If the “official history” is to be believed, “the first recoilless gun known to have actually been built was created in 1910. It was then, supposedly, when Commander Cleland Davis invented the recoilless gun (with a massless ejection principle – like the SPG-9) designed to arm aircraft.
In 1911 he received the US patent number 1108714 for this invention. This gun was used on the experimental British bomber Handley Page O/100 series for the purpose of fighting enemy submarines. Cleland Davis continued to refine the gun, called the Davis recoilless gun, and patented their modifications with detailed descriptions until 1921.”
However, the real story, not the one that is imposed to be considered “official,” is quite different. If you wish, you can find quite different historical data concerning when the recoilless gun was first invented – in 1844 and, moreover, it was with an optical sight!
If in 1910 the gun invented by Davis, was used exclusively for installation on airplanes, then in 1844 the recoilless gun was fired from the hands!
I found information about this recoilless gun in the Illustrated London News, published on October 26, 1844. This historical document convincingly proves that the technology of recoilless guns existed at least as early as 1844.
“The gun that attracted the most attention was a cannon on the principle of recoillessness from which a strong charge of gunpowder was fired several times without any recoil (not more than 6 mm).
The inventor claims that this principle is applicable to weapons of any caliber. The gun is accompanied by a telescope which enables the gunner to hit even the smallest target unmistakably.
In the demonstration of the cannon several shots were fired at the “huts” and each time they were completely destroyed. This experiment gave rise to a long (about an hour) discussion among the scientists and professional gentlemen present at the demonstration, until the inventor, the Duke of Normandy, took the cannon out of the carriage and holding it in his hands fired, as did another gentleman after him, and the shots were fired without any recoil and the targets were hit.
Then the inventor said to one of the most persistent skeptics, “I will let you take my gun apart and if you discover the secret I will give it to you, but if you do not discover it, you will pay me.” The skeptic was not ready for such a wager and refused.