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Pattern 1777 Sea Service Pistol

ca. 1777-1781
Origin: Great Britain, England
OL: 19" Barrel: 12 1/16" x .60 caliber
Walnut, iron, steel and brass
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1935-227
Pattern 1777 Sea Service pistol with walnut stock, round barrel, plain brass mounts and straight-bottomed regulation lock for the pattern. Reproduction brass tipped wood ramrod. Belt hook missing.
Label:Naval combat during the American colonial period began with cannon fire and could end with hand-to-hand combat. Weapons of the melee included swords, knives, and clubs, along with anything else that could be used to maim or kill an opponent. Pistols were also used, and this type represents the state-of-the-art handgun prescribed by the Royal Navy. The Pattern 1777 Sea Service pistol was a scaled down version of the companion naval musket introduced the same year. Both were sturdy, plain and reliable.

Turned up-side down and grabbed by the muzzle, it made an effective club. Now missing, the pistol's inboard side once mounted a long belt hook, enabling it to be conveniently carried into the fight either on deck or high up in the rigging.
Mark(s):Lock engraved with "Crown GR" ahead of cock, "TOWER" behind and a "Crowned Broad Arrow" struck under the pan. Barrel is struck with the usual Ordnance View & Proof marks plus the maker's mark of Isaac Bissell. Stock is marked with the Ordnance storekeepers mark above the tail of the lockplate.