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Chamber's Repeating Gun - Was Puckle Gun

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  • dguts1813
    The Chamber s & Barreled Repeating Gun was one of a family of weapons developed by the USN during the war of 1812. This family of weapons included an 11 shot
    Message 1 of 20 , Jan 30, 2008
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      The Chamber's & Barreled Repeating Gun was one of a family of weapons
      developed by the USN during the war of 1812. This family of weapons
      included an 11 shot repeating musket and a six shot repeating pistol
      as well as the larger 7 barreled gun designed for use from the
      fighting tops of US Frigates. It should be noted that this weapon,
      unlike the Puckle Gun, was actually deployed and saw some limited use.
      Like the Puckle Gun it was a weapon well beyond the technology of the
      era.

      I haven't been able to find much info available on line. However, if
      you can find a copy of Boarders Away II: Firearms in the Age of
      Fighting Sail by William Gilkerson he devotes an entire chapter the
      Chamber's Gun project.

      Ed Bolla
      Ship's Coy. US Brig Niagara
    • Bob Dorian
      Hi, Boarders Away II is available from abebooks.com . 2 copies at $58 + shipping and one at $59.80 + shipping and 5 more at higher prices. Good buying!
      Message 2 of 20 , Jan 30, 2008
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        Hi,

        "Boarders Away II" is available from abebooks.com . 2 copies at $58 + shipping and one at $59.80 + shipping and 5 more at higher prices. Good buying!

        Regards,

        Bob Dorian
        US Engineer
        dguts1813 <Armchairadm@...> wrote:
        he Chamber's & Barreled Repeating Gun was one of a family of weapons
        developed by the USN during the war of 1812. This family of weapons
        included an 11 shot repeating musket and a six shot repeating pistol
        as well as the larger 7 barreled gun designed for use from the
        fighting tops of US Frigates. It should be noted that this weapon,
        unlike the Puckle Gun, was actually deployed and saw some limited use.
        Like the Puckle Gun it was a weapon well beyond the technology of the
        era.

        I haven't been able to find much info available on line. However, if
        you can find a copy of Boarders Away II: Firearms in the Age of
        Fighting Sail by William Gilkerson he devotes an entire chapter the
        Chamber's Gun project.

        Ed Bolla
        Ship's Coy. US Brig Niagara






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Colin
        The great thing is that the Marines were specifically selected to train on the Chamber s in Philadelphia, Boston and Sacketts Harbor. We are hoping to
        Message 3 of 20 , Jan 30, 2008
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          The great thing is that the Marines were specifically selected to
          train on the Chamber's in Philadelphia, Boston and Sacketts
          Harbor. We are hoping to someday put one together, but the mystery
          of how to make it work at a reenactment is still there. Without the
          actual conical sabot rounds it seems impossible to fire. Also if
          and when it is developed the guy who pulls the short straw is
          pulling the trigger :)

          PS.. There are British sources,from I believe men captured by the
          Constitution, that refer to "American Machine Guns" on board.

          Colin Murphy
          USS CON 1812 MG
          USMC-HC


          --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "dguts1813" <Armchairadm@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > The Chamber's & Barreled Repeating Gun was one of a family of
          weapons
          > developed by the USN during the war of 1812. This family of
          weapons
          > included an 11 shot repeating musket and a six shot repeating
          pistol
          > as well as the larger 7 barreled gun designed for use from the
          > fighting tops of US Frigates. It should be noted that this weapon,
          > unlike the Puckle Gun, was actually deployed and saw some limited
          use.
          > Like the Puckle Gun it was a weapon well beyond the technology of
          the
          > era.
          >
          > I haven't been able to find much info available on line. However,
          if
          > you can find a copy of Boarders Away II: Firearms in the Age of
          > Fighting Sail by William Gilkerson he devotes an entire chapter the
          > Chamber's Gun project.
          >
          > Ed Bolla
          > Ship's Coy. US Brig Niagara
          >
        • BritcomHMP@aol.com
          In a message dated 1/30/2008 6:26:19 PM Central Standard Time, Armchairadm@cs.com writes: The Chamber s & Barreled Repeating Gun was one of a family of
          Message 4 of 20 , Jan 30, 2008
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            In a message dated 1/30/2008 6:26:19 PM Central Standard Time,
            Armchairadm@... writes:

            The Chamber's & Barreled Repeating Gun was one of a family of weapons
            developed by the USN during the war of 1812. This family of weapons
            included an 11 shot repeating musket and a six shot repeating pistol
            as well as the larger 7 barreled gun designed for use from the
            fighting tops of US Frigates.


            -----------------------------------------------------------

            The above raises an interesting question, was the weapon a repeating gun or
            just a multi barreled gun?if it was indeed a repeater what was the system
            used?

            In December 2005 a friend of mine aquired the first repeating rifle made in
            the US (Isaiah Jennings 1822) at auction and it has a facinating sustem of
            priming as explained in the auction catlalouge

            _http://www.nealauction.com/archive/1205/lot/lottext/401-500.html_
            (http://www.nealauction.com/archive/1205/lot/lottext/401-500.html)

            There is also an article in the current NRA magazine about it, a truly
            amazing piece and very exciting to be able to handle an item like this. BTW for
            anyone who goes to the link and looks at the puctures the curious oval shape in
            the skeleton stock was to take a wooden cheek piece, now missing.

            My friend has decided he is going to make a copy of the gun but is in two
            minds as to weather he will try to fire it when finished!

            Cheers

            Tim



            **************Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.
            http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Colin
            This may not be a dead on explaination but here is what I have come across so far: The information from Boarders Away and from a few other sources shows that
            Message 5 of 20 , Jan 30, 2008
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              This may not be a dead on explaination but here is what I have come
              across so far:
              The information from Boarders Away and from a few other sources
              shows that the single barrel Chamber's gun was a India Pattern
              (probably could be any model if someone decided to do so) with two
              locks; one in the normal position, one placed about 3/4 the way up
              the barrel. The barrel would then be loaded with 11 conical shaped
              projectiles, the "tip" of the cone into barrel with an hole at the
              tip. The projectiles would be separated by powder. When the
              forward lock fires (by pulling a string) it would fire the front
              projectile, the reselting flash would proceed through the cone of
              the next projectile towards the breach, through the hole touching
              off the powder behind it and so on and so on until the last round
              fired. It was the same principle just times seven on the banded , 7
              barrel gun which as, Mr. Bolla sugested could be placed in the tops
              to sweep an enemy deck or as I have read, though can't remeber where
              at the moment, it could have been placed on a capstan for something
              like a last ditch attempt to save your ship from a rushing boarding
              party. Perhaps, retreat to tbehind the capstan, let the enemy gain
              your deck if being overwhelmed and the let loose with 77
              rounds.There is also some evidence that these had a sort of speed
              loading system. There are records of "brass tubes" for the
              repeating guns. Some suggest that these were "pre-loaded tubes that
              would be run down the barrel, then placing a rod inside while
              withdrawing the tube would leave the barrel loaded with the rounds.
              But I haven't seen too much info on that yet....still looking.
              YHOS
              Colin Murphy
              USS CON 1812 MG
              USMC-HC



              --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, BritcomHMP@... wrote:
              >
              >
              > In a message dated 1/30/2008 6:26:19 PM Central Standard Time,
              > Armchairadm@... writes:
              >
              > The Chamber's & Barreled Repeating Gun was one of a family of
              weapons
              > developed by the USN during the war of 1812. This family of
              weapons
              > included an 11 shot repeating musket and a six shot repeating
              pistol
              > as well as the larger 7 barreled gun designed for use from the
              > fighting tops of US Frigates.
              >
              >
              > -----------------------------------------------------------
              >
              > The above raises an interesting question, was the weapon a
              repeating gun or
              > just a multi barreled gun?if it was indeed a repeater what was the
              system
              > used?
              >
              > In December 2005 a friend of mine aquired the first repeating
              rifle made in
              > the US (Isaiah Jennings 1822) at auction and it has a facinating
              sustem of
              > priming as explained in the auction catlalouge
              >
              > _http://www.nealauction.com/archive/1205/lot/lottext/401-500.html_
              > (http://www.nealauction.com/archive/1205/lot/lottext/401-500.html)
              >
              > There is also an article in the current NRA magazine about it, a
              truly
              > amazing piece and very exciting to be able to handle an item like
              this. BTW for
              > anyone who goes to the link and looks at the puctures the curious
              oval shape in
              > the skeleton stock was to take a wooden cheek piece, now missing.
              >
              > My friend has decided he is going to make a copy of the gun but is
              in two
              > minds as to weather he will try to fire it when finished!
              >
              > Cheers
              >
              > Tim
              >
              >
              >
              > **************Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in
              shape.
              > http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?
              NCID=aolcmp00300000002489
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • dguts1813
              Colin your description of the Chamber s system is pretty much bang on. All the weapons operated on the Roman Candle Principle of stacked charges and
              Message 6 of 20 , Jan 31, 2008
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                "Colin" your description of the Chamber's system is pretty much bang
                on. All the weapons operated on the "Roman Candle Principle" of
                stacked charges and projectiles. I've never seen mention of the
                "Brass Loading Tubes" before. Sounds feasible, would love to see more
                info on that.

                Ny the way, the reference to the 7 barreled gun being mounted on the
                Capstan comes from Theodore Roosevelt's Naval War of 1812. He states
                that a weapon, mounted in that manner was reported by one of the
                British officer's captured in USS Constitution's action with the Cyan
                & Levant at the close of the War of 1812.

                Ed Bolla
                Brig Niagara
              • BritcomHMP@aol.com
                In a message dated 1/31/2008 8:45:14 AM Central Standard Time, Armchairadm@cs.com writes: Colin your description of the Chamber s system is pretty much bang
                Message 7 of 20 , Jan 31, 2008
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                  In a message dated 1/31/2008 8:45:14 AM Central Standard Time,
                  Armchairadm@... writes:

                  "Colin" your description of the Chamber's system is pretty much bang
                  on. All the weapons operated on the "Roman Candle Principle" of
                  stacked charges and projectiles.


                  -------------------------------------------------------

                  Quite, I think with this type of set up the gun would in fact only have one
                  lock but mounted forward and operated by a trigger in the usual position.

                  Incidentaly on other systems there is a flintlock revolver in the Tower
                  collection too. Legend has it that in the early 19th century this item was
                  closely examined by one Mr. Colt from the USA. This piece dates from the 1680s!

                  Cheers

                  Tim



                  **************Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.
                  http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Colin
                  only have one lock but mounted forward and operated by a trigger in the usual position. Tim I do recall that system. Also the single lock mounted normally
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jan 31, 2008
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                    only have one lock but mounted forward and operated by a trigger in
                    the usual position."



                    Tim
                    I do recall that system. Also the single lock mounted normally with a
                    tube to transfer the flame to a forward touchhole.

                    Yr Ob Svt Colin
                  • Tom Hurlbut
                    As I recall from Ed Bolla s excellent seminar on these weapons at the Living History Convention in Toronto, there was a modification to a standard musket with
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jan 31, 2008
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                      As I recall from Ed Bolla's excellent seminar on these weapons at the Living History Convention in Toronto, there was a modification to a standard musket with two locks so that it could fire the volley element first, then be used as a standard musket afterwards (single shot). This would require two separate locks, one forward and the second in the "normal" position.

                      Cheers!

                      "Lt." Tom


                      Tim
                      I do recall that system. Also the single lock mounted normally with a
                      tube to transfer the flame to a forward touchhole.

                      Yr Ob Svt Colin


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • BritcomHMP@aol.com
                      In a message dated 1/31/2008 11:14:31 AM Central Standard Time, hurlbut8646@rogers.com writes: As I recall from Ed Bolla s excellent seminar on these weapons
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jan 31, 2008
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                        In a message dated 1/31/2008 11:14:31 AM Central Standard Time,
                        hurlbut8646@... writes:

                        As I recall from Ed Bolla's excellent seminar on these weapons at the Living
                        History Convention in Toronto, there was a modification to a standard musket
                        with two locks so that it could fire the volley element first, then be used
                        as a standard musket afterwards (single shot). This would require two
                        separate locks, one forward and the second in the "normal" position.


                        ---------------------------------------

                        Indeed it would, never heard ofthat system, just shows one can learn som
                        ething new every day!

                        Cheers

                        Tim



                        **************Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.
                        http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Dale Kidd
                        Is it just me, or is there a very real danger with the so-called Roman candle principle of stacked charges ? I just envision one bullet failing to fully exit
                        Message 11 of 20 , Feb 1, 2008
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                          Is it just me, or is there a very real danger with the so-called "Roman
                          candle principle of stacked charges"? I just envision one bullet
                          failing to fully exit the barrel due to the explosive force of the
                          charge venting through the hole in it, then the next charge going off
                          behind. Don't think I'd want to be the poor bugger holding the gun when
                          the barrel explodes...

                          ~Dale
                        • peter monahan
                          ... called Roman candle principle of stacked charges ?... Don t think I d want to be the poor bugger holding the gun when the barrel explodes... ... Dale I
                          Message 12 of 20 , Feb 1, 2008
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                            --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Dale Kidd" <ucpm_gunner@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Is it just me, or is there a very real danger with the so-
                            called "Roman candle principle of stacked charges"?... Don't think I'd
                            want to be the poor bugger holding the gun when the barrel explodes...
                            >
                            Dale

                            I believe you have hit on one reason, most probably the main reason,
                            why Puckle guns and other such arcane ordanance were, mercifully, not
                            used for very long or in any great numbers: a shortage of really dumb
                            shooters! :7)

                            Peter
                          • Colin
                            Hi Ed I now recall reading that in Teddy s book. I also read it somewhere else....perhaps the same officer s report in another volume. The Brass tubes idea
                            Message 13 of 20 , Feb 1, 2008
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                              Hi Ed
                              I now recall reading that in Teddy's book. I also read it somewhere
                              else....perhaps the same officer's report in another volume.

                              The Brass tubes "idea" comes from the Navy Agent in Boston, Amos
                              Binney's records. His original letterbook is at the AMerican
                              Antiquarian Society Library in Worcester (Wista as pronounced here)
                              Mass. I do not have the exact citing on hand. If I come across it in
                              these stacks surrounding me or in my computer files I'll glady pass it
                              on to you. If you can get in touch with him, Mark Hilliard also has
                              the info as he is the person to have come across it a few years back
                              and he shared it with me.

                              My best sir
                              Colin Murphy
                              USS CON 1812 MG
                              USMC- HC

                              --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "dguts1813" <Armchairadm@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > "Colin" your description of the Chamber's system is pretty much bang
                              > on. All the weapons operated on the "Roman Candle Principle" of
                              > stacked charges and projectiles. I've never seen mention of the
                              > "Brass Loading Tubes" before. Sounds feasible, would love to see
                              more
                              > info on that.
                              >
                              > Ny the way, the reference to the 7 barreled gun being mounted on the
                              > Capstan comes from Theodore Roosevelt's Naval War of 1812. He states
                              > that a weapon, mounted in that manner was reported by one of the
                              > British officer's captured in USS Constitution's action with the Cyan
                              > & Levant at the close of the War of 1812.
                              >
                              > Ed Bolla
                              > Brig Niagara
                              >
                            • BritcomHMP@aol.com
                              In a message dated 2/1/2008 6:37:16 AM Central Standard Time, petemonahan@sympatico.ca writes: I believe you have hit on one reason, most probably the main
                              Message 14 of 20 , Feb 1, 2008
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                                In a message dated 2/1/2008 6:37:16 AM Central Standard Time,
                                petemonahan@... writes:

                                I believe you have hit on one reason, most probably the main reason,
                                why Puckle guns and other such arcane ordanance were, mercifully, not
                                used for very long or in any great numbers: a shortage of really dumb
                                shooters! :7)



                                --------------------------------------

                                Actualy the danger was far less withe Puckle gun because it had a series of
                                revolving chambers. One of the main reasons it wasn't adopted was that the
                                design was far ahead of the technology of the time and it cost a fortune. I
                                think I am right in saying that the one in the Tower collection which was the
                                sample sibmited to the Board of Ordinence, is the only one ever made!

                                Cheers

                                Tim



                                **************Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape.
                                http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exercise?NCID=aolcmp00300000002489


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • peter monahan
                                In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, BritcomHMP@... wrote: Actualy the danger was far less withe Puckle gun because it had a series of revolving chambers. One of the
                                Message 15 of 20 , Feb 1, 2008
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                                  In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, BritcomHMP@... wrote:

                                  Actualy the danger was far less withe Puckle gun because it had a
                                  series of revolving chambers. One of the main reasons it wasn't
                                  adopted was that the design was far ahead of the technology of the
                                  time and it cost a fortune...

                                  Cheers

                                  Tim


                                  Far be it from me to disagree with your learned self, sir. However,
                                  I believe most early "revolving chamber" had a disconcerting habit of
                                  spitting flame in all directions around imperfectly sealed chamber-to-
                                  barrel seals. I also know that even Mr. Colt's esteemed weapons, at
                                  least in the days before metal cartridge casings, occasionally "gang
                                  fired", with all chambers going off at once or in very quick
                                  succession.

                                  Perhaps this is the technological gap to which you refer: an
                                  inability to cast and machine parts to the tolerances necessary to
                                  ensure proper seals? In any event, it seems that, like many "super
                                  weapons", these experiments were indeed "ahead of their time".

                                  Most respectfully, sir
                                  Peter Monahan
                                • BritcomHMP@aol.com
                                  In a message dated 2/1/2008 9:10:28 AM Central Standard Time, petemonahan@sympatico.ca writes: Far be it from me to disagree with your learned self, sir.
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Feb 1, 2008
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                                    In a message dated 2/1/2008 9:10:28 AM Central Standard Time,
                                    petemonahan@... writes:

                                    Far be it from me to disagree with your learned self, sir. However,
                                    I believe most early "revolving chamber" had a disconcerting habit of
                                    spitting flame in all directions around imperfectly sealed chamber-to-
                                    barrel seals. I also know that even Mr. Colt's esteemed weapons, at
                                    least in the days before metal cartridge casings, occasionally "gang
                                    fired", with all chambers going off at once or in very quick
                                    succession.


                                    ---------------------------------------------------

                                    That was certainly a posibility but actualy far less with the Puckle gun as
                                    the brass chambers holding the charge did not just line up with the barrel,
                                    they screwed into it. The crank handle first unscrewed the camber then moved
                                    the revolving block so that the next chamber could be placed oposite the
                                    breach. Then the crank was turned in the oposite direction to screw the loaded
                                    chamber into the barel. So as long as the screw threads engaged properly there
                                    should be no imperfect chamber to barrel seal.

                                    Cheers,

                                    Tim



                                    **************Biggest Grammy Award surprises of all time on AOL Music.
                                    (http://music.aol.com/grammys/pictures/never-won-a-grammy?NCID=aolcmp003000000025
                                    48)


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • peter monahan
                                    Clearly, I did not look at the illustration closely enough! I retire, sir, bloodied but unbowed, before your superior logic and expertise ! PM
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Feb 1, 2008
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                                      Clearly, I did not look at the illustration closely enough!

                                      I retire, sir, bloodied but unbowed, before your superior logic and
                                      expertise !

                                      PM
                                    • Gordon Deans
                                      I believe that the real failure of the Puckle Gun could be attributed to the fact that the gunner had to load the round bullets into the round chambers and
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Feb 1, 2008
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                                        I believe that the real failure of the Puckle Gun could be attributed
                                        to the fact that the gunner had to load the round bullets into the
                                        round chambers and the square bullets into the square chambers and to
                                        remember when to use which. Something about the lack of natural
                                        intelligence.

                                        Gord Deans.

                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: "peter monahan" <petemonahan@...>
                                        To: <WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 7:36 AM
                                        Subject: Re: [War Of 1812] Chamber's Repeating Gun - Was Puckle Gun


                                        --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Dale Kidd" <ucpm_gunner@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Is it just me, or is there a very real danger with the so-
                                        called "Roman candle principle of stacked charges"?... Don't think I'd
                                        want to be the poor bugger holding the gun when the barrel explodes...
                                        >
                                        Dale

                                        I believe you have hit on one reason, most probably the main reason,
                                        why Puckle guns and other such arcane ordanance were, mercifully, not
                                        used for very long or in any great numbers: a shortage of really dumb
                                        shooters! :7)

                                        Peter
                                      • dguts1813
                                        ... Actualy the biggest problem wiht the Roman Candle principle use in the Chamber s gun seems to have been that the fireing sequence in the multiple barrels
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Feb 2, 2008
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                                          "Dale Kidd" <ucpm_gunner@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Is it just me, or is there a very real danger with the so-called "Roman
                                          > candle principle of stacked charges"? I just envision one bullet
                                          > failing to fully exit the barrel due to the explosive force of the
                                          > charge venting through the hole in it, then the next charge going off
                                          > behind. Don't think I'd want to be the poor bugger holding the gun when
                                          > the barrel explodes...
                                          >
                                          > ~Dale
                                          >
                                          Actualy the biggest problem wiht the "Roman Candle" principle use in
                                          the Chamber's gun seems to have been that the fireing sequence in the
                                          multiple barrels would,for want of a better term, get "out of phase"
                                          and the weapon would shake itself to peices. Also, there is the
                                          obvious draw back that once you pull the trigger the weapon continues
                                          to fire until al the charges are expended. There was no way to fire
                                          short bursts.

                                          As for the multi shot muskets, the version with two locks was a
                                          prototype. The production version had, as Mr. Pickles pointed out, a
                                          long tube beside the barrel which comunitcated the fire from priming
                                          pan to initial the initial charge. After fireing off the 11 stacked
                                          rounds the musket could be used as a normal single shot weapon by
                                          fliping a small lever above the pan which uncovered a standard vent
                                          hole beside the priming pan.

                                          Ed B.
                                        • Dale Kidd
                                          ... wrote: I also know that even Mr. Colt s esteemed weapons, at ... occasionally gang ... This was properly termed a chain-fire , and was indeed a
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Feb 3, 2008
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                                            --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "peter monahan" <petemonahan@...>
                                            wrote:
                                            I also know that even Mr. Colt's esteemed weapons, at
                                            > least in the days before metal cartridge casings,
                                            occasionally "gang
                                            > fired", with all chambers going off at once or in very quick
                                            > succession.


                                            This was properly termed a "chain-fire", and was indeed a relatively
                                            common occurrence in Col. Colt's early blackpowder revolvers. The
                                            proper way to avoid this was to seal the open ends of the cylinder
                                            chambers with a wad and/or a layer of grease ahead of the ball.

                                            There is a very humorous, and supposedly true, story of a misfire of
                                            this type happening to none other than the infamous William "Billy
                                            the Kid" Bonney early in his gunfighting career. Apparently, Bonney
                                            got into an argument with a cowboy in a saloon, and while his
                                            adversary was momentarily distracted, drew his revolver and tried to
                                            shoot him in the back (as was the Kid's modus operandi). On this
                                            occasion, however, instead of adding another notch to his sixgun,
                                            Bonney's revolver chain-fired and blew itself apart in his hand. To
                                            add further insult to injury, the would-be target of the young outlaw
                                            took considerable umbrage at his intention, and proceeded to beat the
                                            Kid to a bloody pulp.

                                            Off topic, but interesting none the less.

                                            ~Dale
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