Pistols

Truncated Queen Anne pistol

Some colonists carried “pocket pistols.” These were short enough to fit in coat pockets, and be carried hidden for personal defense (especially when in cities or travelling).

Some colonists carried pistols for self-defense, just like some Americans do today.

They carried pistols openly in saddle holsters or on the belt, or carried them concealed in coat pockets. However, many pistols were fairly expensive and often out of the reach of poorer colonists.

Holster pistol

Many colonists and soldiers carried holster pistols such as this one. They were quick and easy to reload but not powerful or accurate.

Holster pistol

Pistols could be very elaborate and finely decorated, although not all were. More decoration often meant the pistol cost more, and could be used to show off wealth.

Pistols