Huge Chinese .75 Caliber Fortress Rifle

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While browsing auctions at GunBroker I noticed a fascinating Chinese fortress rifle from the late 1800s. The rifle is 7 feet in length, about height of a modern doorway, and weights 40 pounds! A gun of this size would have been used to snipe from the ramparts of fortresses.

The rifle is about .75 in caliber (about the same caliber as a 10 gauge shotgun). Judging from the photos, I think it fired mini-artillery shells about 6.5″ in length (about an inch longer than the modern 14.5×114mm Russian).

It must have been designed by a very careful engineer as it has 16 rear locking lugs on the bolt. The problem with adding a lot of lugs is that it requires precision metalwork to make them all engage the action (or barrel extension) at the same time.

The rifle had a buy-now price of $3,600 and did not sell.




Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ Tony Williams

    Looks like one of the “Jingal” guns: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingal

  • Freiheit

    Would it make any sense to have 16 lugs, even if they don’t exactly lock up at the same time? For example if you have 3 or 4 engage and those start to break or bend then there are another 3 or 4 that would come in contact and so on.

  • Nadnerbus

    Does that fire a lower pressure round? I imagine it would thump your shoulder pretty good if it fires rifle-level pressure rounds. Like, broken collar bone thumping.

  • Flounder

    Someone needs to put this on a truck and go deer hunting… OKAY OKAY bear hunting in alaska!!!

  • Lance

    Definitely puts Kung Fu fighter at rest for being obsolete. LOL

  • Ian

    It would more than likely be an interrupted thread locking system rather than sixteen lugs as interrupted threads are very easy to make. Just like a standard thread, only a small portion is actually engaged (especially when no force is being applied). Once under pressure, however, the lugs bend until enough are engaged to secure the breech. It is also likely that this gun fired black powder cartridges which don’t require a tremendous amount of strength.

  • Foetus

    Now GET OFF MY LAWN !

  • MarkM

    Walk into the Bass Pro in Springfield, MO, and you’ll see a 6 foot “punt” gun in about 10ga, used for duck harvesting in the late 1800’s. While not common, they did exist.

    An extremely long barrel and slow powder would make shooting one an exercise in “floating bench rest,” which is about how they did it. They were mounted in long flatboats, camoflaged, and slowly rowed or drifted toward a resting flock and discharged.

    Is this Chinese gun rifled?

  • http://the-zombie-hunter.blogspot.com TZH

    somebody’s gotta have a video of shooting that thing. or at the least trying a pole-vault!

  • http://www.nitroexpress.com Mehul Kamdar

    Tony Williams is right. It is a Jingal gun – must be a late version. The Brits called them “rampart guns,” and the Madras Museum in my former home town in India has a huge Arms Gallery with dozens of these on display. These guns were made as muzzleloaders early on and I can guess how difficult it would have been to load them. The Breech loading version does make sense as it would be easy to load. I am intrigued by the 16 lug rear locking design and wonder what inspired it? Can’t think of anything at the moment . . .

  • http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ Tony Williams

    The round for the .75 Jingal is shown on page 28 of this document and described on page 29: http://engelscollectibles.com/auction8/Catalog8web.pdf

    The round for the smaller .60 Jingal is shown here: http://www.municion.org/Jingal/60Jingal.htm

  • Martin (M)
  • elk hunter

    Wow, just the gun to hunt giant, wild hogs in Texas with!!

  • Sid

    As punishment, were young Chinese soldiers forced to zero this weapon?

  • Jonas

    You gotta love that sight radius! Even though it may not have mattered because the shooter couldn’t see extremely far away.

  • http://homeplace-artsstuff.blogspot.com/ Arthur B. Burnett

    Greetings from Texas,
    I have seen the Punt Gun MarkM refers to in Springfield and can find fault with only one part of his comment. I spent an hour hunting down someone in the store that could tell me about it. (Sad in it’s self)

    That monster is a two gauge. They never made cartridges for anything smaller than four gauge. The two gauge had to be hand loaded. It was nessary to return to shore to reload the beast.

    To the best of my knowledge punt guns were the only application.

  • mosinman

    now this would have to be on my firearms bucket list! I wonder what kind of groups this thing could make?