Feminine CCW in the 1800s

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

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 definition , 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
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Cymond Cymond on Oct 07, 2009

    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.

  • Diana Sarver Diana Sarver on Jun 01, 2012

    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.

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