Milanese 7mm Pinfire Saber-Revolver

Tacticool is not a modern creation – people have been making arms that are impractical but cool looking for centuries. As a case in point, I present this Model 1864 Milanese style saber-revolver. Several different variations on this theme were made in the mid 1800s, but this one closely follows the type made by one Carlo Maria Colombo in Milan. It is a 6-shot, 7mm pinfire revolver built into the hilt of a saber. Of course, it is a difficult way to aim the revolver, and the saber blade has no tang…

Thanks to Ader of Paris for the chance to film this very cool piece of firearms curiosa! This piece is being sold in Ader’s September 28th auction, along with a bunch of other interesting antique arms.


  1. I think this setup would make more sense with a rapier instead of the saber. Just run him through and pull the trigger for insurance.

    • Well if I have ever drove someone to “duelling” I would like this, and wish upon my ill wishing adversary the rapier. In order I can feign injury shoot the referee, and then attempt to shoot the other fellow at at least 20yrds.

      Before throwing my blade at him/her and running off; to find a brick, prior to jumping over a wall.

      • The brick would work; outraged dueller would leap over the wall in pursuit.

        Smack. And I would steal his/her watch, with any luck.

          • None gender defined I meant “Not trying to trigger so mofo into duel” honest… I already have a watch, for example. He he.

            Meh. (10 years this will probably come back to haunt me; Robogay, 20 seconds to comply.) We call the Taliban but to be honest… What? Controversal opinion, he he!

          • 20 yrs of “gay war” to protect the right of a ten yr girl to declare themselves a man and be drugged into it etc.

            And. Etc, Etc. Is that all the “West” has as exportable culture. Well no wonder its been a 20 yr stalemate.

            “Turn your boys into girls for democracy; forget about corruption this is the holy mission” Anyway, burp… Nice sword.

          • “(…)“Turn your boys into girls for democracy; forget about corruption this is the holy mission”(…)”
            Explain immediately how this is related to weapon crafted in 19th century Europe.

          • They “invented” it over there anyway, via Alexander the Great… Bum friends, not that I would tell him (Alexander the Great you are a puff) even with this gun chopper…

            Mind you they were not thick then.

            Meh. I met a Taliban looking cunt in Burnley; worse than Dale Winton, everyone knew. Its just like Catholics etc; a cover up.

            Load a shit.

            Anyway what did you say 18th c Amur river? Was it.

          • “(…)via Alexander the Great(…)”
            What time measurement system are you using so according to it mentioned person lived in 19th century?

      • “(…)shoot the referee(…)”
        This plan does not address presence of seconds
        A second was a friend who came along to help prepare your weapons, make sure the other duelist wasn’t going to ambush you and make sure the rules of the duel were being followed. Seconds were also supposed to try to defuse the situation that led to the duel by getting an apology from one party or another

  2. My wild guess would be that this was intended for cavalry use, since the limited number of hands to use in that role was always a factor. Likely not much “aiming” was anticipated — you’d be trying to land a sabre blow, and firing the occasional arm’s length shot for “emphasis” or to even the odds if you were ganged up on. Probably also useful for a coup de grace to a mortally wounded mount.

    • P.S. — noting Ian’s closing comment, and the earlier reference to the weakness of the short tang, I suspect that this was acquired by an officer for whom the saber was more of a badge of rank and baton-like command tool rather than a primary melee weapon. That seems like all the more reason for a 2-in-1 weapon to be appealing.

    • @Schill McGuffin – possibly,but the sabre is not a cavalry pattern, at least not a contemporary Italian, French, British or Austrian pattern. I think the Prussians still used a stirrup hilt, but most others used a more protective bowl or multi-bar hilt. Offering a prototype that at least looked the bit like a current patttern might help military contracts. However, infantry officers still carried swords, often sabres at this time, often with a lighter hilt.

  3. Aside from the tang, the edge down metal sheath (common for the era, but bad for a sword none the less) would constantly dull the blade, so I don’t see it being a good sword. I do think a colab with Matt Easton of Scholagladatoria on combination weapons (and maybe bayonets) would be nice if the two of you and a collection of them could be at the same place at the same time.

    As for pinfire, you generally mention pinfire revolvers when pinfire is mentioned, but pinfire shotguns seem to have been relatively common, as far as pinfires in the US go, since they were the last pinfire cartridges to disappear from mail catalogs (which, frankly, I’m surprised appeared in non-specialty catalogs till at least the 1920s).

  4. Video game come to life
    Literally Final Fantasy VIII’s gunblades

    Re:bricks as melee weapons; half a brick in a sock is both more effective and traditional

    • Forget the fantasy gun blade, in real life it would be a useless piece of junk in an actual fight. I prefer a boring-but-functioning weapon over to a fancy-but-useless one. Heck, even a Colt Pocket Hammerless is better than this saber-revolver in realistic gunfighting terms. And in melee, the “decorative” nature of the saber would probably make it unable to parry a HUGE ROCK. I could be wrong.

  5. I always imagine Pdb wearing a turtleneck sweater, whiskey bottle in hand, staring out to sea… If only the bastards had listened to me. If only they’d listened.

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