SUNDIAL CANNON: This curious time piece is an excellent example of the now scarce sundial guns. The variant pictured is of marble, brass and glass construction dating from approximately 1850. The cannon is a brass miniature fixture with a .30 caliber bore.
1680-1699 French Sundial at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London - From the curators' comments: "The geographical latitudes of 30 towns, mostly French, are engraved on he back of this sundial. With the inbuilt compass, they helped the traveller to position the sundial, so that he or she could more accurately discover the time of day....A German travellers' guide of the time recommended the use of sundials over clocks, because the chiming of clocks might attract thieves."
Smith & Wesson Model 57 - Some calibers were born to play second fiddle and perhaps our GOTD doesn’t want to play that song. June of 1964 marked the introduction of both the .41 Magnum cartridge and the Smith & Wesson Model 57 revolver. It would be hard to find a nicer engraved example of the “N” frame M57 revolver than this example, fitted with elephant ivory grip panels. The tasteful gold accents don’t hurt, either. NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA.
Jaeger Rifle - In our Timeline of Sporting Arms at the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Missouri, the story of how America’s rifles have evolved over the years is told. From the Old World’s short jaeger, came the longer “Kentucky” rifle. Our example here musters a .50 caliber bore, a sliding patchbox cover, and has an adjustable set trigger.
British Saw Handle Percussion Pistol - Solid metal framed pistols were preferred by some shooters of heavy caliber handguns. Traditional wood-stocked handguns which retained their barrels by wedges would over time and recoil split at the forend retainers. The Saw handle refers to the odd-shaped grip stemming from the back strap of the pistol. The GOTD can be found in the galleries of the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia.
Dreyse Revolver - While his father’s zundnadelgewehr (needle-gun) was only a single-shot – Franz von Dreyse went for repeating capability with his revolver design. Made in .32, .35 and our example’s .39 caliber in the late 1860s; perhaps this wasn’t the best time to offer a handgun that required a long needle firing pin to detonate the primer deep inside the cartridge? The Dreyse revolver saw limited military and commercial acceptance. At the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA
THE REMINGTON RIFLE CANE The rifle cane was considered the ideal concealed carry weapons for roadside travelers who might need back-up firepower during an ambush. In fact, Remington catalogues of the era advertised their product as "protection against dogs and highwaymen," all under the guise of a standard walking cane. These guns came in both cartridge and percussion models and featured a variety of calibers — even .410 shotgun bore variants.
Inscribed by Naotane (Japanese, 1778–1857). Blade for a Short Sword (Wakizashi). Engraved by Yoshitane (Japanese), dated 1839. Japanese. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of Brayton Ives and W.T. Walters, 1891 (91.2.84) #sword
Triple-Barreled Perry Percussion Rifle- From the donor’s supplied family history, covering five generations with this rifle, that every time today’s GUN OF THE DAY was used for hunting, game came home for the table. Maybe it was just having three ready shots on hand, perhaps the heart-shaped rear sight helped, or maybe this was one lucky gun…