THE EVOLUTION OF The English Civilian Flintlock Pistol 1650 - 1830

This book will be published late in 2012. It covers exhaustively the technical and stylistic development of the English civilian flintlock pistol from the doglock, through the adoption of the so-called “French” lock c1670 until the end of the flintlock era c1830. It is the culmination of a 9-year research project into every worthwhile book ever published on the subject, and involved the analysis of over 1500 pistols and the compilation of more than 100,000 statistics.


English civilian flintlock pistols are divided into three types:

Sidelock pistols
Pistols in which the entire lock with the cock, frizzen, flashpan etc. can be detached from the stock as a single unit

“Queen-Anne” pistols
Pistols in which the cock, frizzen, pan etc. are mounted on the side of a lockplate which is formed as a rearwards extension of the breech

Boxlock pistols
Pistols in which the cock is centrally mounted between two lockplates.

The development of each type is traced from its inception until its demise, from baroque through rococo to neoclassical styling.

The Pistols shown include every common type and style, most ‘scarce’ versions, several that are classified as ‘rare’, and two that are unique. There are pistols with 2, 3, 4, and 7 barrels, including a ducks-foot pistol and a revolver, and every known multiple-barrel configuration.

In all, the entire compass of the English civilian flintlock pistol is shown and described in full detail. Makers depicted include Barne, Truelock, Pickfatt, Delaney, Barbar, Freeman, Harman, Probin, Baker, Durs Egg, Mortimer, Nock, and Staudenmayer.

All of the pistols illustrated are shown in at least 4 photographs. Additionally there are close-up photos of the outside and inside of the locks of the Sidelock pistols. Cased sets are illustrated.

All of the photographs currently on this website are temporary drafts; in the book they will be of much higher quality.


Virtually all stylistic and technical features are depicted in close-up photographs accompanied by tables showing when they first appeared, the period in which they were in common use, and the date they fell into disuse. This covers approximately 90 features with some 500 alternatives between them. Examples are cock shapes, barrel to stock attachments, breech types, frizzen-springs, butt shapes, roller frizzens, mainspring links, detents, etc. These are set out in alphabetical order so that the reader can instantly refer to, for example, ‘lockplates’ or ‘top-jaws’ to see all the common types and the dates applicable to each one.

The book will be published in full colour and will be hard-bound with over 300 A4 pages comprising 75,000 words and some 600 photographs. It includes extensive quotations from Neal, Dixon, Burgoyne, Back, Blair, Blackmore, and other recognised authorities, and through significant independent research seeks to provide a clear and authoritative resource for all collectors, identifying many previously unrecorded facts and conclusions in the process. It will become the definitive textbook on this subject. Some of the data presented has never been published before, and none has been set out in such a systematic quick-reference format. It will be essential reading for collectors from beginners to the very experienced, dealers, auction houses, restorers, museums, and libraries.

Also included will be a Dating Template which should enable the determination of the probable date of manufacture of a pistol +/- 5 years in most cases. The book will be accompanied by a DVD depicting a close-up of a flintlock pistol being fired; this can be displayed on any computer, at full speed, in slow motion, or frame-by-frame.


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