172 Years Young! (M1842 Horse Pistol)

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Smokey Plainsman, Nov 9, 2019.

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  1. Nov 9, 2019 #1

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

    50 Cal.

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    Got my M1842 Aston horseman’s pistol to the range today, made in 1847:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Shoots great! Works as good as the day it was made. I had the bore relined as it was rather pitted and replaced the nipple with a new one. Pretty accurate too, smoothbore:
    [​IMG]
    Not too often you see a gun that was considered obsolete during the Civil War, much less shooting it! These are U.S. military pistols and cavalrymen carried two of them in saddle holsters. This one dates to the Mexican American War, and may well have rode on down there to do battle:
    [​IMG]
    This guns got a lot of service left in it! Tough old guns, you can find these Model 1842s for pretty good prices and they’re built like a tank. Very reliable and even though it’s just one shot, it’s a BIG shot (.54 caliber!) and I wouldn’t feel unarmed with one. Notice the brass buttcap? After you fire your one shot, the gun can be used as a club to whop an enemy over the head!

    Neat old guns that saw lots of action in the Mexican American War, early Indian battles, and even into the Civil War to supplement the lack of revolvers early in the conflict, especially in the South. Thanks for looking guys! :)

    -Smokey
     
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  2. Nov 9, 2019 #2

    cowboydave

    cowboydave

    cowboydave

    32 Cal

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    Nice old gun and nice write up. Thanks for posting.
     
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  3. Nov 9, 2019 #3

    DOUBLEDEUCE 1

    DOUBLEDEUCE 1

    DOUBLEDEUCE 1

    69 Cal.

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    Very nice looking pistol ! You’re fortunate to have come across such a great old piece of history. :cool:
     
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  4. Nov 10, 2019 #4

    Juice Jaws

    Juice Jaws

    Juice Jaws

    54 Cal. MLF Supporter

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    Great gun and a great read.
     
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  5. Nov 11, 2019 #5

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

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    Here’s some better pictures of the gun:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Guys on this Veteran’s Day, don’t forget about the ones who fought back when these guns were state of the art. It’s because of these early soldiers and their sacrifice that we enjoy the country and freedoms we have today! They (and all veterans) shall not be forgotten!!
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Nov 13, 2019 #6

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

    50 Cal.

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    Went shooting again last night:
    [​IMG]
    Starting to get the load and sight picture dialed in. I stepped up the powder charge to 35 grains of 2Fg Graf’s black powder and switched to thicker .015” patching. It’s grouping a bit better but still lots of load development needed, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering how fun it is to shoot!

    Then it got dark...
    [​IMG]
    The muzzle flash is incredible! Shoots a massive fireball and sparks everywhere. Awesome!! I also took a “first person” photo and captured the flash from the shooter’s perspective:
    [​IMG]
    I don’t think I own a gun that I’m enjoying more than this horse pistol!!
     
  7. Dec 5, 2019 #7

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

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    Who relined it and what is the land and groove size? What size balls are you using?

    I just bought one of these pistols (made in 1852), it should arrive tomorrow. I bought some .530" balls to start.
     
  8. Dec 5, 2019 #8

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

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    Robert Hoyt, .540” (smoothbore, no lands or grooves). .530” balls are a tight fit even with .010 patches. I use .520” balls and .015 patches. Loads snug but you don’t have to beat it down, which depending on technique can be hard on the stock.

    I’ve also found swiping a 28 gauge bronze bore brush up and down the bore a few times between shots lets me shoot almost indefinitely without having to use cleaning patches.
     
  9. Dec 7, 2019 #9

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

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    Mine arrived today, its almost a dead ringer for yours. This one has the original bore and dates to 1852. It's a very handsome pistol. I hope to be able to try it out next week. 20191206_161004.jpg 20191206_185954.jpg
     
  10. Dec 7, 2019 #10

    toot

    toot

    toot

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    I have a pair of them and shoot a load of 30 to 35 grains in it, don't want to stress the old dry bridle wood, with a .530 RB, with a 10 thou,s linen patch. and yes it is a pleasure to fire and the load is very gentle on it. if you had them in a holster they would pull tour trousers down and trip you!!
     
  11. Dec 7, 2019 #11

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

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    I have some .530 balls to try out. Just put a new cone in it, so it's ready to go.

    20191206_185934.jpg This will by my side arm for Union navy boarding party/naval landing party impression. I know revolvers were in common use by then, but these were still on many ships.
     
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  12. Dec 22, 2019 #12

    BillinOregon

    BillinOregon

    BillinOregon

    Cannon MLF Supporter

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    Well I sure am green with envy! Awesome pistols fellas.
     
  13. Dec 25, 2019 #13

    toot

    toot

    toot

    32 Cal.

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    they are the most over looked weapons used by the military that there is!. glad some of us hold them in reverence!.
     
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  14. Dec 26, 2019 #14

    toot

    toot

    toot

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    is the holster worn with a belt loop, or two loops? or worn on the chest? either way it look's great!
     
  15. Dec 26, 2019 #15

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

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    It's on a belt. Part if my naval boarding/landing party impression.

    20191225_060235.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2019
  16. Jan 19, 2020 #16

    fossilledges

    fossilledges

    fossilledges

    36 Cl. MLF Supporter

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    Good information, thanks, nice looking pistols!
     
  17. Jan 19, 2020 #17

    toot

    toot

    toot

    32 Cal.

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    now that photo rely look's period!!
     
  18. Jan 19, 2020 #18

    toot

    toot

    toot

    32 Cal.

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    what are the thread size on the cone and where did you purchase it?
     
  19. Jan 19, 2020 #19

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

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    It's the standard miltary musket cap cone, 5/16-24 thread.
     
  20. Jan 19, 2020 #20

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

    Steve Blancard

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    We just finished the battle of Ft. Fisher, NC. Me and two shipmates here. As we stormed the fort, I fought with a cutlass in one hand and the m1842 pistol in the other. The pistol worked flawlessly, I fired about 20 shots. Great fun. 20200118_095430.jpg
     

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