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Thread: Model 1850 Potsdam Pistol

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    gmkmd's Avatar
    gmkmd is offline
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    Model 1850 Potsdam Pistol

    Is the model 1850 Potsdam pistol an approved arm for the smoothbore pistol competition?
    Glenn M. Kaye
    73rd New York Volunteer Infantry

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    Did you find any records of who bought them?
    N-SSA Member since 1974

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    Don Dixon is offline
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    I believe that this will answer your question.

    Early in 1880 the U.S. Army sold 176 serviceable, smoothbore, single shot, .60 caliber Prussian pistols, and 220 unserviceable, smoothbore, single shot, .60 caliber Prussian pistols, which were on hand at the U.S. Ordnance Agency and New York Arsenal. The citation is Catalogue of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores on Hand at United States Ordnance Agency and New York Arsenal for Which Sealed Proposals Will Be Received Until Twelve O'Clock on Wednesday, February 11, 1880, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1880. A copy is available in the Army historical collection at Carlise Barracks. The massive sale which included these pistols involved Civil War period firearms and swords almost exclusively. The only reason that the pistols would have been on-hand in this quantity would have been a purchase during the Civil War by the Federal Ordnance Office. I have no idea who the importer/vendor would have been.

    Hi John!

    Regards,
    Don Dixon
    2881V

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    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    I thank Don Dixon for this most interesting information! However, the N-SSA would have to know if the Model 1850 that Glenn is inquiring about are the ones that were imported.

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    gmkmd's Avatar
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    I believe they would have had to be the model 1850, or the model 1849, as they were the only two models of Prussian percussion .60 caliber (actually 15.2mm, or .598 caliber) smoothbore pistols.
    Last edited by gmkmd; 10-30-2021 at 08:16 PM.
    Glenn M. Kaye
    73rd New York Volunteer Infantry

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    Don Dixon is offline
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    See the attached page from the U.S. Army's arms sale catalog referenced above. The only pistol that I know of that would match the description in the catalog is the Muster 1850 Prussian pistol. What more proof would one need? Its clearly more than the 100 specified in the N-SSA rules. And, the "worn" descriptor for the unserviceable weapons tends to indicate that someone used them in the "unpleasantness." I assume that the term "C. & R." in the descriptions means cleaned and repaired:

    Name:  New York Ordnance Agency Catalog.jpg
Views: 101
Size:  558.8 KB

    As you know John, as I continue to root through the ordnance files at the Archives I keep coming up with stuff/variations that no one has ever heard of before. The model numbers that collectors have created to describe Civil War firearms didn't exist at the time of the war, and the Ordnance Office didn't use those model numbers to describe what it had in inventory. Hell, after having gone through large amounts of the Ordnance Office's files I don't think that it ever knew what it had in inventory. In this case, the Ordnance office probably issued U.S. .54 caliber ammunition to use in them because it was close enough for government work.

    Regards,
    Don Dixon
    2881V
    Last edited by Don Dixon; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:36 AM.

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    Muley Gil is offline
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    Looks like they had almost 400 Prussian pistols-176+218+2=396.
    Gil Davis Tercenio
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    34th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry
    Great, great grandson of Cpl Elijah S Davis, Co I, 6th Alabama Inf CSA

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