The Prussian M1850 percussion pistol was in many ways an anomaly which, despite
being obsolete when it was first introduced, was one of the longest-serving military
percussion pistols in Europe. Coming from the same nation that in 1836 had invented the
revolutionary needle gun, the forerunner of all bolt action rifles, this pistol had many
characteristics of obsolete flintlock pistols and appears to have used much of the same
tooling in its manufacture. The barrel breech, which holds the percussion nipple, screws
into the barrel and the flat lock plate appears to have been designed for a flintlock
because it has a cutout for a flash pan and retains the frizzen spring which is now being
used for the pivoting nipple protector. Yet the gun was NOT a conversion from flintlock.
This example features the standard tapering 8 3/4″ octagonal to round barrel of
approximately .60 cal. (15mm) with rimmed muzzle, sturdy front blade sight, and notched
rear sight on the tang. Breech dated 1852 with a stamped crowned “Kr”. The flat lock
plate is marked with a crown over “SUHL” over a small “S&C” (Spangenberg & Company).
It retains its original pivoting nipple protector, which acted partly as a safety (many of
these were removed during service). Walnut stock with brass barrel band, trigger guard
with spur, and butt cap. Made without the usual lanyard ring on the butt cap. Flat iron
serpentine side plate stamped with crowned “Kr”. Crowned “Kr” also stamped on each of
the brass mounts and “60″ on the trigger guard, possibly a unit or weapon marking. Stock
shows scratches and dents typical of field use and two small slivers missing from behind
and below the lock plate. Steel parts showing light pitting and age staining, heaviest at
the breech and nipple. Brass mounts with pleasing patina. Mechanically very good with
strong mainspring. Overall length 15″.