U.S. Coast Guard Line-Throwing Gun (Flair Gun)
Overall: 37 in. ( 94 cm )
stamped: wrist, left frame, and breech end of barrel: "E. PIERCE" stamped: breech, right and bottom frames, trigger guard: "3"
Brass whaling gun; breech-loading with skeleton stock; barrel tips downward to load; stamped marks at breech end of barrel, frame, breech, trigger guard, and wrist.
Until the 1840's, whaling guns were heavy, muzzle-loading guns that were swivel-mounted to the decks of whaleboats and fired large harpoons at close range. With the invention of the bomb lance, a small, exploding steel projectile filled with gunpowder, whaling guns became lighter, shoulder-fired weapons whose smaller ammunition could be loaded through the breech and fired at greater distances.
Gift of the U.S. Coast Guard Supply Center
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.