Dueling Practice Pistol

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Currently on exhibit in the Armory at the Museum, this dueling practice pistol was purchased by James L. Petgru to be used in training for a duel with Benjamin Faneuil Hunt. It is a .50 caliber with a rifle bore, octagonal barrel equipped with cross-hatched grips on a walnut stock. The top stock is decorated with a brass cartouche and it has been converted to percussion.

Both lawyers, Petigru and Hunt were often opposite one another in the courtroom. After one particular case argument in 1826, Petigru outsmarted Hunt in open court. Hunt demanded an apology and when Petigru refused, challenged him to a duel. Petigru purchased this practice pistol for the reported sum of $100. Unfortunately, just before the duel was scheduled, his eight year old son, Albert, fell from the top of a staircase and died. Hunt withdrew his challenge and the duel never occurred. (Taken from "Dueling in Charleston: Violence Refined in the Holy City")