Benjamin Reynold’s Centrifugal Gun (1830s)

Benjamin Reynolds of Kinderhook, NY invented a Centrifugal gun in the late 1830s. His device was operated by two men – one of each side operating a crank. A hopper dropped shot into a revolving drum which threw them. Reynolds demonstrated his gun at West Point in 1837 where it sent 1,000 2 ounce shot through 3 ¾ inches of solid pine at distance of 110 yards. Reynolds later took it to Washington, where further demonstrations were made before a Congressional committee and military officers. The Washington tests used a target of three 1 inch pieces of pine at 150 yards. The shot from the gun went through the target, and fell into the Potomac River 300-400 yards beyond! The gun fired so quickly that the committee could not determine what fraction of a second was required to fire 60 shot! Source: 5/25/1861 Scientific American

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2 Responses to “Benjamin Reynold’s Centrifugal Gun (1830s)”

  1. I am curious to know if Benjamin Reynolds is related to my 2nd great grandfather John Andrus Reynolds who also invented a rapid fire gun in 1855.

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