FRENCH Antique Model 1777 Pistol by MAUBEUGE
Rev War Dated 1781 & Updated to Percussion
Here we present an antique French Model 1777 Pistol, made at the armory at Maubeuge in 1781. The Model 1777 is historically significant to the American Revolutionary War as the French recognized the United States of America’s independence and sovereignty in 1778 and declared war on Britain as the fledgling nation’s ally. The French had begun sending arms and supplies in 1775, but secretly. With their new alliance France provided the U.S. with loans, arms and even troops to fight on U.S. soil. Both French and American troops were armed with these pistols during the war.
After the American Revolution, the first U.S. martial pistol made and officially adopted in America was the incredibly scarce Model 1799, made by Simeon North & Elisha Cheney. The Model 1799 was patterned very closely to the Model 1777, with only a few changes. Only 2,000 1799s were made, making them incredibly rare and very expensive, valued in the tens of thousands.
Finally, the Model 1777 is also historically significant to the French. At the time of this particular pistol’s making, in 1785, King Louis XVI was on the throne. In 1789, the French Revolution began and chaos ensued for the next 10 years, characterized by insurrections, mob violence, execution and assassination. King Louis XVI was executed in 1793. Simultaneously, France was at war with much of Europe. Eventually, Napoleon Bonaparte rose out of the ranks through coup and became emperor.
This particular specimen, as noted above, is dated “(17)81” on the barrel and stock (along with some other interesting government markings) and was made at the arsenal at Maubeuge as marked on the frame under the hammer. The top of the barrel is marked “M1777”. An “A” proof appears on the frame under the cock and on the bottom of the trigger guard. It was converted by an arsenal to the superior percussion firing system, likely in the 1830s, and very likely stayed in use for years after.
This pistol is in overall very good condition, showing typical battlefield use. The barrel, ramrod, backstrap and lock have a nice, even chocolate patina. Markings are still very clear. Action is excellent. Here is an absolute historical treasure with lots of character. If only it could tell us some stories.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 7-½ inches.
Caliber: .69 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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