AMES, N.P. PISTOLS
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
Overall length 11.625"; barrel length 6"; caliber .54. Markings: on lockplate forward of hammer "N.P. AMES/SPRINGFIELD/MASS"; on tail either "USN" or "USR" over date; on barrel standard U.S. Navy inspection marks. N. P. Ames of Springfield, Mass. received a contract from the U.S. Navy in September 1842, for delivery of 2,000 single-shot muzzle-loading percussion pistols. All are distinguished by having a lock mechanism that lies flush with right side of stock. On first 300 Ames pistols, this lock terminates in a point; balance produced made with locks with a rounded tail. This "boxlock" had been devised by Henry Nock in England and was adapted to U.S. Navy for percussion pistols they ordered from Ames and Derringer. In addition to the 2,000 pistols for Navy, U.S. Revenue Cutter Service purchased 144 (distinguished by "U S R" marks) for the forerunner of U.S. Coast Guard. Latter commands triple price over "U S N" marked pistols, while Navy pistols with pointed tails quadruple value.
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