Thursday, July 21, 2011

37mm Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon

  • Barrel Length: 29 inches x5
  • Action: Hand Cranked Revolving Gatling Gun Action
  • Effective Range: 2,000 yards
  • Rate of fire : 40 rounds per minute
  • Capacity: 10rd Magazine Fed
  • Caliber: 37mm (Explosive, Shrapnel Canister, and Solid)
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,450fps
  • Weight of Round - 1.5 lbs
  • Weight Towed: 1,000lbs
  • Year Built: 1872
  • Service: 1872-1900

Invented by Benjamin B. Hotchkiss in 1872. The Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon, also referred to as the Hotchkiss Gun, operated similar to the Gatling gun in which the barrels would rotate by hand crank in order for each cartridge to fire. The Hotchkiss design differed from the Gatling gun by using only one striking pin mechanism, versus's the Gatlings which had a firing pin mechanism for each barrel. The Hotchkiss cannon was a massive piece of artillery but still was considered light enough for units to take the piece in to battle by use of horses. Other countries would adopt the revolving cannon for their military. They would eventually be mostly used on fortress defense and naval battleships. The US Army used this particular Hotchkiss cannon during the assault on Malolos.  The revolving cannon would eventually prove to be to excessive. Considering the waste of munitions and a larger single barrel cannon were found to be just as effective. By early 1900s, the revolving cannon would later be replaced by single barreled cannons.

Photograph of Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon used during the Battle of Malolos(March 24-31,1899).
Note the bullet riddled shield from the Filipinos rifle fire.

Hotchkiss Cannon over destroyed bridge on route to Malolos, Bulacan, Philippines.

Chief of Artillery Major Richard Young reports on the Malolos Campaign(March 1899). Listed are the field pieces used on the assault; including three Hotchkiss Revolving Cannons.

Photo courtesy of
Hotchkiss Revolving Canon used near Manila Waterworks, Sitio  Escombro, Barrio Santolan, Pasig.  Feb. 6, 1899

Internal working mechanism of the Hotchkiss Cannon

Video operation:

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