Treeby Chain Gun

The Treeby gun was a muzzleloader with 14 chambers in a chain. The create a seal between the chamber and the barrel, the barrel was rotated forward and back.

It is not hard to see why only two were made. It looks like the gun could easily have been fired without the barrel closed.

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]

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.


  • MJ

    Thanks for this — fascinating stuff! I’d heard of the Josselyn chain-guns but never the Treeby. The Josselyn patent was from June 1866, so it looks like this Treeby chap got there about twelve years before him.

    Not sure I’d describe it at a ‘machine-gun’ though. More a type of gas-seal revolver, isn’t it?

  • Komrad

    They did it a bit different than a M1895 Nagant revolver. Very cool design, but what I’d really like to see is this firing. But it’s probably way too old and valuable for that.

  • Lance

    What caliber where they??

  • Anonymous synonomous

    Haha, nice to see a Forgotten Weapons video posted here. I love their site and the wealth of information they have.

  • Tom – UK

    Any army of the period armed with this even if it was only half as accurate as a regular musket would be devastating, a platoon of 30 men can fire 90 shots a minute with regular muskets. With this firearm you could fire 420 rounds a minute, that is huge!

    I think I would carry this gun for the first volley then drop it and continue to use regular muskets.

  • ed

    Just amazing. In hind sight this has all the elements of a centerfire cartridge bolt action rifle with a rotary magazine…assembled in almost exactly the wrong order. Specifically, does that chain look an awful lot like linked shotgun shells to anyone else?

  • FerrusManus

    Too bad that he doesn’t fire the weapon. But maybe this is a little bit to dangerous with such an old weapon.

  • it might be a attempt at mobilized puckle gun which would be brilliant idea