Feminine CCW in the 1800s

I recently blogged about boot pistols, a type of early CCW gun carried during the Civil War and postbellum era. The feminine equivalent of the boot pistol was the muff gun. (the name refers to the original definition1 , not the modern day slang). They were the same sort of concept just smaller and would have probably fired a smaller load (please correct me if I am wrong).

This matched set was recently up for auction at GunBroker. The reserve price of $1525 was not met.

Photos by “zocalo”

Many thanks to Fred for the info.

  1. Muff (noun): “A small cylindrical fur or cloth cover, open at both ends, in which the hands are placed for warmth.” – The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language 

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.



    Muff guns, I love it! These remind me of that Beatles song – “Happyness is a …” And the shells are evocative of Venus.

    If I were a collector these would be a wonderful addition.

  • HK_USP_45

    If a boot gun is stored in a boot, is the muff gun stored where the name implies? LOL

  • Carl

    Since this looks like a matched pair, is the idea that you should have one in each hand inside the muff?
    If so it starts to look more like an assassination than self-defense…
    Love the space for spare balls in the handle. Compare with the space behind the Glock magazine.

  • Cymond

    I’m a bit confused. What is the point of carrying extra lead without extra powder and caps? And if you’re going to carry a container of caps and powder, then why not keep the lead in the same package?

    Regardless of that oddity, they are beautiful pistols with some interesting points. The 4-groove rifling is notably deep, the triggers presumably drop when the weapon is cocked, and the hammers are positioned slightly to the right of center.

    On a side note: Muff – “A small cylindrical fur or cloth cover, open at both ends, in which the hands are placed for warmth.” So it is a soft, warm, frequently furry tube.

  • Yes i have a pistol that has a 1and 1/2 inch barrel and the trigger folds flat to the barrel, it is a 25 cal. 6 shot, i have been told it was a ladys boot pistol, trying to find out so info. so if you know any can you tell me thank you.