Re: Revolving guns (slightly OT)
- --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "peter monahan" <petemonahan@...>
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 quickThis 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.