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S/5920 Antique 18th Century Brass Pistol Grip Powder Tester

A rare 18th century brass pistol grip powder tester, which sometimes had a flint lock mechanism, but this example has a touch hole at the end of the barrel. In the days when the manufacture of gun powder was not standardized, these were used to assess the strength of the gun powder by putting a measured charge in the barrel, closing the end cap and lighting the touch hole, probably with a fuse. The explosion would then open the cap which is attached to a revolving wheel with engraved numbers, 1 - 6, measuring the force of the charge. It is an excellent and interesting item for the collector of fire arms or objects of curiosity. See The Brass Book by Peter, Nancy and Herbert Schiffer page 87.

Provenance: Desborough Collection

Sold 1 in. (4 cm.) Wide
6 in. (15 cm.) Deep
English/French Circa 1780