Camera Guns: Photo/Video Shoot(-Out)

Attention, vintage relic aficionados! Check out this 1938 Colt .38 revolver and black and white camera. This nifty device captures a picture with every pull of the trigger. Also for your viewing pleasure is a photo filmstrip of the victims… uh, subjects.

Colt .38 Camera Revolver 1938

The intent of the design was to capture a mugshot of the criminal in case the officer missed the shots.

I guess police liability was less of an issue back then.

(Click image below to enlarge article.)

Camera on Police Gun Shoots Criminals in Action article in Popular Science August, 1938

Today, almost a century later, there’s buzz once more on the news about police departments adopting camera guns as part of the arsenal for the force. This time, we are talking about video cameras. PistolCam®, unlike the vintage revolver cam, is to be used to record and monitor police activity during heated incidents in hopes of minimizing unjustified use of firearm and police brutality (supposedly).

Just point and shoot (a roll, not a round).

Images courtesy of Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands and Popular Science (Issue from August, 1938) and thanks to Dr. Linguica.


  1. Laura K. Curtis

    This reminds me of the breathalyzer flashlights. When the police stop you and point a flashlight into your car and ask you whether you’ve been drinking, their flashlight may already be telling them about the air in your car!

  2. Cathy Zhu Chen

    Interesting. I haven’t heard about it but the concept seems flawed. (Like, what if your passenger is crunk?)

  3. Laura K. Curtis

    It’s not the “final word,” but it’s a way for them to tell whether there’s a possibility. You won’t get arrested on the basis of the flashlight test, but they can tell how hard to push.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *