Smith And Wesson

No. i, Cochran rifle. John Webster Cochran's patent of 1837. Eight, shots. On account of rearward pointing loaded chambers this device was a dangerous one; many sad accidents occurred with Cochran (and Porter, too) arms, and both in their day were heaped with odium, in spite of which many were made and purchasers for them found. Other inventors recognized the impossibility of using the turret and the wheel movements and avoided them. The turret has now, however, been successfully applied as a magazine (to the Lewis gun), but under quite different conditions.

No. 2, . Cochran rifle, nine shots, small size, probably made as a sample for exhibition. In this variety of Cochran the bow of the hammer serves as a guard for the trigger.

No. 3, Porter rifle. Parry W. Porter's patent of 1851. This specimen is made with a magazine pill lock. Nine shots. In the attempt to make this impossible cylinder device a success high grade inventive skill was lavished upon it; under modern conditions some of the principles might be of value to inventors using the wheel principle for a magazine to an air-plane machine rifle.

No. 4, Porter rifle. This specimen uses copper caps.

No. 5, Colt rifle, made at Hartford, Connecticut, perfected Model 1855.

No. 6, Hall rifle.2 Alexander Hall's patent of

* Cook Collection: courtesy of Mr. Charles D. Cook.

1856. Cylinder releases by pulling the drop-hook; turns by hand. Cocks by drawing front trigger backward. The interesting feature of this arm is the cylinder bearing. Around the rim of the cylinder there arc fifteen chambers; within the rim the cylinder is void except for a post which reaches from the inner edge of the rim radially and has at its extremity a hole on the axis of the cylinder. This hole fits over a right angled projection to a post projecting from the under side of the barrel. On the inner surface of the rim there are gear-teeth to be acted on by the mechanism for revolving. Any such odd device may be an inspiration to an inventor of the present day.

No. 7, LcMat rifle. Doctor (later, Colonel) Alexandre Francois LeMat of New Orleans patented the features of this arm in 1856. A nine shot cylinder for the upper (rifle) barrel turns on a shot barrel. The nose of the hammer is adjustable to serve either barrel.

During the percussion period the most of the arms made on the LeMat system were produced in France and Belgium. Prior to the Civil War those made in Louisiana were shoulder arms for sporting purposes only; during the Civil War the foreign made ones were shipped in considerable numbers to the Confederacy and used by the Confederate armies. After the war LeMat arms using pin fire and early centre fire metallic cartridges were made in almost all countries of Europe but were not popular in America.

No. 8j Warner rifle. James Warner's patents of 1851, '56 and '57. A simple mechanism interesting on account of the attempt to avoid conflict with Colt patents which covered thoroughly all features necessary to a successful revolver of the copper cap type for a cylinder bored in line with the barrel.

Plate 9

No. i, Billinghurst rifle. The revolving, self-priming specimen illustrated was one of many ingenious designs of William Billinghurst, of Rochester, N. Y. As he did not patent his inventions, the date of this arm can only be broadly placed, and lay somewhere between 1850 and 1870.

No. 2t North and Skinner rifle. Patented in 1852. Made by H. S. North, Middletown, Conn. A revolving six-shooter having all functions except loading and firing performed by the movement of the lever in front of the trigger. The attempt at a gas tight joint, by moving the cylinder backward and forward so that it could be free from and then engage with the rearward projection of the breech of the barrel, indicates relationship between this patent and that for the North and Savage revolver.

No. 3, Whittier rifle. Patented in 1837 by O. W. Whittier, of Enfield, N. H. This is the earliest patent for turning a cylinder by means of a stud sliding in grooves in it that has so far been found.

At a later period it was tried, and abandoned, by Colt; and in recent times it has been revived — and is still in use — for revolving arms made in England and on the continent.

No. 4, Jennings rifle. Patented in 1849 by Lewis Jennings; made by Robbins & Lawrence, of Windsor, Vt. Distributed by C. P. Dixon, agent, located in New York City. Repetition of fire is caused, not from a revolving cylinder, but from a tube below the barrel, holding twenty bullets each loaded with its own explosive propellant.

No. 5, Smith & Wesson rifle; also the illustration serves for a Volcanic rifle, certain specimens of both being identical in appearance. Horace Smith's patent of 1851, improving upon the Jennings rifle by substituting for the ringed, sliding trigger a trigger guard lever; and Smith & Wesson's patent of 1854, improving the mechanism and showing it using a metallic centre-Are cartridge. The latter was not produced commercially, and the Smith & Wesson and Volcanic rifles used self propelled bullets such as the Jennings rifle used. These arms as finally developed became Winchester rifles; see Winchester. Smith & Wesson and Volcanic rifles were the parents, so to speak, of all practical tubular magazine repealing rifles. The Jennings, before them, was hardly practical; the Henry, which followed them, was exactly the same arm adapted to use rim fire metallic cartridges; hence Smith & Wesson and Volcanic rifles can be counted as number one among tubular magazine repeaters.

1855 Smith And Wesson Rifle
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