Tell me more! The J. A. de Brame breech loading skeleton revolving cannon.

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Aug 25, 2012
On June 6 1861 J. A. de Brame brought a working mode of his breech loading skeleton revolving cannon to a talk at the Polytechnic Association of the American Institute. On October 28 1861 he demonstrated a full scale gun to the military. He held another demonstration on November 26 1861 where his cannon fired 22 shots in 3 minutes and 40 seconds. The U.S. military was not interested and at some point the weapon was given to the U. S. Marine Corps Museum at Quantico. The barrel and receiver were put on display. Alos this was one of the first cannon to have a shield for the crew.

This appear to be a four pounder. So how does a 6 shot revolving cannon fire without any recoil? I wounder if the Army was not interested in a rapid fire four-pounder because of the size of the shot? I am not sure I see much tactical use of what is basically a four-pounder machine gun.



Forum Host
May 4, 2014
Regarding recoil, I think that could have been one of the reasons they were not interested in it. also, with the barrel not being enclosed, you would have problems with igniting a fuse, so it would have been restricted to firing bolts or shell with percussion fuses. with the metallurgy of the time, I would have to question the durability of that barrel design. I have a hard time believing that a barrel like that could withstand the forces of repeated firing considering the materials and manufacturing methods available. it's hard to realize just how violent firing a cannon is until you see footage from a high speed camera of what happens to the carriage when a live round is fired ( there is a post with that video in the fourms)

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