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Antique “DUCKBILL” European FLINTLOCK BLUNDERBUSS Early 19th Century “Close Range” Weapon
Antique “DUCKBILL” European FLINTLOCK BLUNDERBUSS
Early 19th Century “Close Range” Weapon
Here we present an early 19th Century antique “Duckbill” Blunderbuss, made circa the early 1800s. The flintlock blunderbuss was the original coach gun, being a short, handy and devastating weapon at close range. It was capable of firing up to 20 buckshot in front of 120 grains of black powder, according to Spencer Tucker in Almanac of American Military History, Volume 1. It was used in many capacities, not the least of which were for Naval boarding or defending vessels, stagecoach and messenger companies, home defense and more. Even bandits were known to use them as recorded in the Edinburgh Annual Register, 1813. Seven men, some armed with blunderbusses, entered the home of Mr. Browne of Armayle, Ireland, where his family and Surgeon Brailsford of the Royal Dragoons. The fully transcribed story demonstrating the deadliness of the blunderbuss is immediately below.
While Mr. Browne of Armayle, Ireland, and his family, were sitting in the parlour at an early hour of the night, accompanied by their guest, Surgeon Brailsford, of the royal dragoons, the house was beset and entered by a banditti of armed villains, seven in number, of whom four took posts as sentries, and three burst in to the parlour. The leader of them instantly presented a blunderbuss, and demanded arms; on which Mr. Browne knocked him down. Dr. Brailsford attacked a second, when in the conflict one of the villains fired at him, and another at Mr. Browne. The latter was desperately wounded by a discharge of small slugs from a blunderbuss, having received several of them in the breast and body; the former was severely wounded by a pistol-shot in the arm, and had his face and head savagely cut and mangled. Dr. Brailsford’s servant, hearing the shots, got a pistol from some part of the house, and attempted to fire it in vain; the powder having been taken out, although the ball was left in the pistol. This gallant fidelity cost the poor fellow his life; the wretch at whom he aimed having instantly blown the contents of a blunderbuss through his body. The ruffians seemed satisfied at the perpetration of these shocking enormities, and left the house, without taking or searching for any arms. Mr. Browne’s recovery is doubtful; Dr. Brailsford is out of danger.
This blunderbuss is especially unique given the shape of the barrel at the muzzle, which would have been done purposely to allow for the horizontal spread of the shot against multiple assailants.
The overall condition is good. The iron parts are semi-bright. The only markings visible are the small engravings on the barrel tang as well as the Roman numeral assembly marks on the lock hardware. The stock is in great shape. The bore is smooth and dark. The action is functional, though the full-cock notch is a bit weak and prone to slip. If the trigger is pressed forward while cocking the hammer it seems to stay cocked more often than not. A very interesting blunderbuss!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 18-7/8 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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