Lindsay’s “Young American” Martial Two-Shot Pistol

J.P. Lindsay was a former Springfield Armory employee when he designed and patented an idea for a two-shot, single-barrel pistol. The apocryphal story is that Lindsay’s brother was killed in a firefight against two Indians, while reloading his single-shot rifle – so Lindsay was moved to design a weapon which would have saved his brother.

The idea is a simple one, and Lindsay is not the first to have made such a gun. The single barrel has two flash holes, situated such that two stacked charges of powder and ball may be loaded and then fired one after the other. The pistol has two hammers and uses two percussion caps. Unlike the Walch revolver, Lindsay used a single trigger, which would fire first the right hammer if both were cocked, and the left hammer is only it was cocked.

The ”Young American” (Lindsay’s trade name for the pistol) was made in pocket, belt, and martial sizes, with this one being a martial type in .45 caliber and with an 8 inch barrel. Only about 100 of these were made, as the concept has substantial practical problems – namely the many ways that one could wind up firing the rear charge first.

Cool Forgotten Weapons merch!

If you enjoy Forgotten Weapons, check out its sister channel, InRangeTV!

Hi guys thanks for tuning in to another Video on Forgotten weapons comm I’m Ian McCallum and I’m here today at the Rock Island auction company taking a look at Some of the guns that they are going to Be selling in their upcoming December of 2017 premier auction and today we’re Taking a look at a Lindsay a young American brand two-shot single barrel Marshall pistol now this is there are a Couple other guns out there that are Built along these lines the most notable Of them being the Walsh revolver which Is a five chamber and ten shot revolver The idea here is you actually have two Hammers and two percussion caps but one Barrel there are two flash holes one Goes to the back one goes a little bit Farther forward and what you do is load Powder and a ball and then a second Charge of powder and a second ball and You fire the front one first and it Seals against the rear ball fires the Front one and then you fire the rear one And it fires the second shot now there Isn’t it the the origin story behind This this gun is apocryphal we don’t Know if it actually happened or not it’s One of those things that sounds awfully Convenient maybe it really did happen or Maybe this was just the result of a Random visit from the good idea fairy 2jp Lindsay the inventor but anyway the Story is that Lindsay’s brother was in

The military and was attacked by Indians And had to charging him and he was quite The good marksman And he brought up his musket and he shot One of them and then while fumbling to Reload the gun he was killed by the Other hence Lindsay decided that had his Brother had a gun that had two shots in It then he would have survived and been Alive to this day so did this actually Happen who knows It shouldn’t certainly does sound like a Good marketing story though well Regardless of the veracity of the story Lindsay did in fact manufacture these Guns or rather Lindsay invented them and He contracted to have them manufactured By the Union knife Company of Naugatuck Connecticut and they manufactured Actually four different guns of this Designer of this system Three different pistols and a rifle the Three pistols were two the first two Were 41 caliber guns a like a 5-inch Barreled belt model and a 4-inch Barreled pocket model and then this the Larger 8-inch barreled marshal model I Suppose you’d call it which is actually A 45 caliber piece so let’s take a Closer look I’ll show you how the Trigger mechanism actually runs on this So this is a pretty chunky pistol it’s Got a fairly long barrel eight inches About 200 millimetres 205 millimeters

Maybe a single trigger and in this case It differentiates itself from the waltz Revolvers which had double triggers we Do have of course two hammers and the Idea here is this is a selective trigger So it will fire the right hammer first The right hammer is the front charge so The the fire chamber the fire hole from This percussion cap nipple runs a little Bit farther forward through the breech Out – it’s going to be something like Probably there and it will detonate the Charge out there first and then the left Hand hammer fires charge located back Here The trigger will fire the right one First and then you have to release the Trigger it will reset and then it will Fire the left now interestingly if you Only [ __ ] the left hand hammer pulling The trigger will fire it so there are a Number of ways in which using this Pistol can go quite badly for you one of Them would be well there are a number of Situations if you for example are in Combat and managed to lose the Percussion cap on the right chamber and Go and pull the trigger nothing will Happen and then it really has a quite Light reset and repol for the left hand Trigger and if you do that well then You’re gonna fire the rear charge in Front of what is basically an obstructed Barrel now now the barrel wall on this

Thing is really remarkably thick much Thicker than I would have would expect To be necessary for a 45 caliber Black-powder handgun and that does make Me wonder if Lindsey was deliberately Trying to make the Strong enough that it could withstand Firing a double charge if if that was Done unintentionally that would make Sense Lindsay wasn’t a complete amateur he was A former employee of the Springfield Armory and the more I look at this the More I think that he deliberately made This capable of firing a double charge If necessary you certainly wouldn’t want To do that the whole purpose of this is Being able to fire twice not to fire two Projectiles simultaneously so if you had A situation where you lost one of the Percussion caps or just accidentally you Know slipped one cocking hammers or They’re a couple of different situations Even just the flash hole from this the Right-hand hammer is relatively long if That got fouled with powder fouling or So dirt any number of things you could End up in a situation where the Right-hand hammer you know you could Fire the cap all you wanted but it Wouldn’t actually detonate a charge and Then you’d you’d have no option but to Either find a corkscrew and pull the Front ball or fire the left-hand rear

Charge and try and get them both out of The barrel simultaneously so like the Walt revolver it’s not really surprising That this failed to become a huge Commercial success it sounds good on Paper but it has a number of fairly Fundamental problems when actually used In the field we have some markings on The top of the breech here Lindzi’s Lindsay JP Lindsay was the Inventor and young America is the brand Name that he came up with for these Pistols and of course an 1860 patent These are all manufactured in the early 1860s the only other markings on here Are the serial numbers we have one on The frame and one on the barrel itself Serial number 14 now there were only About a hundred made so this is still a Fairly early number but they would all Be two-digit numbers on these in Addition to these three different models Of two-shot handguns Lindsay also Manufactured a rifle version of this he Actually convinced the US government to Purchase a thousand of what they deemed The model of 1863 double rifle or double Musket think it was a rifle They were actually delivered in 1864 and They were actually used in combat in the Civil War and not very well they Apparently had a lot of problems with Exploding which as you can imagine would Be a problem so difficult guns to find

Today at some point we’ll find one of The rifles to do a video on for today Just taking a look at one of the large 45 caliber pistols if you’d like to add This one to your own personal collection It’s a pretty remarkably nice specimen Well take a look at the description text Below you can find Rock Island catalog Page down there or a link to it they Have their pictures their description Their price estimate everything else That you would need and if you’re so Inclined you can place a bid or right Through their website thanks for Watching You

Learn More →