Nordenfelt gun
Country of origin

United Kingdom


Helge Palmcrantz

Year(s) designed


Weapon type

Organ gun



Used by

United Kingdom

The Nordenfelt gun was a manually-operated machine gun in use at approximately the same time as the Gatling gun. It was designed by Helge Palmcrantz and patented by Thorsten Nordenfelt, both of whom were from Sweden.

The weapon had a row of two to ten barrels, and was operated by ragging a lever back and forth and could fire one barrel at a time or all of them with a pull of the lever. It fired harder-hitting rounds and gave more stopping power and gave a greater terminal ballistic effect than the Gatling, making this weapon popular with the Royal Navy for use against torpedo boats.

A hangfire was also less likely to render this weapon unserviceable due to the longer time between striking and unlocking than in the Gatling.

There was also the 'Gardner Gun', similar to the Nordenfelt but with a simpler mechanism and with a crank handle instead of a ragging lever.

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