Austro-Hungarian Rapid Repeating Montigny Gun


In 1870 the Monarchy's military leaders accepted the Montigny Mitrailleuse Rapid-Repeating Rifle [Szórlöveg = Spread-shooter] for the Landwehr, the Austrian part of the Infantry. Hungarian Prime Minister Count Gyula Andrássy requested from the Monarchy's King, Franz Joseph, that the Honvédség (Hungarian Infantry) should also receive these guns. Baron Kuhn, the Monarchy Defense Minister submitted a Memorandum on the contrary, claiming that the Honvédség equipped with the top of the line weaponry would be a danger to the Monarchy with their desire for Hungarian independence. (Note: in 1848, just 22 years earlier, the Honvédség soundly defeated the Austrian Landwehr, earning a short lived Hungarian independence under Lajos Kossuth. In 1849 the Habsburgs had to hire at a great expense, the Tsar's Russian Army to help defeat the Hungarians.) Andrássy claimed that Kuhn's memorandum shows that the Monarchy's leadership is more affraid of the Hungarian Honvédség, than any other army, which convinced the King to allow the Honvédség the weapons they want.
In July 1871 Hungarian target testings at 600, 800, 1000 and 1500 lépés (schritt, pace, .75 meters) showed a 74% average accuracy after 3630 test rounds fired.
By the end of 1871, the Honvédség had 80 Montigny and 10 Gatling Guns. The Gatling Guns were assigned to forts and fortresses. The Montignys were issued four to a Dandar (brigade). Each Montigny was issued to a separate Szórlövészosztag (Spread-shooting Squad). The Squad was consisting of 27 officers and 1561 troops with 1000 horses. The officers carried swords and Gasser M70 Revolvers. The troops carried Werndl Rifles with bayonets. The gun handlers carried the Gasser revolvers.
Because of their awkwardness and large supporting crew requirement, the 'Szórlövegek' were phased out from the Honvédség in October 1875. The guns were transferred to fort defense service where they stayed until 1890. The guns were gradually replaced by small caliber cannons and machine guns. After 1888 the 11x58r cartridge became obsolite. In 1889 the Schwarzlose M1889 (Maxim-type) Machine gun, and in 1893 the Skoda M1893 Machine Gun was introduced, both using the superior 8x50mm infantry rounds.

Montigny Rapid-Repeating Manual Gun Model 1851/65
Montigny Szórlöveg 1851/65.M

Made by OEWG Steyr for the Austrian Landwehr, 1870
Made by G. Sigl, Wien for the Hungarian Honvedseg, 1871, 80 pieces
Caliber: 11x42R M1867 Werndl
Total ammunition issued per gun: 119,512
Tangent rear sight 200-600 schritt [lépés] flat, 700-1600 flipped up
Weight of Barrel group and firing mechanism 182kg
Weight of Gun carrier 485kg
Weight of Ammo cart 868kg empty, 1526kg loaded
Weight of Gun train 339kg empty
Gun carrier wheel diameter 1340mm, track width 1530mm
833mm 4-rifled barrel length, 1287mm barrel group cover length
Muzzle velocity approx 435 meter/sec
Cyclic rate: 300-370 rpm, manually operated

The Montigny Rapid-Repeating gun was originally designed by Faschamp Belgian Army Captain in 1851. The plans were not implemented until they were given to Montigny. Belgian weapon engineer and gun manufacturer in 1865. He made minor modifications, and started manufacturing in his Fontaine Evaque, Brussels factory.
The Austro-Hungarian version differed from the original: it was 11x42r caliber, had a 37-barrel-group, and the gun carrier was adapted from the M1863 80mm cannon. The gun was made by OEWG Steyr and Sigl Wien, the gun carrier and ammo cart was manufactured by KuK Arsenal, Wien.

Major components of the gun: Barrel group, firing mechanism, gun carrier, gun train, ammo cart. Th barrel group contained 37 barrels mounted parallel, in a hexagonal shape. The barrels had a cover, with front and rear sights. The rear sight was graduated 200-600 schritt laying down, 700-1600 schritt flipped up. A site extention attachment was available, graduated 1700-2000 schritt.
The gun was loaded with a plate containing 37 pre-mounted cartridges. The firing mechanismus had 37 firing pins. Firing all 37 rounds were simultaneous when the firing arm was pulled. The spent shells were removed still attached to the loading plate and a new plate was inserted. Gun operators were able to load 8-10 loading plates per minute, sustaining a 296-370 rounds/minute firing rate. The gun had 3 operators, plus 4 ammo suppliers. The gun carrier contained 888 rounds, the gun train 2590 rounds and the ammo cart had 13,200 rounds with a total of 16,678 rounds. The squad had 66,712 rounds plus 52,800 in reserve.
Loading plate was 204x142x10mm, 1.3kg empty, 2.5 kg loaded with 37 rounds.