Lady’s (Ladies?) Home Companion at RIA (Video)

The Ladies Home Companion was a pistol (technically) made by the Cobray company on the same frame as their 12ga “Street Sweeper” shotgun. It had no stock or front grip, and was chambered for the .45-70 rifle cartridge, carrying 12 rounds in its fixed drum magazine. It’s kinda like watching a train wreck…you know you shouldn’t, but you kinda want one anyway. These sold even worse than the Streetsweeper, but they at least didn’t have an egregiously offensive name and thus were never the target of a major lobbying campaign.

 

 

41 Comments

    • I know one thing concerning “big-bore” hand-guns: don’t important how big cartridge you use, there will be someone wanting bigger cartridge and someone which would build it. 45-70 is tiny for you? No problem! Get .600 Pfeifer Zeliska revolver. If stopping power hype would still works we will get hand-guns firing 20mm canon round or even beyond… Any of big cartridge hand-gun reminds me about: http://www.chuckhawks.com/825_magnum.htm

  1. The impression of Cobray I’ve gotten over the last week is that they A: Didn’t know how to say no to a firearm idea B: Must have had a very interesting naming department, all the product names sound like they either consulted an 8 year old or sat around for hours until ‘inspiration’ stuck.

  2. I’d go with “Ladies’ Home Companion” (apostrophe after the “S”), but then I never worked at Cobray. Frankly, the apostrophe is the least of your concerns when your product sounds like some sort of “massager” for Edwardian women… I would have given it a much more Cobray-esque name, personally. The Hole-Ripper, or the Murderizer or something. No, wait: the Cobray Deathwish!

    If anyone out there has a business manufacturing legislation-baiting tube guns out of bits of gas-pipe and scrap metal and needs model names, my rates are very reasonable. 😉

  3. With all due respect, once gain I defer to an old acquaintance, Col. Charles Askins, who was more than just mildly enamored with the Colt 1911-A1 in, of course, .45 ACP. Once when asked why he was partial to the .45 he responded that it was because he could not find anyone who made one in .46 cal. When in what he termed “a serious social situation” his philosophy was that the largest caliber you could control and shoot accurately was just barely adequate. He also one told me that the ONLY reason for going into a gunfight with a handgun was because you could not get to your shotgun fast enough … with his (and my) preference being a Remington 870 pump and even better in 3” Magnum with a full cargo of “Double-Ought” and slugs. This was later validated in my Marine Urban Warfare Combat Training when we were told that during a hostile entry if you encountered two enemy; one with a shotgun and one with a SMG, take out the shotgun first because he was the most dangerous. Therefore, if I were restricted to either a “Street Sweeper” or a “Lady’s Home Companion” I would go with the former with all its deficiencies as a combat shotgun. But in any case, “You can NEVER have TOO MUCH gun in a gunfight!”

    • John Ringo frequently says that in an actual fight, a handgun is generally only good for getting hold of a long gun. And that a shotgun is mainly useful for acquiring a rifle.

      All of which reads back to Keith’s Three Laws of Gunfights;

      1. Have a gun.

      2. Never bring a knife to a gunfight.

      3. Never bring a pistol to a rifle fight.

      One rather not-so-funny joke I remember from my CSI days;

      “Why do we carry handguns? Because a rifle is a PITA to get in and out of the cruiser with.”

      Handguns are used on the basis of utility, i.e. in the time and place it’s all that’s available, all that can be transported, or all that can be maneuvered in the available space (inside a building etc.).

      Otherwise, we’d probably all reach for a rifle first.

      cheers

      eon

      • John Ringo frequently says that in an actual fight, a handgun is generally only good for getting hold of a long gun.

        I think he stole that from Jeff Cooper.

        (Which is fine and good and shows Ringo has excellent taste.)

      • Regarding rifles/shotguns being a pain to get out of a car, think back to the ’86 Miami shootout. The Feds had shotguns, just slightly shorter in overall length than grandpa’s goose gun (worked just fine at the skeet range in Quantico), and one never got into the fight but stayed in the back seat.

        The Feds were not out-gunned that day, they were out-handied. A folding stock Mini-14 is about the handiest long rifle out there.

        A pistol is good if a long gun isn’t around, but with a handy long gun maybe that can be avoided.

  4. The LHC 45-70 was produced merely to do something with the Streetsweeper parts left over after the DD classification of the 12ga. version (they also made a 20ga. version). BTW, “Cobray” was not the company name, but the trademark used by RPB, SWD and it’s other spin off companies; S/S Inc. in this case.

    • If they were trying for a less “offensive” name/trademark, they sure blew it with that shield on the side of the receiver, which of course was the Street Sweeper trademark.

      Two capital “S”s separated by a lightning bolt?

      First thing I thought of was the Schutzstaffel.

      SS. Seigrune. Etc.

      There must have been some very strange people working there, especially in the publicity department.

      cheers

      eon

  5. As I recall, the difference between a “pistol” and a “destructive device” is about a thumbnail length of rifling at the end of the barrel.
    I’m an old coot who learned to shoot at 11 years old when girls had homemaking classes, and the worst thing guys would do was have their gal shoot a 12 gauge for an introduction to firearms.

  6. I have heard that the purpose of handguns and rifles is to secure the radio operator while artillery and airstrikes are called onto the enemy.

      • That reminds me of a joke my uncle (Col, US Army Corps of Engineers, North Africa & Italy 1942-45) told me about the desert campaign;

        If you ran across an infantry unit “up the blue” and couldn’t ID them, fire one round that wouldn’t hit them.

        If the response was a volley of precision rifle fire, they were British.

        If the response was a fusillade of machine-gun fire, they were German.

        And if nothing happened for five minutes and then your position was obliterated by artillery fire or an airstrike, they were American.

        He should know. Airstrikes were his preferred method of dealing with “kibitzers” in the other side’s uniforms.

        cheers

        eon

  7. Maybe they were being somewhat sarcastic with the name, after getting flak for the “Street sweeper” I mean this gun is arguably more shocking, in name at least. Well in some ways, mind you doubtless some ladies found it an apt weapon for the purpose with a most agreeable nomenclature.

    And why not, he he.

    • Perhaps they lived in a swamp for example, and had to pass crocodiles on the way to the outhouse. Someone once told me “swamp folk” throw spears at them with rounds attached to the end in a manner so as to facilitate them firing upon contact with a target.

      This is more refined, he didn’t say if they were clad merely in loin clothes but I imagine it is distinct possibility.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerhead

        Aka the “shark gun” or “bang stick”. Homemade ones used to be fairly common back in the bayous for alligator disposal.

        The “mechanism” (to overstate the case) is a lot like the Paliuntod we were discussing a few days ago.

        As the wiki entry notes, a blank round is just as effective as a live projectile loaded one, because it is the expanding gases from the muzzle blast being forced into the target that does the damage.

        Back in the Seventies, I saw one that was built to use a large-size (3″ long) CO2 canister as used in a pellet rifle, instead of a conventional cartridge. It worked rather like a hypodermic, with a sharpened “needle” tube and a one-way valve operated when the tube punctured the target and its “base” was then pushed back enough to trip the valve. On contact, it discharged the entire CO2 load of the “bottle” into the target.

        It did about the same damage a a 12-gauge load would.

        cheers

        eon

  8. It’s either Lady’s Home Companion or Ladies’ Home Companion. Both are possessive, but the first is a singular lady, the second is a plural ladies. so if it’s for a lady, the first option. if it’s for all the ladies, the second.

  9. This is a very interesting firearm, even if impractical by any reasonable standard. The historical background of the connection to the Street Sweeper is what makes it most interesting, as otherwise without that information it’s just noteworthy as a poorly designed revolver.

    How is this thing supposed to be supported in firing position? Do you put one hand beneath the cylinder, or do you hold the barrel shroud? I’m trying to imagine using the sights without getting kicked in the face by the recoil, and not having much success.

    • I’m still trying to figure out what those three holes in the front of the cylinder are for.

      Excess gas escape?

      Emergency manual cylinder indexing by sticking your fingers in?

      Paint it orange and put a jack o’lantern face on it with those as the mouth?

      There isn’t a lot about this gadget that makes a whole lot of sense, period.

      cheers

      eon

  10. This is hardly a good defensive weapon in too many ways (handling, loading, extraction, and ammunition supply troubles). I think a Type 94 Nambu would have been more successful for defending one’s house assuming that there indeed is a hand-to-hand scuffle with a burglar (fewer instances of huge bullet holes in the walls and in one’s chinaware and way fewer broken wrists)…

    • I’ve always thought a katana has its points. Light, easy to handle, inside the house its lack of range isn’t a factor, unlike a baseball bat the assailant is going to have problems if he tries to grab it from the “business end”, and there’s a major intimidation factor if he waves a butterfly knife or cheap switchblade at the housewife and she draws that much steel in response.

      True story; in Columbus OH a few years ago, a guy was running around commiting SEs at knifepoint. Said knife was a cheap butterfly with a 3″ blade.

      One near-vic told the TV newsies that she was defenseless against him, in the kitchen where she was confronted by him. He backed her up against the counter by waving the tiny knife from five feet away.

      On said counter, within her reach, was a knife block with eight knives, including a Bowie-sized butcher.

      If somebody had come after my late mother like that, she’d have drawn said butcher and told him to drop the penknife- or else.

      It all comes down to mindset.

      cheers

      eon

      • Well said, eon. The problem with the kitchen knives in the story also boils down to the fact that they usually aren’t used against live victims. To make matters worse in America, most people are brought up to be “civilized civilians who call cops when things go bad,” not “wild west hooligans who shoot the idiot who forgot to knock before entering.”

        Supposing however that a bunch of knife-wielding idiots came into your house and all you had were a selection of loaded but “not-so-great” historical guns on a table right in front of you, which would you pick? The choices are listed below:

        1. Chauchat, already racked
        2. Hotchkiss M1926 with ammo strip already in place and the first round chambered
        3. Mondragon with drum magazine (aviator’s model, I assume)
        4. 7/8th scale Type 38 Arisaka trainer with wooden bullets loaded
        5. Fiat Revelli heavy machine gun beside the table
        6. Beretta 1934 pistol with suppressor (where the heck did I get this?)
        7. Carcano carbine with a rifle-grenade launcher attached to the right hand side (sadly, rifle’s bolt is on the grenade launcher, though I have given it a nasty “irritant” gas grenade [snickers at having possibly loaded phosgene into grenade])
        8. Mauser G.41 (M) with full magazine and bayonet.
        9. Villar-Perosa twin barrel SMG
        10. Type 14 and Type 94 Nambu pistols and for some odd reason, a Shin-gunto katana in the set…

        Go get your toys! KILL EVERYONE IN YOUR WAY! [evil laughter]

        • Well,if they were polite enough to all come in through one door I could see, the Mondragon and I would have some target practice. Or else I’d use the tear gas round in the Carcano’s GL and then get personal.

          Otherwise, because I’m basically sneaky (and consistently shot around 180 to 183 on the PPC), that suppressed Beretta would be my first choice. They are accurate enough for head shots out to 20 meters, which is a lot farther than inside the house range.

          The two Nambu pistols would be my next grab, albeit the Type 94 would mainly be as a surprise weapon if somebody got the drop on me and told me to hand it over. Muzzle in their direction, press external sear bar, they join the choir invisible.

          The shingun-to would serve well enough for CQB. For that matter, a hickory axe handle would serve as a decent bokken. (See “Pale Rider” with Clint Eastwood.)

          The rest would serve as bait. If I had a spare minute, I’d make sure they were all Condition Three with the safeties on. In my experience, street types don’t cope well with mechanical complexity.

          Popping the magazines, etc., would be even more fun. They’d go nuts trying to figure out which one went where. Imagine one picking up the G41M and watching the magazine fall out…

          I’d leave the Carcano as is. They’d never figure it out in a million years. The poor bloody Italian infantry who were stuck with it had a hard enough time, and they’d actually trained with the darned thing. If one managed to fire that CS round, more power to him. It’s going to hurt them a lot worse than it will me in a confined space. (I know how to deal with tear gas. It’s weird the things you remember from training.)

          In short, I’d base my choice on the actual tacsit. But I’m going to be as devious as possible.

          As Massad Ayoob observes, the primary target is the opponent’s mind. Such as it is.

          😉

          cheers

          eon

        • I’d have the Villar-Perosa on the table next to the Grappa and a nice cigar. The Hotckiss if they’re wearing body armor, but then I’d need some Cognac or Calvados instead. The big rifle calibers do tend to chew up the sheetrock and my wife would get pissed off and I would have to fix it. The Beretta would be for administering any necessary coup de grace, and although I like the idea of the katana, severed limbs, heads, and opened abdomens do get a bit messy. I have a Winchester Model 97 Trench Gun with a bayonet on it that I keep around. I always thought it was pretty intimidating (especially with me charging down the stairs in my skivvies behind a hail of 00 buckshot while shouting obscenities at the top of my lungs!)

        • The G.41(M). There’s nothing quite like a bayonet to calm things down. It’s not like he’s going to be able to stab me from way over there at the business end of the gun.

          • To all who have responded to my home invasion post:

            “You win! Everyone else is DEAD!

            At least I didn’t give you guys a Type 97 Anti-tank Rifle or a hopper-fed DP-28… Of course, had I really been crazy, I’d have set up a bunch of water-cooled versions of MG-15’s…

      • Hey, back in 2009 5 buglars went into a house in Mexico City and tied everyone inside, but one of the inhabitants was a kendo master and had a katana at hand, he managed to release himself and used the katana to great effect, three buglars killed in the spot, one more in the hospital and one captured, they were all aremed with firearms, and as fall as the media said, one of them had an uzi that jammed after the first shot.

        take a look at the news report, is in spanish but it has some animations to explain the situation.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-7P5EbgNds

  11. Was the intent for users to use 410 shotgun shells in the 45-70 chambers? Maybe the gun was sold as a 45-70 to keep the ATF away.

    • I’m looking at a .410 round and a .45-70 round as I type this, and the .410’s rim is about the size of the .45-70 case just above the rim. Putting a .410 in a .45-70 chamber might cause the .410 to wedge in place just too deep for the firing pin to hit the primer.

      However, the chamber of the .45-70, like the cartridge, has a slight taper toward the front. A .410 round forced in might “wedge” in place in the right place to fire. I wouldn’t like to think about the pressure peak, though.

      Even if it does fire, I’d expect the case near the head to bulge or split, due to the chamber being too large near the case head. This effect was seen when old .45-70 trapdoors with shot-out barrels were used by the Apache with .410 rounds in the 1930s. (D.C. Cole, “Firearms in Apache Tribal Use”, Gun Digest 1981, p. 98.)

      The European 32-gauge we were talking about the other day is just a bit too big to enter the chamber.

      The best way to fire shot charges from the .45-70 is to reload empty .45-70 cases with shot loads and wads. In effect, treating them as full-length brass shotshells. Which they are certainly big enough for.

      cheers

      eon

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