Little Pistols, Big Bang

June 18th, 2010 | posted by James Gillis

As a former US Marine, I’m always excited when we get in antique weaponry at the gallery. Not only is the craftsmanship both internally and externally impressive, it shows how  quickly and stealthily “disagreements” could be resolved in those days. My how I yearn for those days! This striking set of Pocket Percussion Pistols that just came in is particularly impressive. Don’t let the small size fool you, the business end of these weapons delivered a big punch. The muzzles are rifled, giving an accurate and lethal edge to these palm size genteel weapons. These weapons are as innovative as they are lethal.

Each pistol bears the Belgian proof mark and the number “328.”

They call to mind the era of gentlemanly disputes. The handsome ivory grips and precise engraving distinguish this pair of Belgian percussion pocket pistols from the city of Liège. Each pistol is crafted of beautifully engraved Damascus steel, including the pommel cap, and features a side hammer design with a pop-out trigger. When the hammer is pulled back, the trigger “pops” from the secreted underside of the pistol and retracts back into the gun upon firing, making it easy to carry and draw at a moments notice. The pistols are positioned in their original, velvet-lined quarter-sawn oak fitted case, which houses a powder flask, bullet mold and caps.

When I hold it in my hand, you can hardly even see I’m holding a gun. The “success” of this set is in its’ slyness! It’s a remarkable collection piece either as the cornerstone or spectacular addition to an already prominent firearms collection.

Pistol: 5 1/8” length
Caliber: 9mm
Barrel: 2” length

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