Original Item: Purported to have been invented by General Sri Sri Sri Maharajah Gehendra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana (1871-1905) the "Bira" Double Barreled Quick Fire Rifle was no less than a virtual copy of the British Gardner Gun. In Martini-Henry .455/577 caliber fed from a double stacked 120rnd Pan Magazine the weapon was fired by a crank handle not unlike the American Gatling Gun. Interestingly, however, it required cranking backwards (counter-clockwise) which is supported medically, as it is more efficient, apparently, 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.
Every example in our inventory has been expertly cleaned and restored by Curtis Wolf of Ordnance Research who has been involved in the firearms manufacturing field for more than 30 years. His work in restoring antique Gatling Guns and other crank fire weapons is world renowned as being second to none.
The Bira gun is a .577/450 Martini-Henry calibre quick fire gun designed and manufactured in Nepal during the latter part of the 19th century. It was a development of, and based upon, the American Gardner gun. It was double barreled, but fed through an overhead drum magazine similar to the later Lewis gun.
Invented by the Nepalese General Gehendra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana (1871–1905) and similar in some respects to the American Gardner (especially in the reciprocating bolts), the internal mechanism of the Bira Gun is actually quite different in a number of ways, especially as it is hand-crank fired—but the handle is rotated counterclockwise, as this was found more reliable than the usual clockwise rotation of most other mechanical guns such as the Gatling gun and Nordenfeldt gun. Bira Guns were manufactured in 1896–97 and are literally handmade, with few parts from one interchangeable with those on another. They were apparently never used in battle but are interesting artifacts in that they were built at a time when fully automatic machine guns, such as the Maxim, had been developed and were becoming increasingly common.
Only ever produced in very small numbers, fewer than 25 is speculated, these are extremely rare and a wonderful examples of Victorian firepower. IMA found a very limited number of these exceptionally scarce weapons in the Old Palace of Lagan Silekhana in Katmandu, Nepal which were included with the purchase of over 50,000 Antique Firearms from the Royal Nepalese Army in 2003. Now available, having been expertly restored to cycling condition for the Serious Collector; although mechanically functioning these items are offered as historical artifacts and not as shooting weapons.
Truck Freight within 48 States is included in price. Approximate weight 1200 LBS.