The introduction of the bicycle into military service, for the use of carriers, etc, has called the attention of makers to the possibilities in this direction, but there was not much display of such machines. Two Wolff duplex machines were shown, fitted with guns, one having a small breech-loader – of very little use separately – and the other a small Maxim rapid-fire gun. A Columbia tandem was shown fitted with hangers and straps for conveniently carrying two Colt twelve-shot repeating magazine rifles, two Colt six-shot revolvers in holsters, a jointed signal staff, two army overcoats on the front handlebar, and two army blankets on the rear handlebar. This appeared to be an excellent and practicable arrangement. Another Columbia machine had a 40-pound Colt automatic gun, of the type recently adopted in the United States Navy, attached to a turntable on the front handlebar, the gun being capable of being moved in any direction, vertically or horizontally. It is a single-barrel gun, with a pistol handle attached to a breech casing, containing the mechanism for feeding, firing and ejecting the cartridges, which are contained in belts stored in a box on the machine, the boxes containing 250 or 500 cartridges each. Single shots may be fired, or the gun will automatically fire all the cartridges on the belt at one pull of the trigger, firing 100 shots in 16 seconds. The recoil is very light and does not affect the frame of the machine.
– The Engineer, page 189, 21st February, 1896
1896 Columbia Model 40 Military Model with Colt Machine Gun
1896 COLUMBIA CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
Here’s the Columbia Model 40 when I bought it from an American friend in 2013, so I could set it up with a replica Colt machine gun to feature in my book.