POTD: Manville 25mm Anti-Riot Gas Launcher – A Machine Gun?
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! The 1930s and 1940s were filled with anti-burglary and anti-riot gear being sold in sporting goods stores and displayed in catalogs. Charles Manville of the gas pens and a previous 12 gauge gas launcher introduced this 25mm 14 round second model of his launcher. He even attempted to sell the design or mechanism to the US military which did not express much interest. Manville would eventually decide to scrap everything following the rejections. This makes these Manville launchers increasingly rare since he ordered everyone not sold to be destroyed.
“Developed in the 1930s by Charles Manville, a machine shop owner. After the success of a series of gas pens and a 12ga gas pistol, Manville invented what he termed the “Machine Gun” (NOTE: this is not an automatic weapon, it is only a marketing term), a 12 gauge, 24 shot launcher, which was followed up with a 25mm, 14 round model. These weapons were quite literally ahead of their time, using a combination of a revolver style trigger assembly and a heavy clockwork spring to drive the cylinder, an arrangement seen on such weapons as the Street Sweeper shotgun and several modern grenade and less-lethal launchers. Measuring 20 inches in overall length, with a single bead sight at the muzzle and a pair of large thumbscrews on top, which secure the barrel and drum assembly to the drive cam and receiver. The left side of the front pistol grip bears the patent markings, “MANVILLE MFG. CO.” atop the receiver, and a multicolored Manville label on the left side of the trigger group.”
Lot 1833: Rare Second Generation Manville 25mm Anti-Riot Gas Launcher [Photograph found in Auction Catalog #54, Rock Island Auction Company]. (n.d.). Retrieved September 9, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/54/1833/rare-second-generation-manville-25mm-antiriot-gas-launcher