Posted by Cameron on June 11, 1998 at 23:37:59:
In response to Pistols, written by Captain Everett on June 10, 1998 at 22:40:50
Just an addendum to what has already been said, and a point or two of clarification. There were many "boot" or "muff" pistols in use in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some had barrels as short as 3", while standard sizes might have a barrel of about 5-6". They were also very easily hidden in coat pockets -- and sometimes within hollowed-out books (the same type used for concealing valuables).
Misfirings were so common, that "flash-in-the-pan" became a well used term for someone who made a lot of smoke and fire, but never accomplished the task.
In reading newspaper accounts of robberies during the period, there are many instances where either the robber's pistol misfired -- or the victim's pistol, fired in defense, misfired.
Having a loaded pistol never guaranteed its ability to properly fire -- or it reach its mark if it did (they were notoriously inaccurate -- unless they had a rifled barrel -- as most duling pistols of the Regency period had.
I've been shooting flintlocks for 25 years, so I can tell you about all their quirks, if you need the info.
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.