The weapon consists of three barrels arranged in a triangle, with metal rings around the barrels. The barrels were mounted on a single wooden handle, which rested on a wooden pole. It is a refined weapon and this model has gone through several improvements. It may not be the most accurate black powder weapon there is but what it lacks in accuracy makes up for it in higher rate of fire (if you miss the 1st time you still have 2 more shots before having to reload). However, there is actually another draw back, its a 2 handed weapon, making it a bit awkward to carry around and handling. Recent tests with this ancient weapon show that it was both reliable and deadly.
- Range: 10 yards
- Weight: 11 lbs
- Ammo: .69 ball
- Iron and wood
The Pole Cannon is fired by igniting the black powder through a touch hole on the barrel. The weapon is then rotated one-third of the way to bring the next barrel into the rotation. The ability to fire multiple shots before reloading it gave it great value for its time.
The reason why later Muskets did not copy the 3 barrel design was due to the fact that Muskets had a more complex trigger mechanism that would be difficult to put individually for each barrel. To have a finger trigger would require the barrel to be closer to the base of the gun, and thus the barrel had to be much longer than what Handcannons had: this would make such a weapon too heavy to use. The superior technology of the Musket made it more efficient in range, reloading and reliability: and thus was more relevant than multiple barrels.
The Gatling Gun used multiple barrels as well; but in a different manner. A Gatling Gun has its barrels rotate to allow each individual barrel to air-cool. There is only one trigger mechanism in a Gatling, and none of the barrels are preloaded individually.