SOLD FOR: $1525
Make: Tulle Arsenal
Serial Number: NSN
Year of Manufacture: Unknown, but we can assume sometime in the early-to-mid 1800s.
Caliber: .40 Caliber
Action Type: Single Shot Flintlock Pistol Converted to Percussion Firearm
Markings: The right side plate is marked “Tulle” in cursive script. The upper tang, side plate, hammer screw, left side inset plates, trigger guard assembly, grip cap, and ram rod mount all feature fine floriate engraving.
Barrel Length: 6 7/8”
Sights/Optics: There is a small blade at the front of the barrel that serves as a front sight.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The stock is one-piece checkered wood. The stock has nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches throughout. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the stock is in Good-Very Good condition, as Antique.
Type of Finish: Bright
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly dark. There is moderate erosion scattered through the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol was finished bright, there is no finish. The metal surfaces have light surface oxidation throughout. The tip of the barrel has gone to a light patina. The screw heads have light tool marks with still-usable slots. The single marking is incomplete. Overall, this pistol rates in Good-to-Very Good condition, as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock notch. We have not fired this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Tulle Arsenal was like the little sister to the better known Saint Etienne and Chatellerault arsenals, but that doesn’t mean it produced worse firearms. On the contrary, this 19th-century pistol is the perfect combination of decoration and practicality in one tool. Given the presence of plugged screw holes on the lockplate, unnecessary for a percusion firearm’s action, an observer can surmise that someone converted this firearm from a flintlock action to the present percussion action. Before you knock this gun as a less-than piece, keep in mind that the floriate engravings and conversion status speaks volumes about the firearm’s unwritten history and use. Somebody took the time to convert an obsolete system to the newest technology; one wouldn’t do that on a whim. So what’s the story there? Winning this firearm at auction would mean you not only own a physical firearm, but you also get a piece of history that encompasses the evolution of firearms technology as well as art. Make it a shooter or keep it as a show-er, bid on this piece for your chance to add to its story!