Lindsay Model 1860
Twin-Shot, Single-Barrel Percussion Pistol
New York inventor John P. Lindsay developed his 1860 Twin-Shot pistol to provide for a psuedo-repeating firing action as a workaround for Colt revolver patents.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The Lindsay Model 1860 two-shot percussion pistol was a workaround against the revolver patents held by Colt during the time of the American Civil War (1861-1865). New York inventory John P. (J.P.) Lindsay developed a short-lived series of two-shot weapons that included several pistols and the Model 1863 U.S. Double Rifle musket (detailed elsewhere on this site). The musket saw only limited combat service during 1864 actions. None of the guns became resounding successes but any gun offering capable man-stopping power was a welcomed gun in the scope of the Civil War.
The Model 1860 was a muzzle-loaded weapon (that is loaded from the business end of the barrel) and its charges were actuated by way of the percussion cap method. The uniqueness of the Lindsay pistol lay in the weapon's use of two hammers as well as two percussion cap nipples for the single barrel in play. The operator had to take special car to load - in proper order - the charges and Minie ball bullets or risk terrible results. Indeed, many of these types of single-chambered guns suffered from accidents and blown barrels - never proving the patented approach sound.
In all its other ways, the Model 1860 was a conventional pistol design with its curved, wood grip handle and solid metal body. The trigger with protective ring was underslung in the usual way and the barrel extended a ways ahead with a front iron sight fitted. The general difference, when compared to revolvers of the period, was its use of two hammers which were required for the two-shot function. The operator could choose to cock both hammers or set them individually - the right hand-side one always set to fire first. Between remember this and management of two percussion caps (which could fall off without notice) in the heat of battle, the weapon was not a good candidate for wide-spread military issuance.
As such, the Model 1860 saw a very limited production run of just 100 units. This joined the 1,000 of the Model 1863 two-shot muskets procured by the Union Army. With the eventual expiration of Colt patents, there proved little need for such workarounds in the time following the war.