In 1882, a gentleman named J. A. Williams patented (US Patent #269,766) an idea of a mouse trap that used a percussion revolver to kill the rodent. The idea was quite simple – once the vermin touches the trigger of the trap it pulls the trigger of the revolver. At this point, the animal is right in front of the muzzle and it gets killed. You have probably come across the image from this patent in various forums and social media pages.
Besides killing the rodent, the shot would also signal the owner of the property to recock the trap. Here is how the inventor described it:
The object of my invention is to provide a means by which animals which burrow in the ground can be destroyed, and which trap will give an alarm each time that it goes off, so that it can be reset.
Interestingly, the inventor was considering the secondary role of this device to be an anti-burglary measure.
This invention may also be used in connection with a door or window, so as to killany person or thing opening the door or window to which it is attached.
A YouTube channel called Shawn Woods has recreated this trap. The channel is dedicated to archery and survival but they also have video series called Mouse Trap Monday where they show how to make different DIY mouse traps. You can find the mentioned video embedded below.
As you can see, the Williams trap is not precisely recreated in that a different revolver is used but that was not the goal of this project. It still works identically and recreates the general idea of the inventor.
Whenever trying to build such devices, make sure it is legal in your area and you control the environment you are going to test or use it in.
To download the original patent, click here.
Images from: www.mousetrapmondey.com, Shawn Woods YouTube channel