The photos and description below are of a probable British light dragoon pistol. I would much appreciate help in better identifying the gun, its age and its possible history.
1. Any reason the pistol is not an Elliot Light Dragoon?
2. Do the markings on it confirm it likely saw service in the British Army?
3. Can the markings narrow down the age range of the pistol and its history?
4. The stock is marked "IX" - this might refer to the 9th Light Dragoons but are there other options? Does anyone have a pistol attributed to cavalry regiments with similar (or dissimilar) markings?
5. Did the 9th Light Dragoons have pistols issues to them in large numbers?
6. There was a re-enactment group for the 9th LD in the UK around 2003 (from a photo credit on the internet) - does anyone know if they still exist?
Description. Overall the pistol conforms closely to the Elliot Light Dragoon pattern. The parts are clearly of circa 1800 manufacture with the exception of the ramrod (likely a more recent replacement). The metal parts have been buffed at some time but are in excellent working order. The stock is, however, both worn and with numerous dings on it.
British Military Association. Apart from being a Light Dragoon pattern, the pistol has a worn B O and broad arrow on the butt (see photo below) and likely British Government stamps on the lock and barrel. In addition, the pistol has a likely rack (issue) number (“81” struck onto the brass plate on the off side of the pistol and repeated in the wood under the plate) - repeating the number under the brass is unlikely for a collector or organisation that only had one or two of the items.
9th Light Dragoons Association. The stock has a distinct Roman numeral “I” and a likely “X” on the off side of the pistol at the start of the small of the butt. Cavalry regiments often used Roman numerals to denote their number to distinguish them from Infantry regiments. The curator of the 9th/12th Lancers Museum (thanks Mike) records both Arabic and Roman numerals on equipment at the museum. However, the “IX” could have been stamped there for some other reason – not all weapons associated with a regiment had the regiment’s number on them.
Near and off side of the pistol. The off side of the stock has a distinct wear mark about 2cm aft of the fore-end - looks like a < in the photo. I've seem a similar wear mark (not the same shape) on the small of the butt of a Boer War rifle that was caused by the rifle boot. Could this be from a saddle holster?
(Photo to be supplied)
Lock. It does NOT have a number inside it.
BO and broad arrow mark on the lock side of the butt.
"IX" on the off side of the pistol. Or is it some other mark? The 9th LD used Roman numerals on officers uniform buttons according to CE Franklin (page 71).
Barrel marking. Comments on its significance appreciated.
Presumably proof marks?
Rack or issue number repeated on the stock. What does the little X level with the end of the barrel mean?
Unknown marking - calling it "crossed keys" for want of better short hand. It does not, for example, look like the 9th LD crest.
Unknown marking or assemblage of dings. It could be a worn crown over some device. Just posted it in case someone has seen something like it.