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The operations of the Peace Society do not seem to have produced any appreciable results for the number of years it has been m existence, and the Great Powers have not yet been persuaded to beat their swords into reaping hooks. On the contrary ; the tendency is m the opposite direction, and the last few decades have witnessed an enormous increase m the armaments of the nations of Europe. Millions of men are withdrawn from the ranks of labor and trained to the hightest pitch of military efficiency, and each nation is every nerve to secure warlike equipments superior to its neighbors. Naturally the invention and perfecting of deadly engines of war proceeds apace. Of recent years several quick-firing guns have been brought out, and the last of these — the Maxim — will, to judge by the results of its trials, eclipse all its predecessors as a mower down of men m time of battle ; and quite lately inventors have been applying their talents m a new direction: Mr Zalinski, an American, has proved the practicability of throwing by means of a pneumatic gun missiles of dynamite and other powerful explosives which will reduce any object they may Btrike to atoms. And now another American has come to the fore with a new gun to throw dynamite. In reality this machine is more of a sling than a gun. It has a barrel, and its discharge, which is accomplished without powder or other explosive, is comparatively noiseless. The new weapon is described as consist ing of two solid steel wheels, placed con- ; centrically side by side, and made to revolve by means of a Westinghouse engine. In the outside circumference of each wheel two projectiles, at equal distance from each other, are placed. On either side of this double wheel is a quadrant, which is so arranged that by means of it the gunner may give any direction to the missile. When everything is ready, he pulls the lanyard, and two shots on opposite sides of the disc are discharged simultaneously. It is impossible to fire one shot ; two or four must be discharged. The especially ingenious part of the invention is the contrivance to release the missiles at exactly the proper time. The inventor calculates that a gun with wheels ten feet m diameter, revolving 4000 times per minute, will throw a projectile with an initial velocity sufficient to send 20001 b for five miles. The velocities imparted to round shot by charges of powder vary from 1400 to 1750 feet per second. The projectiles are to vary m weight from 101 b to 3001bs. They are to be dynamite cartridges, and are to be designed especially for the machine. It is said tbat there will be no sp.ock at the moment from the discharge, and that therefore dynamite might be fired m safety. It is difficult to say what will be the final chapter m the invention of those deadly engines of destruction, but it certainly seems that the time is arriving when the nations will no longer dare to i have recourse to war, because war will menu extermination to those engaged.

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Bibliographic details

ANOTHER WEAPON., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2095, 23 March 1889

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ANOTHER WEAPON. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2095, 23 March 1889