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A New gun.

--The Mackay gun is attracting attention in England. In the House of Lords recently Earl Derby called attention to it, and said:

‘ Till now it had been a leading principle in the construction of cannon that the windage should be diminished to the greatest possible extent. This new gun, however, proceeded on the principle of utilizing the windage, and rendering it serviceable for the purposes of the weapon. The projectile used was a smooth cylindrical bolt, and the interior of the gun was furnished with spiral grooves. The gas escaping up these grooves communicated a rotary motion to the bolt similar to that of a rifle ball. This system, if it could be successfully worked, would, of course, lessen the necessity for extraordinary strength in cannon and for very heavy charges, and would also reduce the amount of the recoil.

It was stated that the initial velocity obtained at the trial in question was remarkably high. The gun was manufactured at the well-known establishment of the Mersey Steel and Iron Works. It weighed nine-tons, and was fired with a charge of 30 lbs, and a projectile of 167 lbs, at a range of 200 yards. The target, which was 6 feet square, represented the side of the Agincourt, an iron-plated frigate now being built for the Government. It consisted of a plate of iron, 5½ inches thick, backed by 9 inches of teak, with behind another plate of iron about 1 inch thick, a series of strong bolts, and last of all a thick plank of timber. The bolt struck nearly the centre of the target, shattered the woodwork, and passed through the whole breadth of the target, many yards beyond which it was found, carrying with it a plug of iron which it had drilled out of the plate in its progress. If that statement was correct, the performance was certainly most extraordinary, and it was remarkable that the plug and the bolt were found lying nearly together on the sand, the marks on which showed that the rotary motion had been continued to the last. The bolt was perfectly sound and entire, although the force of the impact had diminished its length and added to its breadth.

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