Pair of of Belgian Cavalry Officers' Pistols having belonged to the Lieutenant of the Guides Schmitz (1782-1836)

Here's the only information that I could find concerning Belgian Cavalry Officers' pistols.

If you have more info, I will be glad to receive it and to add it to this article.

Extract of the notebook of fodder for the officers of the cuirassiers:

''Officers will keep the horse pistols they were supplied with, although they were not similar to those of the troops. This was not important since these weapons remained in the saddle holsters, hence rarely seen and were very seldom used. In the event of rejection of this proposal, one could adopt the gun proposed in France, by Marshal Soult : the General Hane de Steenhuyse wished the adoption of a uniform model of the caliber of the guns of the troops.''

"I think that this proposal was valid for all the cavalry officers ."

French cavalry MOD 1833 officers' Pistols, which was used as a model.

Pair of Belgian pistols of officers with octagonal Damascus barrel.

All the mountings are color case-hardened except the trigger guard which is blackened.

The ramrods are missing, but should be of the French type (see photo 1)

These pistols were certainly manufactured between 1833 (date of the French model) and 1836 (date of the death of the owner).

Name of the manufacturer of these gun “J.B. Rongé fils”

The lock, the hammer, the nipple and the barrel tang are Color case-hardened.

The nipple is of small size known as "trade type".

The handle is strongly sloping and the checkering is in the shape of fish scales.

Such a strong slope calls for carefully choosing the wood, the grain of which is opposed to avoid great risks of fractures.

The shorter handle is intended to hold weapon better in hand and to facilitate aiming.

View of the pull knob.

The recess contains a replacement nipple and certainly a dose of powder.

Side plate finely engraved and Color case-hardened.

Close-up of the color case-hardened pointed barrel tang , fixed rear sight on the barrel tang.

Close-up of the muzzle; a small color case-hardened iron front sight with dovetailed base on top side of barrel.

Barrel Grooves . 40 grooves, known as " hair rifling", they turn left to right.

The grooves are triangular.

Punch of proof house on the barrel partly hidden under wood.

It is located on the left side of the barrel close to the breech.

Release of the pull knob to dismount the barrel.

You can easily understand the enthusiasm of Mr. Bastin (which agreed to trade me these pistols) when he discovered this small bit of paper under the barrel , considering he had owned this pair of pistols for more than 30 years.

The name of the owner is finally revealed to us.

Stamps on wood

2 punched letters HL

Detail of the internal face of the lock.

Here's the service records coming from the files of the regiment of the Guides (Museum of the Army in Brussels):

Name: Schmitz Jean-Antoine

Rank: Lieutenant

Son of Antoine-Baptiste and La Rouge Marie-Thérèse.

Born 28 may 1782 in Ruremonde, Province Limbourg and deceased on April 19, 1836.

From 1802 to 1806, to the service of Holland in various Infantry and Navy units .

In 1808 he chooses the Cavalry and will remain there until its death in 1836.

In 1808, he joins the service of the French Empire in the Horse Legion of Hanover and from the beginning was part of the 250.000 men who took part in the Spain Campaign from 1808 to 1811.

In 1812, he takes part in the Campaign of Russia where he was named sergeant. (Luckily enough, he was one of the rare survivors of this disastrous campaign).

Dismissed on October 13, 1814 after the restoration of monarchy in France, he is immediately enrolled again as sergeant to the 5th Dragons of the Netherlands. It is in this quality that he takes part in the Battle of Waterloo.

At the proclamation of the independence of Belgium, he leaves his regiment to be placed at the disposal of its country.

October 11, 1830, he is enrolled as Adjudant warrant officer in the company of the Guides (also called Cosaques) of the Meuse.

Promoted Second Lieutenant by decree of the Regent of February 21, 1831, he took his share of glory at the battle of KERMT fought on April 7, 1831 against the Dutch army.


A report addressed to the King by the General commanding the Army of the Meuse makes mentions of the acts of bravery of this officer.

To reward his beautiful conduct, on December 17, 1833, the King personally awarded to l

Lieutenant Schmitz, the KNIGHT Cross in the order of Léopold.

(Meanwhile he had been promoted lieutenant by royal decree of September 2, 1831).

Lieutenant Schmitz died on April 19, 1836 and formed part, without any interruption, of the Regiment of the Guides since his creation in 1831.

Many thanks to Jean Marc D. for this very nice story.

Back to "ARMY GUNS"