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Canon revolver de 40 mm Mle 1879

Fortress artillery

Contributor :
Not posted on the blog

Location :
Paris (75)
Musée de l'Armée aux Invalides
Coordinates : Lat : 48.85820 / Long : 2.31340
General comments on this surviving gun :
Musée de l'Armée Paris : http://www.musee-armee.fr//

Identical items in the same location : 1
Items covered by this file : 1

This gun has been noticed by a contributor, but no picture proof of its existence was received

Historic and technical information
Denomination :     Canon revolver de 40 mm Mle 1879 Origin :       ( Hotchkiss)          

Historic context :

The company Hotchkiss, founded by the US citizen Benjamin Hotchkiss installed in France since 1867, produced in 1874 a formidable and original weapon, the 'revolver gun'. This gun was ordered in numerous different configurations by several countries including Germany, France and USA.

If the mostly knowned caliber of that 5-rotating barrels weapon was 37 mm; one often forget that there were other calibers existing. So thye Hotchkiss company had a 'Canon-revolver Hotchkiss Mle 1879 de 40 mm adopted by the French Army in 1879, designed for arming the casemates and bunkers defending the forts ditches (installed from 1880).

This recoiless weapon could only fire grape-shot type ammunition (whereas most of the other revolver guns could also fire little high explosive shells). The ammo feeding was performed under the action of gravity through a hand-loaded distribution channel. The barrels rotation was manual with the help of a wheel. The casemate carriage was equipped with a large shield.

The exceptional fire rate of these revolver guns allowed to saturate the forts ditches with hardened lead bullets. They were most of the time associated in the casemates with a more powerful (but lower fire rate) weapon, such as the 'canons de 12 culasse'.

Technical data :

  • Complete description : Hotchkiss 40 mm Mle 1879 revolver gun
  • Design year : 1879
  • Calibre : 40.00 mm
  • Weight in firing position : 531 kg (without carriage) - 688 kg (casemate carriage)
  • Weight for transportation :
  • Tube length in calibres : 32.00
  • Grooves : 12 constant pitch, different for each tube (1000 mm nr 1, 1340 mm nr 2, 2200 mm nr 3, 3500 mm nr 4, 6700 mm nr 5)
  • Projectile weight : 1080 grammes (boîte à balles avec 24 balles de 32 g)
  • Initial speed :
  • Fire rate : 30 to 60 rounds / minute
  • Range : 500 to 1100 m
  • Elevation range : -5 to +8 degrees
  • Direction range :

  • Le site web la fortification Séré de Rivières     http://www.fortiffsere.fr                           
  • Index de la Fortification Française 1874-1914       Marco Frijns       Luc Malchair       Jean-Jacques Moulins       Autoédition   2008  
  • Glossaire de la Fortification       Florian Garnier                   Polycopié par auteur   2008