Elegant Belgian Single-Shot .22 Target Pistol, Circa 1888

I stumbled upon this elegant 1880s Belgian single-shot .22 “parlor” target pistol at a gun show in Great Falls, Montana. The seller told me that it came to him by way of a collection of a friend who is now on his death bed.  The story goes that his friend’s grandfather had inherited it back around 1902, and that it had been stored wrapped up in oily 1902-dated newspapers until the late 1960s. And thence it had been in his gun vault and rarely fired. This pistol has very elegant lines. The blued steel grip cap is tapered to a diamond shape. The 10.75″ barrel is half-octagon and then round. The breechblock is a clever Snider-style pivoting block, paired with a pivoting toggle ejector. The trigger pull is very crisp and feels as if it is less than 3 pounds. It appears to be chambered in .22 short and it should be great fun to shoot with .22 Shorts or CB caps. The sights are target style and left-right drift-adjustable both front and rear. The grip appears to be checkered walnut. The finish is about 90% original bluing.  (See photos.) The grip screw end has one sharp burr that needs to be smoothed up — a quick job with a hand file. It has no serial number but a couple of Belgian proof marks (G and U, with symbols above.)  My educated guess is that this pistol was made around 1888. All-in-all, this is a very elegant piece of Old World craftsmanship, in a model rarely seen in the United States.  (GBPM-022)

Caliber

Make

Model

Single-Shot

Production Date

ca. 1888

$795.00 (PRE-1965)

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