A Cheap Pistol for Old Timers!
By Norris Chambers
Rifle but by paying a dollar or so more received a longer, heavier gun with a little better range and accuracy. With the new guns we were now ready for miner’s carbide lights that fit on the head and allowed the shooter to hunt animals in the dark by causing their eyes to glow in the dark. A shot at a point between the shining eyes usually meant another ‘possum or skunk hide for our fur collection. The guns also made it easy to shoot ‘possums out of trees when chased there by a good hunting dog. Most of the small towns in our end of the county had a merchant or two that bought furs.
gun had an accident that ended its hunting career. I evidently got careless and
allowed the barrel to collide with a clay bank and plug the end of the barrel
for a few inches. I didn’t notice this and the next time I shot it there was a
terrific noise and explosion at the end of the barrel. The barrel was made from
thin sheets of steel pressed and laminated into what appeared to be a solid
metal tube. About six inches of the end spread apart and split and resembled
the end of a dirty string mop. Luckily,
hide money was plentiful enough for me to order a rifle like
A few days after the mishap we carefully examined the ruined rifle. The only damage seemed be the end of the barrel. We decided to saw it off and see if it would shoot. Since we were a little bit afraid we clamped the rifle in a vise and tied a string to the trigger. We were completely out of danger when we pulled the trigger from the other side of the shop. The gun fired normally.
We now had a working rifle with a short barrel and no end sight. We agreed that it would not be useable as a hunting rifle and after some more discussion we came to the conclusion that we could install a nice wooden pistol handle and solder the sight at the end of the barrel. With the proper adornment this could make a nice pistol. We agreed that it would be hard to hit anything with it, but it would be a beautiful novelty and we might be able to trade it for something we could use.
We spent several hours shaping and attaching a grip that we carved from a fully matured oak limb. With a hacksaw and an assortment of small files we attached a sight at the end of the barrel. We fired a shot from the gun with it mounted tightly in a vise and aimed at the side of the chicken house at a distance of about 30 feet. The sight was aimed and mounted for a direct hit!
The pistol was finished and it was really a thing of beauty!
the beautiful object a few days then