January 04, 2022
Question: I’ve had this pistol hanging on the wall in my man cave for many years, and I’ve never thought to ask you. So here it is, I know nothing about it. I got it years ago from a friend who’d accompany me to the Great Western Gun Show in Los Angeles. (If you know about it, you’re as old as I am.) Then I hung it on the wall. I just took it down to take pictures and wipe off years of dust! Any info as to its collectability, age, origin etc., and an estimate of value if my heirs decide to sell it, would be greatly appreciated.
-J.K. of San Diego, California
Answer: I truly miss the old Great Western Gun Show. It had several miles of tables and uncounted wonders. Unfortunately, it was closed at the Pomona Fairgrounds in California in 1999 after a wrangle with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Your “wonder” is a U.S. Model 1813 flintlock pistol manufactured by Simeon North of Middletown, Connecticut. At some time in its history, it was converted to percussion fire using a so-called “drum”-style arrangement, which was not an uncommon occurrence. Almost 20,000 of these hefty .54-caliber pistols were made between 1817 and 1820. Even converted, your pistol still has collector interest, but it would have more value if it was still in its original flintlock configuration. Though missing the ramrod and band wedge, and suffering a bit of chipping of the stock in front of the barrel band, it appears to be in decent condition. The market on this sort of piece is a bit soft right now. I’d think your pistol is worth in the $2,500 to $2,750 range, assuming it functions and the bore is OK.
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