The Nock Gun was a form of "novelty" weapon that almost was put into mass production. Designed by British Engineer James Wilson (and named after Henry Nock, the original arms manufacturer) - in 1779. Developed for use by The Royal Navy, it was a hand fired weapon used to attack enemy personnel in a ship's rigging. Considered a volley weapon, The Nock consisted of 7 barrels (all 20-inches in length). Conjoined at a central point (chamber) and attached to an over large rifle stock. It was very similar in construction to the previous Blunderbuss.
The Nock fired a .46 caliber lead round. The weapon was somewhat questionable with regards to range. All barrels were fired simultaneously (via a flintlock firing mechanism). Originally made with rifled barrels, it was determined to be too difficult to load. As such, all future versions were smoothbore. The Royal Navy ordered some 500 Nock Rifles for deployment with their Fleet. The weapons recoil was too much and the amount of fire it produced was a hazard to ship's sails and rigging (catching fire). Smaller and lighter models were experimented with (with similar effects). By 1804, all versions were discontinued.