19th century mousetrap not messing around

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/05/05/19th-century-moustrap-not-mess.html


What’s worse than stepping on LEGO?

This. This is worse.


Seems kinda… messy.


But fun! And avoids having cheese/peanuts for the cleverer critters to steal without triggering the trap. Though what it would do to my under-sink cupboard (where they usually come in during the winter) may make it, umm, non-optimal.

Oh, and also, ‘stand your ground’ rules apply here too, don’t they? :wink:


Let me tell you something pal; when you find a hole in your box of cereal for the fifth time, when you find mouse turds near your toothbrush, when you cannot sleep in the night because of a skin-crawling skittering noise in your wall/ceiling/jesus-fuck-where-is-that-coming-from, a .32 caliber round will seem almost not a big enough bullet. Sure, the loud noise will shock you awake, but a moment of terror followed by a sense of bloodthirsty peace and the fulfillment of revenge more than make such a mess worthwhile.


This is a profoundly cruel device. The purpose of the classic spring trap is to snap the neck or crush the skull and cause instant death. It is also largely ineffective against larger animals, unlike a freaking bullet. This thing would just leave a whole lot of horribly disfigured and maimed animals to suffer, including children.


:weary: 10 minutes… Can someone link to the actual mechanism firing?



Hm. I dunno. Even the supposedly humane traps can be cruel-- snap traps often only snap on one leg, so the mouse is crawling around for hours in pain. And I’ve used those ‘catch-em-alive’ traps too-- I’ve emptied them out in the morning only to find the mouse weak, shivering, and covered in its own waste after a few hours inside.

(That said, I agree with the rest of your observation.)

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If you set up something like this in your house the critters who eat your cereal will be armed.


If it doesn’t go off during the night, you will have to insert the safety before you can have cereal in the morning. If it does, you will have to clean fur and blood off.


Thanks! :blush:

If he forgets the safety he’ll have to clean up his own tissue and blood before having breakfast.

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But it’s the only thing that will stop a bad mouse with a gun.

No argument here. But when you see what ingenious gadgets they had for cemeteries and game preserves, it’s clear that “not messing around” was the general attitude in the 19th century.


Geez and I get kind of nervous just setting up the wire spring snap traps.


Next step: anti-mice land mines!


The only way to stop a mousetrap with a gun is a mouse with a gun.


Homeowner 1: When you find the mouse, infiltrate his dwellings by whatever means available and terminate the mouse’s command.
Mousetrap maker: Terminate the mouse?
Homeowner 2: He’s out there operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable Mus musculus conduct.
Homeowner 1: Terminate with extreme prejudice.


Holy Cr*p!! I shoot black powder and I cannot imagine loading up a 19th century weapon and setting it off as this gentleman apparently did. How does he know how the barrel has survived the years? 19th century metallurgy was pretty primitive – is he really that sure the breech is sound? He’s also assuming that he knows what a safe load of modern powder and a proper modern cap might be. I’d be terrified that it would blow my face off.


The mouse trap was a modern replica.

The rifle he said was vintage. But I know people who shoot vintage rifles. You can inspect everything for its soundness and work up test loads safely. They don’t tend to push it as far as power of loads go.

One time at a trap range a guy who was sharing the trap with us had a ~130 year old double barrel black powder shot gun. It had the old school Damascus steel wrapped barrels. They used ribbons of steel wrapped on a mandrel and welded together.

Trying to find a decent google image to show an example. Something like this. It wasn’t a super high end model (some of them are works of art), but it was neat nonetheless.


He let us each shoot a couple barrels and I managed to hit one of the two birds (not bad for a completely unfamiliar shotgun.)

Oh, and I was using my Model 12 which is over 100 years old myself, shooting standard 8 shot 12 gauge shells.

When my grandpa died, my dad got his Winchester lever action in .44-40 which was my great grandpas gun. I can’t recall the model number, but it too is over 100 years old and was originally a black powder cartridge. You can safely load it with smokeless loads today. After an inspection, we went out and tried it out, and can now say that we have 4 generations of our family who has shot it.

So you’re absolutely right you need to make sure an old gun is safe to fire. But if it is free of manufacture’s defects or defects from time and neglect, and you use the proper loads, you can reconnect with history. As always, consult an expert on these things.