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The Puckle Gun: “Machine Gun” From 300 Years Ago

Puckle Gun
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A ‘machine gun’ from the 1700s? The Puckle Gun puts a lie to the anti-Second Amendment narrative that says it was written with only single shot musket in mind.

Ian from Forgotten Weapons is at the Institute of Military Technology, a fascinating museum located in Titusville, Florida. Today he’s examining a mostly original early 1700s Puckle Gun.

The Puckle Gun was patented by London lawyer, inventor and author James Puckle in 1718. It was officially titled the Defence Gun and was a flintlock weapon with a revolver-like rotating cylinder of six to eleven shots.

The weapon could fire an incredible nine shots per minute. That was a startlingly rapid rate of fire during an era when single shot weapons were the rule, and two or three reloaded rounds per minute was considered fast shooting.

Ian gives a good account and illustration of the firing mechanism for the gun. It wasn’t truly a machine gun, although that’s what it came to be known as. Rather it is a repeating firearm, and in a 1722 exhibition it was able to fire off an astounding 63 rounds in a mere seven minutes.

Puckle initially presented the deck cannon Defence Gun to the Royal Navy for their consideration in fighting Turkish pirates. But the navy rejected the weapon. So, Puckle offered it on the open market where it also, unfortunately, received little attention.

In fact, the gun had but a single patron, the 2nd Duke of Montagu, who purchased two of the guns from Puckle. This particular weapon that Ian is showing was rebuilt from original spare parts from those two weapons as well as some reproduction parts.

What makes this gun of particular interest to today’s gun loving public is that it represents an example of repeating firearms that existed hundreds of years before they were commonly thought to exist.

At a time when the popular narrative concerning gun control suggests that the Second Amendment was written with only single shot muskets in mind, this and other repeating firearms such as the Lorenzoni flintlock pistol (invented in 1660) illustrate that that narrative is a lie.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

NEXT: Wheellock Pistols: Are These Real or Counterfeit?

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The Puckle Gun: “Machine Gun” From 300 Years Ago