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World's weakest?


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World's weakest?
« on: August 10, 2011, 06:37:00 AM »
Fellow Weathbyterians,
   Everybody on WNation knows about the high intensity Weatherby cartridges, but this post is about a very low intensity firearm.  Maybe the weakest one ever made...
   Most boys who grew up in the 50's or 60's saw the ads.  Boys Life, or Sports Afield, or Popular Mechanics were likely magazines to contain them.  Ads for a honest to Pete powder belching firearm that you could order postpaid for $2.98.  I can already hear a few of you chortling out there because you recognize it.  The Western Haig. 
   The black and white ads showed the image of what looked to be a single-action revolver.  It was reputed to fire a 4.4mg powder charge and was a .12 caliber.  Some of the ads say the charge was .14mg; more about that later.
   What the heck is a .12 caliber bullet?  It was a number 6 size shot just like the lead shot in a shotgun shell.  The Haig came with a wee tube of them.  (Number 6 shot is actually more like .11 diameter, if you want to figure out the size for lead shot just subtract the size from 17 to get the diameter in hundredths.  Size 4 would be 17 minus 4 or .13, got it?)
   The powder charge used in the Haig was the ordinary paper cap.  You cocked the plastic hammer and put a cap (or two or three) into a little metal holder.  When the hammer fell on the caps the explosion would pop the lead shot out of a little rolled iron barrel.  Theoretically, I suppose, you could have put 147 caps on the holder and broken Mach 4 with a shot, but when you put more than a couple of caps the cushioning effect kept the caps from firing at all.  Drat!
   Nobody ever shot up all of the lead shot provided with the Haig.  Why?  The darn thing wouldn't shoot that long.  The fulminates in the caps would rust the cap holder and inside of the tiny barrel into oblivion over night.  The Haig came with a loading/cleaning lever.  It was a bent piece of wire that would scrape the rust out of the barrel and was also used to push a lead pellet down the barrel when it became difficult to load. 
   The Haig was a nice-looking little toy actually.  Maybe the name was supposed to sound like Hog Leg which was a common colloquialism for a single action revolver.  Whatever it was, It defied categorization.  The vendors tried to say it was a firearm, so that is what I will call it.  No license was needed to order.  It certainly isn't an air gun or not really a cap pistol either.  To cap it off, (no pun intended) there was at least one other .12 pistol.  The Kruger '98.
   The Kruger was a molded styrene plastic Luger (P-08) lookalike.  It worked exactly like the Haig.  There was a plunger that was cocked by hand to fire the caps.  Unlike the Haig, not only did the barrel and cap holder rust up, but the firing mechanism as well. 
   I handled a nice condition Haig a couple of years ago with the box and papers still intact.  Most of them got played with like a regular cap pistol, I suppose.  From there they eventually met the fate common to most cap guns. The bottom of the closet and later the trash can.
your pal,

Re: World's weakest?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 07:20:50 PM »
Damn i wish we had cap guns like that when i was a kid,all the cap guns in my day had plastic barrels and was molded over at the muzzle so when you held up the local store they could see it wasn't real,it didn't work out like that and after a few kids got shot they started making the ends orange,imagine what we could have got up to if we had haig's

Re: World's weakest?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 02:50:45 AM »
I remember the series made by Mattel. A pair of working SA revolvers, a lever action Winchester, and a derringer that fit in the belt buckle. The bullets were gray plastic and snapped together. The caps were known as Greenie Stick em caps and were stuck on the back. The guns loaded and functioned like the real thing. I bet a set NIB would bring a fortune.
  You could also buy rifles and handguns mail order out of the back of magazines until Johnson signed the Gun Control Act of 1968. I was in H.S. and worked in a dept store. I was manager over hardware, automotive, guns & ammo. Overnight I could no longer buy a firearm but I could sell them.

Re: World's weakest?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 02:30:27 PM »
Sadly most good things come to an end and promises are broken.  Aren't we so lucky...... NOT!
Nothing is better than a Weatherby, big bore magnum, or a Colt.

Re: World's weakest?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 02:59:17 PM »
Yep just like one bad apple in a barrel will ruin the whole barrel. Got to dump them out to make sure you get them all. ;D

Re: World's weakest?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 03:27:18 PM »
That's the absolute truth.  If you don't get rid of all the bad apples they will ruin all the others and the the barrel will be useless.
Nothing is better than a Weatherby, big bore magnum, or a Colt.

Re: World's weakest?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2013, 04:25:12 PM »
Aww...for a minute there I got all excited. Then I realized this was posted almost 2 years ago.

Re: World's weakest?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2013, 05:26:31 PM »
Lol.Noticed that also Marshal.
Faster horses,younger women,older whiskey,and more money.