For those who argue the framers of the Second Amendment only knew single-shot muskets, we present the Cookson repeater.
Dating to about the 1750s, the Cookson Volitional repeating flintlock shown above from the collection of the National Firearms Museum was crafted by London gunsmith John Shaw. This particular breechloader has a two-chambered magazine that holds a dozen .55 caliber lead balls in one part and a dozen 60-grain powder charges in the second, with each coming together when the crank is worked by the user.
Doug Wicklund with the NFM walks through the gun’s operation.
Besides the Cookson, there were also the earlier repeaters of the 16th Century Kalthoff family of gunsmiths in Denmark– which some accounts contend could hold as many as 30 shots– and those of Italian gunmaker Michele Lorenzoni. Ian McCollum in an early installment of Forgotten Weapons covers a 7-shot repeating Lorenzoni flintlock pistol below.
And we almost forgot to mention the weapon first described, in 1722, as a “machine gun”– the Puckle Gun!