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Topic ClosedRepeating rifles and revolvers pre-1800

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Repeating rifles and revolvers pre-1800
    Posted: 25-Aug-2011 at 20:51

200 years before Oliver Winchester patented his famous rifle, English and German gunsmiths developed the first repeaters. These originally used the wheel-lock mechanism but the oldest surviving examples are flintlocks. Above is a Danish rifle made around 1640 by Peter Kalthoff. The cartridges were stored in the stock and chambered by moving the lever/trigger guard. Henry VIII supposedly owned a German gun of this type and Samuel Pepys test-fired a Cookson rifle belonging to the Earl of Sandwich
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2011 at 20:13

According to Howard Ricketts the Cookson gun, derived from a 1660 design by Lorenzoni, could be produced as either a carbine or a pistol. It was a breach loader whose bullets were stored in the butt. It had a reservoir of powder to provide the charge and could fire nine shots before reloading.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Aug-2011 at 19:29

Here's a strange Japanese revolver resembling the Porter Turret Rifle of the 1850s. Rounds were stored in a drum behind the barrel though it's unknown whether the gun was single-action or if the magazine had to be manually turned

Edited by Nick1986 - 27-Aug-2011 at 19:31
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2011 at 20:14

Compare this 1834 Cochran revolver to the 17th century Japanese pistol above. The drum magazine on this gun is spun by cocking the under-hammer but both weapons draw upon the same basic principle: high ammunition capacity and fast rate of fire

Edited by Nick1986 - 28-Aug-2011 at 20:18
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2011 at 04:14

From istanbul military museum


ottoman miguelet


an other golden decorated gun from 18. century



Edited by Ollios - 29-Aug-2011 at 04:14
Ellerin Kabe'si var,
Benim Kabem İnsandır
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2011 at 11:44
The top revolver looks like a Civil War era Smith and Wesson. The muskets are beautifully engraved. One looks European and the other looks more Eastern. Their owners must have been high-status men

Edited by Nick1986 - 29-Aug-2011 at 11:44
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2011 at 20:03

The earliest revolver was a three-barreled matchlock turnover carbine made in Italy around 1530. Examples are preserved in Venice and the Ashmolean museum at Oxford
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2011 at 19:15

I'm surprised Centrix hasn't seen this thread yet. The 18th and early 19th century pepperboxes i'll discuss tomorrow were very influential in the design of a certain flintlock revolver a young Samuel Colt encountered as a sailor in India
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2011 at 19:19

The turnover action of the 18th century was ideal for fowling pieces but less useful for pistols, although examples like this piece from Augsburg were produced for wealthy clients. Each barrel needed a separate pan, making these guns bulky and inaccurate until someone had the idea of inventing a single pan with a reservoir of powder. However, these were prone to exploding, hence the lack of interest in pepperbox revolvers until the invention of the caplock mechanism by Joshua Shaw.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Sep-2011 at 19:44

Now we will move on to true revolvers. Aware multiple barrels resulted in a heavy, inaccurate gun and realising a shortened cylinder could be loaded without a ramrod, German and English gunsmiths began producing flintlock revolvers from the 1590s onwards. This wheel-lock has inlaid ivory and an engraved "puffer" stock designed to ensure a good grip. These fell from favor by the time of the Civil War but Cossack pistols retained the distinctive ball-butt until the 19th century
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2011 at 19:05

Louis XIII owned a revolving fowling piece. Like most Frenchmen he was a passionate hunter and had a whole room full of birding guns
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2011 at 20:24

The revolver was re-invented in 1811 when Elisha Collier patented an innovative new design. To prevent gas leaks the cylinder was designed to fit tightly over the barrel. Unlike earlier turnover pistols the Collier revolver only had one pan. A reservoir of powder provided the charge, making priming unneccessary, although, like its contemporary the pepperbox, a chainfire could cause the gun to explode. Many were issued to British forces in India less than a decade after the Napoleonic Wars
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2011 at 21:08

The Duck's Foot pistol was an effective weapon for prison guards or a sea captain facing a mutinous crew. This four-shot breechloader had "turn-off" barrels that could be unscrewed for fast reloading. When loaded with buckshot it could be even more devastating
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2011 at 08:45

This gruesome-looking version of the Duck's Foot had eight barrels, a bayonet and spiked butt. Its owner must have had a lot of enemies
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Sep-2011 at 09:42

And who can forget the 7-shot Nock volley gun from Sharpe?

Edited by Nick1986 - 08-Sep-2011 at 20:46
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Sep-2011 at 20:50

The Nock Gun was adopted by the Royal Navy and issued to boarding parties and sharpshooters in the fighting-top, despite the fire risk. It could take a skilled Marine over 30 seconds to reload, hence the continued use of the much cheaper blunderbuss which could do the same thing with nails or gravel
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Sep-2011 at 10:32

Let's have a look at one of the oldest repeaters: the medieval ribaldequin or organ battery which consisted of 20 musket barrels side-by-side. These could be fired simultaneously or individually, making it the first machine gun
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Sep-2011 at 21:31
Smaller organ guns were used by poachers from the 17th until the 19th century. These primitive devices were designed to take down as many birds as possible without reloading as poaching was punishable by transportation
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Sep-2011 at 08:58
Originally posted by Nick1986




it is like a cannon
Ellerin Kabe'si var,
Benim Kabem İnsandır
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Sep-2011 at 19:29
Absolutely. It would have been lethal when fired at an advancing formation of soldiers
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