Based on the Lorenzoni system from the 18th century, this miniature pistol was made by Peter Dyson. In an era of single-shot muzzleloaders, which required a great deal of time and effort to reload, the Lorenzoni system performed all of the reloading actions by manipulating a crank on the left side of the gun.
By moving the crank down, a charge of powder and a ball are readied to be loaded. Continuing to move the crank until it is all the way forward cocks the hammer and closes the frizzen. Returning the crank to its original position drops the powder and ball into a firing position.
Peter Dyson’s main claim to fame is that he is a former gunmaker for The Royal Armouries and the late King of Prussia. The piece, despite being only 1/3 of the size of a real Lorenzoni pistol, is fully-functional; it can prime the pan, close the frizzen, cock the hammer, and load powder and ball with one fluid motion. It features fine engraving and wire inlay, making for a stunning final product.
The gun was on display this year in the Collectors Row section of the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Dallas, TX. It was awarded one of 2018’s 3 Best Miniature Arms silver medals by the NRA’s Gun Collectors Committee.
Logan Metesh is a firearms historian and consultant who runs High Caliber History LLC. Click here for a free 3-page download with tips about caring for your antique and collectible firearms.