This frontier pistol started life with an old Bill Kennedy .50 caliber smooth bore pistol barrel that has been kicking around in my shop for many years. The brass butt cap was hammered out at the 2012 Montana Historical Gunmaker's Fair using a brass pattern and dapping tooling from Ryan Roberts of Muzzleloading Builders Supply. The front ramrod pipe is from Jack Brooks. I annealed and resized it to fit the 5/16" hand split hickory ramrod complete with a sheet steel tip and brazed seam. The Jim Chambers small Queen Anne flintlock, along with the breech plug, hand forged trigger and all the screws were color case hardened at my shop. The brass trigger guard was a sand casting I found in one of my parts drawers. The touch hole is coned from the inside using a cutter I made myself. The thumb piece is made of sheet sterling silver and fastened to the stock using 2 sterling silver nails. The front sight is also made from sterling silver sheet. Matt Denison supplied the Trade Pistol serpent side plate. The figured maple stock from Freddie Harrison was stained with nitric acid made by Joe Sharber during the 2012 Montana Historical Gunmaker's Fair.
The biggest challenge with building this pistol was exercising restraint in the adornment. It is all too easy in this day and age to add engraving and carving and overdue what is supposed to represent a basic gun assembled by a competent gunsmith using parts from a broken discarded pistol discovered in the wilderness and supplementing any missing pieces from the gunsmiths personal collection of parts.
Copy and photos supplied by David Rase.