Ducks Foot Pistol

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by TranterUK, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I have always liked the history of firearms and thought I might from time to time risk boring you with some of the guns I found interesting.

    Heres one, designed for Navy Captains who might have to fire into a crowd, perhaps the enemy, or a mutiny! All the barrels go off at once! I have never fired one, but perhaps, someday.

    The spring clip is for the belt, an idea still produced today for some handguns.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2009
  2. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk New Member

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  3. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

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    I want one for my wifes next family reunion. Keep the in-laws at bay while I escape with a case of beer.
  4. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A beautiful piece, Trantor -

    I have read that each barrel was loaded with shot, which gave them a nice wide pattern of destruction.

    Thank you!!
  5. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Actually it was a lead ball. The barrels are whats called 'turn off'. They would each unscrew to reveal a space a little like a dish, and in the middle a space for powder. Put the powder on the space, seat the ball on top and screw the barrel in tight. Add a little powder in the pan and close the frizzen. Pull back the hammer, or cock as it was called and your good to go.

    Just hope it all goes off as planned. If only the powder in the pan blew, failing to ignite the main charges, all you had was a 'flash in the pan'.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2009
  6. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Very cool. Can't help but remind me a little of a "pepper box" for some reason.
  7. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Interesting the pepperboxes (see below). There were a lot found on the wagon routes out west in the US. I always figured being older (1840/50s) they would be cheaper and thus appeal to settlers who couldn't afford the latest Colts, Remingtons etc.

    The pepperbox went to the transitional revolvers, with a shorter barrel lump, to reduce weight with a single barrel for the firing chamber. Next, the revolver pretty much as we have it today. I couldnt find a pic of a transitional, which is a shame because you can really see the line of development. Hey, found one, added below....

    The top hammer was popular in the UK and Europe, but some US manufactures went under hammer.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2009
  8. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    I agree, very interesting stuff. Quite a good distraction always.

    The duck's foot is sometimes mistakenly called a pepperbox.

    The pepperbox was often an elegant little handgun like the one in your photo, or smaller, as you know with 4 or 5 barrels.

    But sometimes innovation swung hard on the drawing board.

    The first pic...that's a 16 round pepperbox.

    The second...that's called a Jones pepperbox. It's a 10 shooter; as 10 barrels welded side by side. It has 2 hammers that alternate and as you pull the trigger they work their way down the staggered nipples.

    Not as genius as a Colt, but amazing application anyway.

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  9. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I would like to get something straight...

    Colt was a genius, no question but a business genius. The ex snake oil salesman became one of the most successful businessmen of his time.

    He did not invent the revolver, they existed long before he ever 'carved a model after watching a ships capstan'. They were on display in the museum of the Tower of London when he was in London, and he had the 'idea' on the way back to the US.

    Flintlock revolver:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2009
  10. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Ahhhh. I see exactly what you mean.

    There is no argument that Elisha Collier probably invented the first revolver. Maybe someday we'll learn of some ancient Chinese revolver or something, but today Collier gets the inventor's title. His invention was being used in India before Sam Colt ever even blew up a prototype.:)

    But I call Colt a genius for more than just business. Unless you're including the standardization of parts so that every part was crafted to specifications that they could be swapped out from one weapon to the next. He changed the whole industry. Back then, Colt was damn near doing space-age thinking. His product worked and worked very good.:D

    True he was a business genius too. I mean, he did basically monopolize the US revolver market without ever stepping into illegal dirt. Pretty swift.

    I agree though. No challenge. Colt did not invent the thing that most people think made him famous.
  11. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    OK, we agree he did not invent the revolver, as assumed by many even today. I dont know enough about him to argue the interchangeability thing, but to say, with all due respect to Colt, it was being done by the Birmingham gun trade at the same time.

    I must add, I love Colts and have handled and fired many. At least two seriously, a 1911 and M4. I even handled, with cotton gloves, a early Colt revolver presented by him to Prince Albert, Queen Victorias husband. It is in the Royal Armouries Collection.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2009
  12. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Well...he's kind of like Henry Ford: He didn't invent the first, but he designed a way to sell a good one and sell it to everybody.:)

    That must of been nice to hold a well preserved original. I have held some Civil War percussion relics, rust pits and all. And some replica Peacemakers too.
  13. When it comes to multi-barreled weapons, it doesn't get much better than one of these. They're a tad hard to carry concealed though. :D;)

    [​IMG]
  14. 21bravo

    21bravo New Member

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    i think this might be up your alley fellas... its a 36 barreled prototype. from what ive seen about it (one "future weapons" episode i think).......it can be set up and then activated remotely..




    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVbve6W5yPo
  15. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

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    I am speechless. wow!
  16. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Yep those are cool but the only multi-barrel I want is a double I can hit quail with.:D:D


    Colt...I'm no expert but I'll go with their less recent weapons. The 1911 for example. I don't have much praise for new Colt's. What I learned where I used to work was I prefer Springfield 1911's and that's where I put my money for my own 1911. The old Colt 70 series is a fine weapon, pre-70 too depending what priority you place accuracy. My friend I grew up with sometimes brings his compensated, nickel plated, 70 series to clean bowling pins up at matches and dudes offer him $2,000+ or AR's to get him parted with that Colt. The 80 series + Colt monkeyed with the safety/firing pin and never should have. Most of your new on the block 1911 makers build basically clones of the 80 series...food for thought.

    The M4...lets say M16 family. Colt is better than most of the AR's you can find on a gun store shelf in the US (Bushmaster, Olympic, etc etc). Speaking relative to the 20 something other AR makers...Colt makes a product most of them pale beside.

    But Colts M4 and to lesser extent their M16's dominate most of the US military's carbine/rifles. And with what we do with them, any quality issues become known. Colt's will occasionally catastrophically fail. Bolts shatter etc etc. It's rare, I mean really rare, but there. I've never seen an FN M16 (made in Columbia, SC) fail. Not once. Why? How come? Maybe we use more Colts so it's just higher probability. Or? I've never seen KAC or H&K catastrophically fail either. Maybe it's not fair to Colt for me to say that because those companies provide a fraction of our weapons in comparison...but I know what I've seen.

    I am the biggest M4/M16 fan you'll ever meet. But if you give me an M4/M16, don't matter if Colt or other, depending what I want to do, I'm probably just going to put a LaRue upper on it anyways.:D But no major manufacturer could be expected to keep up with LaRue...not gonna happen.

    I believe when Colt wasn't just a government contract supplier they made higher quality weapons. But I'd still rather club you with an empty Colt M4 than shoot at you with a Kalashnikov.

    On the Peacemaker and older Colts. Hell...in the 21st century a big arms manufacturer like Ruger is trying to emulate the characteristics of a 19th century Colt handgun with modern metals and production. If that isn't the biggest compliment to Sam Colt, I don't know what is.
  17. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Agreed.

    There were more Colts used in your Civil War than any other pistol, Remington, Whitney et all. After the war demobbed soldiers were able to buy for cents some of the guns, The Remingtons were in much greater demand than Colts.

    My own view is that the Remington, by way of its solid frame as against the colts wedge was a better design. But I am no expert, just interested in such things.
  18. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    True that, all you said.

    As was pointed out to me here, in the case of the Remington percussion revolvers not only being more solid, their design allowed a much faster and more simple reload via cylinder swap. (The Colt swap requires removing the wedge, barrel etc etc and a juggling act, while the Rem just a pin.)

    Myself, having only owned the Colt replica percussion revolvers, hadn't realized the difference was that big. A little investigation showed me it is. If I shot percussion revolvers for anything besides fun, as in it was my only choice for defense like just after the Civil War, well....I'd want at least 1 Remington first too.:D
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  19. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Getting into this one late, but a couple of thoughts.

    I learned, back in high school, that it was Eli Whitney that dreamed up standardization and mass production of firearms parts. Might be wrong, but that's what they taught me.

    While that 10-shot dual hammer gun is cool, it ain't a pepperbox. Pepperboxes were named that because they resembled a pepper grinder.

    Ruger's making of Single Actions is not a testament to Sam Colt's genius. It is a testament to the thousands of fools (and I'm one of them) that enjoy playing with this type gun. I say "fools" and I say "playing", because, for a working gun, you do not want a single action revolver that you have to load one round at a time. If it was not for the invention of Cowboy Action Shooting, Ruger would never had made the Vaquero.
  20. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    The Vaquero, no. But the Blackhawk and Single Six were already around when cowboy shooting became popular.
    The fact that Ruger is trying to do things exactly the same way regarding the guns internals means that there really isn't much improvment possible.

    You can say it's because shooters want authenticity, but I don't think that's really it. I mean, look at all the changes to the 1911. It's had a ton of things done, but it's "still a 1911." The single-action revolvers, though, are still almost identical.

    By the time Sam Colt got done with it, it was done right! (It wasn't all his doing, but it was done right.)
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