In the Museum’s Armory, see excellent examples of historic weaponry, dating from 1750 to the twentieth century, with uses that ranged from military to more personal applications such as hunting and dueling.
Besides nationally known makers, The Charleston Museum’s weaponry collection contains excellent examples from Charleston and South Carolina gunsmiths such as John Schirer, Peter Kraft, Francis Poyas, and John Happoldt.
In addition to military pieces, dress, diplomatic, and presentation swords are also on view, including the Museum’s oldest edged piece, an executioner’s (or “Headsman’s”) sword from seventeenth century Europe.
Besides their unique artistry, many of the Armory’s muskets, rifles and shotguns represent remarkable changes in firearms technology. From flintlock to percussion cap and multibarreled pieces to repeaters, each has its own story to tell.
(From top to bottom) Target rifle: American, c. 1855; Springfield Model 1816 musket c. 1834; Cane (or “poacher’s”) gun with removable stock, c. 1827
The Museum Armory’s collection of pistols, like its long arms, presents a diverse range of military and sporting pieces, from “horseman’s” pieces and revolvers to more personal derringers and even duelers.