Gangster Gats: “Pretty Boy” Floyd

At present Oklahoma is being ravaged by a thug called “Pretty-boy” Floyd, who seems to be a reversion to the old-time outlaw type. He has eleven men to his credit, seven or eight or which are officers of the law, which probably accounts for the failure of the authorities to apprehend him. It’s a lot easier to beat a confession of some sort out of some harmless poor devil than it is to nab a young desperado who wears a steel bullet-proof vest, and draws and shoots like lightning with either hand.

‒ Robert Howard, letter to H.P. Lovecraft (24-MAY-1932)


Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd was a bank robber and hit man who operated in the Midwestern USA between 1925 and 1934. After John Dillinger’s death, he was named Public Enemy No.1 on 23-JUL-1934 by the Bureau of Investigation, which renewed its efforts to catch him.


On 19-OCT-1934, Floyd’s luck finally ran out. He and his accomplice Adam Richetti were stranded on the highway near Silver Switch, Ohio, having crashed their automobile in a fog. The following morning four officers from the Wellsville Police Department of Wellsville, Ohio, arrived; both men ran, Floyd first firing his Thompson submachine gun but soon ditching it, probably because of its weight and bulk. Richetti was caught, but Floyd evaded the police on foot and in a commandeered car, once trading gunshots with police officers on the highway, until they finally caught up with him on 22-OCT-1934.

By then a number of Federal agents had arrived as well. Floyd was cornered by five agents from the Bureau of Investigation, led by Special Agent in Charge Melvin Purvis, and four officers of the East Liverpool Police Department of East Liverpool, Ohio. Floyd was killed while trying to escape through a clover field. He had his customary brace of automatic pistols on him, but for once had not fired a shot.

Tools of the Trade

1934_Floyd_William Irwin_Wellsville_73739_view 12_12

  1. Auto-Ordnance Model 1921AC Thompson submachine gun (#obliterated, secret #4984) in .45 ACP (11.43×23mm) (GURPS High-Tech: Pulp Guns 1, pp. 28-30; Investigator Weapons 1: The 1920s and 1930s, pp. 87-89) with Cutts compensator, with foregrip and shoulder stock removed, loaded with a Type L 50-round drum magazine. [The gun is held up by Special Officer William Irwin of the Wellsville Police Department. It would have been uncomfortable to shoot without a foregrip or handguard.]
  2. Colt Government (M1911) pistol (#18001) in .45 ACP (High-Tech: Pulp Guns 1, pp. 17-18; Investigator Weapons 1, pp. 37-38), loaded with 7-round magazine, “cocked-and-locked” (GURPS Tactical Shooting, p. 8, Investigator Weapons 1, p. 10).
  3. Colt Government machine pistol (#obliterated, secret #C84197) in .45 ACP, with 7-round magazine, “cocked-and-locked.” [This pistol was Floyd’s back up gun, converted to full automatic only (Tactical Shooting, p. 69, Investigator Weapons 2: Modern Day, p. 92).]
  4. Spare 7-round magazine for the Colt Government.

1934_Floyd Guns

Related posts:

Gangster Gats: Bonnie & Clyde

Gangster Gats: Fred “Killer” Burke

Gangster Gats: Cleaver Gang

Gangster Gats: Dillinger-Nelson Gang

Gangster Gats: Purple Gang