This is an exceptional example of a U.S. Model 1817 Flintlock Pistol manufactured by the Springfield Armory in 1818. The Springfield Armory made a total of 1000 Model 1817 pistols in 1817-1818. These pistols, the Model 1855 Pistol Carbine and the Model 1911 pistol, were the only handguns manufactured by Springfield Armory. This pistol has the desirable Type I features which include: goose-neck hammer, frizzen spring with spear point finial, projection at rear of the lock plate and frizzen with curled toe. About 400 of the 1000 Model 1817 pistols are believed to have the Type I features. The pistol has a .69 caliber smoothbore barrel secured by a double band, iron side plate, lock plate and hammer with beveled edges and iron butt. The lock, barrel and iron furniture are "National Armory Bright". The black walnut stock is oil finished. The pistol has a hickory ramrod with swelled tip. The lock plate is marked: "SPRING/FIELD/1818" in three vertical lines behind the hammer and stamped with the Springfield Eagle and Shield motif over "U.S." in front of the hammer. The top of the barrel is dated "1818" ahead of the tang and stamped on the left side with an oval "P" proofmark, a right facing eagle head and a "V" inspection mark. "EA" is stamped on the bottom of the trigger guard plate ahead of the trigger. The left side of the stock is stamped on the flat with two oval inspection marks. The stock maker's mark "RC" is stamped in block letters near the bottom of the grip on the right side of the trigger guard finial.
Fine. The pistol is in the original Flintlock configuration and has not been cleaned or improved. The barrel, lock and iron furniture have a gray-brown patina. There is moderate-heavy flash pitting on the top and right side of the barrel adjacent to the flash hole. The bottom of the hammer and the portion of the lock plate below the pan have moderate flash pitting. The lock markings and barrel markings are crisp. The barrel date is covered by flash pitting but remains fully legible. The stock is also in fine condition with sharp edges on the flats and barrel channel. The inspection marks on the left flat are crisp. The only significant wear on the stock is a half-inch hair-line crack on the right side at the butt cap. The ramrod lacks the iron ferrule and is a period replacement. This is an exceptional example of a rare and desirable Type I Springfield Model 1817 pistol in the original Flintlock configuration. If you have been looking for one of these, your search is over. This is the finest example of this key U.S. martial handgun ever offered for sale by the Rock Island Auction Company!
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