English Blunderbuss

Certificate of Authenticity

English Blunderbuss

The blunderbuss is an early firearm development that was the precursor to the shotgun. Blunderbusses have been traced as far back as the mid-1600s.  The firearm was designed for close range and fired a handful of smaller caliber lead balls similar to that of the shotgun.  It was believed that the flared barrel allowed for greater spread of shot but that has been proven not to be true.  The wide muzzle’s principal benefit was that it made the weapon easy to load with powder and shot under adverse conditions such as being on horseback or atop a moving carriage.  The weapon was made in both pistol and short musket length, generally less than two feet in overall length.  They were initially manufactured using the flintlock ignition system.

The term, blunderbuss, is of Dutch origin from the word donderbus.  “Donder” translates to thunder and “bus” means pipe.  How it changed to blunderbuss is a matter of some argument.

The blunderbuss enjoyed long-term international popularity and they were produced world-wide with steel or brass barrels.  Even when the weapon was being eclipsed by the musketoon and carbine at the dawn of the 19th century it was slow to shed its popularity.  Many were converted from flintlock to percussion in the first half of the 19th century and saw continued use for decades for defense against highwaymen by coach drivers and aboard ship for close quarters combat.

This is a classic example of a finely made British blunderbuss.  This is revealed in its markings on the barrel opposite the frizzen.  The English proof house’s symbol of crossed scepters beneath a crown and the smaller crowns over letters “P” and “V” proclaim that the gun was proofed and viewed and approved by English inspectors.  Its brass barrel, butt plate, trigger guard, ramrod thimbles, rod tip, and oval escutcheon proclaim this to be a finely made and expensive weapon.

It is in its original flintlock form and dates to the late 18th – early 19th century.  The antique is functional and in excellent condition.  Despite that, its age renders it fragile and susceptible to damage if an attempt is made to fire it.  Such attempt could also be injurious to the user.


SKU: G25

Price: $3650.00