This is a rare and original flintlock configuration British New Land Pattern Light Dragoon Flintlock Pistol with the Paget Lock that dates to circa 1815.
The New Land Pattern Pistol was the last in the line of British Land service flintlock pistols and it would see service, almost unaltered, for nearly thirty years. It is generally thought (see “British Cavalry Carbines & Pistols of the Napoleonic Era” by Barry Chisnall and Geoffrey Davids, Maine Military, Publisher, 2013) that the new design was approved around 1802 although it would not see wide issuance until around 1810, in time for the climax of the Napoleonic Wars.
The New Land Pattern Pistol served the light cavalry of Britain for most of the war against Napoleon’s France and, in particular, during the Peninsular and Waterloo Campaigns. No new pistol was introduced in Britain for cavalry until the limited issue of the Pattern 1842 Lancers percussion pistol.
Although referred to as the New Land Pattern, the appearance of this pistol seems to draw more from its predecessor, the Light Dragoon Pistol, than any “New Land Pattern” designs. The principal component of this pistol derivative from the New Land Pattern is the New Land style lock. The fitting of the barrel with a bolt or “key” behind the muzzle, rather than a cross pin, is unique but was not particular to the New Land series of weapons.
The Lock of this model is of the New Land Pattern design with the Paget Lock that has a flat surface and a uniformly beveled edge that stands proud of the wood. The beveled edge cock is reinforced and the pan is of the raised, semi-waterproof design with a groove alongside to channel rain water away from the pan and primer. The toe of the steel was a simplified design and the tail of the lock and the pan bridle were typically engraved with a simple decoration.
The Lockplate on this pistol is the original stepped down tail type with the Paget lock, which functions perfectly at half-cock. The rear of the lock plate has the serif, vertically stamped “TOWER” to the right of the minimalist engraving. In the center of the lockplate is the strong crown over “GR” George III cipher and crown. It is possible that the cipher is of King George IV, who was crowned in 1820, but is probably his father, George III’s cipher, given the approximate date of this pistol
To the right of the crown is the crown over broad arrow proof over an unidentifiable gunmaker stamp. The original gooseneck, flat, beveled edge cock is present as is its original single-slot hammer screw. The original Upper Jaw is present as is the original thumb screw and both exhibit strong armory bright finishes. The interior of the lock is in fine condition. The Mainspring remains in the white and is still strong. The two-position Tumbler is in fine condition and sear release is still crisp. The Sear is in fine condition and the Sear Spring has its original steel wedge present. The Bridle with Paget lock recess still retains the majority of its original tempered blue finish. The lock measures 4 ½” long, which is correct for the later style lock with the Paget lock.
The original steel Frizzen is present and exhibits considerable original armory bright finish and the Frizzen Spring is still strong with a tapered finial. The Cock has the correct flat face and it also exhibits an armory bright finish. The Top Jaw also exhibits an armory bright finish and both the inside portions of the jaws have stippling to hold the flint. The original Top Jaw Screw is present and is in fine condition.
The iron Barrel is .66 caliber, which is carbine caliber, is approximately 9” in length with about ½” of baluster engraving at the breech. New Land Pattern Pistol barrels typically have a 1 ½” square ended tang, which is also a characteristic that did not subscribe to the general New Land Pattern design. The barrel is fitted to the stock by a bolt or “key” approximately 2 ½” behind the muzzle.
The barrel still retains considerable original armory bright finish with minor pinprick pitting and staining. The original touchhole is present and is unmarred and exhibits only minor pitting around it. The right rear of the barrel has the crown over undecipherable Tower inspection stamp. The breech plug is secure to the barrel. Both the ramrod lug and the “key” latch are still tightly brazed to the underside of the barrel.
The ramrod lug is still securely brazed to the barrel. The swivel is secured to the lug with a thumb screw and it swivels easily. The ramrod itself has the large, button tip end and a threaded recessed end for attachments. There is a crown inspection stamp on the barrel of the ramrod itself. The bore is relatively clean down to the breech.
The English walnut stock is of the shape associated with the earlier Light Dragoon pistol but stops 1 1/8” short of the muzzle where it is fitted with a brass nose cap, which was the first Regulation pistol to be so furnished. The masked buttcap, trigger guard, cross pinned front and rear and the flat “S” shaped side plate are of the Light Dragoon pattern. All are brass. There are two crown stamps on the left stock flat, with one slightly higher on the wrist, that are over what appears to be a stylized “DB” stamp, which is probably the storekeeper’s mark. The stock is in fine condition with dings and scratches but no cracks are noted. The barrel channel of the stock still retains the iron ramrod retainer spring, that is held to the stock by the two original single-slot screws. The barrel bolt or “key” is still present. The original brass nose cap is present. The original brass trigger guard is present and is secured by the original transverse pin in the grip. The original Trigger is present and is held in place by its original transverse trigger pin. The Trigger retains remnants of the original blued finish. The original brass buttcap, with wings on either side, is present and is secured by its original single-slot screw. The original brass Side Plate is present.
This original New Land Pattern Light Dragoon Pistol, from circa 1815, functions perfectly and still remains in firing condition. This is an antique so it can be shipped to anyone.