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First appearing in the decade of so before World War One, the Scheintod guns were designed to fire either flash or irritant cartridges, not lethal projectiles. The word “scheintod”, in fact, translates to something along the lines of “apparent death”, as in something that looks lethal but actually isn’t. They would remain popular as self-defense weapons through the 1920s, and were made in a wide variety of configurations. This one is a particularly large example, with 5 chambers nearly 3 inches in length. It would have fired a round of red pepper, tobacco powder, or other eye and nose irritants.
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