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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a big fan of Mark Twain, and am currently reading "Roughing It" which is about his travels through the Western US (1872). He happens to mention his revolver and the weapon of one of his fellow travelers in a stage coach, and I thought you guys might get a laugh out of it like I did.

"I was armed to the teeth with a pitiful little Smith & Wesson's seven-shooter, which carried a ball like a homoepathic pill, and it took the whole seven to make a dose for an adult. But I though it was grand. It appeared to be to a be a dangerous weapon. It only had one fault-you could not hit anything with it. One of our "conductors" practiced awhile on a cow with it, and as long as she stood still and behaved herself she was safe; but as soon as she went to moving about, and he got to shooting at other things, she came to grief...

George Bemis was our fellow-traveler. We had never seen him before. He wore in his belt an old original "Allen" revolver, such as irreverent people called a "pepper-box." Simply drawing the trigger back, cocked and fired the pistol. As the trigger came back, the hammer would begin to rise and the barrel to turn over, and presently down would drop the hammer, and away would speed the ball. To aim along the turning barrel and hit the thing aimed at was a feat probably never done with an "Allen" in the world. But George's was a reliable weapon, nevertheless, because, as one of the stage-drivers afterward said, "If she didn't get what she went after, she would fetch something else." And so she did....(Twain goes on to tell about how George shot a mule accidentally and was forced to buy it by a shotgun wielding farmer)

It was a cheerful weapon-The "Allen." Sometimes all six barrels would go off at once, and then there was no safe place in all the region round about, but behind it."
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