Rotary Chamber Mechanisms

a number of barrels in a circular mounting rather than in the flat mounting previously used. This expedient made for a more compact and manageable weapon but still left much to be desired. Although the first guns employing circular mounting were in effect merely several independently functioning guns assembled as one unit, arrangements were soon developed to rotate the barrels about a common longitudinal axis so that each barrel could lock era in which the barrels are revolved by hand. The second gun shown in fig. 4-1 is a seven-barrel rifle employing flintlock ignition. Each barrel was fired as it revolved into alignment with a fixed flintlock firing system.

At various times throughout the period described above, many inventors proposed a type of arrangement that was representative of a very important principle in weapon construction. In order to

Figure 4-1. Matchlock Revolving Gun and Revolving Flintlock Rifle.

be brought successively into position to he fired by a single ignition device. During the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth ccnturics, many such arrangements were attempted using the match lock, wheel lock, and flintlock methods of ignition. Although none of these arrangements were successful enough to enjoy any wide acceptance, they did establish the basic idea of the revolver-type weapon. The upper drawing in fig. 4-1 shows the general appearance of a three-barrel weapon of the match avoid the heavy and clumsy assembly that resulted from placing a number of complete gun barrels in a single circular mounting, it appears to be natural and convenient to use but one barrel and to provide the rear end of the weapon with a cylinder into which several chambers were bored. These chambers coulcl be loaded separately and then the cylinder could be rotated so that each charge could be brought successively into alignment with the barrel and fired. This principle is the same as that

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