Forgotten Weapons: The World’s Smallest Pistol

For these of us who carry hid handguns every day, it is usually a necessity to “gown across the gun” by sporting barely roomier and less-form-fitting garments. After all, carrying a smaller pistol makes this much less of a problem — however how small do you have to go? Most will choose a subcompact, whereas a couple of will contemplate pocket pistols with even smaller frames. On the most excessive finish of this spectrum is the two.7mm Kolibri, the smallest centerfire pistol that was ever mass-produced. In a traditional Forgotten Weapons episode from again in 2014, Ian McCollum will get his hand (singular) on one of many few remaining examples of the world’s smallest pistol.

The Kolibri, which implies “hummingbird” in German, was developed by an Austrian watchmaker named Franz Pfannl and launched in 1914. It fires a 3-grain bullet. No, that is not a typo — three grains. For a fast comparability, that is 7.5% of the load of a 40-grain .22LR projectile, or lower than 3% of the load of a standard 115-grain 9mm.

This 2.7mm spherical delivers 3 foot-pounds of muzzle power, which was reportedly sufficient to penetrate about an inch right into a pine wooden board. It was additionally mentioned to be fairly inaccurate, since early-1900s machining expertise made it tough so as to add rifling to the tiny barrel. Understandably, evidently this weapon was not well-received as a sensible instrument for self-defense.

In contrast to the straightforward derringers which can be a mainstay of this ultra-compact pistol class, the Kolibri makes use of a semi-auto blowback mechanism with a reciprocating slide. It even has a detachable journal that holds six rounds. About 1,000 of those pistols had been produced earlier than they had been discontinued in 1938.

For a more in-depth take a look at the world’s smallest pistol and a few extra fascinating particulars, try the Forgotten Weapons episode under. We agree with McCollum’s conclusion: “It might be insanely impractical, however it’s an awesome piece of mechanical artwork.”

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