Scarce Antique St Etienne Pinfire Cane Gun 29.8” Barrel 19th Century France

SOLD FOR: $1550

WOA#: 230525DW018WY

Make: St-Etienne

Model: Pinfire Cane Gun #14

Country:  France

Year of Manufacture: 19th Century, 1800’s

Markings: The bottom of the bolt is marked “STETIENNE” with a proof mark as well as a circled “14”.

Caliber: 12mm / 40 Gauge

Barrel Length: 29.8 inches

Bore Condition: The smooth bore is mostly bright with a no visible erosion.  There are some small spots or concentrating corrosion that should be easy to clean up.  The bore is in Excellent condition for antique.

Action Type: Single Shot, Pinfire

Shaft Dimension:  .96 inches / 24.41mm at the base/chamber. .810 inches / 20.57mm at the bottom/muzzle.

Shaft Material:  Wood with brass collar

Handle Style & Material: L-shape Handle.  Half is made of steel, the nose end of the handle is wood.

Ferrule Type & Material:  None. Exposed Shaft.

Mechanics:  There is a pin in the rear of the bolt that slides up to allow the bolt to freely slide.  Bolt slides back and stops near full extension via a pin and tensioned plate in the side of the bolt.  A slight bit of extra force bypasses the tension and allows the bolt to be removed completely.  There is a lever at the front and on top of the bolt that hinges up and locks into place at a near 40 degree angle.  The spring tension is very strong.  At the same time as pulling up on the lever, a trigger folds out from the bottom at an opposite angle.  (Bolt must be cocked while still remaining partially set in the handle).  After loading the chamber, bolt can be the slid back into place and the rear pin pushed back into its groove to lock it into place.  The L-Shape handle then serves as a type of pistol grip and the can functions like a typical pinfire gun.  The trigger is pulled which releases the top lever or hammer which then engages the action. The action and all mechanics function correctly.  The springs are strong and the trigger break is crisp. After pulling that trigger with a crisp break, the trigger is then spring tensioned to close flush back into original position so you have to be careful to remove your finger from the trigger properly or else it will get slightly pinched like my finger was.

Condition:  This antique cane is in Very Good overall Condition for of course said antique.  There is some oxidation on the metal parts and a deep patina.  The wood on the handle is unmarred.  The wood shaft has some slight finish loss where some of the lacquer has fallen away.  There are compression marks and scratches throughout as well as some small fractures at the midlength and tip or muzzle of the shaft.  Please see photos for a better understanding of this cane’s condition.

Our Assessment:  A truly Victorian age masterpiece.  A sinister cane as some might call it.  Or a weapon for a more civilized age.  But in all reality, this is simply just a wonderful piece of history.   This Scarce French 19th Century St Etienne Pinfire Cane Gun is a unique and rare firearm from the 1800s. It is designed to resemble a walking cane, providing a discreet and inconspicuous way to carry a firearm. The term “pinfire” refers to the type of ignition system used in the gun, which utilizes a pin or needle to strike a small pinfire cartridge and ignite the propellant.

The St Etienne Pinfire Cane Gun was manufactured in the renowned French arms-making city of St Etienne. This particular model is highly sought after by collectors due to its scarcity and historical significance. The cane gun features a concealed barrel within the cane’s shaft, allowing the user to quickly and discreetly access the firearm when needed.

During the 19th century, such cane guns were popular among those seeking personal protection or as a fashion accessory for the elite. The craftsmanship and attention to detail in these firearms are indicative of the high-quality standards of French gunsmithing during that era. Owning a Scarce French 19th Century St Etienne Pinfire Cane Gun not only offers a glimpse into the history of firearms but also showcases the elegance and ingenuity of the time.

Scarce Antique St Etienne Pinfire Cane Gun 29.8” Barrel 19th Century France
Scarce Antique St Etienne Pinfire Cane Gun 29.8” Barrel 19th Century France