For those who suggest that there were no repeating pre-modern era firearms, we give you the Lorenzon repeating flintlock pistol.
That’s right, a repeating flintlock pistol. This bad boy utilized a mechanism called the Lorenzoni system that allowed a flintlock firearm to be loaded with multiple lead shot and enough powder to fire each one separately. This innovation was invented by Michele Lorenzoni, a gunsmith in Florence, Italy, in around 1660.
You read that correctly too. A repeating firearm was invented in the mid-17th century. Lorenzoni’s system was manufactured and used in several European countries and the United states until around 1850.
As the video shows, the pistol uses a levered mechanism to load and prime six to ten ball-and-charges between shots. The action takes but a few seconds, giving the shooter of such a weapon a significant advantage over the more common firearms of the era that required multiple time-consuming loading steps by hand between each shot.
As you might imagine, the firearms using the Lorenzoni system required an extremely high level of skill to manufacture. It was therefore an expensive firearm and was financially out of reach for most people. They are extremely rare today as well, and still pretty expensive.
There was also the disadvantage inherent in all black powder weapons of the weapon becoming fouled after a number of shots, before requiring a cleaning.
But a person carrying one or two such repeating pistols could conceivably fire six to eight shots for every one or two fired by an opponent with a single shot weapon.