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Encyclopedia > Lupara

Lupara is an Italian word used to refer to a side-by-side sawn-off shotgun, with external hammers for each barrel and two triggers, often homemade, and traditionally associated to Cosa Nostra, the Italian organised crime group dominant in Sicily, who uses it for vendettas, defense, and hunting. The word 'lupara' means literally 'wolf-shot', reflecting its lethal power and history of use in Mafia killings. Its one of the oldest Italian weapons originating in Sicily, these guns were also used by the mafioso to protect themselves from Mussolini's army when he decided to break the mafioso network in Sicily A sawn-off shotgun or a sawed-off shotgun is a type of shotgun with a shorter gun barrel and often a shortened or removed stock, compared to regular shotguns. ... Charles Lucky Luciano, one of the most famous American bosses Cosa Nostra, literally translated into English, means Our thing, or This thing of ours. ... Organized crime is crime carried out systematically by formal criminal organizations. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with feud. ... A hunt is an activity during which humans or animals chase wild animals in order to kill them, either for food or as a form of sport. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ...


When used in crime, the barrels of a lupara are cut short illegally to facilitate the shotgun being hidden under a coat or in a small space, but when used out in the field for hunting or protecting flocks of sheep, the longer legal barrels are kept as they are.


From the word lupara, it originates the Italian expression lupara bianca (white lupara) which is used especially by journalists to refer to a mafia-style murder in which the victim's body is deliberately hidden. The word was popularised by the author Mario Puzo in his best selling novel The Godfather.


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