Series 1 - Episode 1: Medieval Machine Gun

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This week, Dick challenges the team to build a medieval machine gun known as a Ribauldequin. The first ever multi-barrelled gun, it could pump out walls of lead that could rip through armour and repel wave after wave of attacking knights.

The toughest and most dangerous part will be casting the barrels, dealing with molten bronze at temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Centigrade. They are also making bullets and playing with gun powder. What could possibly go wrong?

Comments (20)

  • Gun Crew

    1 year ago

    Gun Crew

    The ammunition made by Clare isn't a sustainable weapon for use in smooth ball cannon. After a few firings the bands that wrap around the solid shot will carve groves into the barrel and weaken it until not long after the barrel will burst. What she was making wasn’t a giant Minie round but ball designed to be fired out of a muzzle loading rifled cannon circa the 1860’s. The bands on the shot are intended to fit into the groves inside of a rifled barrel to rotate the shell as it travels up the barrel. If and that’s a huge word, their three days had allowed they might have fitted a 15th Century breach loading mechanism and also added the 1860’s upgrade of rifling the barrel.

  • Cannonier

    1 year ago

    Cannonier

    The ammunition made by Clare isn't a sustainable weapon for use in smooth ball cannon. After a few firings the bands that wrap around the solid shot will carve groves into the barrel and weaken it until not long after the barrel will burst. What she was making wasn’t a giant Minie round but ball designed to be fired out of a muzzle loading rifled cannon circa the 1860’s. The bands on the shot are intended to fit into the groves inside of a rifled barrel to rotate the shell as it travels up the barrel. If and that’s a huge word, their three days had allowed they might have fitted a 15th Century breach loading mechanism and also added the 1860’s upgrade of rifling the barrel.

  • George the blacksmith

    1 year ago

    George the blacksmith

    This was really good, however it could have been done so much better. Shame really.

  • stephen

    1 year ago

    stephen

    when is it on lol i realy want to know omg yolo please tell me innit bla thanks

  • Steve G

    1 year ago

    Steve G

    I support the comments made by 'Red leader' and 'Nick W' below . . . . . . . BTW somehow my gut reaction is I think I know you Nick W :-/

  • the old gunner

    1 year ago

    the old gunner

    Great idea, terrible programme. Consign it to children's TV where it might survive. A real shame.

  • Nick W

    1 year ago

    Nick W

    What a shame that the production budget doesn't run to a few animations, a la Scrapheap. These genuinely explain principles, which I think really engage kids (and adults), rather than concentrate on the big bangs. Producers note - people can be interested in both mechanics and entertainment without alienating your audience. So spend a bit more and make a much better programme. Episode 1 was also very repetitive - felt like it was cut for the US market with endless repetition. Finally, what a bad title for a show - it doesn't really explain what it is at all. All that said, though it could be better, it's interesting and I'll be there with my boys for episode 2...

  • arran

    1 year ago

    arran

    looking forward to the next show

  • Red Leader

    1 year ago

    Red Leader

    Great idea spoilt by the unnecessary restriction of doing it in 3 days. The constant reference to the fact that they are up against it, and will they make it is pointless, we know they will make it. I'm sure the ancestors didn't build it in 3 days. Concentrate on the achievement.

  • darren rees

    1 year ago

    darren rees

    Sorry will not play for me, tried it on the PC and laptop....nothing!

  • Hey_You_Guys

    1 year ago

    Hey_You_Guys

    Great show, very entertaining, looking forward to the next one.

  • BlackRoof

    1 year ago

    BlackRoof

    Nice to see a show which details the practical side, instead of just being "academic". Some more solid detail on the weapons would be good (historical examples or quotes). Mr Stickmaker (below) might be able to help you there! Otherwise, an excellent program. Mr will (below) seemed to want some kind of pedantry Open University study. Or perhaps he works in a library and couldn't bear the gentle, upbeat background music. This show gives a great example of the practical application of knowledge and skill. Not too academic, not dumbing down, nor condescending. Look forward to more.

  • Monkey_Spanker

    1 year ago

    Monkey_Spanker

    Well I enjoyed it...

  • will

    1 year ago

    will

    Oh dear. Yet another interesting idea spoiled by a narrative seemingly aimed at a not too bright eleven year old and a bunch of ridiculous claims to sex it up. The non=stop snatches of pop song covers didn't help either.

  • Reason

    1 year ago

    Reason

    a steel barrel could have been available to medieval man as we can find evidence of these in guns of the period and would have improved the reliability of the bronze cannon but not enough about this improvement was mentioned

  • Stevie Boy

    1 year ago

    Stevie Boy

    As the program idea was to use ONLY materials from that time, does anyone know if the original cannon used a steel bore barrell ? I mean what was the point of the bronze casting if the steel barrel was good enough for the cannon to work.

  • duztee

    1 year ago

    duztee

    Defiately interesting. n the short space of the progame they managed to explain woodwork, metal casting and some excellent firing scenes

  • BTMsteve

    1 year ago

    BTMsteve

    when is this available on demand?

  • Simon Atford

    1 year ago

    Simon Atford

    Thank you Stickmaker. You've saved me the trouble of pointing out that error :-)

  • Stickmaker

    1 year ago

    Stickmaker

    The ribauldequin is not a machine gun; it is a volley gun. A machine gun uses a mechanism (hence the name) to load and fire. A volley gun is manually loaded and the barrels set off by a powder train.

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