Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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fernando 17th December 2006 09:47 PM

A cyclist pistol
 
1 Attachment(s)
For those collecting firearms and are not familiar to this somehow ethno specimen, let me tell you about it.They were made by the bycicle producers, and were sold in byke shops, ironmongers and bazaars, rather than produced by actual massive gun factories. I beleive they were largely used in France, their origin being German, introduced around 1900.They were called velodog, or cyclist pistols, used to "defend" postmen ( some say also priests ) from stray dogs, to stop them chasing their legs( and cassoks ). Within time, amunition calibers and charges were expanded, so that these pistols would not only frighten the animals, but got powerfull enough to kill them. Such radical attitude was abolished in 1914, these pistols remaining in action against sparrows, bats and public lamps.
Nevertheless, and in my humble opinnion, they look rather elegant, and that's what made me show them here. I admire the barrel and the breech, looking like cannon stuff. Despite the 14 centimeters total length, this thing is globaly minuscle, as it weighs a mere 106 grams. Some variations were said to be slim enough to be hidden inside the bycicle steering tube.
fernando

Bill M 17th December 2006 11:05 PM

Neat pistol!

Do you have any more info on this? Looks like a rimfire. What caliber?

fernando 17th December 2006 11:39 PM

Hi Bill,
Rimfire allright.
Definite calibre dificult to say, due to the wide variety of small ammo developed at the time.
A short .22 fits in rather well. The original caliber could be a "bosquete" or a "flobert" saloon version. The type of amunition without powder charge, the bullit being impelled by the fulminant deflagration.

Robert 18th December 2006 12:29 AM

You can still buy the 22 cal. version of these as they are used for indoor target shooting.


Robert

Bill M 18th December 2006 01:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Hi Bill,
Rimfire allright.
Definite calibre dificult to say, due to the wide variety of small ammo developed at the time.
A short .22 fits in rather well. The original caliber could be a "bosquete" or a "flobert" saloon version. The type of amunition without powder charge, the bullit being impelled by the fulminant deflagration.

Hi fernando,

Would this have to do with pulvis fulminant deflagration?

fernando 19th December 2006 07:44 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Bill,
I wouldn't know about this pulvis thing.
What i meant to say is that, some low power ammunitions do not contain any gunpowder charge in the cartridge, the projectile being propelled by the primer deflagration. According to what i've read, these calibers fall into saloon shooting category, developed by this guy Flobert, sometimes also called Bosquette, or both. As i heard that, in the beginning, these pistols were just to frighten the dogs, i have made the referred association.
In this new picture i show another example, with an hexagonal barrel, one inch shorter that the previous one. Total weight 130 grams. The caliber is about the same. This is a later version, from around 1920-30. The trigger is an arrangement.
I find the shape of the previous one much more interesting.
Hi Robert,
I apreciate your info, but i actually don't shoot with my pieces, just collect them for fun. I've had enough shooting in the army and so.
fernando

fernando

Philip 20th December 2006 07:00 AM

Woof!
 
Fernando,
It is quite amusing to imagine a priest on a bicycle trying to shoot a dog that's chasing him and trying to nip at the hem of his cassock! One doesn't expect European clergymen to be carrying firearms as they rode around their parishes! (of course in the American West it was another story, but my reference books say that Velo-Dog pistols were never made in the US)

Your two pistols happen to be single-shots. I'm more familiar with the Velo-Dog revolvers made until after the First World War in France, Germany, and Belgium. The revolver version of these dog pistols was first made in 1894 by Galand in Paris (this firm was noted for its revolver designs, they even made a double-action service pistol for the imperial Russian navy).

The Velo-Dog revolver took a 5.5 mm center-fire cartridge that is a little longer then the common .22 rimfire "long" cartridge used today in rifles all over the world. However, the 5.5 mm is less powerful than the .22 long rifle cartridge.

Do your pistols have chambers long enough to accept the .22 long cartridge? Also, are your guns center- or rimfire? (you can tell from the position of the firing pin relative to the chamber opening). If your dog guns take a much shorter cartridge, then they are probably older models, used before the 1894 revolvers came on the market.

RomaRana 20th December 2006 09:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Hi Bill,
Rimfire allright.
Definite calibre dificult to say, due to the wide variety of small ammo developed at the time.


You could easily determine caliber by doing a chamber cast with Cerrosafe.


http://www.midwayusa.com/mediasvr.d...leitemid=462291

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpa...leitemid=462291

After you melt the material in the chamber you have an exact replica of the ammuntion used in the gun. You then simply measure the casting and compare it to the measurments in a cartridge handbook.

fernando 20th December 2006 10:33 PM

Hi Philip
As i said, rimfire for sure. For a start, the protuberance in the hammer is not a punction pin, but a "I" trace, to smash the cartridge rim. Surely both pistols are to fit a short cartridge, due to the small space available when the hammer is cocked. No doubt they were made to fit a .22 short, or the like. I would not stand an academical confrontation on the priest version, as it was verbaly transmited by an antiquarian ( or two ? ). The cyclist version is more popular. But remember that, in the beginning, the purpose was only to scare the dogs ( more proper for priests ). Also you find in this type of calibers buletless cartridges ( alarm fire ) with only the blowing efect.
One gets lost in the countless versions of small calibers, let me tell you. I do know about the 5,5 center fire velodog, used by Galand. But what i actually have is a center fire six shooting hamerless revolver, clearly marked 6 m/m velodog. Indeed the velodog cartridge is longer than the vulgar .22 LR. Its a very plane piece but, if need, i can post pictures. It is numbered, but without maker's mark.
This is a french link on small pistols, with some examples similar to mine
http://site.voila.fr/collectionarme/miniature.htm

VANDOO 20th December 2006 11:58 PM

I WOULD CLASSIFY THE FIRST PISTOL AS A FLOBERT, PARLOR PISTOL NOT A VELODOG (SCARE DOG). THE VELODOGS WERE USUALLY REVOLVERS AND WERE VERY LOW VELOCITY DESIGNED TO SCARE AND STING RATHER THAN HARM. THE PARLOR PISTOLS OFTEN USED A PRIMER CAP AND THEN YOU INSERTED A BB DOWN THE BARREL. THEY WERE USED INDOORS ON TARGETS FOR GAMEING FOR BEER OR BETS, SO YOU DIDN'T WANT A LOT OF NOISE ,SMOKE OR A DANGEROUS PROJECTILE. INTERESTING LITTLE TOYS :)

THERE IS AS MUCH VARARITY IN FIREARMS AS EDGED WEAPONS AND SOME VERY STRANGE ONES OUT THERE. ONE OF MY FAVORITES IS A SUNDIAL WITH A CANNON, AT A CERTIAN TIME A MAGNIFING GLASS WILL FOCUS AND SET OFF THE CANNON. THERE ARE QUITE A VARIETY TO CATCH CHICKEN THIEVES ALSO :D

Philip 21st December 2006 01:24 AM

parlor pistols
 
Vandoo,
You're spot on with this one. Some years ago a collector showed me a pair of pistols in a case, very high quality, most likely French, with breeches and hammers identical in design to Fernando's dog pistols. These had adjustable sights, "set" triggers, and the .22 barrels were rifled with as many as a dozen spiralling grooves. Some time later, I saw a German rifle of the same design in another collection, it was a mini version of the familiar single shot Tyrolean "Schutzengewehr" of the late 1800s. Obviously something designed to hit a target with considerable precision, albeit as short range. Too much technology to just keep a pest dog away from you.

Rick 21st December 2006 01:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
I WOULD CLASSIFY THE FIRST PISTOL AS A FLOBERT, PARLOR PISTOL NOT A VELODOG (SCARE DOG). THE VELODOGS WERE USUALLY REVOLVERS AND WERE VERY LOW VELOCITY DESIGNED TO SCARE AND STING RATHER THAN HARM. THE PARLOR PISTOLS OFTEN USED A PRIMER CAP AND THEN YOU INSERTED A BB DOWN THE BARREL. THEY WERE USED INDOORS ON TARGETS FOR GAMEING FOR BEER OR BETS, SO YOU DIDN'T WANT A LOT OF NOISE ,SMOKE OR A DANGEROUS PROJECTILE. INTERESTING LITTLE TOYS :)

THERE IS AS MUCH VARARITY IN FIREARMS AS EDGED WEAPONS AND SOME VERY STRANGE ONES OUT THERE. ONE OF MY FAVORITES IS A SUNDIAL WITH A CANNON, AT A CERTIAN TIME A MAGNIFING GLASS WILL FOCUS AND SET OFF THE CANNON. THERE ARE QUITE A VARIETY TO CATCH CHICKEN THIEVES ALSO :D


I had a great miniature brass cannon that was made for me by John Bowditch (probably a relative of yours Mark ;) ) in preparatory school.

The piece was 2 inches long and bored for #6 birdshot. I used 6 flakes of smokeless shotgun powder as the charge and primed the touch hole with powder scraped from cap gun caps.

That little cannon would send a #6 shot through a quarter inch of pine board. :eek: :D

I love miniature guns!

VANDOO 21st December 2006 04:01 AM

WE DIDN'T HAVE BRASS CANNONS BUT WITH A 1 INCH THREADED PIPE AND A CAP WITH A HOLE DRILLED IN THE MIDDLE AND CHERRY BOMBS WE HAD ONE THAT WOULD JUST ABOUT SHOOT THRU ANYTHING. :D
THE PROCEDURE WAS TO PUT THE CHERRY BOMB FUZE THRU THE HOLE IN THE CAP AND SCREW IT ON THEN STICK IN A MARBLE OR STEEL BALL BEARING AND SMALL PIECE OF RAG TO KEEP IT FROM ROLLING OUT. THEN ATTACH THE CANNON DOWN TO A LARGE CHUNK OF WOOD AIM LIGHT AND STEP ASIDE AS OFTEN THE CANNON ALSO HAD A TRAJECTORY. CHERRY BOMBS AND M80'S ALSO MADE GOOD DEPTH CHARGES AS THEY WERE WATERPROOF. THE FACT THAT MY COUSINS AND I STILL HAVE TWO EYES AND ALL OUR FINGERS IS PROOF THERE ARE GAURDIAN ANGELS. :)

Philip 21st December 2006 06:52 AM

Vandoo,
We may be showing our age by fondly reminiscing about how we "reinvented the wheel" when we were kids (in your post you basically described a late medieval hand-cannon, if it weren't for the cherry bomb). Kids nowadays are too much into those silly electronic gadgets, and their parents are too darn protective anyway. We sure had fun back then, didn't we?

Fernando,
Did you do stuff like this when you were growing up in Portugal? My friends at the Irmandade do D.E.S. hall, older guys born in the Azores, said that there were men in the little villages who made their own rockets and bombs at home, and fired them off during the festas when the cortejo bearing the statues and church banners marched through the town. Azoreans are crazy anyway, on Terceira they have this "tourada a corda" which is street bullfighting, the bull is run through the village with strong men holding a rope so it won't go into the cantinas and houses while young guys impress their lady loves by playing it with jackets and open umbrellas.

Rick 21st December 2006 02:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
WE DIDN'T HAVE BRASS CANNONS BUT WITH A 1 INCH THREADED PIPE AND A CAP WITH A HOLE DRILLED IN THE MIDDLE AND CHERRY BOMBS WE HAD ONE THAT WOULD JUST ABOUT SHOOT THRU ANYTHING. :D
THE PROCEDURE WAS TO PUT THE CHERRY BOMB FUZE THRU THE HOLE IN THE CAP AND SCREW IT ON THEN STICK IN A MARBLE OR STEEL BALL BEARING AND SMALL PIECE OF RAG TO KEEP IT FROM ROLLING OUT. THEN ATTACH THE CANNON DOWN TO A LARGE CHUNK OF WOOD AIM LIGHT AND STEP ASIDE AS OFTEN THE CANNON ALSO HAD A TRAJECTORY. CHERRY BOMBS AND M80'S ALSO MADE GOOD DEPTH CHARGES AS THEY WERE WATERPROOF. THE FACT THAT MY COUSINS AND I STILL HAVE TWO EYES AND ALL OUR FINGERS IS PROOF THERE ARE GAURDIAN ANGELS. :)


Then there was the Golf Ball Mortar . :eek: Four foot cast iron pipe + M80 + Golf Ball . I wonder sometimes if any of those Tru Flites ever made low orbit .. :D

Also sea battles in our sailboats with bottle rockets; the windward guage proven effective. :D

Good times from my yout' .


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