In order to provide a background for the description and analysis of the revolver cannon, a brief review of the history of this type of weapon will be eiven to clarifv the factors which led to its adoption and which affect its relationship with the reciprocating type of machinc gun.
Ever since the first recorded use of firearms earlv j in the fourteenth centurv. there has been a need and a demand for multiple firing weapons. It is interesting to observe that many attempts to create such weapons were made almost immediately after the application of gun pnwder to the propelling of missiles and that multiple fire was originally achieved by the simple and rather obvious method of stacking a number of barrels side by side with an arrangement for firing the barrels simultaneously or in rapid succession. Although they were remarkable weapons in their day, the "orgues des bom-bardes", or battery guns, of the fourteenth ccntury were extremclv hcavv and clumsilv mounted and j j 4
were only moderately successful because of the difficulties encountered in loading the barrels and in igniting the charges as desired.
During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, little progress was made in the field of multiple firing but during this time, attempts were made to place
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