Friday, 8 May 2015

Mr Gatling's Patented Revolving Battery Gun and other fun

In recent months I've visited more than a few places in which historical artefacts are stored, so I have taken the opportunity to take pictographic records all sorts of inventions. I shall present them here for your edification but let me start with a bit of trivia: Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of John Carter of Mars and Tarzan, started life as a Gatling gun instructor while serving as a soldier in the 7th US Cavalry Regiment.

In the foreground we have a Colt Bulldog Model 1877 Gatling Gun, and in the background is the UN Navy variant of the Colt Gatling Gun (1884), both are .45-70 calibre.  Note the robust pedestal mounting and different barrel and magazine arrangements on the Naval variant.

Detail of the rear of the US Navy model

Naval variant in profile
 Rear view of the Model 1877:
Manufacturer's stamp detail

Authentic packing crate for the Model 1887 - clearly it took a little time to bring into action off the march


“It occurred to me that if I could invent a machine — a gun — which could, by rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, that it would, to a great extent, supersede the necessity of large armies.”
    — Richard Gatling, inventor of “the first reliable machinegun,” 1877 (as quoted in The Economist, June 14)


Foreground: not a Gatling gun but a 2 barrelled Gardner Gun, .45 calibre, used from 1874

Background: Colt Gatling Gun Navy Model 1900, .30-40 calibre, mounted on a modified M1895 Naval Landing Party carriage

Gatling Battery Gun Model 1866, .50-70 calibre, on an original carriage mount:

This is a Model 1883 Gatling, used in the movie Gunga Din

This one is one with the barrel casing removed but is unmarked for design or patent date.  It was used in the movies War Wagon and The Outlaw Josey Wales




Hope you find this of interest, I certainly did!  More period weaponry pics to come


"Whatever happens we have got,
the Gatling gun and they have not."



- Hillaire Belloc

7 comments:

Galdarbjelke said...

Cool !

CoastConFan said...

That’s a nice series of photos of the venerable Gatling Gun. Not many other real guns are so romantically Steampunk. You might be amused with a pseudo-historical Harpers print I made a few years back that has Gatlings as a central theme: https://www.flickr.com/photos/coastconfan/5421752330/ a higher resolution version on Flicker is here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/coastconfan/5421752330/ .

Often overlooked are Nordenfeldt guns, used primarily shipboard. Wikipedia has a small article but does illustrate a sailor firing on in a period steel engraving. It too is very Steampunk. Keep up the good work!

Paul O'G said...

Thanks, I really like that - "First Gulf War" indeed :-D

There are indeed other period weapons of note. Look out for further instalments in this series soon!

Peter Ball said...

Very nice! I always enjoyed The War Wagon. Grand photos!

Solo wargaming-on a budget! said...

Very interesting post, thanks for sharing this.

A J said...

Interesting photos, thanks for sharing.

John Lambshead said...

I find naval museums fascinating. The Chatham Historical Royal Dockyard has a ship with Nordenfeldts mounted on the bow.

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!