Museum Minute: The Watermelon Patch Gun

Jan 25, 2019

Credit Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection

The Cody Firearms Museum is home to over 7,000 firearms but there’s one that is particularly popular with the public. That gun is a percussion trap gun. Ashley Hlebinsky, the curator of the museum, said it's nickname is the watermelon patch gun.

“It was developed and used a lot of the times in the south and it is something that you would put in the field so you would see it sometimes in tobacco fields and watermelon fields,” said Hlebinsky.

The idea was to protect products from thieves. The gun’s small and sat on the ground so it wouldn’t be seen. There are four locking rods around it. Cords are tied to the rods and to different areas in the field.

“If you were coming to steal something and if you trip that cord the barrel turns to where the cord was tripped and it fires,” said Hlebinsky.

She said the gun was used for any type of defensive purpose like in a home when no one is there.