Bailey Machine

Another interesting machine gun tested by the Navy was designed in 1874 by Fortune L. Bailey of Indianapolis, Ind. One year later the Winchester Arms Co. had manufactured a working model, which seemed reliable enough to warrant a request for Navy consideration for purposes of adoption.

After an interview with company representatives, Commodore T. H. Patterson of the Navy Yard. Washington, D. C., on 31 January 1876, ordered a trial to be held on the Navv Yard j

Range. At the appointed time, 11 February 1876, the board convened. Commander Montgomery Sicard, Inspector of Ordnance, was the officer in charge.

The weapon shown was small in comparison with similar mechanisms, being made to use a caliber .32 rifle cartridge. The reason for this, according to Bailey, was that the gun being tested was built merely as a working mod eh Its performance had proved so phenomenal in private tests, however, that its producers had been convinced it was capable of being demonstrated.

The inventor called attention to the fact that until now all machine guns fired either from hoppers or drums. These were limited in their capacity of rounds. His weapon, however, had no such restrictions. It. fired from a belt which could be made any length desired. He also made the astounding claim that the round would be fired without being withdrawn from the belt.

After the formal discussion, a close inspection was made of the weapon. Many unusual features were noted that had not been known in other machine guns.

In appearance the Bailey resembles the Gat-ling, with its barrels grouped around a central shaft and held securely bv central discs fastened

to the frame. But at this point all resemblance ends. The systems of feeding and firing arc radically different from earlier types.

When the crank on the right side is turned, the barrels revolve. Concurrent with this they have a reciprocating motion caused by successive engagement of an inclined flange, or cam. Suf-ficient play is, of course, allowed in the bearings to permit such fore and aft motion, and to compensate for the increased diameter of the metal due to heating from sustained bursts.

I he firing is done from the top barrel. While this is taking place, the empty cartridge, still in the belt, is cleared.

A plate revolving with the barrels houses the firing pins and spr ings. As a barrel arrives at battery position, its firing pin is struck by one of the two plungers, or strikers, that alternate in firing. The dual plunger assembly consists of two flat pieces of steel with shanks on the rear end that serve as guides to the striker springs. These springs drive the plungers forward when the studs are alternately released from contact with the flanges of the cocking cam, located on the

lock flange cylinder.

The cylinder is a simple, well constructed tube, firmly secured to the center shaft. About, its circumference arc two separate helical cams of rapid pitch. As the cams are rotated by the clockwise movement of the crank, they are brought into engagement with the studs on the reciprocating plungers. Each set of flanges manipulates its own plunger. As the cylinder con-

Bailey Machine Gun

Bailey Machine Gun, the First Such Weapon to Use a Belt Feed.

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