A volley gun is a gun with several barrels for firing a number of shots simultaneously or fires their barrels in sequence. They differ from modern machine guns in that they lack automatic loading and automatic fire and are limited by the number of barrels bundled together.

In practice the large ones were not particularly more useful than a cannon firing canister shot or grapeshot. Since they were still mounted on a carriage, they could be as hard to aim and move around as a cannon, and the many barrels took as long or longer to reload. They also tended to be relatively expensive since they were more complex than a cannon, due to all the barrels and ignition fuses, and each barrel had to be individually maintained and cleaned.

Volley gun in 1632Edit

Volley guns were used by the army of the United States of Europe, where they were also referred to as "flying artillery". They were first used at the Battle of Ahrensbök, where they had a devastating effect against Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Budes, Comte de Guébriant and his cavalry. De Guébriant was incredibly shocked during his disastrous frontal charge against the flying artillery, in which he mistakenly interpreted the volley guns as organ guns, but discovered they could be loaded and fired much more quickly.

The USE Army's volley guns were based on a design developed during the American Civil War[1]. Like organ guns, they had barrels laid out side-by-side, but they were rifled breechloaders which used prepared cartridges on loading strips which could be quickly extracted and replaced. The USE Army's guns used a percussion cap to ignite a powder train laid behind the strip.

Volley guns were again used with great effect during the invasion of Saxony, where they devastated both the Saxon cavalry and the elite Polish hussars which accompanied them at the Battle of Zwenkau. However, the limitations of the weapons are shown during sieges, as they are not effective at destroying fortifications.

However, locally-produced volley guns played a key role in repelling Johan Banér's attempt to assault Dresden across the frozen Elbe. These were mostly smoothbores, and used powder-train fuses, as percussion caps weren't available. This reduced their range and rate of fire, but they were still effective at close range.[2]

Ski rigs developed by David Bartley allowed the Hangman Regiment's volley guns, under Thorsten Engler to take part in the Battle of Ostra.[3]

The relative simplicity of the design guaranteed that the USE could not maintain a monopoly on volley guns. By early 1636, the Ottoman Empire had them, and used them at the siege of Yerevan.[4]. After seeing them at Dresden, Jozef Wojtowicz realized that Polish artificers could make them, and that percussion caps could probably be bought from the French.[5]

In Russia, Andrei Korisov and Cass Lowry developed a form of volley gun based on the technology of the AK3. These guns used three rows of eight barrels. Their loading plates used pre-loaded AK3 firing chambers, which were ignited by a quick fuse. They could not be loaded and fired as quickly as the USE-style volley guns; the loading plates weighed around thirty pounds and the chambers fired in sequence rather than all at once. However, unlike the USE-style guns, they could be traversed by turning a crank, and the crank could be turned while the chambers were firing.[6]


  1. The Billinghurst-Requa battery gun
  2. 1636: The Saxon Uprising, ch. 32
  3. ibid., ch. 46
  4. Ring of Fire III, "A Relation of the Late Siege"
  5. 1636: The Saxon Uprising, ch. 32
  6. 1636: The Kremlin Games, ch. 60