The Paris-based Swiss gunsmith Jean-Samuel Pauly patented his remarkably advanced double-barrelled, smoothbore sporting gun in 1812.
Pauly had combined Alexander Forsyth’s percussion system and Joseph Egg’s idea for a ‘priming capsule’ to invent a gun that was way ahead of its time. Not only was it breech-loading, it also used internal detonation by means of a unitary cartridge, instead of an external flint or hammer. This early form of centre-fire cartridge was made of paper with a metal base surrounding a central primer, detonated by an internal pin in the breech. Pauly’s centre-fire concept would not be seen again for another 25 years, whereupon it came to dominate cartridge design, as it still does to this day.