Patent: Christian Sharps

US 6960

Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 6,960, dated December 18, 1849.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, Christian Sharps, of Washington, in the District of Columbia, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Repeating Fire-Arms with Stationary Barrels and a Revolving Cock; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact description of my improvement, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, which form part of this specification, and in which—

Figure 1 represents a side view of a four-barreled repeating-pistol with my improvement adapted thereto. Fig. 2 is a view of the handle of the same with the side removed to show the construction of the lock. Fig. 3 is an elevation of the cocking-lever; Fig. 4, a face view of the hammer; Fig. 5, a back view of the double ratchet on the hammer, and Fig. 6 is an end view of the muzzle of the pistol.

My invention consists in attaching to a revolving hammer a double-faced ratchet which is acted upon by two levers, which together turn the hammer the angular distance required to discharge the barrels consecutively.

In the drawings, A A A A are four pistol-barrels, connected together and secured to a stock or handle, B, which contains within it the tumbler a, the mainspring b, and the sear c, with its spring d. The tumbler is secured to a short shaft, e, whose extremities, passing transversely through a lock-plate, C, on each side of the stock, are squared to receive two levers, D E. The tumbler is acted upon by the mainspring b, whose heel rests in a step formed in the lower part of the handle, and it is arranged to act endwise upon the tumbler. The periphery of the latter is notched to catch against the sear c, which in this instance is the prolongation of the trigger. The hammer His in this instance formed of two disks, m and n, attached to a sleeve, o, and slides upon a spindle, i, whose front extremity is secured to the breech of the barrels, its hinder extremity being supported by a hammer-guard, g, which protects the hammer and at the same time serves to lengthen the line of sight. The front disk, n, has a projection, n’, upon its face to strike the caps placed on the nipples screwed into the breech of the barrels. The hinder disk, m, has a ratchet upon each of its faces, which are acted upon respectively by the two levers DE, fitted to the squared extremities of the tumbler-shaft. One of these levers, D, has a snug, s, Fig. 3, projected from its face, which acts upon the ratches on the hinder face of the disk m. It also serves to bend the Spring and to transmit its tensive force to the sliding hammer. The other lever, E, has a hooked extremity to act upon the ratchet-teeth on the front face of the disk m, and is formed of a spring, which, bearing against the front face of the disk, forces the hammer to follow the cocking-lever D when the latter is drawn back in cocking the pistol. The ratchet-teeth on each face of the disk m correspond in number with the number of barrels; but those of the back face are situated between those on the front, as shown in dotted lines in Fig. 5. In cocking the pistol the hammer slides backward in a straight line upon its spindle, while the levers D and E describe an arc of a circle whose center is the axis of the tumbler-shaft. As this arc deviates downward from the straight line described by the hammer the hooked extremity of the spring-lever E, acting upon the ratch in contact with it, draws it downward and turns the hammer half the angular distance between two consecutive nipples. When the tumbler is released from the sear by the tripping of the trigger by the finger the cocking-lever D, being forced forward by the mainspring, drives the hammer before it, and at the same time its snug, acting against the ratch in contact with it, shoves that side of the hammer upward, and thus turns it the remaining half of the distance required to bring it directly opposite the nipple. Thus by successive cockings and trippings of the trigger the same hammer is made to discharge each barrel in turn.

It will be perceived that as the hammer is turned half the required distance in its retrograde movement and the remaining half in its direct movement the angular distance between two adjoining barrels may be made much larger than it can when the cock is turned the whole distance during either its director retrograde movement alone; hence a smaller number of barrels can be fired by this arrangement than can by any other previously used.

In the pistol represented in the accompanying drawings, for example, there are only four barrels; but as few as three can be fired by this device with the same certainty as six can by those hitherto employed for the purpose.

What I claim as my invention, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is— The combination of the cocking and spring levers with the double ratchet-wheel on the revolving hammer, substantially in the manner herein set forth.


P. H. Watson,
E. S. Renwicik.