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Guycot: A Rocket Ball Chain Rifle From 1879

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0:00 Introduction and Background of Rocket Ball Firing Chain Rifles
1:25 Detailed Examination of Ammunition and Loading Process
3:48 Analysis of Markings, Serial Numbers, and Design Changes
6:16 Discussion on Reciprocating Barrel and Misconceptions about Caliber
7:44 Internal Workings and Disassembly of the Rifles
8:46 Comparison with the Spencer Rifle and Features of the Stock
10:30 Production Numbers, Limited Interest, and Conclusion

The “Guycot” is a rocket ball chain rifle system named for its two creators, Paulin Gay (the designer) and Henri Guénot (the financier). They patented the idea in 1879, and manufactured it in both rifle and pistol form – I have a previous video on one of the pistols and today we are looking at two of the rifles. The chain inside holds a series of compartment links, each sized to fit a 6.5mm rocket ball projectile (a hollow-based bullet filled with a powder charge and set with a primer in its base). This is a baseless style of cartridge, so there is no residual case needed to extract or eject after firing. These rifles have a capacity of 80 such rounds, while the pistol models held either 25 or 40 rounds.

Only a few hundred Guycot guns were made, and they were a commercial failure. This is probably due to several factors. The guns must have been quite expensive to produce, and the ammunition was proprietary, expensive to make, and likely quite fragile. The ammunition was also extremely underpowered, with only enough space for a tiny amount of powder in each bullet. This would have been fine for indoor parlor shooting, but woefully insufficient for almost anything else.

Thanks to Ader of Paris for the chance to film these very cool pieces of firearms history!

Previous video on a Guycot pistol:

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