POTD: Greener Pastures – Greener Humane Horse Killer Collapsible Pistol
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a bit of an oddity and something out of the ongoing norm for Photo of the Day. This is a British-made Greener Humane Horse Killer Single Shot Collapsible Pistol. These pistols dispute their “collapsible” namesake and are much more like takedown handguns for lack of a better phrase. It breaks down into around seven total pieces. The picture you see is what it looks like when it is fully “collapsed.”
One end is simply unscrewed and a barrel/chamber apparatus is removed, flipped, and screwed into the end it came from. This end has a small-cap containing a firing pin and spring. When this cap is removed a cartridge can be inserted and the cap replaced. When put together and live the slanted/contoured receiving end is made to be pressed against a wounded, sick, or food animal’s head. With the initial mallet cap removed, it is used to strike the firing pin and thus setting off the cartridge and dispatching the animal. These days folks use captive bolt devices that utilize pneumatic, hydraulic, or blank cartridges to propel a rod into an animal and retract as fast as it went in. That way there is less of a chance anyone other than the intended animal is harmed.
“Marketed to those who worked with livestock, the Humane Horse Killer was purpose-built for putting down injured or sick horses. When collapsed, the Horse Killer measures 6 1/2 inches long, with military proofs on the muzzle and the London/Birmingham address on the tube. Opened up, the pistol measures 10 1/2 inches long, with the brass end cap serving (and marked) as the mallet for striking the spring loaded firing pin. The face of the muzzle is slanted, to provide optimum angle for the projectile to pass through the brain, and the outer casing doubles as an expansion chamber. Birmingham proofed breech and barrel, with matching full and partial numbers.”
Lot 1212: Greener Humane Horse Killer Single Shot Collapsible Pistol. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved June 15, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/58/1212/greener-humane-horse-killer-single-shot-collapsible-pistol.