Watch: Puckle Gun, Large Repeating Military Firepower From 1718

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Patented in 1718, the Puckle gun was capable of firing 63 rounds in 7 minutes. That was previously unheard of, and all the more impressive because it is a large-bore tripod-mounted gun.

Caliber of Puckle guns varied, but Ian says that for the most part they seems to be one inch or larger, sometimes as large as 1-1/4″. It was reportedly developed to help defend ships against piracy, but their advertising also said it was “for bridges, beaches, lines, and passes; ships, boats, houses, and other places.”

The British Navy rejected it in 1717, so Puckle got himself a patent and took his gun to market. After a 1722 demo in which the gun fired the aforementioned 9 rounds per minute, he managed to make a sale.

But yeah, there was just the one customer. He did buy two guns, though.

I like how the tapered mouth of each chamber fits snugly into the rear of the barrel.

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The key to its rapid firing is the removable cylinder, spares of which you could have pre-loaded. And during a fight you could have a helper or crew loading and priming empty cylinders while the gun is being fired.

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It was the early 1700s, so of course it was a flintlock. The mechanism is interesting and clever, and the video shows clearly how it works.

I want one!

Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started… [Learn More]


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