It depends how you define 'machine gun'. It is most properly a gun which relies on the explosion generated by the ammunition to recock and reload it. However, if you include the Gatling-style 'hand cranked' gun, the Puckle gun of 1718 must be a front runner. I remember seeing one in the Tower Armouries many years ago. It was designed to fire round bullets at Christian, but square ones at Turks!
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