Who needs a night vision scope when you have a very scary flintlock pistol and a lamp? It dates back to about 1800, more to you than to me!


It’s fascinating to see how creativity knows no bounds, especially when looking at atypical or combined weapons. Sometimes, the true purpose of an item is not immediately clear at first glance.

A characteristic example is a flintlock pistol — a lantern put up for sale at a firearms auction in Italy. For some reason, the seller labeled their lot as a „flintlock pistol for night hunting,“ which immediately raised many questions and comments. If this is hunting equipment, why is the barrel so short? It’s unlikely that game would allow a hunter to approach within 20-30 steps. At a greater distance, it’s simply impossible to hit a target with this pistol. Moreover, due to the upper placement of the lantern, it’s nearly impossible to aim properly.

Perhaps the seller is simply clever and wanted to attract the attention of potential customers, or they have a unique sense of humor.

Most likely, the purpose of this lantern-pistol is self-defense, and it was used by guards, estate owners, and similar roles. The weapon consists of a stock with a handle at the top, a barrel, a flintlock mechanism, trigger components, and the lantern. A metal ramrod is located beneath the barrel.

The pistol grip is attached to the stock using side and rear metal brackets. The grip is positioned at approximately a 90-degree angle to the axis of the barrel channel. A rod passes through the grip’s cavity. The lower part of the rod is connected to the trigger lever of the lock. The upper part of the rod is attached to the sear, which acts as the trigger hook. When the lower part of the sear is pressed, it moves the rod upwards in the grip’s cavity. This action presses the trigger lever of the lock, releasing the cock from its ready position, and the flint strikes, igniting the powder — resulting in a shot.

The base of the grip is wrapped with leather strips. On the left side of the stock, a lock plate is installed, which, with the help of two screws, secures the flintlock to the stock. In front of the grip, there is a guard that secures the upper part of the grip, side metal brackets, and the lantern holder to each other.


On the right side of the stock, there is a battery-type flintlock. The rear cut of the lock plate is trapezoidal in shape. Judging by the photo, the screw attaching the cock to the axis is not original; the original one is likely lost. Concentric traces remain on the surface of the grip from the cock jaws, possibly formed by flint protruding beyond the cock jaws.

The lantern is a hollow metal cylinder with a candle inside. At the front of the lantern, there is a hinged door with convex glass installed. The bottom part of the lantern has a handle connected to the screen. When the handle is moved to the extreme positions, the screen opens or closes the candle. This action can adjust the intensity of the light or simply „turn off“ the lantern. A double wave-shaped metal lid with a smoke vent is installed at the top of the lantern.

The barrel of the lantern-pistol is cylindrical, with an octagonal cross-section in the breech. The barrel channel is smooth, with a caliber of 17 mm. The overall length of the weapon is 305 mm.

The lantern light, when directed at a person, slightly blinds them and prevents them from discerning the weapon integrated into the illuminator. This gives the owner of the weapon an additional advantage in critical situations.

The lantern-pistol dates back to the early 19th century and was likely manufactured in northern Italy. The estimated cost of the weapon is 900-1200 euros.

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