- "(Harper) was loading his seven-barrelled gun, a weapon of extreme unorthodoxy. Each of the barrels was a half inch wide and all seven were fired by a single charge that punched out a spray of death."
- — Sharpe's Company
Nock Gun, more commonly known as the Volley Gun, was a seven-barrelled flintlock rifle designed by James Wilson and made by Henry Nock of London in 1779. It was capable of firing seven .50 calibre pistol balls simultaneously. It was originally intended for repelling boarding parties from Royal Navy ships. The Royal Navy commissioned around 600 Volley Guns for crew usage, but some officers did not permit usage of the weapon on board their ships in fear that sparks released from the weapon upon firing would set fire to the rigging. Furthermore, few men were actually strong enough to fire the weapon, as the strong recoil of the gun could easily break a man's shoulder.
In the Sharpe series, Patrick Harper wields the Volley Gun, having been given it as a gift from Sharpe who bought it from a Portuguese chandler. Harper used it throughout his time in the Peninsular War and India. Due to his strong build, he can fire the weapon without the recoil injuring him. The Volley Gun first appears in Sharpe's Gold and becomes Harper's signature weapon.
In Sharpe's Company, Obadiah Hakeswill temporarily confiscated the weapon from Harper and took it for himself, claiming it was only fit for an officer. Hakeswill used the weapon later in the episode in an attempt to kill Sharpe amidst the confusion of a night battle, but he missed, killing a young ensign instead, although in the novel one of the pistol ball sized bullets hit Sharpe in the leg. Sharpe later takes the weapon from Hakeswill and, noticing that it was carelessly left loaded, threatens Hakeswill with it before giving it back to Harper. Later on, Harper attempts to kill Hakeswill with the gun from the window of a building, but only manages to wound him.
In the novel, Sharpe's Battle, Harper uses the volley gun when Dona Juanita tries to kill Sharpe, and swept her out of her saddle in a bloody spray.
Note: The Volley Gun seen in the Sharpe TV series was actually a reproduction model that was reduced in size, weight and calibre by around 30%. It was fully functional and apparently "a very powerful weapon".