock 1760-1845, Scalamandre Publications, New York: 1986, p. 100.
Currently not on view
Object Name
pistol, flintlock
date made
ca 1800
Ketland & Co.
place made
United States
associated place
United States: New York
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
catalog number
accession 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