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What Is It? Game 58

Hooray! It's time for this week's collaboration with What is it? blog: can you guess what this pistol is for?

Place your guess in the comment section - you're playing for fun and fame this week. No t-shirt prize. More clues (size, date, and close-up photos) at the What is it? blog.

Update 4/18/08 - the answer is:

A gunpowder tester, photographed at the Frasier International History Museum.

Because gunpowder varied in explosive power, gunsmiths needed devices to test particular batches. By the 1500's, elaborate powder testers were available. This one resembles contemporary military pistols and may have belonged to a military gunsmith. Pulling the trigger ignited a measured amount of powder in the tube atop the tester, turning and locking a spring-loaded, numbered wheel. The number at which the wheel stopped indicated the powder's strength. The development of self-contained cartridges during the 1800's made powder testers obsolete.


Congratulations to RevRagnarok who got it right!

This one's easy... it is a device to measure the strength of gunpowder mixes. The number of clicks it springs forward tells you how big the explosion was.

Matt's suggestion ain't bad. ;)
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I believe it is a timing mechanism to fire a flint lock. You set the wheel where you want and every time something actuated the trigger it counts one notch, when it reachs the firing spot it fires.
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Its a Winkletaker bung cutter. George McCroon Winkletaker, a frustrated gunsmith, tried to incorporate the power of gunpowder into other aspects of colonial life. His eccentric career was ended when he was attempting to demonstrate the cannon-powered carriage.
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It's a precursor to the pneumatic hammer, powered by gunpowder instead of compressed air. The teeth on the locking wheel are there to prevent the hammer "head" from bouncing back and injuring the user.
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Damn, the one I know has already been answered. Ragnorak is correct; my friend owns one. They collect weapons, and this is one of the legal ones they own.
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Easy. For those of you who are trying to shoot someone, but they get a hand on your gun and move the barrel away from themselves, just pull the second trigger and voila! Hand-be-gone!
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