Is that a gun in your pocket, or…?

Kathleen Rice Adams header

 

Life is full of little ironies. Every so often, a big irony jumps up and literally grabs a person by the privates. Just ask late Texas lawman Cap Light.

Bell County Courthouse, Belton, Texas, late 19th Century
Bell County Courthouse, Belton, Texas, late 19th Century

Many of the details about William Sidney “Cap” Light’s life have been obscured by the sands of time. His exact birth date is unknown, though it’s said he was born in late 1863 or early 1864 in Belton, Texas. No photographs of him are known to exist, although there seem to be plenty of his infamous brother-in-law, the confidence man and Gold Rush crime boss Soapy Smith. Several of Light’s confirmed line-of-duty kills are mired in controversy, and rumors persist about his involvement in at least one out-and-out murder. Even the branches of his family tree are a mite tangled, considering the 1900 census credited Light with fathering a daughter born six years after his death.

What seems pretty clear, however, is that Light survived what should have been a fatal gunshot wound to the head only to kill himself accidentally about a year later.

Light probably lived an ordinary townie childhood. The son of a merchant couple who migrated to Texas from Tennessee, he followed an elder brother into the barbering profession before receiving a deputy city marshal’s commission in Belton at the age of 20. Almost immediately — on March 24, 1884 — he rode with the posse that tracked down and killed a local desperado. Belton hailed the young lawman as a hero.

For five years, Light reportedly served the law in an exemplary, and uneventful, fashion. Then, in 1889, things began to change.

In August, while assisting the marshal of nearby Temple, Texas, Light shot a prisoner he was escorting to jail. Ed Cooley tried to escape, Light said. Later that fall, after resigning the Belton job to become deputy marshal in Temple, Light shot and killed Sam Hasley, a deputy sheriff with a reputation for troublemaking. Hasley, drunk and raising a ruckus, ignored Light’s order to go home. Instead, he rode his horse onto the boardwalk and reached for his gun. Light responded with quick, accurate, and deadly force.

The following March, Light cemented his reputation as a fast and deadly gunman when he killed another drunk inside Temple’s Cotton Exchange Saloon. According to the local newspaper’s account, Felix Morales died “with his pistol in one hand and a beer glass in the other.”

Light’s growing reputation as a no-nonsense straight-shooter served Temple so well that in 1891, the city cut its budget by discontinuing the deputy marshal’s position. Unemployed and with a wife and two toddlers to support, Light accepted his brother-in-law’s offer of a job in Denver, Colorado. By then, Jeff “Soapy” Smith was firmly in control of Denver’s underworld. After the Glasson Detective Agency allegedly leaned on one of Smith’s young female friends, Light took part in a pistol-wielding raid meant to convince the detectives that investigating Smith might not be healthy.

Main Street in Creede, Colorado, 1892
Main Street in Creede, Colorado, 1892

In early 1892, Smith moved his criminal enterprise to the nearby boomtown of Creede, Colorado, where he reportedly exerted his considerable influence to have Light appointed deputy marshal. At a little after 4 o’clock in the morning on March 31, Light confronted yet another drunk in a saloon. Both men drew their weapons. When the hail of gunfire ceased, Light remained standing, unscathed. Gambler and gunfighter William “Reddy” McCann, on the other hand, sprawled on the floor, his body riddled with five of Light’s bullets.

Despite witness testimony stating McCann had emptied his revolver shooting at streetlights immediately before bracing the deputy marshal, a coroner’s inquest ruled the shooting self-defense. The close call rattled Light, though. He took his family and returned to Temple, where in June 1892 he applied for a detective’s job with the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad. His application was rejected — possibly because his association with Smith and lingering rumors about the McCann incident overshadowed the stellar reputation he had earned early in his career. According to a period report in the Rocky Mountain News, “Light’s name had become a household word, and for years he was alluded to as a good sort of a fellow ? to get away from. He was mixed up in many fights, and after a time the ‘respect’ he had commanded with the aid of a six-shooter began to fade away. It was recalled that all his killings and shooting scrapes occurred when the other man’s gun was elsewhere, or in other words, when the victim was powerless to return blow for blow and shot for shot.”

With his life apparently on the skids, Light developed a reputation of his own for drunken belligerence. With no other options, he returned to barbering in Temple until, during one drinking binge in late 1892, he pistol-whipped the railroad’s chief detective — the man Light blamed for the end of his law-enforcement career. During Light’s trial for assault, the detective, T.J. Coggins, rose from his seat in the courtroom, pulled his pistol, and fired three .44-caliber rounds into Light’s face and neck. Although doctors expected the former lawman to die of what they called mortal injuries, Light fully recovered. Adding insult to injury, Coggins never faced trial.

GunmanIt’s unclear how well Light adapted to circumstances after the Coggins episode or why he was traveling by train a year later. What is clear is that his life came to a sudden, ironic end on Christmas Eve 1893. As the Missouri, Kansas & Texas neared the Temple station, Light accidentally discharged a revolver he carried in his pocket. The bullet severed the femoral artery in his groin, and he bled to death within minutes. He was 30 years old.

In a span of fewer than ten years, Light’s brief candle flickered, blazed, and then burned out. Though once hailed as a heroic defender of law and order on the reckless frontier, not everyone was sorry to see him go. An unflattering obituary published in the Dec. 27, 1893, edition of the Rocky Mountain News called him “a bad man from Texas.” Beneath the headline “Light’s Ready Gun. It Took Five Lives and then Killed Him,” the report noted “‘Cap’ Light of Belton, Texas, shot himself by accident the other day … thus [removing] one who has done more than his share in earning for the West the appellation of ‘wild and woolly.’”

 

Reloading Cap & Ball Revolvers

Cap and ball weapons were all “the thing” during the Civil War and later—right up until Smith & Wesson’s patent ran out on the bored-through cylinder and Samuel Colt could get in the self-contained cartridge game. Numerous models of cap and ball revolvers were produced until 1873.

In past blogs, I’ve discussed the limitations of a cap and ball weapon because it can’t be reloaded quickly. A muzzle-loaded long gun gives you one shot. A cap and ball revolver with six shots is just that—six shots. Your hero won’t be reloading it while running from the bad guys or riding to the rescue. Keep reading and you’ll understand why.

Unlike a modern cartridge, where the bullet, powder and primer are enclosed in a brass case, reloading a cap and ball revolver takes 6 steps for each chamber. That’s six steps times six chambers to fully reload a revolver.

I took most of these pictures of my friend and fellow cowboy action shooter, Major Misalot, reloading his cap and ball revolver cylinder. The reloading can be done while the cylinder is in place on the revolver, too.

The loading is done in reverse order of the firing process, from the barrel side of the cylinder:

1. Add powder

powder

 

 

 

 

 

metering flask

 

In the above picture, Major Misalot used a reloading “station”. Another cowboy friend “Noz” used a metering flask to measure the powder for each cylinder. He put his index finger over the hole at the top, tipped the flask upside down and back upright to measure out the correct grains of powder, then poured the powder into a chamber.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Place a lead ball on the powder in each cylinder

place ball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Ram the ball home, all the way down into the chamber. Major Misalot used his modern reloader, but there is a ramming rod under the barrel of the revolver. The revolver is held muzzle up, the rod is firmly pressed into the chamber then the cylinder is rotated until all six lead balls have been rammed into place.

ramming

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Grease the cylinder to prohibit chain firing – where the burning powder from one shot ignites the others in the cylinder = obviously not a good thing!

grease

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Cap the nipple (think blasting cap here)

capping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

capper

 

Another method to “cap” the chamber is to use a capper, a spring-loaded brass disc that presents the cap. Above, Major Misalot hand capped his. Noz uses a capper. On every stage of our 12-stage shoot, Noz pressed a cap into position six times then went back over all six chambers to be sure the caps seated properly. Then he loaded his second gun.

After all that, the revolver is finally ready to fire.

With practice, it doesn’t take all that long to reload a cylinder, but you really can’t pour powder, ram a ball, cap the nipple and grease the chamber at a gallop. I can certainly see why many who relied on a cap and ball revolver carried fully loaded spare cylinders.

And, just to remind you that someone shooting black powder can’t hide…

smokin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracy

www.TracyGarrett.com

How Wild Was the Old West—Really?

MargaretBrownley-header
I heard a TV commentator liken the violence of Baltimore back to the Old West. Is that a fair comparison? Some historians would probably disagree. Some have even gone as far as to describe the Old West as “a quiet, peaceful and law-abiding place.” Hard as that is to believe they may be on to something for the following reasons:

The Old West Practiced Gun Control

dodge-gunsYep, that’s right. In fact, the very first law passed in Dodge City was a gun control law. Many towns including Tombstone had similar strict laws barring guns. Visitors were required to turn guns over to the stable owner or sheriff. Checks or receipts were issued much like they are today when checking coats at a restaurant. Gun owners could reclaim their weapons upon leaving town.

Not everyone followed the law, of course. Drunkenness and disorderly conduct would get you a free pass to the hoosegow, but so would toting a gun. The gunfight of OK corral was actually sparked by an effort to enforce the “no gun” law.

Gun control made economical sense. Towns wishing to attract businesses and commerce or even the railroad couldn’t afford to let crime run amok.

The Law of Wagon Trainswagon
Some wagon trains reportedly contained more than a hundred wagons and as many as 800 people, so keeping law and order was of primary concern. Many of these trains had their own constitutions which spelled out a judicial system. Ostracism and threats of banishment kept most travelers in line and there are few reported instances of violence on these trains. That’s pretty amazing considering the conditions and long months on the trail.

What About All That Cattle Rustling?

cowsIf we believed all those old time Western movies there wasn’t a steer in the land that hadn’t been rustled at least once. No question; Cattle rustling was a problem. That is until ranch owners got together and formed cattlemen associations. These groups hired private protection agencies, which pretty much put cattle rustlers out of business.

Bank Robbers Ruled, Right?

Wrong again. According to the book Banking in the American West from the Gold Rush to Deregulation by bankLynne Pierson and Larry Schweikart, only eight actual bank heists occurred in the 15 states that made up the frontier west during the forty year period between 1859-1900. (Holy Toledo! My little hometown has had more bank robberies than that just in the last decade.)

Why so few bank robberies in the Old West? The answer is simple; Banks were hard to rob. Banks were located downtown often next the sheriff’s office. People slept above shops so the town was far from deserted. The bank’s walls were often doubly-reinforced. Blasting through the walls would wake everyone in town including the sheriff.

Some, like Butch Cassidy simply walked in the front door, but even that type of bank holdup was rare. Robbing stagecoaches was easier. But transporting money by stage fell out of favor when trains came along. Robbers who shifted attention to trains soon had to contend with Pinkerton detectives.

What About All Those Gunslingers?

gunDime novels, old newspapers and movies would have us believe that shooting from the hip and quick draw duels were the norm. In reality, gunfights were few and far between.

Some well-known shootists (the word gunslinger didn’t come into play until the 1920s) deserved their reputations but, by today’s standards, most would be considered lousy shots. Some, like Wyatt Earp, killed nowhere near as many men as they were given credit for. A gunslinger’s reputation, however exaggerated, was sometimes more valuable than his skills.

Peter Hill, co-author of  the Not so Wild, Wild, West wrote “If one wants to see the “Wild, Wild West” in action one should turn to congressional hearings, political demonstrations and arguments over recreational and consumptive vs. non-consumptive uses of forest lands.”  Now there’s a thought…It kind of makes you wonder what those old cowpokes would have thought about the recent riots.

So what do you think? Was the Old West a quiet, peaceful and law-abiding place or wasn’t it?

Speaking of Wild:

Maggie Michaels is sent to Arizona Territory as an undercover mail order bride to track down the notorious Whistle-Stop Bandit. If she doesn’t prove the suspect guilty before the wedding—she could end up as his wife!

undercoversmallClick cover to Preorder

Available in print, eBook or Audio

Santa Did It Again!

What did Santa bring you? I must have been better than I thought, ‘cause I got just what I wanted… 

 

IMG_4461

 

A 2-shot derringer!

I know that probably seems odd to some, but I’ve wanted one to shoot in Cowboy Action competition. And Santa (aka dh) picked a nice one.

A derringer is generally the smallest usable handgun made in a given caliber. Though the pistol Henry Deringer (one ‘r’) designed was first, eventually all small pistols from other manufacturers were referred to as “derringers” (two ‘r’) – rather like xerox or kleenex or coke became synonymous with the product rathColt Deringerer than the manufacturer.

The original cartridge derringers held only a single round, usually a pinfire or rimfire .40 caliber cartridge and weighed about a half a pound. The barrel pivoted sideways on the frame to allow access to the breech for reloading.

Remington’s derringer design doubled the capacity by adding a second barrel on top of the first and pivoting the barrels uIMG_4463pwards to reload. Each barrel then held one round, and a cam on the hammer alternates between top and bottom barrels.

My neA 2-Shot derringer pistol!w pistol is a two-barrel model, in .38 caliber. The 3” barrel swings up to allow loading. It also has an interchangeable .22 caliber barrel so I can go “plinking” to my heart’s content.

Here’s a comparisoIMG_4465n of the barrels so you can see the difference for the cartridges. The .22 is quite a bit heavier because there’s more steel.

While this gift may seem odd to you, it’s perfect for me. Thanks, Santa!

Off to play at the range,
Tracy, aka “Ozark Belle”

The Philadelphia Derringer–The Gun That Changed History

Baby DerringerThe Philadelphia Deringer is a small percussion handgun designed by Henry Deringer and produced from 1852 through 1868. The term derringer is actually a misspelling of the maker’s last name. Kind of like kleenex (with a small k), or “xerox,” the term derringer is now used to describe any pocket-sized pistol.

The original Deringer pistol was a single-shot muzzle-loading pistol. That means you had one ball of lead backed by the power of a measure of black powder. No multi-shot shootouts with this little beauty. Subsequent models were made to use the new cartridge type ammunition–aka a bullet–but a derringer never held more than two shots.

Derringer often refers to the smallest usable handgun of a given caliber. They were frequently used by women, because the size made the pistol easy to conceal in a reticule on slipped into a stocking garter. Derringers are not repeating firearms. The original cartridge derringers held only a single round, usually a .40 caliber cartridge. [.40 refers to the diameter of the bullet, in this case .40” or 10.16mm.] The barrel pivoted sideways on the frame for reloading.

Remington doubleThe famous Remington derringer, sold from 1866 to 1935, was designed with a second barrel on top of the first. This meant two shots instead of one, without much more weight to carry around. On this two-shot pistol, the barrels pivoted upward for reloading.

If you plan to use this pretty little thing for personal protection, keep in mind that the bullet moved very slowly–about half the speed of a modern bullet. It could actually be seen in flight. Still, at close range, such as at card table or in a stage coach, it could be deadly.

Another thing to consider, should you want a character to carry a derringer: it took a lot to load and prepare the pistol. I’ll let you read for yourself.

“For loading a Philadelphia Deringer, one would typically fire a couple of percussion caps on the handgun, to dry out any residual moisture contained in the tube or at the base of the barrel, to prevent a subsequent misfire. One would then remove the remains of the last fired percussion cap and place the handgun on its half-cock notch, pour 15 to 25 grains of blackpowder down the barrel, followed by ramming a patched lead ball down onto the powder, being very careful to leave no air gap between the patched ball and the powder, to prevent the handgun from exploding when used. (The purpose of the patch on the ball was to keep the ball firmly lodged against the powder, to avoid creating what was called a “short start” when the ball was dislodged from being firmly against the powder.) A new percussion cap would then be placed on the tube (what today would be called a nipple), and the gun was then loaded and ready to fire. (The half-cock notch prevented the hammer from falling if the trigger were bumped accidentally while carrying the handgun in one’s coat pocket.) Then, to fire the handgun, a user would fully cock the hammer, aim, and squeeze the trigger. Upon a misfire, the user could fully re-cock the hammer, and attempt to fire the handgun once more, or, equally common, switch to a second Deringer. Accuracy was highly variable; although front sights were common, rear sights were less common, and some Philadelphia Deringers had no sights at all, being intended for point and shoot use instead of aim and shoot, across Poker-table distances. Professional gamblers, and others who carried regularly, often would fire and reload daily, to decrease the chance of a misfire upon needing to use a Philadelphia Deringer.” http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Derringer&action=edit&section=3

John Wilkes Booth_deringer FBI picAnd do you know how this gun changed history? It was the weapon used by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln in the Ford Theater on April 14, 1865.

Lincoln Assasination

 

1848 Colt Dragoon Revolver

401px-Dragoon_3rd_modelIn my upcoming short story, the hero, Sheriff Matthew Tate, carries a matched pair of 1848-Model 3 Colt Dragoons.

The Dragoon grew out of the problems with the Colt Walker revolver, a 4.5 pound, 15” long hunk of steel. The Dragoon was only 4 pounds, 2 ounces. And, where the Walker’s barrel was 9” long, the Dragoon’s was only 7.5”.  The Walker was a powerful weapon, but its size meant it was used mostly as a saddle-mounted weapon. It was just too long and too heavy to wear around your waist.

And there was the propensity for the Walker to explode when users put in too much powder. Where the Walker held 60 grains of powder, the Dragoon held only 50 grains—less powder, less danger.

loading-lever-latch

Also, the Walker’s loading lever tended to fall during firing, locking up the revolver and rendering the weapon useless. Not a good thing when you need a working gun. The Dragoon added a lever latch to hold it in place. Problem solved.

“Three major-production Dragoon models were produced between 1848 and 1860. The First Model had oval-shaped cylinder notches, no wheel on the rear of the hammer and no pins between the nipples. Colt produced about 7,000 First Models between 1848 and 1850. The Second Model had rectangular cylinder notches and a “wheel” on the hammer. First and Second models both had square-back trigger guards. The company made about 2,550 Second Models in 1850 and 1851. Approximately 10,000 Third Model Dragoons were made from 1851 through 1860, with many variations. All Third-Model Dragoons had a round trigger guard. Records show 8,390 Dragoons were ordered by the U.S. government.” (from http://www.cabelas.com/category/Civil-War-Colt-Dragoon/110215980.uts)

The Dragoon revolver transformed Samuel Colt’s young pistol-making business into one of the most dominating forces in firearm history.

400px-Colt1stDragoon-44Cal

Reloading a Cap and Ball Revolver

revolverIn past blogs, we’ve talked about the limitations of a cap and ball weapon because it can’t be reloaded quickly. A muzzle-loaded long gun gives you one shot. A cap and ball revolver with six shots is just that—six shots. Your hero won’t be reloading it while running from the bad guys or riding to the rescue. Keep reading and you’ll understand why.

Unlike a modern cartridge, where the bullet, powder and primer are enclosed in a brass case, reloading cap and ball takes 6 steps for each chamber. That’s six steps times six chambers to fully reload a revolver.

I took most of these pictures of my friend and fellow cowboy action shooter, Major Misalot  reloading his cap and ball revolver cylinder. The reloading can be done while the cylinder is in place on the revolver, too.

The loading is done in reverse order of the firing process, from the barrel side of the cylinder:

powder

1. Add powder

 

 

 

 

 

lead ball

 

2. Place a lead ball on the powder in each cylinder

 

 

 

 

 

ramming

 

3. Ram the ball home, all the way down into the chamber. Major Misalot is using his modern reloader, but this can be done using the ramming rod on the revolver, as in the picture to the right. The rod is firmly pressed into the chamber then the cylinder is rotated until all six lead balls have been rammed pushed into place.

ramming rod

 

 

 

 

 

 

grease

 

4. Grease the cylinder to prohibit chain firing – where the burning powder from one shot ignites the others in the cylinder = obviously not a good thing!

 

 

 

 

Cap nipple

 

5. Cap the nipple (think blasting cap here)

 

 

 

 

 

NOW its finally ready to fire.

With practice, it doesn’t take all that long to reload a cylinder, but you really can’t pour powder, ram a ball, cap the nipple and grease the chamber at a gallop. I can certainly see why many who relied on a cap and ball revolver carried fully loaded spare cylinders.

And, just to remind you that someone shooting black powder can’t hide…

smoke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her Christmas Wish in “Wishing For a Cowboy” Anthology – available now from Prairie Rose Publications.

Wishing for a Cowboy-sm

The Ring Gun — A Tiny Protector


I really enjoy researching unusual guns. Today’s example is a very small (though not the smallest) gun you can wear–a ring gun.

The ring gun, from the mid-1800s, is a pretty rare item. These tiny revolvers were made to shoot cap and ball black powder or cartridges. This one [on the right] holds .15 or .17 caliber (around 4.5-5mm) pinfire cartridges. See the pin on the side of the cartridge?



They are really very small! That’s a U.S. quarter beside a ring, cleaning brush and two cartridges.

 

This 19th century French ring (to the right) uses a 5mm cartridge. In the box there are 2 cartridges, a cleaning brush and an adjustment screw driver.


The hammer is on one side of the ring (right side), the trigger on the other (left side). I doubt you could surreptitiously cock the weapon unless you kept your hand out of sight under the table.

 


Click on these links to see amateur video of them in action:

5-shot cap and ball, black powder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQGAFyoZHtw

Le Petit Protector – 5mm 5 shot rim fire cartridge
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZX5W4yzkqI


Nearly all the rings I’ve found are beautifully engraved.

I know it isn’t practical as a weapon—though up close it could do damage—and it’s more suited to steampunk than westerns, but I like it.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Double-Barrel Shotgun

In my first book, Touch of Texas, the heroine’s defense weapon of choice was a double-barrel shotgun. In the interests of research–and because I wanted to shoot one — we added a double-barrel shotgun to our Cowboy Action Shooting collection.

Shotguns come in all barrel lengths. The Stoeger side-by-side we shoot is modeled after the 1881 Baker double-barrel shotgun. While the earlier double-barrel shotguns had two triggers, one to fire each barrel, the Baker had a single trigger that was pulled twice to fire each barrel in succession.

Prior to the late 1870s, shotguns had external hammers which had to be manually cocked. Until the hammer was cocked, the gun couldn’t be fired. That meant the gun could be loaded and leaned in a corner, but it wasn’t useful until the hammers were pulled back.

The style of shotgun I use in Cowboy Action Shooting is referred to as a “Coach Gun.” That means the barrel is between 18 and 20 inches long.

The term “coach gun” comes from the popularity of the shorter barreled shotguns that fit in the footwell of a stagecoach or alongside the driver with the butt of the shotgun on the seat. A shorter gun was more easily lifted and pointed at the target when needed. And a shotgun has a broader impact pattern so the shooter doesn’t have to be quite as accurate. Where a rifle shoots one bullet, a shotgun, with 9 to 100 pellets in the load of shot, will cover approximately 2’x2′ or as much as 3’x3′. That makes it a perfect gun for defending a rocking, bouncing stage, or to fire from horseback when pursuing–or being pursued by–the bad guys.

Have you read a book where the double-barrel shotgun has been used?  Which scene is your favorite? I’ll give a copy of TOUCH OF TEXAS to one of you who leaves a comment.