Welcome to Retro Week ~ The Chicago Palm Pistol by Tracy Garrett

Happy Monday!  This week at Petticoats & Pistols we’re revisiting five of our favorite blogs. I’m pleased to start things off with the very first gun blog I posted at P&P in 2009:  The Chicago Palm Pistol. I hope you enjoy it.

Look what I discovered the other night. I’m always on the lookout for a proper weapon of choice for a character. While catching up on the to-be-watched shows on my DVR, I ran across one about old guns, including this little beauty:

The Chicago Palm Pistol

Originally called the Minneapolis Protector Palm Pistol, The Chicago Palm Pistol began as a copy of the French Turbiaux pistol, Le Protecteur.

The design for this palm-sized weapon was patented in 1883 by the Minneapolis Firearms Company, then sold to Peter Finnegan of Austin, Illinois. Mr. Finnegan created the Chicago Firearms Company and immediately contracted with Ames Sword Company of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, to manufacture the pistol in time to introduce it at The Columbian Exhibition–The Chicago World’s Fair of 1892. Because of manufacturer delays, it didn’t make it in time for the Fair, and, in 1898, Mr. Finnegan ended up with 13, 000 pistols to sell.

The moment I saw it, I knew this would be an excellent concealed weapon for a character to carry, whether he’s the hero or the villain. Since it was billed as a small enough weapon to be easily handled by a woman, I suppose my heroine might have one tucked into a pocket or her reticule, as well.

Here, you can see the actual size.

It wasn’t a very powerful gun, so no shootouts from twenty paces, but for an ambush, or a last ditch attempt at protecting the one the hero (or heroine) loves, it would be perfect.

So what do you think of the Palm Pistol? Would you like to discover a heroine carried one to defend herself? Or it is just too tiny to be taken seriously?

Charlene Sands is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter.










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38 thoughts on “Welcome to Retro Week ~ The Chicago Palm Pistol by Tracy Garrett”

  1. Thanks for the awesome post! As I have read more and more I always hope the heroine would carry something like that in her purse or bodice. I think it could have helped a lot. Or I like the idea of a classy women being able to carry a gun on her hip just like the cowboys! It’s always nice to have to those cowboys come in and save the day but I think its the best when the women can keep right up with the men if not shoot better!

  2. I think this would be fine for a heroine to protect herself if she encountered herself in a situation where she need to defend herself or a love one.

  3. This is a really interesting post. I have never seen anything like this. It was be a great way for a woman to protect herself and family if she didn’t have some fabulous cowboy there for her at the time.

  4. Wow, y’all are early risers. lol

    Cori, I’m with you–sometimes a girl just has to look out for herself. Thanks for dropping by.

    Hi Lori, thanks for dropping in. The Palm Pistol is pretty small, but would still get someone’s attention–at least at close range.

  5. Back then, the palm pistol probably not a bad idea. So much danger then for the lady in particular.

  6. I have never seen this before, Very interesting would love to see one up close. I wouldn’t want to shoot one though you might shoot yourself.

  7. What an interesting pistol. I think this would be great for ladies to carry to protect themselves.

  8. I like the idea of a woman having one of these palm pistols in her pocket or purse. It would definitely give someone confidence! It would probably keep her safe from young men, thieves etc. Great idea to include in a story!

  9. I loved reading about the Chicago Palm Pistol again. The design is so different than what we think when we think of a gun. I definitely think it’s O.K. for the heroine to carry one to protect herself. In fact, I did read a couple of historical western romances where the heroine had one concealed in the pocket of her cape and or reticule.

  10. Wow, what a great pistol! Never heard of it, but think it would be a great item to own!
    Thanks for the info!

  11. I had never heard of that kind of gun! It looks a little “weird” to me but I guess all new inventions always look a little strange at first! I enjoy learning new things and I can see why that gun would have been interesting and “needed” at the time! Thanks for the info!

  12. I enjoyed reading the article. I think people would be thinking it would do little harm until it was too late. My hands would be sweating carrying it in my palm so I doubt if I woudl see it as a viable weapon.

  13. A Gal should always have something to defend herself.. and if it is this little palm gun, then “you go girl”.. I have never heard of this gun until today…I can’t see me carrying a gun, but I always keep something on me to defend myself..

  14. I’m all for a gal being able to take care of herself in a dangerous situation. Up close, that pistol would do some serious damage.

  15. I am captivated with this post. I have always been interested in this type of pistol since it is easily carried and transported for a woman. Perfect.

  16. It would be interesting to have the heroine use one. It would be a surprise to her attacker when she used it on them.

  17. Would think that in the old west many women carried a weapon to protect themselves. I myself would love one of these. So easy to conceal in a purse or pocket!

  18. I would want one of these. Ideal since I am small. I always wanted a derringer. Thanks for this most interesting and special information.

  19. Very interesting post. I had never seen one before. I like the size and think that it would be easier to carry around and would be good for protection.

  20. This weapon is what I could definitely use if I could find one. I think any woman could use this as it is very practical.

  21. I wonder how successful these guns were since so many of us, including me, have never heard of them before. They look like they would be ideal for a woman to carry.

  22. Always love anything where it allows the heroine to take care of herself, or better still, rescue the hero.

  23. Oh I love this! I have heard about them and always wondered how they looked – seeing as how I am too lazy to look them up myself. 🙂 Would love to read about someone using or pulling one of these out in a book.
    Susan P

  24. Oh yeah, I need one of these to carry myself. Looks like it would have been perfect for the heroine to protect herself!

  25. I think it would be good for a lady to carry one for protection. Thanks for the wonderful post.

  26. Interesting post and what a great little pistol. I would like to see it up close.How do you pull the trigger? It would be good to have a way to protect yourself. I think it is a good idea to have the heroine able to use a firearm.

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