A duck’s foot pistol. The duck’s foot pistol was a type of hand-held volley gun which was in wide use throughout the 19th century and into the early 20th century. It acquired its name in reference to the splayed arrangement of its multiple barrels. Its design allowed the user to cover a sizeable area with only a single shot. It was ideal for use by an individual confronting a group and so was popular amongst bank guards, prison officers and sea captains.