Patent: J. H Vickers

US 39869
Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 39,869, dated September 8, 1863.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, John H. Vickers, of Worcester, in the county of Worcester and State of Massachusetts, have invented a new and useful Improvement in Fire-Arms; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact description of the same, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming part of this specification, in which—

Figure 1 is a central longitudinal section of the many-chambered cylinder of a revolving fire-arm illustrating my invention. Fig. 2 is an outside longitudinal view of one of the thimbles or tubes which line the chambers, containing a metallic cartridge. Fig. 3 is a central longitudinal section of the thimble without the cartridge. Fig. 4 is a central longitudinal section of the cylinder, illustrating the provision for loading with loose powder and balls. Fig. 5 is a central longitudinal section of one of the nipples which are inserted in the thimbles or tubes.

Similar letters of reference indicate corresponding parts in the several figures.

The principal object of my invention is to provide for loading the chambers of the cylinder of revolving fire-arms in front with metallic cartridges of the common form and construction— that is to say, containing a fulminating priming in a hollow flange projecting circumferentially from the rear portion of the shell; and to this end it consists in providing the chambers with lining-thimbles or tubes, with a proper internal caliber to receive the cylindrical portions of the cartridges, and of an external circumference equal to that of the flanges of the cartridges, the chambers being bored sufficiently large for the reception of the said tubes, and being partially closed or provided with suitable stops in the rear to prevent the cartridges from slipping through. Another object of the invention is to provide for loading with loose powder and ball when the metallic cartridges have given out or cannot be obtained; and to this end it consists in fitting the rear ends of the said thimbles or tubes with nipples, which can be inserted and removed at pleasure. The invention is also applicable to breech-loading fire-arms (so called) which receive their charges in front. of the chamber.

To enable others skilled in the art to make and apply my invention, I will proceed to describe its construction and operation.

A is the cylinder, having its chambers d d bored from the front to within a suitable distance of the rear end, of a caliber large enough for the free passage of the flanges a of the cartridge-shells B, and having a smaller central hole, b, bored through it from the rear of each chamber, leaving a shoulder e, all around the rear of the chamber, to serve as a stop to prevent the cartridge from slipping through. c c are narrow slots, cut in the rear edge of the cylinder into each chamber for the entrance of the nose of the hammer to strike the flanges of the cartridges and explode the fulminating priming contained therein.

C C are the lining thimbles or tubes, made of steel, and bored cylindrically throughout, for the reception of the cylindrical portions of the cartridges, and turned internally to fit the chambers, but having at their front ends external flanges f f to lap over the edges of the muzzles of the chambers, as shown in Fig. 1. The length of these thimbles from the back of the flanges is equal to the whole length of the chambers, minus the thickness of the flanges of the cartridges.

To load the arm with the metallic cartridges, the lining-thimbles C C are withdrawn from the chambers in a forward direction by taking hold of the flanges f f, and the cartridges are inserted into them from the rear ends as far as the flanges a a, after which they are reinserted in the chambers from the front ends. To permit the withdrawal of the thimbles, the cylinder must either be removed from the frame of the arm, or the frame must be capable of opening to expose the muzzles of the chambers. When the cylinder has been replaced or the frame clos3d up, the flanges of the thimbles are all covered or partly covered by the front of the frame, and the thimbles and the cartridges thereby prevented from slipping forward in the chambers either while the cartridges are being struck by the hammer to fire them, or while the arm is carried in a loaded condition with the barrel downward.

To remove the empty cartridge-shells and the thimbles C C, for reloading, the cylinder i is taken out of the arm, or the frame opened and a rod inserted through the holes b b, and pressed against the shells to force them and the thimbles forward far enough to enable the thimbles to be laid hold of with the thumb and finger, to draw them and the shells out through the front of the chambers.

To use loose powder and ball, the thimbles c c are removed from the chambers, and into the rear end of each there is inserted one of the nipples g, Figs: 4 and 5, which is fitted there into snugly enough to keep in place when inserted, but not tight enough to prevent it being pushed or drawn out when desired. The flanges provided around these nipples fill up the spaces between the rear ends of the thimbles and the backs of the chambers. Percussion-caps are placed on the cones of the nipples before replacing the thimbles in the chambers, and the loading is performed after the insertion of the thimbles. The cones of the nipples protrude through the holes b b in the rear of the cylinder, and expose the percussion-caps to the action of the hammer, which should be so constructed that it would strike the so-applied caps or the flanges of the metallic cartridges, as may be required.

I do not claim any peculiarity in the construction of the breech of the cylinder at the rear of the chambers; but—

What I claim as my invention, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is—

1. The thimble or tube C, constructed substantially as herein described, and applied substantially as herein set forth, in combination with a chamber bored large enough for the passage of the circumferentially projecting flanges of the cartridges from the front ends thereof, and closed or partly closed at their rear ends.

2. The movable nipples g g, applied in combination with the thimbles or tubes C C, substantially as and for the purpose herein specified.


M. S. Partridge,
Daniel Robertson.