Rare Muzzleloading Chain Gun


(Video Link)


This odd-looking rifle invented in 1854 by British engineer T.W. Treeby was an early attempt to vastly increase the ammunition capacity of rifles. At the time, rifles had to be loaded from the muzzle one bullet at a time.

The Treeby gun instead cycles fourteen individual chambers on a chain, each of which is preloaded and given its own percussion cap. Between each cycle, the user turns a handle to unseal and then reseal the barrel.

Link -via The Firearms Blog

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I wouldn't really call it a machine gun ancestor, per se. More an early semi-automatic. Still, hardly the first, just a really complicated version of one with a very large slug and a large, heavy ammo capacity. It's cool, but there are other period weapons that survived in memory much better for good reason.
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Aaron, it also had the advantage of having a sealed firing chamber, which prevented any chance of a shot igniting other chambers (as can happen with muzzleloading revolvers). Still a developmental idea that would have needed some refinement, though.
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