Bira Gun – नेपाली वीर बन्दुक – Gehendra Shumsher- Buzzfeed Nepal

Bira Gun - नेपाली वीर बन्दुक - Gehendra Shumsher- Buzzfeed Nepal


Invented by General Sri Sri Sri Maharajah Gehendra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana (1871-1905) the Bira Double Barreled Quick Fire Rifle was a copy of the American Gardner Gun. In Martini-Henry .577/450 caliber fed from a double stacked 120rnd pan magazine (like a Lewis Gun) the weapon was fired by a crank handle not unlike the American Gatling Gun. Interestingly, however, it required cranking backwards (counter-clockwise) which the Nepalis consideredmore efficient; to "pull" than to "push".
These remarkable weapons were developed in Nepal in 1896 and 1897 just after Great Britain opened the flood gates with gifts of "modern" military hardware in 1894. Constructed of plate steel festooned with large rivets, the receiver and wheeled mount resemble the construction of Jules Verne's "Nautilus" from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.

The Bira Gun by John Walter:
Named in honor of King Prithvi Bir Bikram Shah, who reigned from 1881 to 1911, the Bira Gun shares the basic operating system of the Gardner even though the magazine and feed systems differ. The most important details of its history were placed on a red-filled castbrass plate on the right side of the body between the feed and the crank handle, including a long dedication to the king (customary with Nepalese artillery) and a date of acceptance into service in the 1890s. It is suspected that only about fifty guns were made immediately prior to the war with Tibet that began in 1897, as no gun has yet been found with a higher number.
The Bira Gun takes the form of a small artillery piece, mounted on a carriage with a trail made of inverted L-shaped wrought-iron girders. The barrels are about 41.3 inches long, placed side-byside about 46 inches from the ground. The entire gun weighs about 900 pounds without the distinctive pan magazine. The gun is mounted on a central pillar, and can be elevated or traversed with the assistance of hand wheels. The carriage wheels, with a diameter of about 36 inches, each have twelve spokes and an iron tire which has been shrunk onto the rims.



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