4mm Pinfire


The other night I was watching “Pawn Stars”. They had an unusual multi shot ring gun (gun worn on your finger like a ring). It was a pinfire. It had no ammunition with it. They reported it to be 4mm. I known not everything they say is always correct. Is there a 4mm pinfire?



Yes. there are 3mm and 4mm pinfires that were used for different ring guns. Some also used 2mm.

There is a chapter on the pinfire ring guns in Bob Urso’s (Editor of the Miniature Arms Society’s journal) book, The Tiniest Guns: Third Edition.

BTW, the guy wanted WAYYY too much for that gun on Pawnstars. First, it was a cheaper period copy of the “Le Petit Protector” and even if it weren’t they do not go for anywhere close to what he asked for.


There was a 4 mm pinfire blank cartridge for a ring made by Browingtons Ltd., goldsmiths & jewellers from Ludgate Hill, London. I’m not sure if the church allowed these during marriage ceremonies!


When I saw the show, and they mentioned “no cartridges” (how it would have increased the pawn value)…I immediately thought…call Aaron; he’ll have the ammo !

I want to let the fellas at that show know that the IAA can be a resource !


Certainly not there now, Ludgate Hill is on the borders of the financial district, not part of the jewellery district around Hatton Garden or the old gunmakers in and around St James’s.

Just a totally useless aside but an fun story. Hiram Maxim was based in a house in Hatton Garden, then a close knit collection of residential houses now in multiple occupancy as jewellery businesses.
He used to test his prototypes of the machine gun bearing his name in the back yard. Can you imagine that today?


I have seen some photos of soldiers firing the Model 1905 Maxim MG (the US Army’s standard MG at the time) out in the open on the parade grounds right in the middle of Fort Sam Houston here in San Antonio during the pre-WWI period. I was told by the post historian that back then such events were not unusual, and in fact even field pieces (using live rounds) were also fired there. I guess that was before there were Army safety regulations.