Sunday, May 4, 2014

Interesting Antique

While brother was cleaning out Mom's house, after her passing last December, he came across something I'd never seen or heard of before.  As you can see, the box is labelled Pistola Lancia Razzi Model 1900 and "cal. mm. 6".  Knowing I'm the gun geek of the family, bro made sure to hand it over to me. 
A search of the marvelous intertubes shows a bunch of posts that refer to it as a starter pistol, and that array of 6 very short "rounds" is its magazine.  All of that may be true, but its instruction sheet says something else.  The instructions refer to it as "World Famed Brevettata TEAR GAS PISTOL" and below that "Sold by Direct Mail".  One gun was $13.07 and buying two brought it down to $11.43 each.  It refers to using "cal .22 crimped blank Flobert cartridges".  Again, the marvelous web delivers the information that there are three types of "cal .22 Flobert cartridges" available these days.  There a .22 cal (short) blanks; there are .22 cal cartridges with pointy or round bullets; and finally, there are still .22 cal short tear gas cartridges

Given the way this thing appears to load, by inserting that "magazine" in through the barrel while the gun and magazine are upside down, this is absolutely not the one to use with the cartridges that hold small bullets.  Honestly, I think this one just goes in the closet. 

The instruction sheet says, "It is ideal for people who work in lonely dark locations and require protection".  Dad worked in the Biscayne Annex of the US Post Office in downtown Miami on the night shift, so check on both of those.  He left work there in 1972, but even then downtown Miami wasn't a place for the faint of heart.  He also had a .25 cal semiauto, Model 503, made by Fr. Galesi in Italy.  These guns were pretty much the target of the '68 gun control act, and forced Galesi out of exporting to the US. I have that gun and have shot a box or two through it, but mostly keep it as a family heirloom.  It looks almost exactly like the top picture on that previous link.



  1. My cousin had a "tear gas pistol" that his mom gave him 'for protection' while hitchhiking to college. That would have been in the '70s. She failed to consider what would actually happen if he used it in a car...

    He did later use it during a prank on campus, so it fired at least once.

    Neat little piece of history. Keep it safe!

  2. Was that the post office at NE 1st St & 1st Ave? I sort of remember it from riding the bus downtown and spending the day in the 50's. Burdines, the main library at the east end of Flagler, the science museum at the woman's club on the bay right north of Venetian Causeway.
    We would go downtown by ourselves in those days. I was in my early teens.
    Feeling old in Florida

  3. Terry - that sounds likely. I tried looking it up last night, but never found anything positive.

    I remember having it pointed out to me on a trip downtown, but I was too young for driving landmarks to settle in.

    Was that the science museum that had the Space Transit Planetarium? Apparently, Bill Whittle worked there as a teen. I saw him do a tribute to Jack Horkheimer from there. I didn't realize until then we grew up in the same area.

    The folks moved out of Dade county within a year after I graduated high school. I've been back a few times, but I think the last time I was in Miami was in the 1980s.

  4. Do a street view of NE 1st and 1 ave. it shows up.
    The science museum started at the womans club and had a small planatarium. I saw that tribute also. I think that Bill W worked with Jack H after they built the new museum across the street from Vizcaya. BTW the large world globe that was in the Pan Am headquarters in Coconut Grove, now Miami City Hall, was moved to the new museum. New being relative.