Jeff Arnold’s West

The blog of a Western fan, for other Western fans

Marston three-barrel


Pretty nifty


I followed up Jean-Marie’s comment on Helena’s three-barrel pistol in the 2013 The Lone Ranger. You know me and derringers.



It’s a Marston three-barrel.



I found one that went at auction for $35,000. Brother.



Worth it, though, for the retractable knife blade. That combination three-barrel and stabber would do some damage alright, up close.


The engraving on the weapon is fine. It was apparently by the famous master engraver Louis Daniel Nimschke. The letter N on the inside of the pistol grip indicates the authorship of the engraver. The upper part of the trunk latch is decorated with the image of the shield with the American flag. The left side of the frame is engraved in the form of a winged fire-breathing mythical creature. On the right side is a tiger standing on its hind legs. Screw heads are decorated with floral designs. Pretty snazzy.



William W Marston was born in England in 1822 but came to the US with his gunsmith father and later set up business on his own, in New York.


I think a Marston may have to appear in my next novel.



3 Responses

  1. Glad you like it…There are some gorgeous examples with pearl or ivory grips along with engraving by masters such as Nimschke. Maybe you should add the link to your very elaborate text about Deringer and derringers and other tiny guns (have you ever heard of the suicide specials …!?) in western

    1. I’ll do that.
      Yes, I have heard the expression suicide special. I understand them to be low-price small pistols. If you are going to do yourself in with a gun, why spend a lot for (what you hope will be) a single use? Though I believe the name was used more generally, rather like ‘derringer’, for any concealed or pocket pistol.

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