PROVISIONAL SPECIFICATION left by Bethel Burton at the Office of the Commissioners of Patents, with his Petition, on the 25th February 1864.
I, Bethel Burton, of the City of Brooklyn, State of New York, America, at present residing at 21, Tollington Road, N., London, do hereby declare the nature of the said Invention for “ Improvements in Breech-loading and Revolving Fire-arms, and Cannon and Metallic Cartridges,” to be as follows:—
In plan No* 1 is a cylinder for a revolver* It will be seen that the bore in cylinder does not run through, but a smaller hole is made through the cylinder which forms a shoulder, and down on to this hole, and in the base of the cylinder a slit is formed. The object of this slit is to allow the hammer or cock to strike the upper side of the cartridge, and the object of the small hole is to form a shoulder to prevent the metallic cartridge from being forced back against the frame of the arm or pistol to prevent its revolving. On the same plan will be seen the manner of constructing the cartridge, of copper or other soft metallic substance, to be used in said cylinder. The comparative ease of priming those cartridges compared with the cartridges now in use with the priming in the rim, which require the greatest care to insure them being primed all round the rim, will be readily seen. This cartridge is primed in the usual manner of priming caps, and can be done with a certainty, and by fitting the cylinder is prevented from swelling between the cylinder and frame of the arm or pistol, which, in other pistols, has a tendency to prevent their freedom of revolving.
Plan No. 2 is constructed in the usual way of forming a chamber in the rear end of the barrel with a sliding breech pin supported by sectional screw threads, or what are known as male and female screws. The forward part of this breech pin is made with the end of one part running into the other, which is chambered back close to the rear end. This pin answers to close up the chamber, and is fastened together by a bayonet joint or other suitable means, and through this forward part of the breech pin there is a bolt passing through with a nut on the inside, and inside and into the upper side of this breech pin there is a spring running along and flush with the surface of said pin. This spring is kept in place by a screw; the point of this screw passes down on to a flat on the side of the bolt, and answers to prevent the bolt from turning in removing the nut to clean the bolt. In the chamber of this breech pin there is a loose thimble and a spiral or coiled spring, and on %the under side of the barrel is seen a spring with two fingers ; one of these fingers passes up through into the inner chamber of the breech pin, the other passes downwards under the nose of the trigger. In the breech pin is cut an v -shaped
slot through into the chamber in which this finger w*orks, and answers as a guide to bring the screw threads into place. It may also be seen that as soon as the breech pin is drawn back to allow of the cartridge being inserted into the barrel through the opening on tbe side of tbe chamber of the barrel that the spring below presses the finger on said spring up in front of the thimble, and when the breech pin is shoved forward and screwed up and in place the finger has forced back the coiled spring around which the thimble acts to prevent the finger from catching into the coiled spring, and serves to deliver the blow, when the trigger presses down the spring and finger and relieves the coiled spring for the purpose of delivering the blow to the bolt to ignite the detonating powder in the cartridge. This bolt can be made to strike the cartridge in any desirable place, for which I place two pins on the front of the bolt to strike the cartridge in two places at the same time in order to insure the certainty of the fire. When the arm is discharged the spring on the upper side of the breech pin which passes over the cartridge in loading, when the breech pin is withdrawn the hook on this spring draws with it the empty case or cartridge for the purpose of loading or unloading the piece. Ou the side of the chamber of the barrel there is a spring safety lock, the object of which is in carrying the arm when loaded to prevent its premature discharge, and also to prevent the breech from turning and coming back in manipulating the piece. This spring is fastened at one end by means of a screw to the barrel, and at the other end there is a pin passing through and enters a hole in the breech pin. This hole is so placed that when the pin on the spring enters, the trigger is unable to draw down the spring and finger that holds back the coiled spring in the inner chamber ; there is a slot in the spring lock, and a pin passing up through this slot from a sliding wedge, that fits in a recess cut in the side of the barrel, raises the pin on the end of the spring when shoved forward on the line of the barrel and allows of the working of the breech.
Plan No. 3 is an adaption of this arm from a breech to a muzzle loader, and vice versa, as the necessity of the case may require, that is to say, in case of or want of suitable cartridges to load from the breech, the nipple piece is made with a lump in the usual way, and the nipple hole runs through and is screwed with a thread throughout. This nipple hole comes half way in on the flange of the metallic cartridge, and the pin, as is seen, without a thread works loose on the points of the threads in the hole in the breech pin, and is kept from coming out by a set screw that fits on to a flat surface with a shoulder on the loose pin and prevents its coming out, but allows of sufficient play to admit of the pin delivering the blow given it from the hammer or cock on to the flange of the cartridge in which is the fulminate; by removing this pin and substituting the ordinary nipple, and by putting a hole in the base of the cartridges before used, they can be loaded and fire I as often as desired, or, by leaving one of them in the gun, the gun can be loaded from the muzzle with loose powder. The nipple piece is connected with the rear of the breech pin, as shewn on Plan, with a screw having a square point passing down through the rear breech pin. This screw is first put in, and when in allows of the nipple piece being connected and disconnected at pleasure, a slot cut in the end of the nipple piece running into the groove in which the point of the pin works.
Plan No. 4 is a mode of constructing cannon of cast iron or metal of any kind whereby the trunnions and other outside surfaces are removed for the purpose of allowing of no obstruction to the metals equal contraction in cooling, which is prevented in ail ordnance having trunnions or other lumps upon their surface. The jacket of wrought iron on which the trunnions are formed i3 made largely tapering to prevent the recoil of the gnn forcing it through the jacket, apd there is also a shoulder turned on the gun in case the continued recoil exerted too much strain upon the jacket 5 it is met by the shoulder and prevented from a further strain beyond the endurance of the strength of the jacket. The jacket being so much tapering and having its greatest strength behind serves to prevent the separation of the cast metal latterly as well as a support to the outer surface of the arch or surface of the gun. The breech is secured with a screw formed into sections and a screw plug of corresponding sections; in this screw plug is a slot of an V____-shape, corresponding with the pitch of the thread or screw, and on the end of the gun a hinged joint is secured, and through this hinge the screw plug passes, and in this hinge a guide pin is screwed that works in the slot of the breech pin, and guides the screws in and out of place, and prevents the breech pin from being pulled entirely out; the hinge joint carries the breech pin round to allow of the charge being inserted in the gun. The hole in the joint it will be seen is cut away into sections corresponding with the sections of screw in the gun and on the breech pin, which allows the point of the breech pin to be withdrawn to the end of the gun so as to allow of its turning out of the barrel with the hinge. The cartridge in the gun is shewn to show the manner of igniting the charge threin. The hole in the breech pin in the ordinary way.