Defiance Shotgun Pistol, Made in San Francisco


Defiance Shotgun Pistol, Made in San Francisco

When it comes to shotguns, there’s no such thing as “too many.” Sadly, though, there’s a government-defined term known as “too short” (can you say, “Ruby Ridge?”). Sometimes a handgun shotgun is just fine with the BATF and you can own one without fear of gummint agents battering down your door in the middle of the night; this one is legal as long as you pay the NFA bribe money for a short-barreled shotgun or “any other weapon” (AOW).

That said, this ain’t your standard stumpy scattergun. It’s actually a Defiance brand 20-gauge side-by-side double-barrel break-action shotgun which was 100% designed as a handgun — way back in the 1920s — and made by California Arms Company in San Francisco.

The grip and forend are made of cast aluminum, and are pretty robust.

The action is simple, and features a pair of strikers with round knurled handles at the rear which you grab and pull back to cock each one separately. This is very much like so many old single-shot rimfire rifles and some other types of guns, so it may look familiar.

If all this isn’t cool enough, consider the pair of trap doors on the bottom of the grip, providing in-grip storage for spare ammo.

Defiance 20 gauge shotgun pistol has grip storage for spare ammo.
Defiance 20 gauge shotgun pistol has grip storage for spare ammo.

The barrels are just a little longer than 12 inches, and this one has the low serial number of 25.

Only about 300 Defiance shotgun pistols were made. This one sold for $3,738 in December of last year.

It’s definitely cool.

Avatar Author ID 61 - 1936930863

Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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