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Berloque Pinfire Pistol: Size Really Does Matter

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When it comes to concealed carry, size matters. For centuries, gun designers have been trying to find the delicate balance among concealment, caliber, and controllability with these smaller firearms. But one of these bad boys takes small firearms to a new limit. And it’s rather charming …

The Berloque miniature pinfire pistol, or Japanese charm pistol, is one of the smallest functioning “firearms” in existence. It has nickel plating and even makes room for a slight engraving toward the butt of the gun. Developed in the 1930s, these pistols are only meant to fire 2mm pinfire blanks. Instead of a saddle ring, each pistol often comes with a loop near the butt so that it can be used as a keychain. Personally, I own two and plan to make them into earrings. Not sure if that would pass TSA when traveling though.

These pistols often pop up at gun shows and exist in many museum collections. Not alone, the miniature market is one that’s quite popular to some; reviled by others. And while it certainly looks, dare I say, cute, it’s not up to snuff for real carry. You’re probably more likely to fire it at yourself accidentally — especially if you have big-ass sausage fingers — but hey, it’s a cool conversation piece if you add them to your keychain or wear them as jewelry or cuff links. They’re historic and functional — exactly what every person is looking for in fashion. 

[Editor's Note: Photography Courtesy of the Cody Firearms Museum.]

berloque pinfire pistol
Volcanic pistol above to show scale of the Japanese Pinfire Pistol that’s a part of the Cody Firearms Museum Collection at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Berloque Miniature Pistol

Caliber: 2mm blank
Length: 1 7/16th inches
Action: Pinfire


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