16th Century Revolver

An eight-shooter from over 400 years ago. But those who wrote the constitution could never have imagined a multi-shot firearm.

Am I seeing a barrel-mounted, spring operated indexing pawl which engages tiny notches in the front of cylinder between the priming pan covers? On the other hand, maybe that lever on the right side behind the cylinder is part of the index locking mechanism.

Now what we need is a gas-operated, automatic firing, flintlock chain gun artillery piece.


9 thoughts on “16th Century Revolver

  1. Flint lock, 400 years ago? That’s pretty advanced, I thought they were still in the match lock or wheel lock era back then. Interesting article!

  2. You may want to check out Jörg Sprave’s channel on YouTube. It’s amazing what can be done with a few rubber bands and some woodworking tools (like making a hand-cranked Gatling slingshot that fires toilet brushes).

    • I’ve seen a lot of that stuff, and it is cool. I’m more interested in slinging large, heavy metal projectiles at high velocities however. The ballistic coefficient of a toilet brush is rather uninteresting to someone trying to hit a small target at 700 yards with 1,000 foot pounds of kinetic energy. That flintlock pistol would not be near capable of such a thing either, but it would still beat a toilet brush launcher handily in most instances.

        • Singing pigs. Dancing bears might try to kiss someone who objects to inter-species affection and become angry at the resistance. There is much less danger of that with the singing pigs.
          Jörg Sprave has, if he is who I think he is, also developed some hand-cranked devices that hurl ball bearings a substantial distance with good velocity.

  3. There was the Puckle gun from 1718. A 1.25″, 6-11 shot repeating flintlock cannon with quick-swap cylinders that could be preloaded. Still had to rotate the cylinder by hand and prime the flintlock mechanism, but still was noted for being VERY fast for the time. Not quite a gas-operated ye-olde chaingun artillery, but darn close for functional purposes.

    • And one variation of it shot square bullets, to convince the muslim Turks of the benefits of Christianity… or something like that.

  4. The Continental Congress had a multi-shot (8+) chain-fire musket demonstrated to them. They placed an order for 5k, IIRC, which is on file, but none have ever been found. It’s suspected that the designer couldn’t get anyone to build them in quantity. In addition, supposedly they were sensitive to weather conditions.

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