The Howdah Pistol was a class of large-caliber handguns used in India and Africa from the beginning of the nineteenth into the early twentieth century. It was typically intended for defense against large animals that may be encountered. The earliest howdah pistols were flintlock designs, and it was not until about 60 years later percussion models in single or double barrel configuration were seen. The first breech-loading howdah pistols were little more than sawn-off rifles. By the 1890s and early 1900s, cartridge-firing and fully rifled howdah pistols were in normal, everyday use. Multi-barreled breech-loading designs were later favored over the original muzzle-loading designs because they allowed for faster reloading than contemporary revolvers.
"A high stopping power howdah pistol with four barrels intended for defense against wild animals. Some officers in WW1 preferred it as their sidearm."
— In-game description
The Howdah Pistol is a sidearm featured in Battlefield 1. There are two versions of the pistol: Standard and Sweeper.
The Howdah Pistol has a higher effective rate of fire than the Gasser M1870, mostly because of the extremely long reload for that pistol. The Howdah Pistol fills the role of medium damage, medium rate-of-fire pistol for the Assault kit.
The Howdah Pistol Sweeper variant appears in both the singleplayer and multiplayer of Battlefield 1. It differs from the normal variant in that it essentially functions as a miniature shotgun due to its higher spread and circle aim sights. Visually the Sweeper's only slightly difference from its counterpart.
The Howdah Pistol Sweeper briefly appears in the singleplayer campaign chapter "The Runner" of the mission The Runner. It can be found outside a house below the castle in a weapon crate on the far western side of the map when heading to the palace to get the frontline report. It one of two only available sidearms in the mission and can be used to unlock the Drip Gun (Codex Entry).
It will also be one of Zara Ghufran's default weapon in Hear the Desert if a level is chosen separately (without playing Young Men's Work before).
The Standard variant appears in Multiplayer for the Assault kit.
The Sweeper variant was available in the Alpha trial of the game for the Assault kit. It was cut from the final version of the game for regular players to use, as it is one of two weapons relegated exclusively for use by DICE employees, the other being the C96 Export. However, it is usable in the game's Community Test Environment due to most of the weapons being unlocked.