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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own this gun, its been in my family for over 120 years, my Grandfather used it around his farm and county store.
The only one I've seen is at the Buffalo Bill Museum in WY..
There website tells about it with pictures.
This one may be for sale
 

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Wonderment :)
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Bigjim60: Sir, adding



Percussion trap, or “watermelon patch” gun
So many of our visitors are intrigued by this percussion trap gun that they often telephone or write to our firearms staff asking for a way to explain it to their friends back home. It dates back to a time and to locations when and where it was legal to defend personal property with lethal force. The gun could be placed in a watermelon patch, for example, and set up to shoot at anyone who stole into the patch at night to take melons illicitly.

This .41 caliber muzzle-loading gun is mounted on a round cast-iron frame with a heavy clock spring inside. Cords were attached to each of the four lugs, or triggers, on top of the frame and then stretched out in different directions. Once the gun was loaded, bumping into any one of the cords in the darkness caused the gun to rotate and fire in that direction. Farmers frequently loaded them with non-lethal charges, such as bacon rind and rock salt, in order to cause the potential thief a great deal of discomfort—but not imperil his life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I own this gun, its been in my family for over 120 years, my Grandfather used it around his farm and county store.
The only one I've seen is at the Buffalo Bill Museum in WY..
There website tells about it with pictures.
This one may be for sale
A few words about myself. South Carolina born and raised, life long shooter, hunter, and fisher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thi
how popular were water melons in the 1880's?

seems to me like there would be more carrots and spinach and beans and stuff, but what do i know i wasnt around back then!
how popular were water melons in the 1880's?

seems to me like there would be more carrots and spinach and beans and stuff, but what do i know i wasnt around back then!
I don't think it was many made or sold. Very little history on them.
 

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As recently as the 1980s in the UK, people who owned estates were allowed to have their gamekeepers place 12 gauge "poacher alarm guns" on their property. They are/were what amounts to a single shot 12 gauge receiver with (allegedly) a 12 gauge blank, that worked off a tripwire. The intention is not to shoot a poacher, but rather to alert the gamekeepers that they have a poacher on the estate, so they can try to catch him. Or so the landowners claimed.

I don't know if those poacher alarm guns are still legal over there, but the "watermelon guns" are not legal here any more. They are considered boobytrap guns, and those are illegal everywhere so far as I know.
 

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how popular were water melons in the 1880's?

seems to me like there would be more carrots and spinach and beans and stuff, but what do i know i wasnt around back then!

Watermelons and chickens were the two most important things to have in the post-Reconstruction South. Those two single-handedly raised millions out of poverty. Up in the mountains, the sandy shoals, and the scrub land those two things will flourish when no other crop will.

Our farm was up in the mountains. Corn had to be planted three feet apart in the old days, that's the same distance as watermelon has to be placed apart. The latter is greater yield for value.

Butterbeans are the only bean that really thrives here ( and soy, but that came much later), and collards, mustard greens and even poke salat were more popular than spinach down here, despite Popeye's best efforts.
 

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Watermelons and chickens were the two most important things to have in the post-Reconstruction South. Those two single-handedly raised millions out of poverty. Up in the mountains, the sandy shoals, and the scrub land those two things will flourish when no other crop will.

Our farm was up in the mountains. Corn had to be planted three feet apart in the old days, that's the same distance as watermelon has to be placed apart. The latter is greater yield for value.

Butterbeans are the only bean that really thrives here ( and soy, but that came much later), and collards, mustard greens and even poke salat were more popular than spinach down here, despite Popeye's best efforts.

its hard for me to imagine watermelons being such a valuable resource, afterall they;re mostly water arent they?
 

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Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium. An easy source of sugar when you can't afford to buy sugar. Long shelf life. A source of water during droughts (which is why they are placed in graves in Africa - to send water to the afterlife, and why the Egyptians cultivated them). The roots are shallow and they need less water than other crops.
They are ridiculously valuable in parts of the world, and they were ridiculously valuable in the South until fairly recently.
 

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As recently as the 1980s in the UK, people who owned estates were allowed to have their gamekeepers place 12 gauge "poacher alarm guns" on their property. They are/were what amounts to a single shot 12 gauge receiver with (allegedly) a 12 gauge blank, that worked off a tripwire. The intention is not to shoot a poacher, but rather to alert the gamekeepers that they have a poacher on the estate, so they can try to catch him. Or so the landowners claimed.

I don't know if those poacher alarm guns are still legal over there, but the "watermelon guns" are not legal here any more. They are considered boobytrap guns, and those are illegal everywhere so far as I know.
When I was a child I was allowed to help the Keepers do the rounds in the early evening to reset the 'alarm guns'...
All the local examples were not bored through, so as to only allow the use of blanks
Which is why the farmers on their own land used their day guns, loaded with rock salt, on thieves such as young lads 'scrumping apples'.
We wore short trousers
It stung, oh how it stung...
 

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When I was a child I was allowed to help the Keepers do the rounds in the early evening to reset the 'alarm guns'...
All the local examples were not bored through, so as to only allow the use of blanks
Which is why the farmers on their own land used their day guns, loaded with rock salt, on thieves such as young lads 'scrumping apples'.
We wore short trousers
It stung, oh how it stung...
many a teenager here in the states know that feeling also. At least in my generation.
 
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