Mystery Object 369: Jesse’s Pistol

Strange hole... what's it for?

Strange hole… what’s it for?

Size: Small gun

Recorded: December 2015

Found: New Hampshire, United States

Circa: 1950s?

Made: Unknown

Material: Metal, Plastic

Status: Known

Thanks to Kitty Mervine for submitting this item.

Yes, it’s a gun, but it’s an odd one. Look at the front of it and you’ll see it has two holes, and one of them is square? Did it shoot square bullets? No, it did not. That hole was actually how you loaded its six-shot clip.

It takes .22 caliber shells, which is just about the smallest size made for a fire arm. And it used real gunpowder in those shells. This is not a toy, and weapons like this have killed people.

It appears to be cheaply made, and what’s unknown about it is its exact model. $50 seems a fair price to pay as new ones start at about $125. Yes, they’re still used today. And they’re still being taken away by TSA agents…

There are revolver versions of this gun, but this style has an advantage over them: it’s less likely to produce embarrassment.

Hint 1: 

Spoiler

When these are fired, people typically run away.

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Hint 2:

Spoiler

One of the safest types of gun.

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Answer: 

Spoiler

It’s a starter pistol. The title is a hint, referring to Jesse Owens. This video shows a similar gun and how it works. Of interest is the fact that the shells are fired upwards, not out the barrel in the front. A clip was loaded through the front, and then drawn back with each shot, until it emerges from the back, spent.

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Do you have a mystery object you’d like to share? Whether you know what it is or not, we’d like to hear from you! Drop us a line at jeff@collegeofcuriosity.com.

 

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6 Comments

  1. I’m a day late and a dollar short again. These things can’t be that rare but I don’t recall ever seeing one at a gun show. And yes, TSA WILL confiscate it if you try to board a plane with one.

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