This nifty gun was on display at IWA. I initially thought it was a muzzeloader coach gun but some readers correctly pointed out that it looks like a modern replica of a Howdah pistol. This makes much more sense. The Howdah pistols were used by Tiger hunters in India as a last-ditch defense against charging or leaping Tigers.
I have never seen one with a detachable stock before. Does anyone know who makes this weapon?
UPDATE: Linoge commented that Davide Pedersoli & Co. make a replica that looks just like the one pictured. Cabela’s sells it for $500-$600 and the stock for $200. The barrel is 11.25″ and is available in 20 gauge or .58 cal.
With twin barrels packing a one-two wallop, this big-bore pistol was popular with Europeans exploring the vast jungles of India and Burma in the mid-1800s. On a typical excursion, explorers and soldiers were part of an elephant caravan. Riding on a howdah (the basket perched atop an elephant) may look safe in today’s world, but a century ago danger was imminent. Tigers could scale the side of a slow-moving elephant in the blink of an eye. To combat surprise attacks, the Howdah-style side-by-side pistol was created. Two cavernous 20-gauge smoothbore barrels or .58-caliber rifled barrels can be loaded with buckshot, a single slug, or the devastating “buck and ball”-load common in big-bore muzzleloaders used on dangerous game. Squeeze one of the triggers, and you’ll appreciate the hand-conforming checkered walnut grip and the recoil-soaking end-cap counterweight. Its case-hardened lockplates are engraved with detailed wild animal scenes.
[ Many thanks to Gregor for emailing me the photo. ]