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A Highland Pistol

A Highland Pistol

In 2013, I picked up a French pistol that I loved.  Within a year, I sold it off in order to afford a trade gun that had more use to me.  Ever since, I have missed having a flintlock pistol.  

With an interest in all things Highland and Scottish and a desire for a flintlock pistol, the idea of a Highland steel pistol has been quite appealing.  Knowing that many clerks and gentlemen in the NorthWest Company had pistols (including William McGillivray having an engraved steel pistol), I thought a Scottish pistol might be a fun addition to my kit, especially now that I am doing more as a Scottish clerk and am piping.  

I have been watching online for a used reproduction pistol of this style¬†for a long time with no real luck.¬†¬†Recently, I had an opportunity to purchase one at a very good¬†price. ¬†Like most of the steel pistols on the market, it is a somewhat poor reproduction made overseas. ¬†The trigger shape is rather wrong, and the “rams horns” on the handle/butt are excessively¬†thick. ¬†Additionally, these reproduction pistols are plain and are not engraved. ¬†Most extant pistols of this type are quite ornate with engraving. ¬†Military pistols exist and were very plain. ¬†There are also a few that have very little engraving, but the norm would be to see at least some engraving. ¬†

To improve my pistol, I made a few basic changes.  My hope was to both make it a bit more correct but also to personalize it.  I reshaped the trigger, thinned out the rams horns, and did some slight graving.  I additionally worked down the finish and gave it a light blueing.  My plan is to slowly polish it back up with use and cleanings over time.  I also hope to eventually have my crest and arms engraved nicely onto the plaque/cartouche that is on both sides of the handle.  I am currently discussing this with a couple of folks that can do fine engraving.

Poor quality video of the pistol being fired…


2 Responses to “A Highland Pistol”

  1. Paul C. Daiute says:

    Good Morning,
    You have done a good job with the modifications that you have done on your pistol, it has a good look. The history of the Scott’s firearms is very interesting to me because of the British attempt at a cultural cleansing by the elimination of the tartans and confiscation of all weapons to undermine the existence of the clans. The firearms that have survived that are of Scottish decent all seem to been property of the Peers or were weapons provided for by the Crown. The long arms that are in existence are a good example of a distortion of the big picture from limited and somewhat narrowed sampling. Send me your cell phone number and I will send you pictures of my Scottish Musket if you are interested.
    As always I like your approach to the interpretation of history.
    Regards to Hillary.

  2. Isaac, I think I have sold enough flintlocks to fill my closet! I collect but I’m over selling. I own some very nice flintlocks and I never consider selling them, any longer. My kilts, my flintlocks… even my kilt socks are reverently filed away for future use. If you now own a 1717’s Murdock Highland Pistol you are currently a “Museum Curator” with an exceptional piece of History. It’s always interesting to examine your Site, simply because of your broad range of interests. Thank you for sharing your History with all your readers. Never a dull moment!

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