Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson sporting a long sea service pistol during the Battle of St. Vincent in 1797.
During this event Nelson first captured a Spanish ship then used his prize to board and capture another.
In the age of fighting sail, all navies were famous for the patchwork of weapons used on board their ships. The Royal Navy was no different. However by the second half of the 18th century a model of sea service pistol began to dominate amongst the tars of Britain's navy. While there were earlier versions of the sea service pistol, Britain at the time of the Seven Years War began to produce naval pistols and muskets like never before.
The sea service pistols offered here (12 inch barrel) saw extensive use during the the French and Indian War, the American Revolution and the Nelson's adventures during the Napoleonic Wars. During the 1790s, the barrel was shortened to 9 inches making it more convenient in the tangled mêlées experienced by boarding parties. The shortened version is often referred to as the East India Co. Sea Service Pistol because they were the first to shorten it. By time of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and the War of 1812 there would have been a mixture of lengths of barrel on board ship.
In the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, the props master took this approach by mixing old and new models of these weapons (see our film credits here). After the Napoleonic Wars, a vast number of pistols were sold to the Mexican Army. The new film Alamo (release date April 2004) illustrates this fact and uses our Sea Service pistols in a number of the scenes. Some even wandered "on board" of Pirates of the Caribbean and pistols on the Hornblower series are from the same manufacturer.
During the War of 1812, the American navy would have had these pistols available to them, from their capture of a number of British ships especially after the Battle of Lake Erie.
As mentioned two pistols are for sale here. One with the 12" tapered barrel with wooden rammer and one with the 9" tapered barrel with a steel rammer. These reproductions are simply beautiful, complete with historic proofing markings. The .62 calibre barrel is made of tempered seamless high carbon steel (type:BS970 no.080M40) with a threaded breech plug. Each size comes with a 7 1/2 inch steel belt hook. The lock is made with strong durable springs and has a case-hardened frizzen (hammer) that throws good sparks. We use a cyanide case-hardening factory process that makes sparking both more reliable and longer lasting. Presently no other musket provider uses this technique.
As with all our other flintlocks, the vent is not drilled so we can ship easily to your door throughout North America and to Europe and the UK. Aside from that they are exactly like the originals. A fine addition to any collection. *What our Customers said*
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Royal Navy Sea Service Pistol - Long Version (MTS-012)
349.00 375.00 (MTS-012)
Royal Navy Sea Service Pistol - Short Version (MTS-013)
349.00 375.00 (MTS-013)
For shipping costs and other details see our Muskets section
If upon receiving your musket you are not completely happy with your purchase, you may return it for a refund. All we ask is you cover the shipping costs. It has to be returned in two weeks of receipt and be in its original state (unaltered and unmodified).
We sell historically accurate muskets in a non-firing state. A certified gunsmith may alter these pistols to a firing state by drilling the vent hole and test firing it. PLEASE NOTE: Pistols are considered restricted weapons in Canada and in a number of other countries. Please consult with local authorities before making or converting any replica pistol into a firing state. We are not legally responsible for any alteration from its present state, nor any infractions of the law by the owner.
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