Shipping Available
Type Live Webcast Auction
Price Realized 20,000.00 USD
Date Sold 9/26/2021


Lot # 1055
Estimate 50,000.00 - 100,000.00 USD
Group - Category Miscellaneous
Lead Civil War Billinghurst Requa Battery Machine Gun
Description
Rare prototype version. Predates the Gatling gun. The grandfather of the modern machine gun. 10 Barrel Version Circa 1865, .58 Caliber. AS rare as it gets. A must have for any serious Civil War collector. Most major museums do not have an example in their collection. Ex Ray Howser Collection, part of the Hayes Otoupalik Collection. This Lot has a reserve. The Billinghurst-Requa battery gun is an unusual piece of armament that resulted from an equally unusual partnership between two men from New York: William Billinghurst, a gunsmith, and Josephus Requa, a dentist. At the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, soldiers marched off to battle with single-shot, muzzle-loading rifles. Multiple designs of shoulder-fired repeating arms would be invented and pressed into service before the war’s conclusion in 1865, eventually replacing muzzleloaders altogether in the coming decades. Applying the same advancements in repeating firepower to larger gun batteries was next in line for development. Richard Gatling’s invention was the first firearm to become synonymous with the term "machine gun," despite the fact that its manual operation means it does not fit the technical definition of a machine gun as we know it today. Even though Gatling’s design proved to be very successful on the field of battle, his gun wasn’t the first to bear the title of “machine gun.” Gatling’s design, patented in November of 1862, was preceded by the Billinghurst-Requa design, which was patented two months before the Gatling gun. The fact that neither design fits the modern requirements of a machine gun is irrelevant; at this point in time, the relatively new term was applied rather judiciously. 25 Barrels at Once Before Josephus Requa settled on a profession, he spent three years as an apprentice to William Billinghurst, learning how to make and repair firearms. After his apprenticeship ended, Requa decided to go in a different professional direction. He began his study of dentistry in 1853 and was in practice for himself by 1855. Despite their different vocations, Requa and Billinghurst remained friends through the years. When Requa answered the military’s call for a rapid-fire gun in June 1861, he came up with a design and then consulted with Billinghurst on its feasibility. They built a scale model within the next two weeks and then proceeded to create a fully functioning prototype soon thereafter. The design for the Billinghurst-Requa battery gun included 25 barrels mounted horizontally to a wheeled carriage. A clip holding twenty-five .52-caliber metallic cartridges was loaded in front of a bar at the barrel breeches. When the attached lever was manipulated, the cartridges were pushed forward into the barrels and the hammer on the single percussion cone was cocked. Once the breeches were closed, a line of blackpowder was placed in a trough behind the cartridges, which had small holes in their bases through which to channel the powder ignition. A percussion cap was placed on the cone, a lanyard was attached to a trigger and then one person could pull the lanyard and fire all 25 barrels at once. Because the cartridges were held together by a clip, all 25 could be removed at once, allowing for faster reloading. A crew of three men could fire the gun up to seven times per minute, creating a rate of fire of 175 rounds per minute. Even though the Billinghurst-Requa gun wasn’t a cannon, it was treated like one in terms of mobility, adopting methods of transport used by artillery crews. Once the 500-pound gun was mounted on its wheeled carriage, the whole package weighed more than 1,300 pounds and required a two-horse team to pull it.
Name The Great Northwestern Art Bonfire - Day 2
Auctioneer Davis Brothers Auction
Type Live Webcast Auction
Date(s) 9/26/2021
Day 1 - September 25th, 9AM MDT Day 2 - September 26th, 9AM MDT
Preview Date/Time To arrange a private viewing please contact Davis Brothers Auction.
Checkout Date/Time If you plan to pick up your winnings please arrange a private pick up with us directly after the auction ends by email: info@davisbrothersauction.com
Location ONLINE ONLY
Missoula, MT 59808
Buyer Premium 22% Online Buyer's Premium
Description
Day 2 features our collaboration with Gold Rush Expeditions with over $75,000 in gold and silver coins and bullion. We are also proud to offer Robert Beaty's person knife making materials. The second half of the day exhibits our monthly military auction including reloading goods, firearms, surplus and a rare never before seen Civil War Prototype Billinghurst-Requa Volley Machine Gun. This two day ONLINE ONLY LIVE event will be hosted on September 25th and 26th. Pre-bidding is now open and all items will sell lot by lot on auction day in a traditional auction format.
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