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The Needler Pistol Model 1880 The Hatter's Special by Challenger70TA The Needler Pistol Model 1880 The Hatter's Special by Challenger70TA
The weapon to go along with my Steampunk Mad Hatter is finally finished! I made this pistol from gutting and parting out my previous Steampunk Machine Pistol. This gun is by far superior to it and I am very happy with the result.

Basically this gun was developed from trying to devise what type of weapon the Mad Hatter of the Steampunk world would have. Of course he would need a gun and the ability to sew things on the spot, so the Needler Pistol was created.

I'm sorry but I have to admit Tim Burton's version of the Hatter looked like a cracked out circus clown. Although I am a huge Johnny Depp fan and thought he acted the part well, I still couldn't get over how hideous the Hatter looked. SORRY my opinion.

Anyway, some technical points describing this firearm. To start, it is completely hand fabricated. Everything was either carved from wood, cut or formed from brass, stainless or aluminum. The only pieces that weren't are a vintage sewing machine guide and bobbin, which were the only parts not totally fabricated from scratch. The idea behind this gun is it is a dueling, single shot pistol, breach loading with spring action. The loading mechanism does work and will accept a .44 cal round. The chamber is spring loaded, so the gun can be cocked like the real thing.

The sewing mechanism is really the wow factor of the whole project. The control arm is powered by a small 9 volt electric motor. The gun trigger is attached to a pressure switch that powers the motor sort of like an accelerator pedal on a car or a foot pedal on a real sewing machine. Actual thread is fed along the guide tubes of the machine and attached at the end of the needle and guide. The front cylinder of brass houses the spool of thread while the bobbin is mounted on the right side in front of the gun safety switch.

I have attached the following YouTube video


that shows the workings of the gun in action. ENJOY!
Add a Comment:
TheJugglingOctopus Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Very nicely made!!
doodlebugRP Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Hobbyist
Tim burton's version of ANYTHING looks like a cracked out circus clown.

He's still produced some fantastic movies.
Phillipzu Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Reminds me of 'Sherlock Holmes: Games of Shadows'! :XD:
queenpili Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
I could use one of these too :D
memoryOfTomrrow Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Student General Artist
Truly fantastic. Good on you for keeping your accessories specifically in character!
Challenger70TA Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
Thank you!
zimzim1066 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Cool. I also got inspiration from a sewing machine. Most of the parts in my steampunk gun are from an old sewing machine.
Pyrotactick Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012
Now the Mad Hatter is not only Mad....HE'S SERIAL!!!
constantron Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Very nice :D Love the three settings!
SiloZen Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
Oh my god
That's beautiful.
xplosiv666 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Professional Photographer
This is really nice lol
Empty-Hand Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
So let me get this straight. The breech loading operation works and it will accept a single .44 calibre round. In essence you've created a fully functioning firearm that also sews?
Challenger70TA Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
Well as real as one can get without being real I suppose. I don't think a PVC plastic barrel and a wooden firing chamber would hold up to firing an actual shell. ;)These prop weapons are all about creating the allusion of a real working piece without being one.
Empty-Hand Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
Oh, my bad. I was under the impression it was a proper steel barrel and firing chamber. Still, if you can fool the grandson of an I.R.A. gunsmith you're doing well mate, let me tell you.
Challenger70TA Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
LOL thank you! I don't have nearly the facility to actually machine the body or barrel out of steel stock. Only small brass, stainless and aluminium components.
Empty-Hand Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
Whatever setup you have mate it seems to be more than sufficient for your needs. Keep up the good work.
Mistkeeper Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
i love the sew option xD
definitely mad hatter approved!
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Submitted on
August 6, 2012
Image Size
1.6 MB
Submitted with


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Camera Data

Shutter Speed
10/300 second
Focal Length
5 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Aug 6, 2012, 5:52:17 PM