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A map of the British and French dominions in North America, humbly inscribed to the Right Honourable the Earl of Halifax, 1755.
I can’t help but wonder what the map would have looked like if the British hadn’t been so keen to tax and then decided to take American firearms away.
It’s a lesson from the past for the future, isn’t it?
These are French dragoons in 1916. Horses and lances (pig stickers) against modern artillery, modern rifles and machine guns. 
They prepared to fight the last war.
The Nepalese Bira Gun
In the 1890’s Nepalese General Gehendra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana designed this double barreled hand cranked machine gun which he called the Bira Gun. 
The Bira gun featured a reciprocating bolt which fired each barrel separately one after the other in succession. The gun was chambered for the .577-450 Martini Henry round, as Nepal was an ally of Britain and had large stocks of the ammunition on hand. 
The gun was fed from a large 40 pound pan magazine which held two rows with 60 rounds of ammunition in each. 
Altogether the Bira Gun was a very heavy weapon, weighing almost 1000 pounds, it had to be pulled by horse on a caisson. Unlike all other crank operated machine guns, the Bira Gun’s crank was rotated counterclockwise, rather than clockwise, which supposedly made the gun more reliable. All Bira Gun’s were handmade and produced in Nepal. They were never deployed in combat, but in 1890, they were cool.


Tactics have changed somewhat as have weapons, but the point remains the same.

Sniper and observer from the 1st of the 4th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment in the roof of a barn at Antons Farm near Ploegsteert Wood during the spring of 1915.

18 thoughts on “Anachronisms

  1. 19th century rapid fire guns can be interesting and occasionally will show up in film. A Nordenfelt gun appears briefly in the 60s era film Khartoum, and The Rough Riders featured a Hotchkiss revolving cannon as well as a couple Colt potato diggers.

  2. Interesting Bira gun review. As I understand it, a few clever and fortunate people gained access to various princely arsenals after 1947 — made a lot of money…

  3. In my teen's and 20's I thought I was born a hundred years too late. Then again, I was a Boy Scout (and look what the Left did to that once great organization.)

  4. Yes, I liked the Rough Riders movie. I think that they made an effort to keep it real including the Hotchkiss gun.

  5. I don't know much about that, but if I had a Bira gun, it would occupy a place of honor in my living room.

  6. I was council commissioner of the California Inland Empire Council. We had over 33,000 Boy Scouts. There were a lot of adults who worked tirelessly for BSA, for the boys. Work demands caused me to leave scouting leadership in about 2007 because I changed from one job to another.

    It really fell apart once it went homosexual and bi-gender. The headline today reads, "The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s oldest and largest youth organizations, filed for bankruptcy protection late Monday as legal claims by former Scouts of past sexual abuse continue to mount."

    You may have read that headline elsewhere, but it was inevitable, given the direction of scouting and the demand that homosexuals be included as scoutmasters.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints sponsored roughly half the scout troops in the California Inland Empire Council and they left scouting completely because of requirements that they (and I) feel were wrong. Half the money went right there. And all of these organizations like the BSA run on financing.

    As I sit at my desk, writing, I'm looking at plaques on my wall from Scouting. And it's an anachronism for sure. My little grandsons will ask, "who were the Boy Scouts" instead of wearing Eagles. What a tragedy for the boys.

  7. Are you referring to the barrel sticking through a hole in the roof, and the bino's in position to reflect?

  8. I wasn't taking a shot at snipers (pun intended). I simply thought the way that they did it in WW1 was — in the past.

  9. John Milius is one of those few movie makers who seemed to genuinely care about the representation of history. There are others, but not many.

  10. I see your point. I would have liked to be a sniper. Was good enough with a rifle but utterly defeated by camouflage.

  11. I never went through the sniper school, but would have liked to have done that. They don't send officers through that training. More's the pity.

  12. Very much so, and thank you for that leadership in what once was a stellar organization.

    I was heavily involved in our Troop up until I graduated High School, a friend back in PA was Scoutmaster for a decade or more when his son was involved. To see what has occurred is a travesty.

    Often, getting back to basics sets things right again, or minimally on the road to correction. I say they need to dig out one of the original Handbooks, see what the Scouts are supposed to be, then clear out the fluff.

    Will the BSA do it? In this climate it is doubtful as feelings are more important to far too many organizations than rightful wisdom.

  13. The BSA started caring about what the freaks, misfits and sodomites thought. You can't do that and keep any semblance of balance in the world.

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