Have you ever had to shoot four people at once, but it’s the 18th century so you only have one chance to do it?
We’re guessing you haven’t, but there was clearly a demand for it at some point — otherwise the iconic Duck’s Foot pistol would not exist.
The Duck’s Foot pistol, appropriately named considering that it resembles the webbed foot of a duck, is one of the most recognizable “strange weapons” of an older time. Despite the flintlock weapon being like almost all of its other counterparts in only having one shot, it featured four barrels pointing outward — usually horizontally.
The implication here is that a weapon like this was designed in the even that one individual is facing off against at least four other people. And, since firearms were only capable of firing one shot at a time, the additional barrels were needed to help hit multiple targets.
Today, it looks rather silly. But, perhaps it wasn’t so different back then, either. After all, it’s not like you see paintings of American colonists carrying these things around — clearly the design didn’t stick around for too long.
Nevertheless, the Duck’s Foot pistol is a fascinating part of firearm history. And maybe we’re completely wrong, and there is a method to the madness here.
Forgotten Weapons takes a closer look at this unique weapon in the video below.