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1863 Hughes Gun

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1862 Gatling Gun

The Gatling gun is one of the best-known early rapid-fire spring loaded, hand cranked weapons and a forerunner of the modern machine gun. Invented by Richard Gatling, it is known for its use by the Union forces during the American Civil War in the 1860s, which was the first time it was employed in combat. The Gatling gun's operation centered on a cyclic multi-barrel design which facilitated cooling and synchronized the firing-reloading sequence. Each barrel fired a single shot when it reached a certain point in the cycle, after which it ejected the spent cartridge, loaded a new round, and, in the process, allowed the barrel to cool somewhat. This configuration allowed higher rates of fire to be achieved without the barrels overheating

Williams Gun

The Williams Gun was a Confederate gun that was classified as a 1-lb cannon. It was designed by Capt. D.R. Williams, of Covington, Kentucky, who later served as an artillery captain with a battery of his design. It was a breech-loading, rapid-fire cannon that was operated by a hand-crank. The barrel was 4 feet long and 1.57-inch caliber. The hand crank opened the sliding breech which allowed the crew to load a round and cap the primer. As the crank was continued, it closed the breech and automatically released the hammer. The effective range was 800 yards but the maximum range was 2000 yards.

10-pounder Parrott Rifle

The "10-pounder Parrott Rifle" featured a 2.9" bore firing a 10lb elongated projectile made exclusively for this gun. It sported an iron barrel with the typical muzzle swell encountered on competing designs. The barrel was situated atop a mounting which was coupled to a two-wheeled carriage system featuring a single tow arm. No recoil system was present so the gun moved freely backwards with each shot, forcing the crew to reposition and re-sight their cannon before firing again. Initial models were known as "Model 1861 10-Pounder Rifle". Loading was accomplished by inserting a powder charge followed by the projectile to which both were rammed down the barrel by a ramrod.

The 2.25-inch Mountain Rifle appears in two Confederate ordnance manuals with as much detail as any other field piece of artillery.  Called Model 1862, records of its manufacture were entered in three Tredegar sources. Eighteen pieces were apparently cast from bronze and one forged from wrought iron between Dec. 20, 1861 and June of 1862. The mountain rifle has 3 grooves (sawtooth) and a twist of one turn in 10 feet.

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12 LB Mountain Howitzer

The Mountain Howitzer was designed to be lightweight and highly portable. Because of this, and its ease of disassembly, it did not require roads for transportation making it well suited to Indian fighting and mountain warfare. In addition to the pack carriage, a prairie carriage was also created for traditional draft using only two horses. This versatility permitted their use with mounted forces in areas where roads were little more than paths. These small howitzers provided artillery support for forces where it would otherwise be unavailable. However, their shorter range made them unsuitable for dueling with other field artillery weapons

1863 Hughes Gun


  Invented By: D. W. Hughes (patented) in 1861. He provided an innovative breech design which he incorporated in his rifled breech-loader for the Confederacy. Hughes’ patent dealt specifically with his unique breech design which utilized lugs instead of threads and an elastic gum gas check.

The gum gas check (sabot), cylindrical and of gutta-percha elastic material, has a hole through its length and fits onto a spindle which protrudes from the front of the breech. In front of the gas check is a steel washer of the same diameter that also fits on the spindle. A screw at the end of the spindle serves to retain the washer and gas check on the spindle.

Upon discharge, pressure against the washer moves it rearward compressing the gum cylinder causing it to deform and expand against the walls of the chamber thus sealing the breech.

The washer serves to distribute pressure onto the face of the gum cylinder and to protect it from direct contact with flame. After discharge, the gum cylinder returns to its relaxed diameter and the breech plug is then rotated, unlocking the lugs, and the entire breech is free to be removed for reloading.

·        Manufactured By: Street, Hungerford & Company of Memphis, Tennessee. The barrels of the Hughes Cannons were supposedly turned from locomotive axles.

·        Special Notes: Barrel includes a copper sleeve water jacket, it surrounds the barrel. When filled with water, it helps to improve cooling during rapid fire. It fired by a falling hammer, using a regular musket percussion cap.

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