Periscope Rifle
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Basic Information

As the name implies, a periscope rifle is a rifle, mounted to a frame which allows it to be fired whilst viewing the sights through a periscope. This was - initially at least - a creature of the trenches of World War One, where numerous men were left with time on their hands and the challenge of shooting the enemy without exposing themselves to being shot in turn. The resulting device could be lifted up above parapet level and then aimed by using the periscope to look down the sights and fired with a remote trigger. Absent a semi-automatic action (this being the Great War) the whole assembly had to be brought back down again to have the action cycled, but it was still better than being shot at. The first known example was developed during the Gallipoli campaign by an Australian named Beech, but others soon followed, independently or otherwise and eventually someone did come up with a mechanism for working a rifle bolt remotely. Periscope sights were also developed for machine guns and these would serve as the ancestors to a variety of remotely operated guns installed in armoured fighting vehicles and fortifications into the present day.


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