Lovejoy's Pistol

Jessie M.

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Jan 13, 2019
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So I know James Cameron's Titanic is chock full of errors, but I think I may have spotted another one. I just wanted to get your guys opinion before I make a complete fool of myself
44723

I'm not and never will be a person who is very knowledgeable about guns... But would this kind of pistol have even existed during 1912? Obviously there are better pictures out there... But from what I saw it kinda looks like a more recent kind of Magnum? Help me out here folks!
 

Miller88

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Feb 20, 2019
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From what I can tell it's a Colt 1911 or rather more likely one of the earlier models that led to the production of the iconic 1911 like the Colt 1907. The 1911 was slightly modifodd from the 1907 due to Colt getting a contract from the Military.

For more information (and better information) regarding the 1911 and it's evolution the YouTube Channel Forgotten Weapons has a nice video on it I'll see if I can find a link for you.
 
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Harland Duzen

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Jan 14, 2017
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According to IMDB, the gun was roughly around at the time, but the specific model Lovejoy is holding wasn't?

Taken From IMDB ; Titanic (1997) - IMDb)

"The gun Cal steals from Lovejoy is in fact a model 1911A1, a modified version of the 1911 that wasn't available until 1926. The main distinguishing feature is its curved mainspring housing (bottom part of the grip), whereas on the 1911 is straight. Even if it was the standard 1911, that model had only been used by the military for a few months, and was not yet available in the nickel plating shown; the civilian version had only been available for about a month."
 
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Bob_Read

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May 9, 2019
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Fifth officer Harold Godfrey Lowe had a Browning automatic pistol. This is erroneously referred to as a a “revolver” in a number of sources. However it was a semi-automatic pistol. Most likely it was the 1910 model of this pistol shown below.
44724
 
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Athlen

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Apr 14, 2012
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Titanic’s entry at the Internet Movie Firearms Database discusses Lovejoy’s pistol, as well as the other firearms in the movie. It is a Colt M1911, but historically that pistol wasn’t available to civilians until 1913, except for 100 that went to “selected members of the National Rifle Association”. Visually, though, the ornate pistol suits Lovejoy perfectly.

Murdoch and Lightoller are correctly shown with Webley Mk I revolvers. Lowe also has one, rather than the FN semi-automatic pistol shown above.

Were firearms commonly carried by passenger ship officers?
Not according to Lightoller’s memoirs, at least not on British merchant ships. He wrote that April 15, 1912 was the only time he had a firearm on a merchant ship, and that even then he did not think it was actually necessary. As first officer, he was actually responsible for bringing the firearms aboard at Belfast. When the reshuffle occurred at Southampton, Lightoller left the firearms in his old cabin — but didn’t tell Murdoch, the new first officer. During the sinking, Wilde asked Lightoller where the revolvers were, because Murdoch didn’t know; those three men, plus Smith, then went to Murdoch’s cabin and the firearms were handed out. All that shows, I think, that White Star officers weren’t normally armed.
 
Nov 14, 2005
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Fifth officer Harold Godfrey Lowe had a Browning automatic pistol. This is erroneously referred to as a a “revolver” in a number of sources. However it was a semi-automatic pistol. Most likely it was the 1910 model of this pistol shown below.View attachment 44724
Was that his personal sidearm? I thought the White Star Line had Webley revolvers under the control of the Master at Arms. Maybe after the "so called" mutiny aboard Oceanic in 1905 some officers might have had their own sidearms stashed but I thought White Star used Webleys exclusivley. Will have to check on that.
 
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Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Lowe's pistol was his own. He said something about it being a handy thing to have. The guns were relics of the days when a captain may have had to deal with a pack of mutineers. According to Captain Rostron, he at times used his to impress his authority on dishonest gamblers that he caught. He just laid it on a table. Believe him if you like!
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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Ok thanks. Probably common practice back then. Still is today where I live. See people everyday with sidearms on their hip. No big deal here.
 

Bob_Read

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Was that his personal sidearm? I thought the White Star Line had Webley revolvers under the control of the Master at Arms. Maybe after the "so called" mutiny aboard Oceanic in 1905 some officers might have had their own sidearms stashed but I thought White Star used Webleys exclusivley. Will have to check on that.
Hi Steven: Yes, Lowe’s pistol was his personal possession.
 
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Bob_Read

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Lowe identifies his pistol when being questioned by Senator Smith at the American Inquiry:

Senator SMITH.
You put it in your pocket after you fired those three shots?
Mr. LOWE.
Yes; I put in my pocket and put the safety catch on, because it is a Browning automatic. There were, I suppose, four more remaining.
Senator SMITH.
What we call a seven-shooter?
Mr. LOWE.
I do not know what you call it.
Senator SMITH.
Well, what do you call it?
Mr. LOWE.
It is an automatic. I think it carries eight.
Senator SMITH.
You put it in your pocket after you fired those three shots?
Mr. LOWE.
Yes; I put in my pocket and put the safety catch on, because it is a Browning automatic. There were, I suppose, four more remaining.
Senator SMITH.
What we call a seven-shooter?
Mr. LOWE.
I do not know what you call it.
Senator SMITH.
Well, what do you call it?
Mr. LOWE.
It is an automatic. I think it carries eight.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Firearms would not have been routinely carried by ships officers although on Titanic, there were some Webley revolvers kept under lock and key which could have been issued in case of need. However, there was no barrier at the time to anybody bringing their own and that included the passengers.