(Welsh gwn, a gun.)
CANNONS AND RIFLES.
A wrought-iron cannon, usually breech-loading, having an
iron-hooped steel inner tube. Designed by Sir William Armstrong in
1854, and officially tested in 1861.
Invented by Pritchett at the Enfield factory, adopted in the
English army 1852, and converted into Snider breech-loaders in 1866.
Gatling gun. A machine gun with parallel barrels about a central
axis, each having its own lock. Capable of being loaded and of
discharging 1,000 shots a minute by turning a crank. Named from the
inventor, Dr. R. J. Gatling.
A cannon of ingot steel, made at Krupp's works, at Essen, in
Prussia. Lancaster gun. A cannon having a slightly elliptical
twisted bore, and a conoid (2 syl.) projectile. Named from the
Invented in 1849, and adopted in the English army in 1851. Named
after Claude Minié, a French officer. (1810-1879.)
Invented by Jacob Snider. A breech-loader adopted by the British
Government in 1866. Whitworth gun. An English rifled firearm of
hexagonal bore, and very rapid twist. Constructed in 1857. Its
competitive trial with the Armstrong gun in 1864. Named after Sir
Joseph Whitworth, the inventor
Woolwich infant (The).
A British 35-ton rifled muzzle-loading cannon, having a steel
tube hooped with wrought-iron coils. Constructed in 1870. (See
Brown Bess, Mitrailleuse, etc.)
A breech-loading gun. A gun loaded at the breech, which is
then closed by a screw or wedge-block.
Evening or sunset gun.
A gun fired at sunset, or about 9 o'clock p.m.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894