Belgian 1850 mitrailleuse


This pre-machinegun stands in a park in Coronado, San Diego. What ammo did it fire and how? Anyone has a picture?



Pre-Cartridge Mitrailleuse…Charger Plate loaded with Powder, Ball and Percussion caps, then dropped in, screwed up tight against Barrels, and fired …don’t know if all at once or sequentially like the French 11mm cartridge Mitrailleuse.

Sad that the rust has eroded some of the parts in wrought Iron; the rest is obviously Bronze, which doesn’t decay as quickly.

Precursor of “Metal Storm”…and followed an Idea of Leonardo da Vinci, who in the late 1400s, had devised a “volley gun” using multiple Barrels on a carriage, (a two wheel cart) which could be discharged sequentially by a Powder train.

There is nothing new under the sun…

Doc AV

AV Ballistics.


This gun used a composit cartridge, very similar to shotshells. A rolled paperbody reinforced with a brass head. These gun used a 25 rd clip plate loaded with 25 cartriges. There are different calibers - 11mm nad 13mm are the most common ones. The plate was "loaded2 into the barrel and the breech was closed by a crank. Every barrel has a striker pin and so the barrels could be fired by a lever or small crank that was missing here, possitioned at the breech. You can constantly fire barrel by barrel or push down the lever to fire all. I think the date of 1850 is too early for this gun. It was developed after the civil war. This was named a belgian gun. So it might be a 11mm Montigny mitrailleuse very similar to the 13mm french Reffey guns.



It’s a shame to see it outside and rotting away like that. There can’t be too many left in existence.

Does anyone know how this gun came to be in the USA? Were they ever used by the US Military?


Look up “Bannerman” (a military surplus dealer).


I have heard of Bannerman’s before on this forum, apparently they are responsible for importing alot of collector guns and ammunition to the USA.

Under your laws today, would there be anything against owning one of these guns?

I’m surprised it is even still there. If it were in the UK, someone would have stolen it by now for the value of the scrap bronze.


Here is a very good site with all facts and system informations in english. … railleuse/



This gun is at the Military Museum in Lausanne.