One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A gun adapted for firing at short range.
- ‘The single shot saloon pistols were break action with a drop down barrel, the release catch was at the front of the frame.’
- ‘They crawled out, brushed one another clean, slid the saloon-pistols down a trouser-leg, and hurried forth to a deep and solitary Devonshire lane in whose flanks a boy might sometimes slay a young rabbit.’
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