Largest caliber single shot pistol?

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Hawken1980

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I was thinking what is the largest caliber single shot pistol y’all have ever seen or owned?

I’ve got a 50 caliber cva. It is a lot of fun, but what about a 62 or 75?
 
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I had an original Tennesse-made 4 bore underhammer for a while. The barrel was about 4" long, and I could get 2 fingers on the grip. I initially wondered why someone cut down a mortar, it just had that vibe to it. I managed to trade it for an original Birmingham-made carbine bore (.65") smoothbore pistol that I shot in competition for a while.

As a kid, I had a pistol that had been built--probably in the '60s-70s--using a cut down barrel from a .58 musket. I loaded it with musket cartridges, and it probably had more recoil than most of the big-bore pistols I've shot since then.
 

Hawken1980

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I had an original Tennesse-made 4 bore underhammer for a while. The barrel was about 4" long, and I could get 2 fingers on the grip. I initially wondered why someone cut down a mortar, it just had that vibe to it. I managed to trade it for an original Birmingham-made carbine bore (.65") smoothbore pistol that I shot in competition for a while.

As a kid, I had a pistol that had been built--probably in the '60s-70s--using a cut down barrel from a .58 musket. I loaded it with musket cartridges, and it probably had more recoil than most of the big-bore pistols I've shot since then.

4 bore as in four balls to a pound. I cannot imagine.
 

eggwelder

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I have what’s left of a .72 cal percussion pistol somewhere in my pile of junk, barrel, lock plate and trigger i dug out of a half buried scrap metal pile on my parents farm in Saskatchewan after my dad bought the place in 1977.
The place was homesteaded in the mid 1800`s when it was part of the North West territories. We used to find lots of lead bullets in pretty good shape in the garden my mother had near the old cob house that was still standing on the property.
He figured that it was cut down from a musket, i`m inclined to agree.
 
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In 1986 , bought an aged stained, dirty wooden box containing ten old round pistol barrels at an antique store in Harper's Ferry W,Va.. Proprietor said they came from a clean-up of some junk out of the old Harper's Ferry Arsenal. Was good enough for me. All the breech plug tangs were broken off in an apparent attempt to decommission them. Contacted Kit Ravenshear for an analysis of them . He said they had mixed dates and proof marks showing their origin to be most likely , cut off musket barrels from late 1700's to early 1800's. They came back to me with newly welded restored tangs , and ready for continued restoration. The calibers were .69 to .75. They make a nice bang, and fell into the category of flint lock " horse pistols"................oldwood
 

Banjoman

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I had a .69 caliber Jukar tower pistol. With a good flint it fired every time. It was a fun plinker with different bird shot or buck shot loads but was not for hunting.
 

TFoley

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The biggest pistol I've ever shot was a P53 rifle converted inot a single shot howdah pistol by Rhodda of Calcutta - still in .577cal. Shooting the service load of 2 1/2 drams - almost 68gr of 2Fg - with the issue Minié of 535gr was an experience.

Once.
 

Loyalist Dave

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I was thinking what is the largest caliber single shot pistol y’all have ever seen or owned?

The largest caliber, muzzle loading black powder using handgun that I've fired was 12 gauge SxS, but the position of the nipples means it's not a traditional handgun, so I will write no more about it. 😇

LD
 
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Many early flint & percussion pistols & especially ones mfg. for European military use had 60-70 cal. bores & most were smooth bores.
Are. M. mentioned a friend who shoots an original Charleville pistol , they were very well made & like most French made pistols of the period were built to point naturally, perfect for instinct shooting.
The lower pistol is a photo of my rifled French pistol, it was custom made for an officer in the standard military .70 cal. with fast twist polygonal rifling that was typical of the period & despite shadow in the photo has a perfect shinny bore.
The other pistol is also French , it was part of a set of duelers as it's stamped #1 & is .52 cal. Great fun to shoot the originals, with prices of the repros soaring it makes good sense to consider buying & enjoying an original .
 

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JCKelly

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This English .80 cal pistol is, I am guessing, sea service, from some black paint. Maybe early in their dispute with Napoleon. The frizzen is heavily worn, as in from shooting (not by ME!!) The 9-1/16" barrel looks to be originally made for a pistol - it is not a cut down musket. The breech dia. is smaller than either a first or 3rd model BB musket
Sea Pistol Photoshpd006.jpg
Sea 80 muz 002 Scale50.jpg
 
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This English .80 cal pistol is, I am guessing, sea service, from some black paint. Maybe early in their dispute with Napoleon. The frizzen is heavily worn, as in from shooting (not by ME!!) The 9-1/16" barrel looks to be originally made for a pistol - it is not a cut down musket. The breech dia. is smaller than either a first or 3rd model BB musketView attachment 79107 View attachment 79111
Thanks for sharing your photos, nice old original !!
Yours sure looks like a revolutionary period military type pistol & the numbers stamped on the butt indicate they may be armory markings ?
Most military pistols of that era that I've examined typically are very large caliber & have smooth bores.
I shoot most of my originals "but only after careful examinations" & with reasonable loads based on proof marks. As with the nice lines of your pistol I sure love the natural pointing features that many of these early pistols feature :thumb:
Relic shooter
 

Norsk

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80 Caliber Cogswell alongside my Brown Bess.
It was a handsome gun back in its day.
 

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Awhile ago, there was a gun maker by the name of Hyde Hunter from CA that made a .79 caliber bore ‘pirate pistol’. The gun was enormous, the lock looked like a Springfield or French Style Charleville Lock musket sized.
 

troy2000

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I have a couple of repro .68 cal Tower pistols. Can't hit the broad side of a barn with them at any distance, but everyone I hand them to gets a big kick out of firing them anyway.
 
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80 Caliber Cogswell alongside my Brown Bess.
It was a handsome gun back in its day.
Nice firearms thanks for sharing.
I've always favored big bore rifles & pistols but now at 78 & with artritis I can only manage shooting the pistols. Seems unfair that my 150-200 year old guns are in much better shape than me.
.:dunno:
 

R.J.Bruce

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I had a pair of .62 caliber, flintlock, Hawken, half-stock fantasy pistols made up by a guy down in Mississippi. This was back in the early 90's. I had no idea what was HC, so I just ordered what I wanted. Ignorance was bliss.

They were iron mounted. The triggerguards had the finger hook on them. Single triggers. Ketland style flintlocks. The barrels were by Getz, 1" octagon tapered to 15/16" octagon, 10" long, and were factory coned. They had custom Nock, hooked breech plugs. The ramrods were steel, and attached to the underrib by a pivoting swivel. Walnut stocks with a rounded butt, and checkered grips.

The balance wasn't too bad, being slightly muzzle heavy. Of course, with Getz barrels, they were extremely accurate.
 
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