POTD: A Different Auto & Burglar – California Arms Co Defiance/Anti-Bandit


POTD: A Different Auto & Burglar – California Arms Co Defiance/Anti-Bandit

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a very early example of an Anti-Bandit gun. This is the California Arms Co Defiance/Anti-Bandit 20 gauge shotgun. These popped up in the mid to late 1920s and were marketed in the same vain as the more successful Ithica Auto and Burglar shotguns. These had the distinction of being marketed as a potential non-lethal guns. By that I mean it was not only made to use ordinary shotgun shells such as buckshot but also 20 gauge tear gas shells. This unfortunately did not catch on since shotgun shells hauling tear gas do not pack much of a punch, in fact, you would need to fire quite a bit.

“Manufactured between 1926 and 1930 and marketed by the California Arms Co. as a self defense and anti-bandit gun to compete with the Ithaca Auto and Burglar gun. Features a single bead sight, blue steel barrels and breech block, 2 1/2 inch chambers, open chokes, spring strikers with knurled cocking knobs, and cast aluminum frame and forend. The frame was designed to be similar to the Colt Government Model grip with storage space for two 20 gauge shotgun shells. It is estimated that only about 300 were manufactured.”


Lot 2602: California Arms Two Digit Serial Number 20 Defiance/Anti-Bandit – Scarce California Arms Co. Two Digit Serial Number 20 Defiance/Anti-Bandit Class Iii/Nfa Aow. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved December 18, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/75/2602/california-arms-two-digit-serial-number-20-defianceantibandit.

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Writer | TheFirearmBlog Writer | AllOutdoor.com Instagram | sfsgunsmith Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.

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