US Navy 1812 Contract Pistol, J. Henry, Phila., only three known
ITEM #: H-3
This model is described in Sam Smith and Edwin Bitter, Historic Pistols, p. 204 - 205. This one has variant markings of "J. HENRY" over "PHILA." vertically struck behind cock. "US" in front of cock was deliberately chiseled out. Clear inspector's stamp "V" on rear of stock flat. This example is well-used but honest, and the condition of the iron bespeaks a long life at sea, even after it's drum conversion to percussion. Quaint sailors heart of copper (ship's sheathing?) inlet in stock behind barrel. Barrel is 10 inches long, bears oval depression where proof mark was. Belt hook removed long ago, but gun was clearly made with one as evidenced by (1) an over-length rear side-lock bolt that now has a leather washer in place the hook, and (2) the old hole for the stabilizing pin of the hook (behind the rear lock screw) is present and not plugged. Forestock shortened slightly, removing the single ramrod thimble.