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 1872 with a stamped crowned “P” on the left angled
flat. Left side flat stamped with a crowned “P”, a crowned “S”, and the number “580″
twice. Top of breech stamped with crowned “W”. The flat lock plate is marked with a
crown over “SUHL” over a small “V.C.S.”. It retains its original pivoting nipple protector,
which acted partly as a safety (many of these were removed during service). Walnut
stock stamped with crowned “S” forward of the trigger guard. Brass mounts featuring
barrel band, trigger guard with spur, and butt cap with lanyard ring. Flat iron serpentine
side plate. Inspector’s stamp on each of the brass mounts. Butt cap stamped
“24.A.5.85.” (24th Artillerie Regiment, 5th Companie, Waffen 85). Steel parts retain nearly
all of their original bluing and the gun appears to have never been fired. Mechanically
excellent with strong mainspring. Wood with bright finish and only minor handling marks.
Overall length 15″. Impossible to find a better condition example on the market.