:"For the Italian city, see Lupara (commune)".

Lupara is an Italian word used to refer to a sawed-off shotgun of the break-open design type. It is traditionally associated with Cosa Nostra, the Italian organized crime group dominant in Sicily for their use of it in vendettas, defense - such as its use against Mussolini's army when he decided to break up the Sicilian mafioso network - and hunting. [cite book |last=Chalker |first=Dennis| authorlink=Dennis Chalker |title=One Perfect Op : an Insider’s Account of the Navy Seal Special Warfare Teams |coauthors=Dockery | year= 2002|publisher= Morrow|location=New York |language=English| pages=251 |isbn=0-671-02465-5 ]


The word 'lupara' means literally 'wolf-shot', reflecting its lethal power and its history of use in Mafia killings. It is also one of the oldest Italian firearms originating in Sicily. It became popular because it can be more easily handled in close quarters than a longer full length gun. The shorter barrels, generally without a choke, also provide greater spread of the shot increasing the chances that a user will hit their desired target.

From the word "lupara" originates the Italian expression of "lupara bianca" (white lupara), a term especially used by journalists to refer to a mafia-style slaying in which the victim's body is deliberately hidden. The word was also popularised by the author Mario Puzo in his bestselling novel "The Godfather" where the lupara is used extensively by the mafia in Sicily, including Michael Corleone's bodyguards. cite book |last=Puzo |first=Mario |authorlink=Mario Puzo| title=The Godfather |year= 2002|publisher= NAL|location=New York |language=English |isbn=978-0451205766 |pages=192, 203, 329, 335, 337, 349]


An early example of criminal use of the weapon in the United States was the assassination of the New Orleans chief of police, David Hennessey, in October 1890. [cite book|last=Smith|first=Tom|title=The Crescent City Murders|year=2007|publisher=The Lyons Press|isbn=1-592-28901-0] The murder punctuated a rivalry between gangs of Sicilian fruit company stevedores whose contracts did not fall under the auspices of the local longshoreman's union. A pile of sawed-off shotguns was displayed after the murder, including a homemade gun with a folding iron stock, and another with a hook on its stock with which to hang the gun under a coat. Racist provocation following the failed prosecution of a group of suspected men resulted in a mob assault on the New Orleans Parish Prison and the subsequent lynching of many Italian prisoners. This was possibly the first time the term "Mafia" was used during a criminal trial.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lupara — (deutsch: Wolfstöter) ist eine Bezeichnung für eine abgesägte Flinte, bei der sowohl Lauf als auch Kolben gekürzt wurden. Ursprünglich stammt sie aus Italien, wo sie von Hirten zur Abwehr von Wölfen geführt wurde. Beliebt war diese Waffe auch für …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lupara — Lupara, Flecken in der neapolitanischen Provinz Molise; 2100 Ew …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • lupara — s.f. [der. di lupo ]. 1. (arm.) [carica per fucili da caccia, costituita da pallettoni di 8 o 9 mm di diametro, usata per cacciare lupi o cinghiali]. 2. (estens.) [fucile a canne mozze, caricato con tali pallettoni, considerato spesso come il… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • Lupara — Para la escopeta lupara , véase escopeta recortada. Lupara …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lupara — Cet article concerne une commune d Italie. Pour les autres significations, voir Lupara (homonymie). Lupara Administration Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • LUPARA — I. LUPARA burgus ins. Franciae, in agto Parisiensi, 6. leuc. a Lutetia Bor. versus, in via quae Silvanectum tendit. Lovures en Parisis vulgo. II. LUPARA palatium Galliae Regum, a Car. V. exstructum Lutetiae: et a Lud. XIV. magnificentissime de… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Lupara — Original name in latin Lupara Name in other language Lupara State code IT Continent/City Europe/Rome longitude 41.76023 latitude 14.73543 altitude 529 Population 651 Date 2012 03 04 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • lupara — lu·pà·ra s.f. CO 1. cartuccia a pallettoni usata per la caccia al lupo 2. estens., fucile, spec. a canne mozze {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: av. 1956. POLIREMATICHE: lupara bianca: loc.s.f. CO …   Dizionario italiano

  • lupara — pop. Escopeta de dos caños recortadas …   Diccionario Lunfardo

  • lupara — {{hw}}{{lupara}}{{/hw}}s. f. 1 Cartuccia da caccia caricata a pallettoni. 2 Fucile da caccia a canne mozze …   Enciclopedia di italiano

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”