Author Topic: ? Watson's bull pup  (Read 4855 times)

Offline kalash

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? Watson's bull pup
« on: July 04, 2014, 05:35:26 PM »
In the beginning of Sherlock Holmes adventures, Watson mentioned something:
"What have you to confess now? It's just as well for two fellows to know the worst of one another before they begin to live together."
I laughed at this cross-examination. "I keep a bull pup," I said, "and I object to rows because my nerves are shaken."
What did he mean? Bulldog puppy?   But he was never mentioned later not in Conan Doyle books, nor in any movies...
What exactly bull pup could be? Maybe another word for bulldog revolver?

Online Solar

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2014, 06:26:14 PM »
Basically it's a compact, easily concealable weapon in any caliber configuration.

Here's an example of a regular shotgun converted to a Bullpup, but it can be any type weapon.

« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 06:36:45 PM by Solar »
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Offline TboneAgain

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2014, 08:20:37 PM »
In the beginning of Sherlock Holmes adventures, Watson mentioned something:
"What have you to confess now? It's just as well for two fellows to know the worst of one another before they begin to live together."
I laughed at this cross-examination. "I keep a bull pup," I said, "and I object to rows because my nerves are shaken."
What did he mean? Bulldog puppy?   But he was never mentioned later not in Conan Doyle books, nor in any movies...
What exactly bull pup could be? Maybe another word for bulldog revolver?

Most likely, Doyle referenced an actual bulldog pup, likely an English bulldog. It is beyond the realm of possibility that he was referring to a firearm.

The term "bullpup," as it applies to hand-held firearms, signifying a pistol or machine pistol with its breech rearward from its grip, didn't come into use until the late 1950s. The design itself didn't come into any sort of widespread use until the second decade of the 20th century.
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Online Solar

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2014, 09:11:40 PM »
Most likely, Doyle referenced an actual bulldog pup, likely an English bulldog. It is beyond the realm of possibility that he was referring to a firearm.

The term "bullpup," as it applies to hand-held firearms, signifying a pistol or machine pistol with its breech rearward from its grip, didn't come into use until the late 1950s. The design itself didn't come into any sort of widespread use until the second decade of the 20th century.
Lets keep our facts straight here. :wink:
The bullpup carbine was one of the first designs, but there were others before that, around the beginning of the 20th century, it's nothing more than the  trigger ahead of the action.
So it's possible that Doyle was actually referring to a weapon, considering he died in 1930.

Granted, I have no idea the date of the quote from the book, but regarding the closeness of the invention to the time he was writing, it's safe to assume he was using topical interests to intrigue his audience.

I remember this from my childhood, because my grand dad joked about packing a bullpup.
Of course as a child, I wanted to see his dog, and my dad and he got a good laugh, then proceeded to show me a stubby pistol. Yeah, I had a blank look and walked away disappointed that he didn't have a dog.
I never got it's meaning till I ran into a collector decades after he had passed on, who explained what it was.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 09:18:53 PM by Solar »
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Offline TboneAgain

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2014, 09:29:44 AM »
Lets keep our facts straight here. :wink:
The bullpup carbine was one of the first designs, but there were others before that, around the beginning of the 20th century, it's nothing more than the  trigger ahead of the action.
So it's possible that Doyle was actually referring to a weapon, considering he died in 1930.

Granted, I have no idea the date of the quote from the book, but regarding the closeness of the invention to the time he was writing, it's safe to assume he was using topical interests to intrigue his audience.

I remember this from my childhood, because my grand dad joked about packing a bullpup.
Of course as a child, I wanted to see his dog, and my dad and he got a good laugh, then proceeded to show me a stubby pistol. Yeah, I had a blank look and walked away disappointed that he didn't have a dog.
I never got it's meaning till I ran into a collector decades after he had passed on, who explained what it was.

Couple more facts to keep straight.  :tounge: The quote comes from the first chapter of A Study in Scarlet, actually the very first Holmes story, which Doyle published in 1887. The actual conversation quoted is said to have taken place in 1878, when Watson and Holmes first met and decided to share the rooms in Baker Street. The only specific firearm Doyle ever described either man as carrying was a Webley Bulldog belonging to Holmes, which was a conventional double-action revolver. Doyle variously referred to Watson being armed with a pistol or revolver, usually a "service revolver," which at that time would likely have been a different Webley model, also a standard double-action revolver. Finally, the first known example of a bullpup design was the Thorneycroft rifle, invented in 1901. You can read about it here and here and here and here.
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Online Solar

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2014, 09:35:12 AM »
Couple more facts to keep straight.  :tounge: The quote comes from the first chapter of A Study in Scarlet, actually the very first Holmes story, which Doyle published in 1887. The actual conversation quoted is said to have taken place in 1878, when Watson and Holmes first met and decided to share the rooms in Baker Street. The only specific firearm Doyle ever described either man as carrying was a Webley Bulldog belonging to Holmes, which was a conventional double-action revolver. Doyle variously referred to Watson being armed with a pistol or revolver, usually a "service revolver," which at that time would likely have been a different Webley model, also a standard double-action revolver. Finally, the first known example of a bullpup design was the Thorneycroft rifle, invented in 1901. You can read about it here and here and here and here.
Actually, "Thorneycroft was one of the first", not the first, though there is no information available about the others, but even the English admit he was just one of many to create the design.

Point is, no one really seems to know it's true origins, so it's safe to assume the term had been around for sometime before it's applied name in the Thorneycroft.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 09:43:30 AM by Solar »
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Online Solar

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2014, 10:24:31 AM »
I think I finally found the answer to a rather infamous question, one that everyone seems to be getting wrong.
First, we never saw an actual bull dog in any of Doyle's story.
But there actually was a bull dog revolver during the period the book was written.

Quote
British Bull Dog Revolver

The British Bull Dog was a popular type of solid-frame pocket revolver introduced by Philip Webley & Son of Birmingham, England in 1872 and subsequently copied by gunmakers in Continental Europe and the United States. It featured a 2.5-inch (64 mm) barrel and was chambered for five .44 Short Rimfire, .442 Webley, or .450 Adams cartridges. Webley produced smaller scaled .320 Revolver and .380 caliber versions later, but did not mark them with the British Bull Dog name.

Designed to be carried in a coat pocket, many have survived to the present day in good condition, having seen little actual use.
http://www.primidi.com/british_bull_dog_revolver

(Webley later added smaller scaled five chambered versions in 320 and 380 calibers, but did not mark them British Bull Dog)

It most likely was designed to be concealed in a coat or pocket and not be conspicuous.
Maybe Webley named the 'Bull Dog" for larger caliber pistols, and the term Bull Pup might have caught on as a  reference to smaller caliber revolvers.
http://www.militaryfactory.com/imageviewer/sa/pic-detail.asp?smallarms_id=305&sCurrentPic=pic1


More history.
Yes, it was developed in, of all places, England.  :tounge:

http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=305

Addendum:
Quote
Holmes himself appears to have carried a Webley "Metropolitan Police" revolver. This handy arm was a version of the popular RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) revolver that was first introduced in 1867. The RIC was the basis for a number of different models throughout its long service life, with the M-P variant first making its appearance in 1883 when this 2 1?2-inch-barreled, solid-frame double action was accepted for service by the London Metropolitan Police.

http://shootists.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3347014
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 10:49:51 AM by Solar »
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Offline kalash

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2014, 03:22:53 PM »
Song about another sherlockholmsian dog  :smile:

Offline TboneAgain

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2014, 04:27:29 PM »
I think I finally found the answer to a rather infamous question, one that everyone seems to be getting wrong.
First, we never saw an actual bull dog in any of Doyle's story.
But there actually was a bull dog revolver during the period the book was written.

(Webley later added smaller scaled five chambered versions in 320 and 380 calibers, but did not mark them British Bull Dog)

It most likely was designed to be concealed in a coat or pocket and not be conspicuous.
Maybe Webley named the 'Bull Dog" for larger caliber pistols, and the term Bull Pup might have caught on as a  reference to smaller caliber revolvers.
http://www.militaryfactory.com/imageviewer/sa/pic-detail.asp?smallarms_id=305&sCurrentPic=pic1


More history.
Yes, it was developed in, of all places, England.  :tounge:

http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=305

Addendum:

Oh for Heaven's sake. We can wander down these paths of fantasy until time turns over. It is fact that neither Holmes nor Watson ever existed, and by extension, arguing over what a remark may have meant is kinda silly.

I must, however, correct my earlier post where I mentioned the "bull pup" conversation having taken place in 1878. I was incorrect. It was 1881, at least in the imagination of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I did run across an interesting post on a gun-nut board that reproduces an article printed in Guns & Ammo magazine, I think in the 1970s. The author does not mention any bullpups or bull pups or bull dogs or bulldogs. HERE is the thread; you'll have to scroll down a ways to find the scanned article posted by user GrantRCanada.

My flights of fancy are of a limited nature, and I honestly can't imagine that the reference to a "bull pup" is to anything other than a bulldog puppy. The simple fact that a bulldog doesn't appear in later stories is not relevant. Over the span of the writings, for example, Watson was married off to three different women, yet we meet only one, and that one is merely named (Mary), not explored. Perhaps Mary was his "bull pup...."  :tounge:
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Online Solar

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2014, 06:56:16 PM »
Oh for Heaven's sake. We can wander down these paths of fantasy until time turns over. It is fact that neither Holmes nor Watson ever existed, and by extension, arguing over what a remark may have meant is kinda silly.

I must, however, correct my earlier post where I mentioned the "bull pup" conversation having taken place in 1878. I was incorrect. It was 1881, at least in the imagination of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I did run across an interesting post on a gun-nut board that reproduces an article printed in Guns & Ammo magazine, I think in the 1970s. The author does not mention any bullpups or bull pups or bull dogs or bulldogs. HERE is the thread; you'll have to scroll down a ways to find the scanned article posted by user GrantRCanada.

My flights of fancy are of a limited nature, and I honestly can't imagine that the reference to a "bull pup" is to anything other than a bulldog puppy. The simple fact that a bulldog doesn't appear in later stories is not relevant. Over the span of the writings, for example, Watson was married off to three different women, yet we meet only one, and that one is merely named (Mary), not explored. Perhaps Mary was his "bull pup...."  :tounge:
Did you not read the part where the pistol Sherlock carried was a Webley, the actual inventor of the Bullpup?
I think it's more than safe to say, the reference in Doyle's fantasy to a bullpup was topical, most likely when people were still buying guns, and the fact that it was an English manufacturer selling abroad, may have been a mention out of simple pride.

And yes, both Holmes and Watson's guns were considered bull-pups, regardless of brand, due to the trigger ahead of the action.
There never was a bull dog in any of the stories, though a pistol appeared quite frequently.
So for Doyle to reference it makes complete sense.
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Offline kalash

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2014, 09:23:36 AM »
It is fact that neither Holmes nor Watson ever existed, and by extension, arguing over what a remark may have meant is kinda silly.
"Sherlock Holmes the man who was never born, but will never die"  (c) Some wise guy

Offline kalash

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2014, 09:44:32 AM »
Guns used by Lestrade, Holmes and Watson


Online Solar

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Re: ? Watson's bull pup
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2015, 05:22:31 AM »
"Sherlock Holmes the man who was never born, but will never die"  (c) Some wise guy
OOh, I like that.... :thumbup:
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