There’s something kind of awesome about a Howdah. Unfortunately, the prohibition era gun is one of many that ran afoul of the National Firearms Act of 1934. It’s a shame because they’re kind of awesome in an ugly, mean way. They weren’t pretty, they weren’t precision, but they were pretty nasty.
And now, Pedersoli’s replica of the Howdah is going to be imported to the good old U.S. of A.
Italian Firearms Group announced it will begin importing and distributing Pedersoli’s Howdah chambered in .45 Colt and .410.
A double triggered, breech loading reproduction of the Auto & Burglar pistol made by Ithaca in the 1920’s, the Howdah comes to the U.S. completely legal and NFA tax stamp free.
Boasting rifled 10.25-inch barrels, the gun is furnished with a ramp front sight and folding rear leaf sight. The rear trigger handles the left-side barrel and the front trigger fires the right side barrel. Both triggers are said to break cleanly, hovering around the 3.5 pound mark.
The hand-checkered American Walnut grip is designed to rest snugly into the hand, allowing for more control while shooting. The receiver is case colored while a fine checkering pattern covers the unlocking mechanism.
This reproduction is based on the Ithaca gun, which was in turn named after one carried by African and Indian hunters in the 19th century.
Plus, this is technically considered a “firearm” by the BATFE, which means no NFA stamp.
To be clear, this isn’t something I’d recommend for hunting or personal defense. There’s just so many reasons why I think it’s a bad fit for either of those applications.
However, it does look like a hell of a lot of fun to shoot at the range and let’s be honest. Not everything we shoot needs to be super tactical or even particularly practical. Sometimes, you just want a gun that gives you a case of the giggles just because you’re pulling the trigger. The Howdah certainly looks like one of those guns.
Of course, with an MSRP of $1350, those giggles might be a bit spare, especially for an impractical firearm. That may put it out of the price range of many gun enthusiasts looking to drop some money on something just for the fun of it, but for those who can, more power to them.
This Howdah does illustrate some of the stupid in the NFA, though. You can drop the money on this firearm and be fine, but if you take a double barrel .410 shotgun, cut it down and cut off the stock, you’ve now violated the National Firearms Act if you failed to get government permission before cutting.
It doesn’t matter that the two weapons may be functionally identical. Nope. All that matters is a lawmaker was scared to death of one type of gun, failed to account for the flip side of things, and the only way the gun grabbers will ever reconcile the two is to limit guns like the Howdah…which are horribly impractical for crime.
Then again, it’s not like we’ve ever credit gun grabbers with much in the way of common sense.