Daring The Duckfoot

posted on April 21, 2015
museum_duckfoot.jpg
Michael Ives

In the flintlock era, many a ship’s captain may have kept his confidence high with his trusty duckfoot pistol.

Our example, a four-barreled, .44-caliber piece loaned to us by DJT, was made by the Archer family of gunmakers in London. The principle behind the duckfoot was simple—the four barrels were intended to fire simultaneously, sending their projectiles outward at slightly diverging angles. At close range, perhaps on a swaying deck, an unruly mob could be held back with just the threat of the quadruple muzzles. 

The NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va.; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo.; and the  Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M.; each have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, and donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, visit nramuseum.com, phone (703) 267-1600 or email [email protected].

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