UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
JACOB SHAW, JR., OF HINCKLEY, OHIO.
IMPROVEMENT IN FIRE-ARMS.
Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 17,698, dated June 30, 1857.
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, JACOB SHAW, Jr., of the township of Hinckley, in the county of Medina and State of Ohio, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Revolving Fire-Arms, the nature of which consists in so constructing, arranging, and combining the several parts thereof that forcing the trigger backward to a certain point cocks the hammer, and when it passes that point the force of the mainspring, acting through the medium of the hammer, tends to continue its motion in that direction until the hammer is released, which secures the advantage of allowing the use of a the Other parts that an operator may at pleasure either allow the trigger to be stopped by the hair-trigger, and thereby retain the hammer at the cock-point, or by a trifling variation of the finger in the act of pulling the trigger remove the hair-trigger, thus allowing the escape of the hammer to effect an explosion of the charge; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact description of the construction and operation of the same, reference being had to the annexed drawings, making a part of this specification, in which—
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a six-chambered rotating breech pistol in which the improvements, are combined; Fig. 2, a vertical longitudinal section, showing such parts as Would be seen if the pistol were divided longitudinally in the middle and one side removed. Fig. 3 is an isometrical perspective representation of the chambered cylinder, trigger, and locking-lever; Fig. 4, a section representing part of the main frame. Fig. 5 is a transverse Section, such as would be seen by looking down upon it if the frame were cut through in the direction of the line L^2 in section, Fig. 4, showing the space between the sides for the lock, the position relatively to the sides of the axle or fulcrum of the trigger, locking-lever, and hammer; likewise the arm c’ of the trigger, the rotator-arm s, with the stud or pivot on each, On Which the cocking and rotating ratches operate, the arm T^2 of the locking-lever, a section of the bride-cap in its situation relatively to the sides of the recess for the lock, and also a section of the hammer. Fig. 6 represents sections of the locking-lever. Fig. 7 represents sections of the cover to the rear end of the cylinder, and Fig. 8 represents sections of the wheel for securing the tubular axle in its place.
The same letters refer to the same parts in all the figures.
A’, Figs. 1 and 2, represents a stud, being part of the main frame, to which the barrel E is firmly attached at E by a screw or otherwise.
A^2 is a tie-plate connecting the stud with the recoil-shield A^3, the stud and recoil-shield being united at the side opposite the tie-plate by the main or principal part of the frame which surrounds the chambered cylinder. In this part of the frame the recess for the lock is formed. The guard and frame for the stock are also united with it, and these parts are designated by A^4, Fig. 2. The recoil-shield has a lid, X, connected with it on one side by means of the axle or pivot at X, Figs. 1 and 7, which passes rearward through a hole in it below the cylinder, forming a hinge-joint, by means of which it may be opened laterally and closed at pleasure, and when closed is confined by a small pin which projects from its upper end and enters a hole in the tie-plate. On the opposite side of the recoil-shield is a part made like the lid last described, except that it is united with and forms part of the shield which, together with that end of the tie-plate A^2, forms a cover for the rear end of the cylinder.
B, Figs. 1, 2, and 3, represents the chambered cylinder, to the rear end of which the Cones or nipples are attached, as represented at o, Figs. 2 and 3. At the opposite end the locking-holes are seen at V, Figs. 1 and 3, and there is a hole through its center for the tubular axle, on which it may rotate.
G is a cylindrical tube. On its rear end is a head, D^2. At G there is a circular notch on its upper side, Fig. 2. A portion of it is cut off where it extends over the barrel parallel with the upper surface of the barrel. A tubular piece, D, is inserted into the tubular axle, which may be drawn out, as represented at D, Fig. 2, and returned at pleasure, as represented at D, Fig. 1. A slot is made in its under side which extends a considerable portion of its length. A screw in the lower side of the axle enters the slot, preventing it from turning or being withdrawn from the axle. A plate on its rear end covers nearly half the aperture in this tube. A notch in this plate at D answers the purpose of a sight, through which and the tubes a person may look at the bead-sight near the end of the barrel and thereby determine their range with the object he may wish to strike with the shot.
C represents the trigger; b, the axle on which it operates, one end in a hole in the side of the recess of the lock, the other end in a hole in the bridle-cap W.
C’ represents the cocking-arm of the trigger, which operates the cocking-ratch to bring the hammer to the cock-point.
H is the cocking-ratch, attached to the trigger by a toggle-joint, as at C’, and connecting with the hammer-tail, as at H, Fig. 2.
N is a spring attached to the trigger, as indicated at N, Fig. 2, which operates to bring the cocking-ratch in position to connect with the hammer-tail when the hammer and trigger return to the position indicated by the dotted lines, Fig. 2.
Lu, Fig. 2, is a sprig confined in a recess in the inside of the guard by means of the screw at L. It operates by means of the swivel Z to draw back the trigger to the position indicated by the dotted lines, Fig. 2.
F, Fig. 2, is the hammer, the axle of which is supported in semicircular cavities formed in the sides of the recess of the lock, one of which is represented at Fig. 4, the other being in the same relative position in the opposite side of the recess of the lock, back of the hammer, in the side of the frame A^4, Fig. 2.
J is the mainspring. It rests in a notch in the frame for the stock at a point opposite the swivel, and at the other side of the frame on | move freely between them, the bridle cap being a pin, d, placed there for its support, connecting with the swivel K, as indicated, and operating by means of the swivel, which is connected, as indicated, with the motor-arm of the hammer, to bring the hammer to the position indicated by the dotted lines, Fig.2.
I is the hair-trigger, confined in the recess of the lock by the pin e, on which it may operate. A spring, M, is attached to it near its lower end, as indicated, which acts to keep it in the position indicated. At the point I a tooth projects, against which the trigger rests when the hammer is retained by it at the cock-point. Below the point of contact is a notch in the trigger at C, to allow it to escape when the hair-trigger is pressed downward.
S, Fig. 3, represents the rotator-arm of the trigger. It projects from the trigger as near one end of its axle as will allow of its moving freely between the bridle-cap and side of the frame A^44, Fig.5, and operates by means of the rotator-ratch, which is connected with it by a toggle joint, to cause, the chambered cylinder to rotate When the trigger is forced backward, and likewise to withdraw the locking-lever when the trigger returns.
R is the rotator-ratch, the tooth h of which is forced by the spring U, which is attached to the ratch at U, to take into the mouth of one of the chambers when the trigger is forced backward, and cause the cylinder to rotate sufficient to bring the chamber next the barrel on its opposite side in line with the barrel, the spring U acting against a ledge on the inside of the bridle-cap during the operation.
T, Figs. 3, 5, and 6, is the locking-lever, one end of the axle of which is placed in a hole in the side of the frame A^44, the other in a hole in the bridle-cap, and the vertical arm of the lever operates between them, as indicated at T, Fig. 5. The other arm, T’, operates under the side of the frame which forms a part of the recess of the lock, while the end opposite the axle has a projection which extends outward, so as to be acted on by the under side of the rotator-arm of the trigger. (See Figs. 5 and 6.)
P is a wheel having a circular notch through its side and an inclined plane on its face extending nearly one-half its circumference. It is placed on an axle on the stud A’, secured in its position, as at P, Fig. 1, and answers the purpose of confining the tubular axle, which is effected when the axle is in its place by turning the wheel, which forces the edge (that projects outside of the notch in it) into the notch in the axle, the inclined plane on its face acting like a screw to draw the head of the axle firmly against the rear side of the recoil-shield.
W, Fig. 1, is the bridle-cap. A hole in it supports one end of the axle of the trigger. Another hole supports one end of the axle of the locking-lever. There are studs and ledges projecting inwardly from it, which, resting on the side of the frame, keep the plate W at a proper distance from the frame to allow the rotator-arm, ratch, and the locking-lever to move freely between them, the bridle cap being confined to the side of the frame by means of screws.
Fig. 4 is a section representing a part of that side of the frame next to the bridle-cap, showing the hole for one end of the axle of the locking-lever, and the cavity at F for one end of the axle of the hammer, the shaded part in the figure being designed to show so much of the inside surface of the recess of the lock as would be seen if the bridle-cap and trigger were removed, the hole b being for one end of the axle of the trigger.
Fig. 9 represents such part of the frame as would be seen if it were cut through vertically in a line parallel with the rear side of the bridle-cap, presenting an end view of a section of the sides of the recess for the lock A^4 and A^44, the space between them being occupied by operating parts of the lock.
g, Fig. 2, represents a lever for removing and retaining the hair-trigger in a position in which the trigger will not come in contact with it when desired. It is operated by a lever, f, Fig. 1, which extends under the stock Y, turns at right angles, passes through a notch in the ledge on the inside of the bridle-cap, where an axle projects, and passes through a hole in the side of the frame, then through the lever g into the opposite side of the frame A^4.
The stock is represented by Y, Fig. 1. A piece of wood is fitted to enter the inside of the frames on each side of the pistol, a portion of the wood projecting as far as the outside of the frame for the stock, and they are confined to the frame by pins passing diagonally through it on one side, then through the wood nearly parallel to its inside surface, and into the opposite side of the frame.
The parts being all in their places, as indicated in Figs. 1 and 2, if the trigger C be forced rearward the cocking-ratch will impel the hammer toward the cock-point, and when the pivot at c’, on which the cocking-ratch operates, has passed a line drawn from the center of the axle of the trigger to the end of the hammer-tail the force exerted by the mainspring will cause the trigger to continue its motion in that direction until it comes in contact with the tooth I of the hair-trigger, when the hammer will remain at the cock-point. Soon after the commencement of the motion of the trigger the tooth h of the rotator-ratch enters the mouth of one of the chambers in the cylinder, causing it to turn on the tubular axle, and when the hammer is brought nearly to the cock-point a part of the trigger, which projects laterally beyond the side of the arm C’, comes in contact with the end of the arm T’ of the locking-lever at m, Fig. 1, and by its motion drives the bolt on the other arm of the locking-lever into the mouth of one of the locking-holes V. The holes being enlarged at their mouths, so as to form an inclined plane, the end of the bolt on the lever having that the end of the bolt on the lever having that each other, cause the cylinder to advance faster than the rotator-ratch until the bolt is driven so far into the hole as to lock the cylinder firmly, at which time the end of the arm T’ of the locking-lever will have passed partially into the notch in the trigger at n. If now the hair-trigger be pressed down into the recess formed for it in the rear part of the guard, the hammer will be released, and the projecting part at the end opposite the trigger will be forced through a hole in that part of the frame under the chambered cylinder against a nipple or cone or a cap placed thereon, and a discharge thus effected, if the chambers have been previously properly charged. If the trigger be now released, the spring Lu will cause the trigger to return to the position indicated by the dotted lines, Fig. 2, and when it has nearly reached that point the rotator arm will come in contact with the upper side of the end of the arm T” of the locking-lever and withdraw the bolt at the end of its other arm from the locking-hole in the cylinder, when the operation may be repeated in the same manner as often as desired.
The trigger may have an arm, as indicated at 5, Fig. 2, by means of which it may be returned to the position of the dotted lines by the backward motion of the finger, and the spring L be dispensed with.
The hair-trigger is believed to excel other devices for similar purposes, in being more simple in its construction, always ready for use without previous preparation, so situated that, if desired, it may be readily removed at the same pull of the trigger that brings the hammer to the cock-point, more certain in performing the operations required, and less liable to become impaired by use.
No accidental discharge can occur by the percussion of extraneous bodies in fire-arms of this construction, as the caps when applied to the nipples are securely protected by the recoil-shield A^3 and cover X, and the hammer by the frame and stock Y.
The relative position occupied by the rotator-ratch and locking-lever T secures them from being corroded by the action of the gases and carbonaceous matter produced by the explosion of the charges and caps, and their operation in effecting the rotation of and locking the cylinder is believed to move more direct and certain than other devices for similar purposes.
The cylinder B may be easily removed for purposes of cleaning, loading, or substituting another. It also occupies less space than when a ratchet-wheel is used to cause it to rotate.
The tubular piece D, combined with the tubular axle G, excludes a portion of the lateral rays of light, secures the advantage of increasing the distance between the sights, and will allow other tubular pieces (one entering another in the same manner as D is inserted into G) to be inserted into D, and the space between the sights to be thus increased to any desired distance.
Lenses may, if desired, be combined in the tubular pieces, making the sights telescopic, thus attaining a precision of aim unattainable by other means, and when not needed for use all the tubular pieces may be returned in to the tubular axle, making the arms to which they are attached no less portable.
In the backward movement of the trigger, when the pivot on which the cocking-ratch operates arrives at the line previously alluded to the end of the hammer-tail will be at the root of the tooth on the cocking-ratch, the ratch-finger resting on the lift-plane of the hammer. When it passes that point the ratch-finger acts as a lever to raise the tooth, so that the hammer-tail will be nearer its point. The force exerted by the hammer-tail will continue its motion, the point of the ratch-tooth receding, and its resistance to the hammer-tail is constantly decreasing, while the power to effect a disengagement is constantly increased until the hammer-tail is released in the operation, producing less friction than other devices for similar purposes.
Fig. 10 represents a device for preventing the tooth of the rotator-ratch from coming in contact with the forward end of the chambered cylinder, 1 showing it as seen when the pistol is held in the right hand directly in front of the eyes, the muzzle pointing to the left. 2 is a transverse section, showing it as cut through the shifting-wedge k.
i is a piece of sheet metal bent in forms as shown at 2, having a hole through its sides for a screw, its width being equal to the distance between the tie-plate A^2 and the tubular axle, except a part which projects on the side shown in 1, which extends downward to the barrel near w he e it comes in contact with the face of the chambered cylinder.
j is a spring, bent in form and with a hole through its sides like i, which is placed within the piece i.
k is the shifting-wedge, united with j and extending beyond or, rather, projecting from the end of the spring a distance nearly equal to the length of a pin which projects inwardly from the rotator-ratch. (Not represented.) A screw passes through the holes in i and j into the stud A’. There is a shoulder at the termination of the screw that sets upon the inside of that part of j which is nearest the stud A’, which, when the screw is turned in, forces those parts of i and j firmly against the stud. The hole in the other part of j is so large that it will not interfere with the shank of the screw. A head on the screw, between i and the face of the chambered cylinder, secures that part of i in its proper position. When the trigger is drawn back the arm T’ of the locking-lever is released from its contact with the rotator-arm, and the spring attached to the rotator-ratch causes both to move toward and the tooth of the ratch to take into one of the chambers in the cylinder, and as the ratch advances, the pin, which projects inwardly from it, passes under the lower end of the shifting-wedge, raising it in its progress, so as to pass between it and i. When it has passed the upper end of the wedge the spring with which it (k) is united forces the wedge against i. When the ratch is drawn back the pin passes on the inclined side of the wedge, and between it and the stud A’, the tooth of the ratch being thus prevented from coming in contact with the end of the cylinder when moving in either direction.
Many pistols have been invented and made wherein the block is revolved, stopped, and discharged by means of the trigger and its connections, and I wish to be understood as not claiming more than my improvements in revolving fire-arms, which are as follows:
1. The combination and arrangement of the trigger with the cocking-ratch and hammer, whereby the force of the mainspring will cause the trigger to continue its motion in a backward direction after it has been forced back to a certain point, and the introduction of the hair-trigger, as described, whereby the trigger may be arrested when it has reached that point, and the hammer by this means be held at the cock-point, or, by a simultaneous action of a force on the hair-trigger in a backward direction, the backward motion of the trigger may be allowed, and a consequent disengagement of the hammer be produced to effect a discharge.
2. The combination and arrangement of the trigger with the rotator-ratch and locking-lever and the revolving chambered cylinder or block, whereby this block is revolved and locked om the front, substantially as herein set forth and described, instead of the usual mode of the ratchet-wheel and pawl in the rear, intending and designing hereby to claim each part and all the parts named in the above claims in connection with each other, without intending to limit myself to construct them in the precise form set forth and described in the foregoing specification, or of any particular dimensions, but intending to reserve the right to vary them as I may deem expedient, while I attain the same ends by means substantially the same.
JACOB SHAW, JR.
Nathan W. Whedon,