Revolver mousetrap from 1882 looks like it was designed by Wile E. Coyote

February 18, 2021

Shawn Woods, YouTube’s authority on antique mousetraps, has discovered one of the craziest traps we’ve ever seen.

Patented by J.A. Williams in December, 1882, this revolver mousetrap looks like something from an episode of Loony Toons.

The trap is pretty simple. A loaded and cocked revolver rests in a simple wooden sled with a spring-actuated trigger mechanism.

Bait is placed below a lever positioned under the muzzle. Once the bait is removed, the lever drops, the spring moves up and a metal rod is driven backwards into the trigger. Williams writes in his revolver mousetrap patent application, “the object of my invention is to provide a means by which animals which burrow in the ground can be destroyed and which trap will give an alarm each time that it goes off, so that it can be reset.”

Back in those days “booby traps” weren’t as taboo as they are now. “This invention may also be used in connection with a door or window,” Williams explains in the patent application, “so as to kill any person or thing opening the door or window to which it is attached.”

Shawn has built a trap based on Williams’ specifications to fit his S&W .22 caliber revolver. Shawn found that even a blank round is more than enough to kill a rat at this range.

See the revolver mousetrap in action with the video below.