Sunday, August 12, 2012

It Would Use To Much Ammunition

The Billinghurst Requa Battery gun; an early rapid-fire gun, was given a public test August 12th 1862 with hopes of finding finical backing.

The Billinghurst Requa Battery gun was invented by a dentist, a Doctor Joseph Requa who had been apprenticed at 16 to William Billinghurst.  In 1861 Requa began to think about how to design a rapid-fire gun and he talked to his mentor Billinghurst about the idea.  Together they come up with and built a scale model of the gun on July 11th 1861.  When the gun was well received they built a full scale prototype.

The Billinghurst Requa had twenty-five .58 caliber rifle barrels each mounted together on a light metal frame that could be elevated for firing range.  This frame was then placed on a two wheeled carriage.  It was loaded with a clip that held 25 rounds, and could be reloaded and fired 7 times a minute.

Requa took his gun to Union General James Wolfe Ripley April 22nd 1862, but Ripley wouldn’t consider the use of the Billinghurst Requa.  He felt that the gun would use up to much ammunition.  Requa then went to President Abraham Lincoln with several demonstrations of the gun, which were favorably received.

In need of money to produce their weapon Billinghurst and Requa arranged a public demonstration of the gun August 12th 1862 in Rochester, NY.  The gun hit its target, a barrel floating in the Genessee River about 1,800 away in distance.  Billinghurst and Requa found enough backers to have 50 guns produced.

The gun was used during the Battle of Cold Harbor, the Siege of Petersburg and as protection of the bridges leading into Washington, DC.  The gun was made obsolete shortly after the war as new firearm technology came along.


SteveG said...

Good post! I have heard of this one before and it is nice to see it brought forward. Posts like this have earned you a well earned place on my blog roll!

LivingInVermont said...

Thanks Steve. It is fun to find things that aren't always in the forefront. It's nice to know someone is enjoying my work.