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California Arms Co 20ga “Defiance” Pistol-Shotgun

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Made to compete with guns like the Ithaca Auto & Burglar, the “Defiance” form the California Arms Company is a side by side double barreled 20 gauge pistol. Only about 300 were made in the late 1920s – note that this was before the NFA introduced regulation of shot barreled shotguns. Unlike the Ithaca and most other guns of this type, the Defiance is not simply a standard side-by-side shotgun cut down in length. Instead, it uses a cast aluminum grip assembly with two manually cocked strikers (and storage for two spare shells in the grip) and a barrel assembly with an integrated aluminum fore-end. The Defiance is nothing if note robust, despite perhaps being a bit slower to use than an Ithaca. Interestingly, the marketing for the Defiance also included a strong focus on the use of tear gas ammunition in addition to standard buckshot – the Lake Erie Chemical Company developed a 20ga tear gas cartridge in partnership with the California Arms Company. It was almost certainly too small to really be effective, though, and was not able to induce enough sales to keep the Defiance on the market long.

Forgotten Weapons
PO Box 87647
Tucson, AZ 85754

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