|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
The Nordenfelt gun was a multiple barrel organ gun that had a row of up to twelve barrels. It was fired by pulling a lever back and forth and ammunition was gravity fed through chutes for each barrel. It was produced in a number of different calibres from rifle up to 25 mm (1 inch). Larger calibres were also used, but for these calibres the design simply permitted rapid manual loading rather than true automatic fire. This article covers the anti-personnel rifle-calibre (typically 0.45 inch) gun.
The weapon was designed by a Swedish engineer, Helge Palmcrantz. He created a mechanism to load and fire a multiple barreled gun by simply moving a single lever backwards and forwards. It was patented in 1873.
Production of the weapon was funded by a Swedish steel producer and banker (later weapons maker) named Thorsten Nordenfelt, who was working in London. The name of the weapon was changed to the Nordenfelt gun. A plant producing the weapon was set up in England, with sales offices in London, and long demonstrations were conducted at several exhibitions. The weapon was adopted by the British Royal Navy, as an addition to their Gatling and Gardner guns.
During a demonstration held at Portsmouth a ten-barrelled version of the weapon, firing rifle calibre cartridges, fired 3,000 rounds of ammunition in 3 minutes and 3 seconds without stoppage or failure.
However, with the development of the Maxim gun the weapon was eventually outclassed. Nordenfelt merged in 1888 with the Maxim Gun Company to become Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company Limited.
At least one Nordenfelt was re-activated for the 1966 film Khartoum and can be seen firing in the river boat sequence.
A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an individual. The term is legally defined further in different countries.
A machine gun is a rapid-firing, rifled long-barrel autoloading firearm designed for sustained direct fire with fully powered cartridges. Other automatic firearms such as assault rifles and automatic rifles are typically designed more for unleashing short bursts rather than continuous firepower, and not considered machine guns. Squad automatic weapons, which fire the same cartridge used by the other riflemen from the same combat unit, are functionally light machine guns though not called so. Submachine guns, which are capable of continuous rapid fire but using handgun cartridges, are also not technically regarded as true machine guns.
A shotgun is a long-barreled firearm designed to shoot a straight-walled cartridge known as a shotshell, which usually discharges numerous small pellet-like spherical sub-projectiles called shot, or sometimes a single solid projectile called a slug. Shotguns are most commonly smoothbore firearms, meaning that their gun barrels have no rifling on the inner wall, but rifled barrels for shooting slugs are also available.
The Maxim gun is a recoil-operated machine gun invented by Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim in 1884; the weapon became the first automatic firearm in production. The Maxim gun has been called "the weapon most associated with imperial conquest" by historian Martin Gilbert, and was heavily used by colonial powers during the "Scramble for Africa". The Maxim gun was greatly influential in the development of machine guns. Maxim guns saw extensive usage during the First and Second World Wars, and are still used by insurgent groups in contemporary conflicts.
A repeating rifle is a single-barreled rifle capable of repeated discharges between each ammunition reloads. This is typically achieved by having multiple cartridges stored in a magazine and then fed individually into the chamber by a reciprocating bolt, via either a manual or automatic action mechanism, while the act of chambering the round typically also recocks the hammer/striker for the following shot. In common usage, the term "repeating rifle" most often refers specifically to manual repeating rifles, as opposed to self-loading rifles, which use the recoil and/or blowback of the previous shot to cycle the action and load the next round, even though all self-loading firearms are technically a subcategory of repeating firearms.
A mitrailleuse is a type of volley gun with barrels of rifle calibre that can fire either all rounds at once or in rapid succession. The earliest true mitrailleuse was invented in 1851 by Belgian Army captain Fafschamps, ten years before the advent of the Gatling gun. It was followed by the Belgian Montigny mitrailleuse in 1863. Then the French 25 barrel "Canon à Balles", better known as the Reffye mitrailleuse, was adopted in great secrecy in 1866. It became the first rapid-firing weapon deployed as standard equipment by any army in a major conflict when it was used during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71.
A rifled breech loader (RBL) is an artillery piece which, unlike the smoothbore cannon and rifled muzzle loader (RML) which preceded it, has rifling in the barrel and is loaded from the breech at the rear of the gun.
Blowback is a system of operation for self-loading firearms that obtains energy from the motion of the cartridge case as it is pushed to the rear by expanding gas created by the ignition of the propellant charge.
The 2-pounder gun, officially designated the QF 2-pounder and universally known as the pom-pom, was a 40-millimetre (1.6 in) British autocannon, used as an anti-aircraft gun by the Royal Navy. The name came from the sound that the original models make when firing. This QF 2-pounder was not the same gun as the Ordnance QF 2 pounder, used by the British Army as an anti-tank gun and a tank gun, although they both fired 2-pound (0.91 kg), 40-millimetre (1.6 in) projectiles.
A heavy machine gun or HMG is a belt-fed machine gun that fires full-powered/magnum cartridges and is designed to be significantly more massive than light, medium or general-purpose machine guns. As the name implies, heavy machine guns are typically not man-portable by infantry and thus require mounting onto a weapons platform to be operably stable or tactically mobile, have more formidable firepower, and generally require a team of personnel for operation and maintenance.
The Gardner gun was an early type of mechanical machine gun. It had one, two or five barrels, was fed from a vertical magazine or hopper and was operated by a crank. When the crank was turned, a feed arm positioned a cartridge in the breech, the bolt closed and the weapon fired. Turning the crank further opened the breechblock and extracted the spent case.
This article explains terms used for the British Armed Forces' ordnance and also ammunition. The terms may have slightly different meanings in the military of other countries.
The ML 9.45 inch Heavy Trench Mortar, nicknamed the Flying Pig, was a large calibre mortar of World War I and the standard British heavy mortar from the autumn of 1916. It was a modification of an original French design, the Mortier de 240 mm developed by Batignolles Company of Paris and introduced in 1915. Britain manufactured the modified version under licence.
The British BL 6-inch gun Mk XIX was introduced in 1916 as a lighter and longer-range field gun replacement for the obsolescent BL 6-inch gun Mk VII.
A quick-firing or rapid-firing gun is an artillery piece, typically a gun or howitzer, which has several characteristics which taken together mean the weapon can fire at a fast rate. Quick-firing was introduced worldwide in the 1880s and 1890s and had a marked impact on war both on land and at sea.
The QF 1 pounder, universally known as the pom-pom due to the sound of its discharge, was a 37 mm British autocannon, the first of its type in the world. It was used by several countries initially as an infantry gun and later as a light anti-aircraft gun.
The QF 6 pounder Nordenfelt was a light 57 mm naval gun and coast defence gun of the late 19th century used by many countries.
The 1-inch Nordenfelt gun was an early rapid-firing light gun intended to defend larger warships against the new small fast-moving torpedo boats in the late 1870s to the 1890s.
The RML 8-inch howitzer was a British Rifled, Muzzle Loading (RML) Howitzer manufactured in England in the 19th century, which fired a projectile weighing approximately 180 pounds (82 kg). It was used in siege batteries and in fortifications.
A repeating firearm is any firearm, either a handgun or a long gun, that is capable of repeated firing before needing to manually reload new ammunition into the gun. These firearms are breechloading by nature. Different to the preceding single-shot firearms, a repeating firearm can store multiple cartridges inside a magazine, a cylinder or a belt, and uses a moving action to manipulate each of these cartridges into and out of battery position, allowing the gun to discharge numerous times in relatively quick succession before a manual ammunition reload is needed.
This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations . (September 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nordenfelt machine guns .|