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Six most interesting pistols

A publication of the Darkilby Shooting Society


Edited by Lucius Carnford
Proprietor of Carnfords Gun Shop & Angling Supplies
26 Enoch Street, Darkilby

Patrick Sewak (order #3414506)

2011 by Bethany Minchew. All rights reserved.


Published by DRAKAT Games.

Curious Calibres is a resource for any Games Master looking for some
interesting firearms to introduce to a mid-20th Century RPG. The resource
was written with British Call of Cthulhu campaigns set in the 1920s in
mind, but could be a useful addition to any game set at this time or later.

Also from DRAKAT Games


Shipping Register
340 inspirational names to help you decide what to call your next elven
galley, armoured dirigible or colossal starship. Whatever the setting for your
game, Shipping Register will have some suitable ship names. Presented
as 17 separate themes to help you get just the right name for the situation,
all you have to do is print off the relevant ready-to-use table and away you
go!

Gamegrids
Ever wanted to design or play a tabletop game but didn't have the right kind
of grid on hand to help you map things out? Ever wished you could move
your miniatures across a surface that represents the terrain they're
supposed to be on?
Gamegrids can help out there! This product features a range of terrain features (deep
space, grassy plain, uneven paving, boulder field and sand dunes) and three different
types of grid: large hex, small hex and square. It also includes simple mono versions of
each grid for you to colour by hand if you prefer, plus samples of each terrain type with
no grid overlay at all.

Available from www.drivethrurpg.com


Contact us at drakatgames@gmail.com

Call of Cthulhu is a trademark of Chaosium Inc.

Patrick Sewak (order #3414506)

Galand Velo-Dog revolver

Length:

4.7

119mm

Weight:

10.5 oz

300g

Calibre:

0.216

5.5mm

Capacity:

Six

The Velo-Dog was a type of


small pistol first produced in
Belgium by Galand in the late 19th
Century. It would appear that
Monsieur Galand gave great
thought to the plight of those
pursuing the new pastime of
bicycling, and who were at that
time much plagued by attacks from
ferocious dogs.
Thus the Velo-Dog was
produced to afford these good
people some protection. All aspects
of its design were given to
considerations of compactness and
lightness. The hammer is shrouded
to prevent it catching upon clothing,

Patrick Sewak (order #3414506)

meaning that all such revolvers are


double action. Early models were
notable for their lack of trigger
guard, with some of these featuring
a trigger that folded away for yet
greater portability.
The pistol fires a specific velodog 5.5mm centre fire cartridge
(sometimes referred to as 5.75mm),
although I believe some later
models fire a standard 0.22 bullet.
For the humane bicyclist, cartridges
are available that merely fire
pepper, allowing for the temporary
incapacitation of any attacking
hound, rather than a more
permanent solution.

LeMat revolver

Length:

10.2

259mm

Weight:

49 oz

1,390g

Calibre:

0.469

12mm

0.577

14.8mm

Capacity:

Nine bullets, one cartridge of shot

The LeMat was originally


developed in 1856 by Dr Jean
Alexander LeMat, who intended it
to be used as a sidearm for mounted
troops. It was a percussion cap
pistol of most unique configuration:
a rifled upper barrel fired 0.40
bullets that were carried in a
cylinder with a capacity of nine
bullets. A lower smooth bore barrel
fired a 16-bore cartridge of shot,
located in the centre of the cylinder.
The shooter, by flipping a lever on
the firing hammer, could select
which barrel fired.
With the advent of the modern
cartridge, first a pin fire version and

Patrick Sewak (order #3414506)

24 bore

then, in greater numbers, a centre


fire variant were manufactured in
Belgium. The latter is the version
described above, with an upper
barrel of 12mm calibre and a lower
barrel of 24 bore.
All versions were single action,
and were nicknamed, from the time
of their first use by the Confederate
Army, as the Grapeshot Revolver.
While not noted for its accuracy, the
LeMats power at close range was at
the time respectable. However, the
invention of double action revolvers
rendered it obsolete, for all the
appeal of a pistol that may act as a
short barrelled shotgun.

Webley 0.577 revolvers

Length:

9.5

241mm

Weight:

42 oz

1,190g

Calibre:

0.577

14.8mm

Capacity:

Six

From circa 1870, officers serving


across the Empire were on occasion
dissatisfied with the efficacy of their
service revolvers. This led to the
famous manufacturer P. Webley &
Son introducing a variant of their
0.450 No. 1 Revolver with an
enlarged calibre of 0.577.
It was found that the cartridges
had a tendency to bulge backwards
upon firing, and to remedy this a
back plate was added, to be
attached to the rear of the cylinder
once it was loaded. While this
remedied the problem, it made the
type exceptionally slow to reload.

Patrick Sewak (order #3414506)

A number of similar variants


were licence built by other
manufacturers, most notably Bland,
Pryse and Tranter. All were topbreak designs with double action,
with some having a capacity of just
five rounds.
The Webley 0.577 was never
issued as standard, and only a few
hundred of all types were made. By
the end of the 1880s, smokeless
powder cartridges improved the
effectiveness of lower calibre pistols
to the extent that the 0.577 fell out
of use.

Protector palm pistol

Length:

102mm

Weight:

9 oz

255g

Calibre:

0.32

8.1mm

Capacity:

Seven

In 1882 Monsieur Jacques


Turbiaux of Paris patented Le
Protector, a singular design
wherein the aim was concealment:
the pistol was held in the palm, with
just the short barrel visible as it
protruded from between the fingers.
Licence-built models were made
in Minneapolis from circa 1890 and
Chicago from 1893. These American
variants, both known as the
Protector, fired the 0.32 Extra
Short round. Most models were rim
fire, with just a small number of
those made in Minneapolis being of
the centre fire variety.

Patrick Sewak (order #3414506)

The cylinders chambers are


arranged radiating outwards from
the centre, a configuration known as
a turret. Firing is double action,
and is effected by making a fist
about the gun, bracing the front of it
against the gripping fingers and
squeezing against the rear with the
palm. For this reason, such weapons
are referred to as palm pistols.
While feeble for a gun of its
calibre, the ease of concealing the
Protector made it passingly popular,
and some thousands were sold up
to circa 1910.

Mauser C96 pistol

Length:

12.3

312mm

Weight:

40 oz

1,130g

Calibre:

0.30

7.63mm

0.354

9mm

Capacity:

Six/ten/twenty

The Mauser Construktion 96 is a


most distinctive German selfloading pistol that was first
produced in 1899. It has a number
of noteworthy features: the long
barrel, the rectangular internal
magazine positioned in front of the
trigger and a grip that has earned
the pistol its nickname of
Broomhandle. Further, each gun is
supplied with a detachable hollow
wooden stock that can also be used
to holster the pistol within.
The Broomhandle has attained
great popularity and is used across
the world: it was, for instance,
popular with British army officers
before the Great War.

Patrick Sewak (order #3414506)

Most models fire a 7.63mm


Mauser cartridge, a round that
results in a very high muzzle
velocity and greater penetration
than might be expected of a bullet of
this calibre. The guns effective
range is impressive for a pistol,
particularly when the stock is used.
The model depicted is the Red 9
variant produced for the German
Army during the Great War, and
fires a 9mm Parabellum cartridge.
The photograph shows the stock
attached and a ten round stripper
clip used to load the magazine (this
remains a slow process compared to
the simple replacement of an
external magazine, nevertheless).

Nagant M1895 revolver

Length:

10.5

235mm

Weight:

28 oz

800g

Calibre:

0.30

7.62mm

Capacity:

Seven

The M1895 was produced by the


Belgian firm of Nagant for the
Russian Empire, where it became
the standard pistol of the Imperial
Army. Production in Liege
continues, and also occurs at the
Tula arsenal in Russia. The M1895
remains in use with Soviet forces.
A notable feature of this revolver
is that, upon cocking, the cylinder
slides forward to form a gas-tight
seal with the barrel. This increases
muzzle velocity, but also means that
the pistol may be usefully fitted
with a silencer: most unusual for a
revolver.
The M1895 is renowned for its

Patrick Sewak (order #3414506)

ruggedness. It can withstand a considerable amount of abuse and


remain functioning, something that
has made it most popular with
those who carry it into battle. It is,
however, slow to reload, with each
spent cartridge having to be ejected
individually by hand ahead of
introducing a new round.
The M1895 is chambered to fire a
7.62mm cartridge, however some
adventurous owners have found
that, at a pinch, it may be persuaded
to fire .32 Smith & Wesson
ammunition. This, I should warn, is
not to be advised, and may lead to
misfire and damage to the gun.

Further Notes
Glossary
Bore

A measure of calibre that states the number of lead spheres of a diameter


that would snugly fit the barrel needed to make up a total weight of 1 lb.
The higher the bore, the smaller the barrel size. Called a gauge in the
USA. Most typically used to describe shotgun calibre.

Centre fire

A gun where the firing pin strikes the base of the cartridge at its centre.

Cylinder

A cylindrical device with chambers that hold the cartridges, the rotating
action of which is what gives revolvers their name.

Double action

A gun design in which pulling the trigger first cocks the hammer and then
causes it to strike. Double action guns may also be used in single action
mode if the shooter wants.

Rim fire

A gun where the firing pin strikes the base of the cartridge at its rim.

Self-loading

A gun that uses the power of the explosion from a fired cartridge to eject
the spent casing and automatically bring the next cartridge from the
magazine into the chamber. Also termed semi-automatic.

Single action

A gun design in which pulling the trigger only causes the hammer, when
raised, to strike, meaning it must be manually cocked first by the shooter.

Smokeless powder

An explosive propellant developed in the later 1880s that not only


produces far less smoke than Black Powder, but is considerably more
powerful and results in much-increased muzzle velocities.

Top break

A gun that is hinged at the bottom to allow the shooter to break it open,
exposing the cylinder to allow access for loading.

Curious Calibres is designed to give a little added detail to any RPG set in the middle part of
the 20th Century. It takes the form of a limited-run publication produced for the gun enthusiasts
of the fictional British island of Darkisle, and was written sometime during the 1920s. Watch out
for more Darkisle resources from DRAKAT Games in the future.
No stats are given with the gun descriptions, to allow them to be given to players in virtually
any game of that era. Instead, the following table gives some suggested game stats for the
Games Masters consideration. As a .38 revolver firing normal smokeless powder rounds is
often considered as a standard handgun, a guideline damage amount if given relative to this
weapon, along with the suggested damage if using Call of Cthulhu rules. A base range is given
for CoC rules, along with suggested values for short, medium and long range, which may be
of use in other game systems. Theres no consistent conversion factor between these two
methods of calculating range as the CoC approach of halving hit chance with each base range,
while an elegant game mechanism, does not always translate well to systems based on actual
weapon performance.

Patrick Sewak (order #3414506)

Weapon

Galand
Velo-Dog

Calibre

Damage Guide
(where .38 = 100%)

Damage
(CoC)

Base range (CoC)

Suggested short/medium/long ranges


(as an alternative to CoC base range)

Protector
palm pistol

65%

1D6

5 yards

1-5 yards/ 6-10 yards/ 11-15 yards

12mm

80%

1D8

10 yards

1-15 yards/ 16-30 yards/ 31-45 yards

24-bore

65% (close range)

1D6

5 yards

Maximum range 10 yards

Fires a cloud of pellets at a spread of 45 degrees. Full


damage per target up to 5 yards, half damage per
target between 5 and 10 yards.

1-15 yards/ 16-30 yards/ 31-45 yards

Reloading is slow: in addition to the normal loading


rate for your game, add 4 combat rounds to allow for
the removal/replacement of the back plate. This may
be reduced to 2 combat rounds if an appropriate
Dexterity-based throw is made.*

1-3 yards/ 4-6 yards/ 7-9 yards

Reloading is very slow: in addition to the normal


loading rate for your game, add 6 combat rounds to
allow for the removal/replacement of one side of the
pistol to allow access to the cylinder. This may be
reduced to 4 combat rounds if an appropriate
Dexterity-based throw is made.

1-20 yards/ 21-40 yards/ 41-60 yards


(0-40 yards/ 41-80 yards/ 81-120 yards with stock)

The C96 cannot be reloaded as quickly as most selfloading guns as it has a fixed internal magazine.
Assume that this can be reloaded at the same rate
that a revolver is reloaded. Attaching/detaching the
stock takes 1 combat round.

1-15 yards/ 16-30 yards/ 31-45 yards

Reloading rate is half that of a normal revolver. It can


sustain 50% more damage than a typical revolver.
Whatever misfire rules your game has for revolvers,
halve the chances for the Nagant M1895 when firing
7.62mm rounds. However, double the normal misfire
chance if it is being fired with 0.32 S&W rounds.

0.577

110%

1D10+1

0.32

65%

1D6

7.63mm

95%

1D8+1

10 yards

3 yards

15 yards
(25 yards with stock)

Mauser C96
9mm

Nagant
M1895

A pepper cartridge may be fired at a target within 5


yards. No change in the chance of hitting. A
successful hit does no damage but incapacitates the
target for D6 combat rounds (assuming the target is
affected by pepper!).

5.5mm

LeMat
revolver

Webley

Notes

7.62mm

100%

80%

1D10

1D8

10 yards

*Alternatively: youve got 3lbs of gun metal in your hand, might be easier to just beat that pesky Deep One to death with it!

Patrick Sewak (order #3414506)