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New Acquisition – 1796 Pattern Heavy Cavalry Pistol

By February 17, 2016 Acquisitions No Comments

Late in 2015 we acquired this pistol, which may have been carried by a soldier in the 2nd (or Royal North British) Dragoons– more famously known as the Scots Greys – at the Battle of Waterloo.

The pistol is an example of the type carried by Other Ranks (enlisted men) of British heavy cavalry regiments during the Napoleonic Wars. Pistols of this pattern were manufactured in two batches, 1797-1802 and 1813-1814, and they formed part of the personal side-arms of British heavy dragoons at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

This particular pistol has its trigger guard engraved 2RNBD (for ‘2nd or Royal North British Dragoons’) and C22, which indicates that it was issued as pistol 22 to ‘C’ Troop of the Regiment.

The pistol is a single-shot, muzzle-loading, flintlock weapon with a calibre of 16 bore. The maximum range of the pistol would be 50 yards but it was most effective when its lead ball was fired into the body, or the horse, of an adversary at very close range.

With thanks to the National Fund for Acquisitions (National Museums Scotland) for their assistance in supporting the purchase of this pistol.

Come and see the pistol, which may have been carried at the Battle of Waterloo, in Gallery 1 of the museum.