Watch: Collette Gravity Pistol on Forgotten Weapons
Russ Chastain 09.01.16
This gravity pistol is a 20-shooter (no kidding!) from the mid-1800s, and it gets its name from the fact that gravity alone is responsible for feeding ammo out of the magazine.
It’s 11mm, which is about the same bore size as a 44 magnum, but this is no magnum. In fact, it took a wimpy round known by the impressive name of “rocketball,” which was basically a hollow-base bullet with the powder crammed up inside, and a primer for ignition. In other words, there was no cartridge case.
As weak as this round was, it was intended mainly for amusement as in target shooting and such.
The hole above the muzzle in the photo above is the front end of the magazine; you drop ammo in there, then close the hinged magazine cover. As you can see in the pictures at the top of this page, the cartridges were visible from the side, so there was no guessing about whether you had ammo in the magazine.
This gun was made in Belgium by Collette (with two “L”s; the gun is marked COLLETTE BREVETE).