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The Peg Leg Gun That Sold For Thousands On Pawn Stars

If someone told you they had a peg leg gun to sell you, would you even know what that means? Even after you work out in your mind what it is, the concept still sounds sketchy. It's like something you'd see in a cartoon, like a prosthetic addition for Peter Pan's Captain Hook. It's just another day at the office on "Pawn Stars."

When a seller named Dennis brings an early 1800s black powder peg leg gun into the Gold & Pawn Shop, Rick Harrison doesn't bat an eye. His only question concerns whether the item is the real deal or, as Corey guesses, a movie prop. When Alex Cranmer, of International Military Antiques, comes in to make the call, he is floored. "Intrigued is an understatement," Alex says. "I had never seen anything like a peg leg with a flintlock in it, ever. This thing is insane."

With the seller convinced it is authentic, Rick hopeful, and Corey skeptical, Alex agrees to have a look and let them know the truth about the item.

You can't judge a gun by its appearance

Alex goes over the gun, addressing each detail. He examines the cloth along the top, declaring it machine-stitched. He looks at the lock, with King George's initials on it, and says it checks out as from the period. He notices the barrel is rifled, an unnecessary step to take when creating a mere movie prop. His best guess: The ship's carpenter may have made it from recycled products for a British officer injured in battle.

"I don't think it's a movie prop," he says. "I think it's much too sophisticated for it. I mean, it looks like it would function."

When he shows how that would work, the ingenuity in the design becomes clear. The peg leg gun was easily hidden in a pant leg. In an encounter with an enemy, all it took was a slight lift of the leg, a pull of a lever, and the pistol would fire at the unsuspecting target.

The seller wants $1500 for the item, but this isn't the type of deal that can be wrapped up in a day. There is still a big question to be answered: Will the gun actually work?

A field trip to the firing range proved the peg leg gun's worth

When Rick gets to the firing range, he is, well, fired up. "If this thing is legit, I really want to buy it," he says.

Alex sets up cantaloupes as targets, explaining that this is a close range weapon that you can't really aim. You just have to hope for the best. But when it comes to loading the gun, he isn't taking any chances. He uses a small amount of powder and a smaller ball, so if there is any kind of accident, it would at least be contained. He also takes on the personal risk of shooting the peg leg gun first, and no, he doesn't attempt to wear it. Holding it close to the cantaloupe, he pulls the lever. To everyone's delight, he shoots straight through his target.

Next up, Rick eagerly takes his turn with the gun. There is no doubt where he stands on the item. "It fires. It's legit. I want to get it for the right price," he said. "I really want this thing."

When Alex values it between $12,000 and $15,000, no one seems surprised, and when the seller agrees to take $9,500, Rick is excited to get the piece. "It's one of the coolest things I've ever owned," he says.