Repeating and Multi-Fire Weapons

A History from the Zhuge Crossbow Through the AK-47


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SKU: 9781476666662 Categories: , ,

About the Book

From the very earliest days of organized warfare, combatants have wanted to develop weapons with more firepower. This has inevitably led to a wide variety of repeating weapons, capable of a degree of sustained fire without reloading.
Based largely upon new research, this book explores the history of repeating and multi-fire weapons, beginning with the Chinese repeating crossbow in the 4th century BCE, and ending with the world’s most common firearm, the Kalashnikov AK-47. The author describes the potency of the machine gun in World War I, the development of the semiautomatic pistol and the role of the submachine gun in improving the effectiveness of the infantryman.

About the Author(s)

The late Gerald Prenderghast was a military historian and lived in Kent, United Kingdom. His publications included books about historic firearms, maritime history and Britain’s involvement in the Wars in Vietnam.

Bibliographic Details

Gerald Prenderghast
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 434
Bibliographic Info: 256 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6666-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3110-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Introduction 3
Glossary 5
Section I: Early Repeating Weapons
One. Repeating Weapons from the Ancient World 11
Section II: Without Black Powder
Two. Perkin’s Steam Gun and Other Oddities 20
Section III: The Black Powder Era
Three. Early Military Rockets 32
Four. Early Black Powder Weapons 40
Five. Early Repeating Pistols and Colt’s Percussion Revolvers 52
Six. The Rimfire Revolver and Rollin White’s Patent 69
Seven. Pinfire and Centerfire Revolvers 85
Eight. Repeating Rifles and Shotguns 97
Nine. Early Machine Guns and Repeating Cannon 115
Ten. The Gatling Gun: Gatling’s 150-Year-Old Masterpiece 128
Section IV: The Smokeless Powder Era
Eleven. Maxim’s Automatic Machine Gun: “The Devil’s Paintbrush” 138
Twelve. Smokeless Powder and Repeating Rifles 150
Thirteen. Self-Loading or Semiautomatic Pistols 178
Section V: The ­Machine-gun Era
Fourteen. The Development of Repeating and ­Multi-fire Weapons in the Early 20th Century 211
Fifteen. Light Machine Guns in World War I 224
Sixteen. Medium and Heavy Machine Guns in World War I 252
Seventeen. Submachine Guns, Semiautomatic Rifles and Postwar Changes 288
Eighteen. Light Machine Gun Development After World War I 317
Nineteen. Heavy Machine Gun and Automatic Cannon Development After World War I 360
Twenty. Assault Rifles and the Rise of the “Woolworth’s” Gun 397
Twenty-one. Perspectives 413
Chapter Notes 417
Bibliography 423
Index 425

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Prenderghast traces the development of [these] weapons from fourth-century China to modern weaponry…provides details on hundreds of such weapons, including their production, design, operation, variations, specifications, military use, and current value… Well illustrated with photographs and diagrams…a thorough treatment of the topic and useful for those interested in military history…recommended”—Choice