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The mystery of the vanishing gun inventor

In the early 1880s, the residents of Bargate Street, Southampton, were probably a bit fed up with one of their neighbours.

From the cellar beneath the pub run by William Cantelo would come the sound of rapid gunfire.

Cantelo, an engineer and gun-maker, was experimenting with a
new type of gun. Nobody knew what it was, but it produced shots in quick
succession. It was clearly not your average rifle.

One day, Cantelo announced to his sons – also engineers –
that he had perfected his new invention. It was a machine-gun, a weapon
which used the energy of explosive recoil to load the next bullet. It
would fire continuously until the bullets ran out. It was revolutionary.


Full story on the BBC website.


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