Henry Aston U.S. Model 1842 Percussion Pistol
U.S. Model 1842 Percussion Pistol manufactured by Henry Aston of Middletown, Connecticut, in 1847. Henry Aston manufactured approximately 24,0000 to 30,000 Model 1842 Pistols under two government contracts between 1845 and 1852. Model 1842 Pistols remained in service thru the first months of the Civil War. The barrel band/side plate, trigger guard, buttcap and back strap are brass. The stock is black walnut. The lock plate has the first style marking which consists of "U.S./H.ASTON" stamped in two lines ahead of the hammer and "MIDDTN/CONN./1849" stamped in three vertical lines behind the hammer. The left stock flat is supposed to be stamped with the Ordnance final inspection mark which consists of the script initials "WAT" in an oval but it has been worn away over time. This .54 caliber smoothbore muzzleloading horse pistol is 14 1/2 inches long and fitted with an 8½” round barrel with swivel ramrod with button ends. Two stage action works fine.
The Model 1842 Percussion Pistol was the last single shot percussion handgun to see service with the U.S. Army. Model 1842 Pistols saw extensive use during the Mexican War and were still in limited use at the start of the Civil War. The Model 1842 Percussion Pistol was a well-designed, robust, weapon that represented the final development of the single shot "horse pistol".