NRA Explore

A Verra Fine Scottish Pistol

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Unique to the best Scottish-made muzzleloading pistols is their solid metal frame, for unlike the majority of flintlock pistols that have wooden stocks to hold lock and barrel, a typical Scottish pistol's components are firmly fitted to a steel stock. Often elaborately engraved, a Scottish pistol's hefty metal stock usually ends in a rams-horn styled butt, where between the two curving terminations resides a small ball shaped fixture. When unscrewed, the fixture reveals a handy touch-hole pick to clear the pistol's ignition pathway when required. Nearby, another near-identical ball mounted under the lockplate serves as the trigger for the pistol.

The ramrod of this Scottish flintlock has a delicate construction, with a thin shaft and slender rammer head that still provides enough purchase and strength to allow loading with patched ball. Equally intricate is the filigree piercing of the flintlock hammer and intricate engraving the covers the surface of the pistol. This engraved Scottish flintlock pistol, made by gunsmith James Michie of Doune, dates to the time of the American Revolution. Officers in Highland regiments that served in America as part of the British army during this time period would have chosen similar pistols as sidearms, appropriate for defense on the battlefield.

This Scottish pistol has been part of the National Firearms Museum collection for many years and is on exhibit in the American Revolution gallery near the entrance of the museum.