Skip to comments.12 pairs of dueling pistols
Posted on 09/22/2018 5:46:09 AM PDT by vannrox
Dueling pistols are strange, beautiful and ironic. Gadgets to shoot each other in the face, crafted with the delicacy and decorative extravagance of expensive jewelry.
They appeared in the 18th C, as faster firing versions of older, flintlock guns replaced swords. Their use dwindled in the 19th C, while duels were still fought in the Western US states. Here the less rich would engage in gouging, similarly prearranged combat, with the aim of plucking out the opponent’s eyes.
Dueling pistols were designed for the upper classes, for the preservation of honor. They were used illegally by generals and poets (Pushkin was killed in a duel), several US presidents (even Lincoln accepted a challenge to a duel) and were even presented, with no sense of irony, as diplomatic gifts.
Posted by David Galbraith
I never quite understood why you needed at least two that were identical? Flies in the face of the age old adage that if you ever find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics SUCK!
We could use a few good duels now-a-days.
What a great wedding gift!
i.e. lead arbitration.
I believe the idea was to make the contest as fair and even as possible, making the deciding variables solely the courage and skill of the participants. A truly parochial concept of honor.
They needed to be identical, so as not to give either party an advantage. There were rules for dueling. Indeed, the pistols themselves were supposed to be provided by the seconds, not the principals, as that would have presumably advantaged their owner.
The notion of gentlemanly honor at the time is nearly forgotten today.
The first Lovejoy novel, “The Judas Pair,” is a mystery that revolves around a set of dueling pistols. I would highly recommend it to any mystery fan.
Pedersoli makes a variety of replicas in high quality. Good shooters too.
“The Big Country” with Gregory Peck, great scene with dueling pistols at the end of the movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ioRMsPEf8o
Not all of these are dueling pistols.
Almost all pistols of the time (other than “pocket pistols”) were sold and used in pairs, not individually. A pair of pistols were not necessarily intended as dueling pistols, though of course any pair could be used as such.
For instance, a gentleman on a trip where some danger was anticipated would carry, besides his sword, a pair of horse-pistols on his saddle, the military standard of the day.
The Scottish steel pistols above are almost certainly not intended for dueling, but as part of a Scottish gentlemans traditional attire, of kilt and bonnet and such, which included besides a brace of distinctive Scottish pistols plus sword and dagger. Scotsmen went about armed to the teeth.
rules for dueling
One nineteenth century article concluded that dueling is not only a useful method of resenting an injury, it is an admirable school of manners as well.
you can tell the author: it’s “OneGin” (not “oneDin”)
Pedersoli does some pretty nice reproduction pistols.
Is Flayderman’s still around ,they had tons of stuff like this
I was glad to see your correction. The post assumes every brace of pistols is for dueling. Something they got from movies I guess. Maybe it is the box that is making them think this? Simpler explanation and the truth is that a brace of pistols is just an example of what we call a “New York reload.”
In the movies the challenged pary gets to “choose” the weapons. So where are the pairs of matching dueling swords?
With that Colt Walker better have a pair, in more ways than one, to balance the big iron load.
Another great Cesare Danova plot for “The Rifleman”.
It was about honor, not advantage, as in military tactics.
In fact, Aaron Burr was looked down on for actually practicing before the Hamilton duel.
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