View Full Version : Research help: Info on Pepperbox and duckfoot pistols wanted...

simonov jr
May 9, 2002, 10:29 PM
Since these black powder guns contradict anti's arguments that our forefathers "never anticipated" semi and automatic "assault" firearms, I'd like to get a link that has good pics or diagrams of these historic muzzle loaders. Anyone have a good link and/or know of any other examples? I think Leonardo DaVinci also designed a multi-barrel firearm, though don't know if it was ever built. Thanks in advance for any help...

May 9, 2002, 10:59 PM

.36 caliber four-barreled Pedersoli replica.

May 9, 2002, 11:07 PM
Both repeating rifles and functional machine gun predate the Constitution.

Members have pics, hopefully some will pop up.


May 9, 2002, 11:34 PM
Snippits from, Antique Guns by Hank Bowman, 1953.

1730 Dutch break open, breach loader, used metallic cartridges.

1670-1686 Cookson repeating flintlock.

Approx 1550, double barreled over n under wheel lock. German.

1770, Mairet aux Ponci flintlock pepperbox.

1500s Spanish sword with double barreled pistol hidden within.

High power repeating air rifles also date way back.

Sam.....thems be even older than me.

May 9, 2002, 11:41 PM
...and don't forget the Puckle Defence; the world's first machine gun! :D

May 10, 2002, 12:22 AM
Thanks Tamara.....Puckle is what I was thinkin of in my first post. Don't have info on it and forgot the name.:rolleyes:

If you have the specs and date.....that would be good ammo for Simonov jr.


Mike Weber
May 10, 2002, 02:25 AM
I've got a repro of an old woodcut printing of the Puckle gun. I'm not sure how to post the picture. Its from a Bannermans catalog Circa 1927. The original dates from 1718, kind of has a big revolver look to it. It had the novel feature of having one cylinder that fired round bullets, for use against Christians. And another cylinder that fired square bullets for use against Turks. I'm not sure that I understand the design logic there. Very interesting weapon design for its time.BTW that damascus bladed folder is absolutely beautiful!:)

4V50 Gary
May 10, 2002, 02:07 PM
No links, but there have been repeating firearms before the event of the cartridge. The American Belton firearm system featured a sliding gunlock that would travel along the stock and barrel. The user pulled the lock back to the next touchhole and after firing, pulled it back again. All the way until all 16 shots were fired.

Revolvers were around a long time before Colt came on the scene. There are examples of flintlock revolvers in the Royal Armories. In one of my books, I have a photo of a revolver (or is chain gun better) that used a chain (like a motorcycle chain) to bring up a fresh shot.

Even after the invention of the percussion cap, John Browning's father, Johnathan Browning had a slide gun that featured a metal bar bored out to take numerous shots. Each chamber was separate and one slid the for a fresh shot.

The Confederates had an example of a repeating cannon that featured a turret that rotated for each fresh shot. Prior to that in the 1700s the English also had a cannon that featured a huge cylinder.

Harley Nolden
May 10, 2002, 03:30 PM
I found these photos of multiple firing hand guns in Military Small Arms, a book by Salamander publisher Ltd of London


Mike Weber
May 11, 2002, 01:46 AM
Dont forget the pre civil war harmonica rifles and pistols and the Mitraileuse battery guns, these were mostly used to defend covered bridges. Also the many multi barreled flintlock guns that predated the pepperbox.

May 11, 2002, 01:02 PM
In keeping with Simonov Jr's question, I think we should concentrate on weapons conceived prior to the acceptance of our Constitution.


Alex Johnson
May 11, 2002, 03:43 PM
I'm surprised nobodies mentioned the Nock volley gun, this is probably exactly what your looking for. It was a flintlock carbine with a group of barrels much like a pepperbox pistol, I forget how many were clustered together, but it was quite a few. When fired the barrels all went off in a chain reaction, so for a moment it would have been like a burst from a modern submachine gun.

James K
May 11, 2002, 10:47 PM
I understand what you are trying to do, but it would be pretty hard to call the Puckle a "machinegun" in any modern sense of rapid fire.

The operator turned a handcrank to move the cylinder back, turned the cylinder so a chamber aligned with the barrel, then tightened the crank to push the front of the chamber into the end of the barrel (sort of like a Nagant revolver). After firing that chamber, the crank was wound backward to pull back the cylinder, so it could be turned, aligned and again tightened. Rapid fire for the time, yes. A machinegun? Well, I don't think one would have to be registered with BATF.

Actually, had the inventor decided to forget the breech seal and just go with a turning cylinder like a modern revolver, the gun would have been much more practical and might just have taken off.

But yes, they were trying for rapid fire but the technology was not there yet. I have no doubt that George Washington would have loved to have had a few thousand M16's.


Mike Weber
May 14, 2002, 04:47 PM
It is my understanding that these were developed after the American Revolution. They were British mainly used by naval units for sweeping the decks of enemy ships from up in the mast tops. They were seven barreled, all barrels fired simultaneously. They were a weapon of the Napoleonic wars.

Mike Weber
May 16, 2002, 02:33 PM
Although these aren't multi barreled weapons, they could be considered rapid fire weapons of their time. I'm reffering to matchlock breechloaders dating back to the earliest days of firearms. There were not many of them made due to the extra cost vs conventional muskets. These weapons featured a removable breech block with loaded chamber similar to the much later Halls rifles and carbines. They were often carried with several extra loaded breech blocks the speedloaders of their time. Escaping gasses around the breech must have made them a real challenge to fire. There were also many variations of this design in artillery pieces dating from the 1500s and 1600s.

4V50 Gary
May 18, 2002, 09:43 AM
The "shield" gun carried by the bodyguards of Henry VIII were all breechloaders.

Also in the flintlock era is the French "wall gun" which had a tip up breechblock that operated very much like that of the Hall. Like the Hall, I would assume it also had gas leakage. The Austrians in 1760 armed their calvary with a breechloader. It did not remain in service and was withdrawn about 1770. About the only real successful breechloaders of that era was the Ferguson and its predecessors (Chaumette). However, one major problem with the Ferguson is its weak stock. They tend to break around where the breechplug goes in.

Returning to the concept of multi-barrel guns, one English gunmaker did a "one-up" on the Nock Volley Gun (go to the Charleston City Museum if you want to see an original Nock Volley Gun). This intrepid fellow had a 14 barrel affair. There was a lock for each group of 7 barrels. To say the least, it must have been a very unwieldy affair.