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EXCEPTIONALLY RARE 4.5mm GIFFARD CARBONIC PISTOL - with 26.5 cm round barrel, with adjustable fore and rear sights, the barrel signed in gold 'ST ETIENNE' and below the 'AMES' designation and St Etienne proofs at the breach, foliate engraved action, loading bolt with adjustable gas guage, spur trigger guard, one piece finely chequered walnut butt stock and oval butt cap with turned terminal. Gas cylinder below the barrel - easily uncrewable. In excellent condition now to a russet/blue overall, sharpe engraving and excellent rifled bore. 44cm overall.
Paul Giffard a French inventor made a range of CO2 powdered weapons which proved very popular for gallery and sporting purposes. However his grand designs to replace conventional weapons with his own liquid gas weapons never came to pass due to their limited muzzle velocities. However such was the anticipation that The Colt Firearms Company signed a contract with Giffard for the manufacture and sale of such weapons in the United States. The company continued up until his death in 1897. Whilst many rifles in both 4.5 and 8mm were produced there were far fewer pistols and now very few examples remain.