|Waters, Asa Holman|| ||Milbury||Massachusetts||1812||1856|
|Waters, A. H.|| ||New Orleans||Louisiana|| || |
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Son of Asa Waters (see A. Waters)
A.H. WATERS SINGLE SHOT PERCUSSION PISTOLS
a.k.a. Waters "Flat Lock" Pistols
.54 caliber, flintlock, US Model 1836, Mexican War era, overall lenght 14" as Stadard Issue US Military pistol of the Mexican War, production was about 41000 from which about 3000 were marked "Waters & Co"
left side, dated 1844 right side
.54 caliber, smoothbore, 8-7/16" barrel, 14½" overall lengths
1842 conversion, left side, dated 1844 A. H. Waters "Flat Lock" Percussion Pistol
An unknown quantity of theese guns were made by A. H. Waters and Company from the mid 1840's to 1849. The one dated 1844 has the side lug holding the nipple and the rear oval shaped sight on the tang. It also has a brass trigger guard bow. All other furniture is iron. There are no U.S. markings either on the barrel or lockplate. It has a brass blade front sight. The one with the nipple set into the barrel is not dated. There are no U.S. markings on this pistol either. The barrel is also unmarked and there is no rear sight. The front sight is a brass blade. All furniture is iron. Both pistols have the flat lockplate. Both pistols have an eagle head stamped on the lockplate. The converted Model 1836, above, did not.
It is unknown why these models were made. Some suggest that they were "transitional" models between the last flintlock pistol (The Model 1836) and the first adopted percussion handgun (The Model 1842). Others think that it was the maker's attempt to obtain additional government contracts. They were definitely made as percussion weapons and their most easily telling feature is the flat, flush fitted lockplate. There are several known variations. Existing specimens indicate a definite transitional and development period which included variations in the lockplates and some experimentation by the Waters armory. According to Riley, the Belgium, or cone-in-barrel percussion ignition system was the earliest of these pistols and only a few specimens exist.
Although they resemble the Model 1836 flintlock pistol and appear to be percussion alterations of this arm, it should be noted that these pistols were originally produced in percussion form. It is my opinion that these pistols did include some surplus parts from the Model 1836. Since there are no stock markings on these pistols and that no government contracts, purchases or records pertaining to these pistols are known, it is unlikely that any were purchased by the federal government. Asa Holman Waters may well have sold some of these pistols to state militia units and those arms may have see martial usage but as far as can be determined, no definite proof of this exists. They are originals by birth that have been made mysteries by history.