Just for the record, a Howdah pistol is indeed basically a sawed-off shotgun pistol. Its primary purpose was to protect the riders on/in the elephant howdah (the platform or basket). The pistol is named after the platform.
And just in case you thought there wasn't much to do in Africa besides hunt, this is Erg Chebbi in Morocco and we are racing in the Tuareg Rallye. The big girl is Aretha. She's big, black and can really sing ;-) Navigator in the right seat is my safari partner in crime, Andy.