Unknown Key Shaped .30 Caliber Percussion Pistol, MFD 1800s?

SOLD FOR: $3625

LSB#: 221026TG057

Make: Unknown

Model: Key-Shaped Percussion Pistol

Serial Number: NSN

Year of Manufacture: Unknown, possibly mid-1800, possibly modern recreation. ATF Antique.

Caliber: .30 Cap and Ball

Action Type: Single Shot Percussion Pistol

Markings: There is decorative engraving on both sides of the barrel.

Barrel Length: Approximately 5”

Sights/Optics: What are traditionally the bit and key wards serve as a front sight. There is no rear sight.

Stock Configuration and Condition: What is traditionally the key bow serves as a handle of sorts.

Type of Finish: Fire Blue

Finish Originality: Refinished

Bore Condition: The smooth bore is semi-dark, but there does not appear to be any erosion. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates a 5 out of 10!

Overall Condition: This pistol retains 95% of its current metal finish. There are light scratches/draglines running down the barrel. The frame portion has light pitting from surface oxidation under the current finish. The refinish has hints of the fire blue tone, but has mostly taken on a plum hue. The screw heads are lightly tool marked. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Fine condition, as antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer locks back and the nipple is unobstructed. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, thorough and consistent cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: This revolver will ship in its serial-matching brown cardboard box and includes the accessory rail mentioned above, a small tool, a lock, a nylon sock, and the manual.

Our Assessment: There’s very little concrete information on this type of percussion pistol. A gentleman claiming to be a St. Etienne educated gunsmith lays out a case that the rich used these not only as a defensive weapon, but also as the actual key to their safe, which is frankly, extremely cool. We can not establish the actual age or make of this key pistol, but wear indicates that it is on the older side. Certainly a neat curio, the winning bidder will have for themselves something that will be fun to discuss and show off. Now, ready, aim, bid!


Unknown Key Shaped .30 Caliber Percussion Pistol, MFD 1800s?
Unknown Key Shaped .30 Caliber Percussion Pistol, MFD 1800s?