Revolving Rifle

Circa 1894

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Price $1280 Sold

Rifle & Stand 15.6 lbs 34” W x 12” H x 5” D

  • Gun with silencer 10.8 lbs
  • Gun only 9.6 lbs


Steam powered weapon designed by Bernard Maets, a little known but very prolific inventor of the 19th century. Maets worked in his Wisconsin laboratory/shop from 1878 to 1907.  Little is known about him before or after this time.

Type and Function:

This Revolving Rifle is one a series of prototypes of a weapon with tremendous penetration capability in most materials and is one the most powerful of the handheld weapons developed by Maets. This unit employs a revolving cylinder that hold 9 steam cartridges.  When the trigger is pulled the primary gas held in an interior cylinder combines this Maets’ secret compound in the cartridge to fire a power burst of steam.  Little is know at this time on the exact composition of the liquids used to create the steam that powers the equipment.

Attempts to fire the weapon since its discovery have failed to produce the results tauted by Maets. The unit is easily disassembled by removing a single screw.

Recovery Site:

This model was discovered in a warehouse in Baltimore, MD in 2001. How it came to be packed in a crate in Maryland is unknown at this time.  There appears to be some connection to a trip that Bernard Maets had in 1895.

Principal Investigator:

This object has been recovered, studied and restored by Ed Kidera. It like the other guns includes a display stand that was originally part of the charging station for the weapon.  It also includes two extra cartridges.


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