British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

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Bert Barrel
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British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by Bert Barrel » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:33 pm

Hello everybody,

I'm new here, but a collector for more than 30 years....

This is what I found a week ago : it looks like a standard British WWI pocket knife, made by Frankmill in Sheffield, no military markings, no Broad Arrow on it. Instead of the "spike", there is a little pistol mounted on this knife. It isn't home-made, but definitely done in a factory.
The pistol is a combination of a bolt-action an a percussion-muzzle-loader : when you pull the bolt backwards, you can put a percussion-cap on the nipple inside the barrel. Than you have to load the pistol through the barrel with some blackpowder and a small bullet.

I can't find any information about this item, so I hope anybody can help me!
Are these knives also used by the Britis army or is it just a gadget?

Please have a look at the pics....all information is very welcome

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Bert Barrel
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by Bert Barrel » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:35 pm

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cody6268
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by cody6268 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:29 pm

Perhaps a conversion from an Army knife?

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Ripster
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by Ripster » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:54 pm

Bert Barrel wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:33 pm
Hello everybody,

I'm new here, but a collector for more than 30 years....

This is what I found a week ago : it looks like a standard British WWI pocket knife, made by Frankmill in Sheffield, no military markings, no Broad Arrow on it. Instead of the "spike", there is a little pistol mounted on this knife. It isn't home-made, but definitely done in a factory.
The pistol is a combination of a bolt-action an a percussion-muzzle-loader : when you pull the bolt backwards, you can put a percussion-cap on the nipple inside the barrel. Than you have to load the pistol through the barrel with some blackpowder and a small bullet.

I can't find any information about this item, so I hope anybody can help me!
Are these knives also used by the Britis army or is it just a gadget?

Please have a look at the pics....all information is very welcome


DSC07021.JPGDSC07022.JPGDSC07024.JPGDSC07025.JPGDSC07026.JPGDSC07028.JPGDSC07029.JPGDSC07030.JPG
Hey, want to welcome you aboard here. Don’t know anything about the pistol barrel. That is a new one on my end. Thanks for sharing that,very interesting piece. Let us know if you get any more info about it elsewhere, very curious now.
Thanks again, stay safe out there.
JP

doglegg
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by doglegg » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:03 pm

What a great little knife. Probably cutting edge in it's day. Thanks for sharing and welcome. ::nod:: ::nod:: ::handshake::

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Mumbleypeg
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by Mumbleypeg » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:41 pm

Welcome to AAPK. That’s an interesting knife to say the least. Sorry I can’t tell you anything about it, it’s the first one like it I’ve seen. Thanks for showing it here.

Ken
Member AKTI, TSRA, NRA.

When the people fear their government, that is tyranny. When government fears the people, that is freedom.

https://www.akti.org/

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Steve Warden
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by Steve Warden » Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:19 pm

First I've ever seen, also.

Welcome aboard! Be sure to let us know if/when you do find any info.
Take care and God bless,

Steve
TSgt USAF, Retired
1980-2000

But any knife is better than no knife! ~ Mumbleypeg (aka Ken)

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KLJ77
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by KLJ77 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:43 pm

I suspect that; what someone did was, they removed the marlin spike and replaced it with the gun barrel. Someone at the factory possibly thought it would be a 'funny' and unique piece or it was a creative fantasy of someone's imagination. ::shrug:: (See third photo below)

Oops! That what you stated in your OP narrative. ::facepalm::


As a side note: I came across this bit of history regarding Sheffield knives made by Ibberson. Their trademark / tang stamp was the Violin. In the photo, you can see the violin hanging from the back wall.

Ibbersons were at the Central Works (102 West Street, Bayley Lane corner) until 1910, but by June 1911 had moved into the Sycamore Tree Works at 112-116 Rockingham Street. Their trademark Violin was in use in 1901 (see Whites Directory 1901 below). By February 1912 their new premises in Rockingham Street were being referred to as the Violin Works.
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LJ

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cody6268
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by cody6268 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:04 pm

I remember similar knife/pistol combinations being shown here before. If I recall, their original origin was for trappers, to dispatch trapped animals at close-range. Not really intended for hunting or self-defense in general.

But, as to why someone would convert one to a pistol? That's lost to the sands of time. This definitely looks like whoever did it was a gunsmith, and knew what they were doing.

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1967redrider
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by 1967redrider » Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:09 pm

That's really cool, thanks for posting and ::welcome:: to AAPK! If you sell it in the States you would have to go through and FFL to do so legally. ::nod::

Edit: not in most States for black powder. ::dang:: And pack the barrel before adding the percussion cap. 😉
Pocket, fixed, machete, axe, it's all good!

You're going to look awfully silly with that knife sticking out of your @#$. -Clint Eastwood, High Plains Drifter

eveled
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by eveled » Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:36 am

Neat knife. I don’t understand why you think it has to be made in a factory and that it’s definitely not homade.


There are a lot of talented machinists out there. It’s would be simple for one of them to make.

Mr. Chips
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by Mr. Chips » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:51 am

1967redrider wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:09 pm
That's really cool, thanks for posting and ::welcome:: to AAPK! If you sell it in the States you would have to go through and FFL to do so legally. ::nod::

Edit: not in most States for black powder. ::dang:: And pack the barrel before adding the percussion cap. 😉
Yes. The statement about putting the percussion cap on before loading the powder and ball, had all of us muzzle loader people yelling "NOOOOOO!!!"

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1967redrider
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by 1967redrider » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:54 am

::hmm:: Looks to me like the trigger might be similar to a gravity knife trigger.

If I had a machine shop and materials, I could probably crank out enough oddities to end up in jail. ::mdm::
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Pocket, fixed, machete, axe, it's all good!

You're going to look awfully silly with that knife sticking out of your @#$. -Clint Eastwood, High Plains Drifter

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Doc B
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by Doc B » Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:20 am

Very cool!!! ::tu:: ::tu:: ::tu::
Welcome to AAPK!
::handshake::
::welcome::
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Gunsil
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Re: British WWI pocket knife with pistol?

Post by Gunsil » Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:01 am

1967redrider wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:09 pm
That's really cool, thanks for posting and ::welcome:: to AAPK! If you sell it in the States you would have to go through and FFL to do so legally. ::nod::

Edit: not in most States for black powder. ::dang:: And pack the barrel before adding the percussion cap. 😉

The American made ones that take a .22 are banned federally and I think you can only have one with an FFL Class III license. I've been thinking a lot about the OP knife, and the barrel is awfully short for a muzzle loader. If it were meant to shoot the firing pin could haave easily been closer to the frame making for a longer barrel. I wonder if it was made for positive ignition of standard 1/4" diameter dynamite fuse? They make (or made) igniters with a hollow tube and friction primer for positive ignition of dynamite one foot per minute fuse. This knife attachment would work well with a percussion cap for this purpose. Also the OP knife is way newer than the black powder era.

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