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18 October 2016 @ 03:28 pm
A question to the Group Mind.
I need information - for purposes of the plot - about rare old guns. Specifically, about a kind of small "ladies' pistol" of the 18th century whose barrel - at least according to the article I read on-line - was screwed onto the frame of the gun, AFTER the load was placed. (Of course, like all 18th-century firearms, you could only shoot the thing once before you had to re-load).

Does anybody know about these things? (We're into REAL antiquarian territory here).
badgermirlacca on October 18th, 2016 11:32 pm (UTC)
I don't know the answer myself, but with your permission I can repost your inquiry to a Yahoo group called crimescenewriters, which is a treasure trove of information and subject matter experts on all things forensic and gunlike and such.
Ross TenEyckross_teneyck on October 19th, 2016 12:21 am (UTC)
It appears that that description applies to what was known as a Queen Anne pistol, of which there seem to have been several different kinds. The Wikipedia article lists some references.

Red-Handed Jillrhj_rs on October 20th, 2016 06:01 am (UTC)
I think the gun you're looking for is a "muff pistol". You load the powder, patch and ball, then screw on the barrel (although I suppose you could load it with the barrel in place, although that's not recommended). The trigger is flush with the gun until you cock it, which drops it forward into position. This is because there is no trigger guard, so the trigger could get snagged on something or fire accidentally. I've fired a reproduction of one of these with just powder and patch, but not a ball, so cannot attest to its accuracy, although with such a short barrel and no rifling I doubt it's accurate at any distance - but it wasn't designed for distance shooting anyway.

Here's some more info about this gun:


A Queen Anne is a bit larger - it was most commonly .58 caliber, which is pretty large for such a relatively small gun. I can tell you from personal experience that it's fairly painful to shoot, since there is very little gun around the barrel to absorb the recoil. The recoil goes up the arm, through the shoulder, up the neck and smacks the top of the skull from the inside. I can also tell you that it is not accurate - at all. You can't even sight the thing.

Edited at 2016-10-20 06:25 am (UTC)
barbara_hamblybarbara_hambly on October 20th, 2016 04:01 pm (UTC)
Jill, MANY thanks! The additional information is very helpful!
Red-Handed Jillrhj_rs on October 26th, 2016 04:52 am (UTC)
Any time - it's one of my hobbies. And if you ever have any other questions about antique arms and their usage, please feel free to ask me. If I don't know, I'll know someone who does.