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SOUTHERN DUELING PISTOL
MADE BY
T. W. RADCLIFF
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA

William A. Albaugh in his book, "CONFEDERATE ARMS" describes T. W. Radcliff as gun smith and sporting goods dealer.  He was active in Columbia, South Carolina from about 1846 to 1865.  This gun would appear to be made in the early to mid 1850's.  It is in 50 caliber smooth bore with approximately a ten inch barrel.  The lock is marked T. W. Radcliff & Co and the barrel is marked T. W. Radcliff & Company, Columbia, S.C.  The wood is highly figured American walnut.  The metal components are beautifully engraved.  The workmanship rivals or exceeds anything made in the South prior to the American Civil War and that includes the Natchez, Mississippi guns.  It is a highly crafted gun made for a well heeled clientele.  The gun has seen use but has held up very nicely.  The shroud on the hammer nose has chipped.  There is a small crack in the stock at the nose cap on the left side and minor dents & dings.  The metal is smooth with no significant pitting.  The gun has overall a nice, light patination.  There are two gold bands at the patent breech and a platinum clean out plug on the bolster.  The checkering on the grip is nice and strong.  The lock mechanism is crisp.  It is truly an exquisite piece of work.

Ratcliff is hinself not only an accomplished gunsmith but quite a historic figure.  He formed a unit, The Chacora Rifles and served as its captain at the start of the war.  Later, he was in charge of the training camp at Lightwood Knot Spring with the rank of Major.  He also joined with William Glaze in an attempt to establish an armory and arsenal during the war.  Apparently this venture never got beyond the planning stage.

This is an extremely attractive and well made Southern Pistol.  This gun was obviously built to conform to the code duello.  P.O.R.  HOLD!!