Becker Blow-Forward Revolving Shotgun


Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to another
video on ForgottenWeapons.com. I’m Ian McCollum and I’m here today at Hire Arms, a movie armoury company in Johannesburg, South Africa, and we’re taking a look at a really unusual and cool German 1920s revolving semi-auto
shotgun. So this is a Becker shotgun, it was actually designed in the 1890s, patented in the
1890s, but didn’t go into production until the 1920s. And according to all the sources I’ve been
able to find, only a hundred of these were made. The serial number on this one is a little odd
considering that, but we’ll get to that in a moment. The way this works, this actually
has a six position cylinder that has five chambers in it and one blank position. 16-gauge, apparently they were all made in 16-gauge,
and then the barrel blows forward with each shot. It automatically ejects the empty
cases, the first four empty cases, the last case remains in the
cylinder until you manually eject it. And a really interesting and unusual design. So
let’s take a closer look at how this whole thing works. So this actually isn’t even marked ‘Becker’ on it anywhere. The only marking on it is on the left side
of the barrel, right here, where its marked ‘Deutsche Jagdwaffengesellschaft Dusseldorf’, so, German hunting weapons
manufacturing, Dusseldorf. Then it has a serial number on the receiver here and the
serial number (assuming this is a serial number), is 755. That’s a bit odd if only 100 were made. You know, it’s certainly very common for
companies to start at numbers other than 1, but usually they start at, like, 100 or 1,000. So I don’t know, either they started
at a weird place or perhaps the common knowledge about how
many of these are made is incorrect. We have a German ‘Crown over U’
proof mark here on the rear tang, and then the other really cool set of
markings are here on the cylinder. Each of the chambers is actually
numbered in Roman numerals 1 through 5, and then there is one blank which is actually
an empty, a plugged space for a chamber. So let’s take a look at how this works. So the first thing you need to do in order to
load this, is actually cycle the barrel forward. And this is what normally will
happen when you fire it, you take this and pull it just slightly forward. That action
re-cocks a striker back in the firing mechanism. So from this position, I can actually dry fire it … [click] you can hear that. Normally that would rotate the cylinder, but our
cylinder is already at its fully unwound position. So once I’ve got that barrel forward,
I can then load a cartridge through this loading port, and then index the cylinder, load number 2, index it, load number 3, number 4, number 5. And then, having loaded number 5, we roll it to the sixth position where it is solid and plugged, and that means that chamber
number 5 is in line with the barrel. So the first thing that’s going to happen when you
fire is that the barrel is going to snap backwards, like that. When that happens, … there’s a cone on the barrel,
and there’s a cone on the front of each chamber. They interlock and that provides
a gas seal to prevent blowby. That allows the shot to go down,
you don’t have gas blowby coming out, although the Becker does have a nice
shield on the front just as extra protection. At the same time, gas is actually being
redirected into the previously fired chamber. Now in this case this is our first
shot fired, so there is no previous one. This, what would be a chamber, is just a plugged block. … Once we get to our next shot, this gas coming
over is going to automatically eject the empty case out the ejection port, so. And then the barrel is going to go back forward. So right
now we’ve just fired round number 5, chamber number 5, the barrel is going to be forced forward like so, it
only moves about an inch, a little less, maybe 20mm. When that happens, the cylinder rotates
one position, it indexes down to number 4. When you load this up, when you wind it,
you’re actually winding up a spring that gives it the energy to unwind for one full
revolution as you empty the whole cylinder. So now that we have number 4 in line, the gun is cocked, we can see that the
barrel is forward. When we fire this one, now chamber number 4 is going to fire,
gas is going to come down through here and it’s going to vent into
number 5 and blow the case out there, and then it is going to immediately
proceed to blow the barrel forward … [click] and as you can see right there that trips a latch,
and allows the cylinder to index one more position. So now we’re on number 3. When
we fire number 3, it will eject number 4. When we fire number 2, it will eject number 3. When we fire number 1, it will eject number 2. And then you are left with the gun in this
position. The barrel has blown forward, you are left with the blank solid
chamber facing the barrel, and you still have your empty round number 1 in its chamber,
because there’s no cartridge left to blow it out. So in order to deal with that there is a
manual ejector rod, just like an old-style revolver, and we can pull that back and
kick the case out manually, like so. That also means if you have, say,
a really sticky case, or for some reason the ejection system malfunctions, you can
easily use this manual ejector to go back and unload any cases that didn’t automatically eject. In order to reload the thing, what we have to do is re-cock the action and then you can wind this back up,
loading as you go, until you’re at number 5, and the gun’s back in that original
loaded, hot, ready to fire configuration. We have a safety latch down here, that’s
just going to act as a standard safety. And then there are two disassembly
pieces. There’s a plug here, which I suspect holds the barrel in place,
and pulling that down allows you to take the front end of the gun off. And then there
is a disassembly lever on this side which rotates down, and I believe that allows
you to take the rear end of the gun off. Unfortunately, this particular example is… I’m not entirely sure how to take it apart and I don’t
want small pieces to go flying all over the place. So unfortunately, that’s as far as
we’re gonna take this down at this time. But I think you got a pretty good idea for how it works. Well, thank you guys for watching. These are obviously really quite rare guns to find. This one is not in the world’s greatest condition, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever actually seen one of these in person, so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get some video on it. Hopefully you guys enjoyed it. A big thanks to Hire Arms for letting me take a look at this and bring you guys the video. Thanks for watching.

100 Replies to “Becker Blow-Forward Revolving Shotgun

  1. What a wonderful design. It is like the Streetsweeper…only better in every way, ha. If they started production in the 1800s like I am sure they planned, I think it would had been more successful. That being said though, I bet it was an expensive shotgun for the time.

  2. Neat gun. don't get the blank chamber though. I like odd guns and wish I still had my Bolt action 12 gauge. I remember being afraid to shoot it for the first time, yet no recollection of where it went. Probably sold it to a gun store again to pay a speeding ticket…

  3. Very cool, Almost idiot proof with the countdown markings, If Dirty Harry had one of these he would know how many shots he fired.

  4. Jeez, what an oddball! No wonder they're so scarce. It seems to do everything exactly the opposite of what you'd figure it did. Even being 16ga, they just HAD to make it in a bizarre gauge, I mean 'Oh shit, Hans, this 12ga is going to blow itself to pieces! 12 is too powerful, and 20 won't cycle the action'… Ok, Franz, There's one last thing we can try before we declare bankruptcy. Just take a hammer and chisel to the forcing cone, and…'

  5. Gesellschaft isn’t correct the way u translated it it’s not a manufacturer it’s an Society

    German = deutsch(e)
    weapon / gun = waffe(n)
    Society = Gesellschaft

  6. 7 55 might be the "Beschussdatum" Date of testshooting. A bit late, BUT the crown over U (Untersuchung nach Endbeschuss, roughly translates to Examination after last test shot) is a DDR (PRG) proofmark which was used in 1955. So it might had it's testshooting in July 1955 in the DDR to make it legaly ownable there. The eagle over the crown would btw. mean "Endbeschuss".
    Considering it is a huntinggun the original proofmarks might be under the forward wood handguard (which in this case has to be removed to see them).

    If someone already gave that answer: Sorry, too lazy to scroll through.
    If not, hope I could help 🙂

    P.S. Keep up the great work!

  7. Fascinating weapon Ian. Never heard of it unsurprisingly. I am impressed by it's uniqueness and clever engineering. It would seem that for it's day, it would have made an excellent hunting weapon.

  8. If you weren't counting your shots it seem like it would be really easy to dry fire on the blank cylinder, and correct me if i'm wrong but wouldn't that utterly ruin your firing pin..?

  9. So this could be suppressed too since it is sealed for each shot nicely, correct? I would love to see this gun fire in slow-mo, a replica, or even a modernized version. Thats is such a cool gun and concept. Reminds me a bit of those 40mm MGLs

  10. A clock spring revolver with a blow forward escapement? In a shotgun. And a totally separate gas ejection system? From the 19-20th century?

    This thing is so steampunk it hurts!

  11. Hi, saw this waepon at the international weapons market in Kassel Germany yesterday for 12.000€ Took some pictures and found your Video about it after a quick search. No I know what it is and how it funktions, thank you very much Ian!

  12. Dern… I saw one of these at a gun show a bit ago… It as in terrible shape but the guy had no idea what it was and just had it on display with a bunch of other odds and ends and spare parts…At the time I didn't know what it was either……If I knew then…sheesh…

  13. the neatest thing to me is. how it uses the gases to eject the shells that's different, and thanks for the videos this is my fav firearms channel

  14. The serial number being odd is likely from two points of data being encoded in one number. E.g.The seven refers to one point of data (…say its the seventh weapon platform the company has designed and produced) and then, separately, the 55 is another point of data (… the 55th number of that platform manufactured in the series.) keep the videos coming!

  15. That is the most beautiful and well-engineered use of a revolving system I've ever seen in a long gun! I can't help but wonder if there would be more revolving rifles out there if someone had tried this example in the US.

  16. that looks like the kind of gun id imagine being held by a man who steps out of a time machine wearing a steampunk diving suit

  17. I know sending rounds with these ancient and one of a kind weapons isn’t very practical but please please please figure out a way to demo this weapon with live ammunition. I want to see it so badly.

  18. So the weight of the barrel slamming back against the cartridge shoved it onto the firing pin and that was what fired it?

  19. Could it be possible that the serial number was a series that followed all their guns? It might not be the 755th blow forward shotgun, but maybe it’s their 755th gun overall

  20. Believe it or not, I own this firearm. Serial 772. Mine is in firing condition and I will be having a new spring manufactured and posting a video this summer of firing it. It's the highlight of my collection I love this gun. It's a whore to disassemble and it likes lots, and lots…and lots of oil and grease

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