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"Volley or Nock Guns for Pirates" Topic

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Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2017 3:02 p.m. PST

I am getting ready to commemorate International Talk Like a Pirate Day by running a large skirmish game with Ganesha Games Flashing Steel.

Over the years I have accumulated hundreds of pirates from Wargames Foundry, Redoubt, Dixon, Old Glory, for the most part. Many are based for DBR and Hordes of the Thing, but I still had many left for individual mounting.

While doing that, I found quite a few with exotic weapons. In particular there were three with volley guns/Nock Guns. From what I find on the net, these were not made until the 1790's for use by the Royal Navy.


Is there some early version of this weapon that might be in the hands of pirates in the early 1700's? Or were the companies just making anachronistic figures?

I also have a couple of Duck Bill pistols and blunderbuss. How would the impact of a blunderbuss be different from volley gun. Would the Duck Bill pistol be the same, but just shorter range?

Foundry made some figures holding swivel guns. Could these be shot out of hand, or need to be mounted on something?


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2017 4:56 p.m. PST

Pirate games and historical accuracy?
Go on. What a kidder!

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2017 7:03 p.m. PST

Swivel guns are small cannons, so they should be mounted to something.

I think you mean a duck's foot pistol. A duck's foot pistol is simply 3 to 5 pistol barrels firing at once and sending their shot out in an arc. They were designed to fire ball, and would have very limited effect as a "shot gun" due to their limited caliber, chamber size, and un-flared muzzle. Blunderbusses were more like shotguns, but were more likely to fire small balls (larger than modern 'shot') instead of nails and rocks and other such improvised projectiles.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2017 8:57 p.m. PST

Winston, humor me, it is for Talk Like a Pirate Day. A very serious event.

79th PA, thanks for the useful comments. Would a blunderbuss impact be the same as a volley gun. Yes, duck foot !

attilathepun4701 Sep 2017 9:23 p.m. PST

As a practical proposition, a blunderbuss would have been a far superior close-range weapon to Nock's volley gun. That is because it could be reloaded much faster. The only advantage to Nock's idea would be a concentrated blast at longer range, especially if the barrels were rifled (but then it would really take a long time to reload).

Henry Martini Inactive Member02 Sep 2017 4:58 p.m. PST

Captain Kidder!

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Sep 2017 6:44 a.m. PST

Multiple barrelled guns existed right back in the early days of firearms – not just carriage guns but also man-portable types.

I'd tend to agree that the examples are later designs than the clothing of the figures using them but it is POSSIBLE for something similar to have been available earlier. What may be the issue is that its PROBABILITY of availability to a pirate 'grunt' is pretty low.

Crazyivanov10 Sep 2017 11:06 a.m. PST

I wouldn't worry too much. Most "Pirate" weapons we think of at least least slightly anachronistic. Think of the pirate cutlass, the style of cutlass famous in most movies, with the solid guard, only came about in the late 18th century. Most blades during the Golden Age of Piracy would be what would be termed Hangers, Messers, or Dussacks today.

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