Historic spark plug dating guide
Pistols were usually smoothbore although some rifled pistols were produced.Flintlock pistols came in a variety of sizes and styles which often overlap and are not well defined, many of the names we use having been applied by collectors and dealers long after the pistols were obsolete.In-between sizes included the coat pocket pistol, or coat pistol, which would fit into a large pocket, the coach pistol, meant to be carried on or under the seat of a coach in a bag or box, and belt pistols, sometimes equipped with a hook designed to slip over a belt or waistband. Arguably the most elegant of the pistol designs was the Queen Anne pistol, which was made in all sizes.Probably the high point of the mechanical development of the flintlock pistol was the British duelling pistol; it was highly reliable, water resistant and accurate.The first was invented by John Hall and patented c. The Hall rifles and carbines were loaded using a combustible paper cartridge inserted into the upward tilting breechblock.Hall rifles leaked gas from the often poorly fitted action.Le Bourgeoys fitted these various features together to create what became known as the flintlock or true flintlock.
The largest sizes would be carried in holsters across a horse's back just ahead of the saddle.
Flintlock pistols were used as self-defense weapons and as a military arm.
Their effective range was short, and they were frequently used as an adjunct to a sword or cutlass.
The smallest were less than 6 inches (15 cm) long and the largest were over 20 inches (51 cm).
From around the beginning of the 1700s the larger pistols got shorter, so that by the late 1700s the largest would be more like 16 inches (41 cm) long.
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This type is known as a Queen Anne pistol because it was during her reign that it became popular (although it was actually introduced in the reign of King William III).