Fort Scratchley Historic Site open 6 days a week...10am to 4pm...closed Tuesdays ...Free Entry to site ... paid guided tours of tunnels available at 10.30, 11.30, 1.05, 1.40...last tour 2.30pm...3.45pm LAST gate entry

NORDENFELT 5-Barrel Rifle Calibre Gun

.45 Calibre


The 5-barrel rifle calibre machine gun was capable of a maximum (quoted) rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute (or 120 volleys a minute).

Aimed and sustained fire would be slower.

As it fired the same cartridge as rifles, the effective range would be 300 - 400 yards. although as the barrels were mounted on a solid, non-recoil mounting, accuracy would have been better than that of individual rifles.


In September 1888 a detachment of more than thirty gunners from the N.S.W. Artillery at Fort Scratchley armed with carbines and a five barrel Nordenfelt machine gun (mono images right) were transported by rail to the New Lambton Colliery to enforce law and order at the mine.


As a serious disturbance had taken place as part of a labour strike, but by the time the troops arrived the large assembly had dispersed. A few days later the miners strike started to get out of hand again, so 86 men from the Fort were again deployed to the Colliery for protection of the property and those men that defied the strike and worked. The strike was all over in a few days and the men returned to the Fort.  A similar event again happened in 1892...No shots were fired.


The Nordenfelt, thankfully was not used and as can be imagined would have been devastating against the unarmed miners

A US video describes the functioning of the Nordenfelt 5 barrel gun.



The Fort is open 6 days a week, (closed Tuesday) from 10am to 4pm.

Admission and self guided tours (excluding tunnels) of the Fort is free.

Society’s Office

Ph: (02) 4929 3066



Self guided Fort Tour