Posted by Captain Everett on June 10, 1998 at 22:40:50:
In response to Concealed weapons, written by Michele V. on June 09, 1998 at 07:47:08
] Was there any type of harness used during the Regency period for concealing firearms? For that matter, how did the law look upon the practice of concealing guns, knives, etc?
] Any help appreciated!
] Michele V.
I agree with much of what John W. stated. I've never run across any references to conceled pistols, or of the law's attitude towards them. Even holsters seem to be fairly rare (other than mounted on a saddle). More likely would be to stick it into a belt or a sash. Some had a sort U shaped bit of metal attached to the side opposite the lock which could be used to sort of hang it in place.
The biggest problem with the weapons of the time, is that they were, for want of a better term, "clunky." A very quick check of my limited sources gives the shortest length for a regularly made flintlock pistol is about a foot, up to around 16 inches. The lightest were about two pounds, most being around 2½ pounds. Thus, not something that could easily be hidden close to the body.
More likely would be to hide a pistol in the pocket of a greatcoat or overcoat. Care would have to be taken when withdrawing it not to catch the frizzen, and open the pan, thereby dumping the prime and rendering the weapon useless. In general, pistols were very tempermental and needed more care in handling than a long arm. In my limited experience with such firearms, I'd say the most effectient way to use a pistol is to grab it by the barrel, and bash your opponent over the head with the butt.
Another possibility is a short, or even cut-down, version of a carbine (a smaller version of the full sized musket), shotgun or blunderbus. These could also be hidden under a long coat or cape. However, not something one could do in broad daylight in a crowd.
The flintlock pistol in the muff is another possibility (if the protagonist is a women). It could be drawn from there, or possibly even fired from within. However, (as one book put it) this could result in a most interesting "conflagration."
I remain, etc.
- pistols Cameron 23:37:59 6/11/98 (0)
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