The Puckle Gun

Clayton has discovered an 18th century antecedent of the machine gun:

Harold Leslie Peterson’s The Treasury of the Gun (1962), p. 205, indicates that 1722 London Journal accounts indicated that one fired 63 rounds in seven minutes in the rain. Okay, that’s not a machine gun, but nine rounds a minute is a major technological breakthrough compared to muskets that fired three rounds a minute, and not at all if it was raining.

It’s interesting, because we constantly hear “The founding fathers could never have imagined something like an Uzi.”  It’s becoming more and more likely that they indeed could have imagined it.  I seem to recall at some point, I think it might have been Dave Hardy, mentioning that if you had shown up at the constitutional convention with an M16, all the founding fathers would have recognized it as a firearm.  They would have thought you were pretty cool, but they still would have recognized it as something protected by the second amendment.

4 thoughts on “The Puckle Gun”

  1. The Puckle gun fired round ball for use against christians and square bullets against non christians!

    Drew in the UK

  2. Yes, the choice of bullet type was mentioned in the patent. If this seems bizarre, remember that:

    1. There were notions of appropriate warfare against fellow Christians. Muslims had similar notions, unsurprisingly.

    2. There was pretty regular warfare against Muslims at the time. Muslims were raiding the Irish coast regularly in the 1600s, taking Irishmen back to the Arab world for sale as slaves. Above a million white Europeans were enslaved by Muslims over several centuries.

    3. America’s first overseas war after the Revolution was against Muslims who were ostensibly independent pirates (the analogy to modern terrorists is obvious). That’s why “to the shores of Tripoli” is in the U.S. Marine Corps hymn.

  3. Hello, Da Vinci imagined a helicopter, a parachute, the car, SCUBA gear, the tank…a MACHINE GUN…hundreds of years BEFORE they ever came about. Just because they may not have had the technology or materials to build something doesn’t mean they couldn’t have thought of it. To argue that very well educated men that wrote the constitution, the declaration of independence, and the bill of rights were so stupid as to be blind to the possibilities of what may be, when people hundreds of years earlier had already thought of them is to insult the intelligence of their opponents and to lie to their face.

    Liars and deceivers, your argument has once again been beaten like a red-headed stepchild.

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