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Restoring a Flintlock Boot Pistol

I had an interesting pistol come into the shop today. It was a flintlock boot pistol made in England circa the 1760’s or so. The top jaw and screw were missing. The customer had bought this gun from the James Julia Auction here in Maine. That auction house is well known by arms collectors pretty much world wide. They offer a large number of collector grade firearms for investments.

So I made new parts for the gun. It’s almost impossible to find the parts for these old guns, as most of them were handmade one at a time without benefit of power tools we have today.

Here are the missing parts once I finished making them, and prior to a trip through the heat treatment process to harden them. Kase Knit and a gas torch does the trick.

The parts once they’ve been installed and finished.

The miniscule pistol is loaded by screwing the barrel off the frame…. powder and ball are loaded in….. then the barrel is screwed back on using the barrel key.

There’s a safety lever on the top of the frame to lock the dog leg of the flint cock. The trigger folds up inside but drops down when the pistol is fully cocked to fire. I grayed the new metal to match the gun’s old finish. Restoring any old gun is usually NOT recommended but in this case as long as the owner doesn’t try to pass off the gun as all original I don’t think this work detracts from the gun’s value.

The gun’s original maker was Twigg of London. A very famous gunsmith in his day. This old pistol is very finely made. The fit and finish is excellent and very functional despite it’s age.

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