Jump to content


Photo

Percussion Japanese Pistol


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Ed Hicks

Ed Hicks

    Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 211 posts
  • LocationUSA

Posted 05 March 2016 - 01:54 AM

Percussion Japanese Pistol, possibly a European import or a Japanese copy...signed on the strap.

Attached Thumbnails

  • JapanPercPistol (2).JPG
  • JapanPercPistol (15).JPG
  • JapanPercPistol (8).JPG
  • JapanPercPistol (4).JPG
  • JapanPercPistol (12).JPG
  • JapanPercPistol (14).JPG
  • JapanPercPistol (9).JPG

  • Dave R likes this

#2 Jean

Jean

    Daimyo

  • Moderators
  • 6,681 posts
  • LocationFrance

Posted 05 March 2016 - 03:30 AM

Yes, nothing fascinating, at best a copy of a handgun manufactured by thousands in Europe.

For me, these Japanese handguns are to European handguns what Paul Chen katana are to Nihonto: copy and not original.
Jean L.
Soshin Gimei

#3 Brian

Brian

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 11,245 posts
  • LocationSouth Africa

Posted 05 March 2016 - 08:13 AM

I like them..I think they are an important part of Japanese weapon history. They were able to copy the European firearms very well, and the lines are quite flowing on some parts, and yet they stuck to the matchlock system. They must have seen how superior the percussion system was, but chose to deliberately avoid it for the most part. Therefore guns like this one are curiosities and "quaint" considering the maker must have been relatively unfamiliar with the style. I wonder if commissioned by a Westerner, after showing a European example to the gunsmith. Or would this have been part of stock to be sold to anyone interested? Lots of questions, and I think what makes these interesting.
One of 20,000 in Europe? Blah. But one of just a few made in Japan..far more interesting. :)


  • estcrh and Dave R like this

- Admin -


#4 IanB

IanB

    Sai Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 1,341 posts
  • LocationUK

Posted 05 March 2016 - 01:26 PM

Delightful little pistol from an era that deserves more study. Prior to the arrival of Perry the Choshu and Satsuma Hans were buying rifled percussion guns (from a Scotsman if memory serves) and training farmers and other peasants to use them. Following Perry's arrival the Japanese started making pill-lock pistols and long guns -  I purchased a pill-lock cavalry carbine for the Royal Armouries collection fitted with an automatic pill dispenser made by Katai Kyosuke who also managed to make the fulminating pills. These same detonating pills were also used in what are known as 'squeeze pistols' or Karashi bo since the pills were likened to mustard seeds. These simply had a lever that crushed the pill when you squeezed it. A week or so ago I saw a gun fitted with a bolt action and I have seen an old matchlock teppo converted with s snider breech. All of this was happening within a few years of first seeing these developments - remarkable.

Ian Bottomley. 


  • estcrh and Dave R like this

#5 Bugyotsuji

Bugyotsuji

    Tokubetsu Juyo

  • Members
  • 4,327 posts
  • LocationJapan

Posted 08 March 2016 - 06:44 AM

Can't figure out the second character. Sanzui hen, tori?

西X氏 ending with the honorific, suggests that this may be the owner's name. (?)

Personally I feel ambiguous about many of these guns, perhaps because I am a romantic, they being a sign of the turbulence of the ending of a Golden Age. Many have a mixture of Victorian and Meiji Tenno feel to them. This one does have a good solid balance to it, though.
Piers D

平常心 Heijoshin

#6 estcrh

estcrh

    Sai Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 1,854 posts
  • LocationSomewere between the beginning and the end.

Posted 25 March 2016 - 09:07 AM

I like them..I think they are an important part of Japanese weapon history. They were able to copy the European firearms very well, and the lines are quite flowing on some parts, and yet they stuck to the matchlock system. They must have seen how superior the percussion system was, but chose to deliberately avoid it for the most part. Therefore guns like this one are curiosities and "quaint" considering the maker must have been relatively unfamiliar with the style. I wonder if commissioned by a Westerner, after showing a European example to the gunsmith. Or would this have been part of stock to be sold to anyone interested? Lots of questions, and I think what makes these interesting.
One of 20,000 in Europe? Blah. But one of just a few made in Japan..far more interesting. :)

I think that every example of this type is proof that the Japanese were not just sitting back, satisfied with outdated technology and every year more examples turn up. In the past I have read that the Japanese never moved away from using matchlocks until they started buying modern foreign made firearms, and up to a point this is true. The Indians and some other cultures also used matchlocks up to a very late date as well. Matchlocks were easy to use and produce but when faced with modern American and European technology they had a lot of catching up to do. They had no national army, they were way behind in cannon production, ship building, factory production, transportation etc as well. 

 

Why didnt the Japanese just go all out and mass produce new modern firearms and retrofit old ones when they became aware of how behind they were, that is a question I have not seen an answer to yet. Did the Japan in the mid 1800s still have the same ability to rapidly produce firearms as they did in the 1500s? Purchasing foreign firearms was out of the question for many domains as they were broke, without something of value to exchange with foreign traders they could not buy them. As already mentioned, some domains did purchase modern firearms and train with them but there does not seem to have been a national effort, no widespread panic at being so technologically behind. it is not as if the Japanese did not understand how important firearms were.

 

The Ottomans, who also used matchlocks eventually switched over to flintlocks and easily adapted to later more modern firearrms. There must be a more complex explanation other then stubborness or indifference.



#7 uwe

uwe

    Jo Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 522 posts
  • LocationGermany

Posted 25 March 2016 - 10:04 PM

It's a so called "Terzerol". A civilian pocket pistol, made in it's thousands in the 19th century. Often cheap but sometimes richly decorated. Manufactured mostly in Mehlis and Lüttich.
Uwe Sacklowski

#8 estcrh

estcrh

    Sai Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 1,854 posts
  • LocationSomewere between the beginning and the end.

Posted 26 March 2016 - 11:16 PM

A few more examples that are for sale as of today in Japan.

 

c0ac357fb05abfa2bc8dce596a966110.jpg

 

c743fee5f97821065dc587818a5ddf9f.jpg

 

6b5b8d6e6091040630d0cafb5c4ccf42.jpg

 

373d61541bfc21d68e4f4eb1a72ce093.jpg



#9 uwe

uwe

    Jo Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 522 posts
  • LocationGermany

Posted 27 March 2016 - 12:33 AM

Eric, your first example is exactly the same like the one I own.


Uwe Sacklowski

#10 estcrh

estcrh

    Sai Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 1,854 posts
  • LocationSomewere between the beginning and the end.

Posted 27 March 2016 - 02:04 AM

Eric, your first example is exactly the same like the one I own.

Uwe, is it European made?



#11 Stephen

Stephen

    Oyabun

  • Members
  • 8,729 posts
  • LocationMidlands USA

Posted 27 March 2016 - 02:20 AM

http://www.rockislan...aid/67/lid/1442

 

along those  lines


           Stephen C.

USMC      DEC 63 APR 73 


#12 Peter Bleed

Peter Bleed

    Jo Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 683 posts
  • LocationLincoln, NE

Posted 27 March 2016 - 02:43 AM

Ed, Thanks for opening an interesting discussion.

I too have been interested in these very late Japanese copies of simple European pistols. As others have said, these weapons deserve serious study. As others have said, regional powers were buying modern firearms in the Bakumatsu era. Clearly modern long guns were being acquires and issued to factional forces. I think the kinds of pistols that Ed  has invited us to consider MAY form a slightly different category of weaponry. I have scant information, but I THINK instead of weapons of organized military forces, I suspect that these diverse, hand-crafted Japanese copies of European carry guns might have been personal arms used by individuals who felt the need for concealable guns during the EARLY Meiji era.

These guns are Japanese manufactures, but they never seem to have signatures or other makers' information. They often look like one-offs. And they never seem to have ka-mon or others unit marks. They look to me like "Saturday Night specials'.  That is to say, carry guns that would even a fight. There were factions and thugs galore at this time in Tokyo and fighter who could afford a sword probably could afford one of these little bangers.

They sure are neat!

Peter


Peter Bleed

#13 estcrh

estcrh

    Sai Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 1,854 posts
  • LocationSomewere between the beginning and the end.

Posted 27 March 2016 - 03:07 AM

 

 I suspect that these diverse, hand-crafted Japanese copies of European carry guns might have been personal arms used by individuals who felt the need for concealable guns during the EARLY Meiji era.

These guns are Japanese manufactures, but they never seem to have signatures or other makers' information. They often look like one-offs. And they never seem to have ka-mon or others unit marks. They look to me like "Saturday Night specials'.  That is to say, carry guns that would even a fight. There were factions and thugs galore at this time in Tokyo and fighter who could afford a sword probably could afford one of these little bangers.

They sure are neat!

Peter

 

Peter, during the Meiji period most individuals were not allowed to openly carry swords, I would image that these small concealable guns as well as sword canes and other hidden weapons were carried by people who needed protection. I do have some images of late Edo period samurai with western revolvers but I have not seen any with these European percussion style pistols.



#14 SteveM

SteveM

    Jo Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 699 posts
  • LocationTokyo, Japan

Posted 27 March 2016 - 04:52 AM

西嶋氏

 

Nishijima shi (uji)

 

I agree that it refers to the owner, rather than a manufacturer. 


Steve M

#15 estcrh

estcrh

    Sai Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 1,854 posts
  • LocationSomewere between the beginning and the end.

Posted 27 March 2016 - 06:53 AM

Stephen, this is a nice example of a Japanese made percussion pistol.00e263abe0feef9010e9f2e20d726350.jpg



#16 uwe

uwe

    Jo Jo Saku

  • Members
  • 522 posts
  • LocationGermany

Posted 27 March 2016 - 09:11 AM

Uwe, is it European made?

Eric, it depends on the punched proof firing marks under the barrels and the "look box" (don't know the right term...). It is often a double crowned "U". In case of the double barreled pistol pictured above, I think it's def European!

Forgot to mention, that the barrels screwed on!
Uwe Sacklowski




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

IPB Skin By Virteq