US51991A - Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms - Google Patents

Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms Download PDF


Publication number
US51991A US51991DA US51991A US 51991 A US51991 A US 51991A US 51991D A US51991D A US 51991DA US 51991 A US51991 A US 51991A
United States
Prior art keywords
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
Publication date
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of US51991A publication Critical patent/US51991A/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Expired - Lifetime legal-status Critical Current




    • F41WEAPONS
    • F41A3/00Breech mechanisms, e.g. locks
    • F41A3/02Block action, i.e. the main breech opening movement being transverse to the barrel axis
    • F41A3/04Block action, i.e. the main breech opening movement being transverse to the barrel axis with pivoting breech-block


.Specilication orming part of Letters Patent No. 61,991, dated January 9, 1866.
To all whom it may concern.-
Bc it known that I, HIRAM BERDAN, of the city, county, and State of New York, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Breech-Loading Fire-Arms; and I do hereby declare that the following is a i'ull, clear,and exact description ofthe same, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, forming part ot' this specitieation, in which- Figure l. exhibits a longitudinal section of the breech-receiver and portions of the stock and barrel, and a side view of the breech and lock ot' a breech-loading tire-arm constructed according to my invention, showing the hammer down. Fig. 2 is a view, of similar character to Fig. 1, ot' the receiver, part ofthe barrel, the breech, and the lock, but showing the hammer cocked. I1`ig;3 is a top view corresponding with Fig. 1; and Fig. et is a trailsvcrse section in the plane indicated by the line .lf :c in Fig. I. Fig. 5 is a side view of the breech. Fig. (5 is a side view of theindepend ent brace by which the breech is partly snpported at the time ot' tiring. Fig. 7 is a similar view to Fig. 2, but shows the parts in dit'- ferent positions.
Similar letters ot' reference indicate corresponding parts and members in the several figures.
All breech-loading firearms heretofore constructed for the use of metallic cartridges with hollow flanged heads have been defective in one respect-viz., that in tiring them the heads of the cartridges have been very liable to burst or be blown ot, or to bulge outin such manner as to render it very diiiicult to open the breech. This hasbeen generally owing to variations in the thickness ofthe iian ges of the heads of the cartridges, but in some cases owing to imperfections in the construction of the gun, which left too much room for the said anges, in either case the head of the cartridge being prevented from coming to a bearing against the breech-piece before ring.
Vith a View to obviate this defect one part of this invention consists in a device applied to act upon the front of the flange of the cartridge in such manner as to draw back'the head against the breech before tiring, such device consisting either ot' the cartridgeshell retractor or of a piece applied especially for the purpose.
It also consists in so applying and arranging a detonating-pin upon which the hammer strikes to lire ixed -a-nnnunition .cartridges that the said pin strikes the cartridge at a point opposite to where it is held hack by the device above mentioned, which draws back the cartridge against the breech, such device being ot' hardened steel and therefore not bruised or marred by the repeated operation ot' the pin, as the barrel, which is soft, is apt to be.
It also consists in so elongating the hole provided in the swinging breech ot' a breechloading fire-arm for the reception ot' the pin upon which it works that the breech may have a direct rear support in the brceclrreeeiver at the time of tiring, and yet be free to swing back loosely to open the rear end of the barrel for loading'.
It also consists in a novel arrangement of a detonating pin and hammer in a single-shot breech-loading tire-arm having a swinging breech, whereby the gun can be readily 0per ated when the hammer is at half-cock.
It also consists in the combination, with the swinging breech ot' a breech-loading tire-arm, ot' a brace for locking the breech in a closed condition at the time of tiring, which is attached to the mainspring, but swings independently ofthe hammer and tumbler.
It also consists in the combination, with one mainspring, ot' two stirrups, one for operating the hammer and the other for operating orcontrolling the operation of a movable brace which locks the breech at the time of tiring.
It also consists in so constructing and applyinga movable brace or tumbler that the lower and forward part ofthe said brace or tumbler locks the breech when the hammer is cocked.
It also consists in so constructing and applying a brace which swings upon the hammer-shaft ot' a breech-loading tire-arm that it cocks the breech while the hammer is at full cock.
It also consists in so combining and arrangin ga movable brace, which operates to lock the breech at the time of tiring, a three-notched tumbler, a sear,
and a swinging breech, that while the hammer is locked ,by the entrance ot' the sea-r into the tirst or tumbler, just out of safety notch of the contact with a detonati n gpin by which the cartridge is tired, the breech is locked by the said brace.
It further consists in so constructing the breech-receiver of with horizontal and fitting the same into the stock, that s upon. which the breech, mer, and the sear work' may of the pin cheeks of the stock out the said pins 'being screw affording greater ceiver, thereby taking the lock and a breech-loading {ire-arm yanism to pieces when the breech-receiver is taken out of the stock.
To enable others skilled in the art ,to make and use my invention,
I will proceed to-describe its construction and operation.
A is the breech-receiver having B firmly screwed the socket which ble opening for the breech C, the hammer D, and the the barrel into it, and having, in rear of receives the-barrel, a suitareception ofthe swinging cartridgeshell retractor E. rlhe cartrid ge-shell retractor represented also serves drawing b'ack mer on the left sid swings on the saine it has an upward projection,
the purpose of the cartridges against the face of the breech preparatory this purpose it is arranged to tiring, and for in front ot' the hame of the breech, where it as the breech, and b, in front, which pin a enters a recess provided for 1t in the left-hand side ofthe rear end of the barrel; and in the hack of this projection thereis a. rabbet-shaped recess, c, Fig. 3, for
the reception ot' the front part of one side of the flange d of the head of the xed-ammunition cartridge F. For the same purpose the the said retractor hammer strikes, as iirin g,
bottom ofthe rear hasa rearward projection,' e, upon which a forward projection, j",
part of on the the hammer descends in before the head of the hammer strikes the detonating-pin g, the cartridge contained in the tiange By this action of the hammer upon by which the priming of d is fixed.
the projection e the projection b is pressed back against the front of the flange ot' the cartridge-shell,
and so made to press back the head of the cartridge against the face of the breech before the cartridge is tired, and thus bring it to a. firm bearing against the breech, and prevent its head from being burst or blown oft', or so bulged out as to render it difficult to open the breech, as is likely to be the ease if the iiange does not till the space provided for it and the head does not at the time the The retractor opened by means in the retractor,
bear against the breech before or l iiring of the charge takes place. E is made to draw back the discharged cartridge shell of a pin, h, and projects as the breech is which is secured laterally from the inner side thereof into a curved groove, t, m the contiguous side of the breech, the said tion'ot' the openin `jection, b,
groove beingot' such length as to prevent Iany action upon the said pin until the breech has been opened nearly wide enough for the withdrawal ot' the cartridge-shell from the barrel, when the upper end oi' the said groote comes in contact with the said pin, and the comple- A g movement of the breech causes the said end ot' the groove to depress the said pin and so draw back the upper pro I ot' the retraetor far enough to draw out the head ofthe cartridge-shell a little way from the barrel. This operation is illustrated in Fig.7, where the breech is represented open. The shell, being taper, is now loose, and may be easily pulled out by takin g' hohl ot' the head with the thumb and finger, or allowed to drop out by elevating the muzzle.
The detonatin g-piug is so arranged, as shown in Figs. 2 and 3, to slide in a groove in the left side of the breech and` through a projection, p, on the same, that its point will strike on the back of the head ofthe cartridge near the edge of the flange, and opposite to where it is supported in front by the projection b of the retractor or device by which it is drawn back against the breech. This projection b, being ot steel and hardened, is not marred by the repeated striking of the cartridge, as the barrel (which is alwayssoft) is after much use when the cartridge is supported by it opposite to where the detonating-pin strikes.
'.Lhe swinging breech G swings upon the pin a., before mentioned, andrepresented iu Figs. 1, 2, and 5. Thesaid pin is situated afshort distance below and in the rear of the rear end ot' the barrel. The face of the breech is flat, so that when the breech is closed it lits square up against the rear end of the barrel, and the upper part of the back is of arc-forni, collectitrie with the pin a., that it may swing back into the opening at the top of the receiver to open the barrel for loading; but the lower part ot the back is made with a projecting face, j, to abut against a bearing, k, the opening in the receiver, and s o receive support at the rear at the time of firing. At the top there is an upwardly-projecting thumbpiece, l, to which to apply the thumb to open it. The hole in this breech, through which the pin a passes, is elongated in a direction obliq'uely upward and backward, as shown at m, to allow the necessary play ot' the breech upon the pin to permit its shoulder j to abut against the bearing k at the timev of tiring, and yet to allow the breech to swing back loosely to open the barrel. During the commencement of the opening of the breech by a back the thumb-piece l, the lower edge of the head of the cartridge (and not the pin a.) is the ful ernm; and to enable the face j to swing clear of the bearing` k the said face and the correspondin g face of the hearing 7c are made concentric with the point in which the lower edge of the cartridge-shell is situated. When the breech has swung back farenough for the shoulder ite clear the bearing 7c, the hole m has at the back of pressure of moved so far downward and forward upon the pin a that the said pin becomes the fnlcrum, and upon this fulcrnni the backward swinging movement of the breech from the rear end of the barrel is completed. By bringing the fnlcrum of the breech on the lower edge of the artridge-shell, as above described, the resistance ot' the bearing l; to the back pressure on the breech at the time of tiring is made to act more nearly in the line of said pressure.
In order to make the movement of the breech concentric with the pin a after it has cleared the bearing Z', a spring, 17, is attached to the receiver 'Ain rear ofthe breech, in such manner as to press the breech upward against the bottom ot' the pin when the face of the breech is clear of the lower edge of the cartridge-shell, which constitutes its fnlcrum during the first part ofthe opening' movement.
lt has been hereinbefore stated that the detonating-pin g is arranged on the left-hand side ofthe breech. This is because the hainmer l) is arranged on that side, and the reason for arranging the hammer on that side is to leave an unobstructed passage in rear of the barrel when the breech is open, as shown in Fig'. 7, with room for the thumb ofthe right hand to draw out the discharged-eartridge shells from the barrel and push new cartridges thereinto while that hand is on that side of the stock. The hammer is arranged so far to the left that its inner side is-not only outside y ot' the line ofthe barrel on that side, lult outside. ofthe line ofthe counterbore 1', as shown in Fig. 3, so that the cartridge or shell may pass freely in or out ot' the barrel. This arrangement ot' the hammer enables it to be brought much inoi'e forward and nearer to the barrel, which is very desirable; but the detonating-pin, having to strike the cartridge and to work in the breech, cannot be ar 'anged in line with the so-arran ged hammer, and theret'ore it is furnished with a projection, g', on its outer side for the hammer to strike upon.
The detonating-pin may be so constructed and titted to the breech as to strike upon the center ot' a centrally-primed cartridge, the projection g heilig left on the said pin, protruding from the left side of the breech, for the hammer to strike upon. The object ot' using the detonating-pin is that it' the hammer were constructed and arranged to strike directly upon the cartridge, the hammer would have to more much farther back, and too far for half-cock, before the breech would open or allow the shell to be retracted.
The hammerD swings, in the usual manner, upon a pin or shaft, a, inserted transversely through the breech-receiver. Upon the same shaft is arranged the independent double-action brace H, Figs. l, 2, 4, and 6, by which the breech is partly supported in a closed position at the time of tiring. rlhis brace turns freely upon the shaft n, but is not attached to either hammer or tumbler. It has its form shown in Figs. 1 and 2, but more distinctly in Fifn.
Its upper end, fw, which acts against a shoulder, w, on the breech, as shown in Fig. 1, when the hammer is down, is made concentric with the shaft a; and its face v, which acts against the bottom of the breech, as shown in Fig. 2, when the hammer is at full cock, is radial, or nearly so, to the said shaft. I1he said brace is connected, by a stirrnp, q, with the end of the inainspring l, by which the blow ot' the hammer is produced, the connection ofthe said stirrup with the spring heilig by means ot' the sa-ine pin S which connects the hammer-stirrup t; but the pin q', which connects the said st-irrnp q with the said brace, is very milch nearer to the pin a. than the pin t', which connects the hammer-stirrnp with the tumb ler 1)'. This connection of the brace H with the mainspring causes the upper end ot' the brace H to be moved on the shaft n by the niainspring at the same time and in the same direction as the hammer; but the arrange ment ot' the stirrup-connections q and t of the said brace and the tumbler relatively to the hannner-shaft a causes the brace to move quicker than the hammer upon the said shaft and to have a greater movement thereon, and the result of this greater movement, with a proper arrangement of the end fw and face e, is that while the said brace is thrown entirely ont ofcontact with the breech, as shown in Fig. 7, and so leaves the breech free to open when the hammer is at haltcock, it locks the breech, not only while the hammer is down, but while at fnllcock.
The projection Von the bottom of thebrace may be put on the tumbler instead ot' the brace. The object of this projection is to prevent the breech from being opened either accidentally or otherwise while the hammer is at full-cock, and renders it impossible to loa-d while at fullcock, which is very dangerous in the excitement ot' battle. Another advantage ofthe quicker' and greater movement of the brace, as compared with that of the hammer, is that it brings the half-cock position ofthe hammer farther forward, so that if, in letting the hammer down, it should slip from the thumb it does not fall with force enough to explode the priming of the cartridge. The quicker and greater movement of the bracefit is obvious, cannot be obtained when it is rigidly attached to the hammer or tumbler.
The tumbler has three notches for the reception of the point of the Sear J-viz., the fullcock notch l0 and the half-cock notch 11, common to the tumblers of most tire-arms, anda third or what is termed a safety-notch, 12, such as is provided in the tumblers of some other tire-arms in front of the half-cock notch. The sear operates in this safety-notch in the usual manner to lock the hammer a short distance ont of contact with the detonating-piu. The upper end, w, ot' the brace H is so con structed and arranged that when the hammer is drawn back far enough to be thus locked the brace still remains under the shoulder u v the hammer, the sear, and the brace H is illusilauges 16 16 to rest iipon the upper edges of of the breech and prevents the breech from being accidentally opened. This condition of which serves the purpose of pressing back the cartridge against the breech, substantially as herein set forth.
4. The elongation of the hole provided inthe swinging breech for the reception ot' the pin upon which it swings, whereby the breech has a direct rear support in the breechreeeiver at the time of firing, and yet is free to swing back loosely to open the barrel for reloading, substantially as herein set forth.
5. The relative position and arrangement to each other of the hammer, tiring-pin, swinging breech, and line of bore, by which the line ot' trated in red outline in Fig. 1.
The construction of the breech-receiver A and inode of fitting the same into the stock, by which screw-threads are dispensed with on the pins a, n, and y upon which the breech, the hammer, and the sear work, are illustrated in the transverse section, Fig. 4. The breech K is mortised out from the top, as shown at 13 13, leaving cheeks 14 14 ot' suitable thickness at the sides. The breech-ieceiver is made with vertical tlanges 15 15'to tit into the mortise between the cheeks 14 14, and with horizontal ed when the hammer is at half-cock, substantially as herein described.
6. The combination, with one niainspring, oi' two or more stirrups, one or more connecting the tumbler or hammer and the other connecting a brace for locking the breech when the said cheeks. 'lhe iianges 15 15 are simply drilled at suitable opposite points for the reception of the several pins, which are made cylindrical or perfectly plain, and ot' such length that when in pl-.iee their ends are flush with' the outer faces oi the lianges, and when the breech-receiver is secured in place inc the 7. Iii combination with a swinging breechsaid stock the said pins are kept in their places piece,.the employment of a uitable projection by the cheeks 14 1.4 of the stock. on the lower and front si of the brace or When the receiver is taken out of the stock tumbler, whereby the load-ing at full-cock is the pins can easily and quickly be pushed out prevented, substantially as and for the purto take out the breech, hammer, and scar, and pose herein specified. X as quickly replaced after the breech, hammer, 8. So constructing and applying a brace to and sear have been replaced. a swinging breech for brcech-loadin g fire-arms, I do notclaim lifting a swn ging breech-piece which swings on a tumbler-shaft detached from entirely by means of the hammer, as this was the tumbler, but attached to the mainspring first called to my attention by Reuben McChesin such a way as to give a greater motion to ney; neither do l claim. broadly, aswinging the brace than is given to the tumbler. breech-piece opening` when the hammer is at 9. So combining a movable brace which opset forth.
half-cock. crates to lock the breech at the time of iirin g, What 1 claim as my invention, and desire to a th ree-notched tumbler, and a swingingbreech secure by Letters Patent, is in abreeeh-loadin g fire-arin,that while thehain- 1. The employment, in a breecli-loadiiig tiremer is locked by the scar in the first or safety arm, ot a device so applied and operated as to notch the breech is locked in a closed condipress back the cartridge against the face ot' tion by the said brace, substantially as herein the breech preparatory to tiring, substantially set forth.
as and for the purpose herein described. 10. The combination of the flanged breech- 2. So applying l.ind operating the cartridgereceiver or lock-frame A, the pins upon which l shell retractorofabrecch-loading tire-arm that the hammer, breech, and sea-r work, and the it shall serve the purpose of pressing back the cheek-pieces ot' the stock, by which the pins cartridge against the face of the breech preparare held in` place, substantially as herein deatory to tiring, substantially as herein specitied. scribed, and for the purpose herein set forth.
3. So arranging the detonating-pin ot' a HIRAM BERDAN. breechloading tire-arm that it shall strike the Witnesses: back of the head of the cartridge opposite to EDM. F. BROWN,
where itlis supported by a movable device, JNO. T. GIVEN.
bore is unobstructed and the loading facilitatthe hammer is down, substantially as herein Y
US51991D Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms Expired - Lifetime US51991A (en)

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US51991A true US51991A (en) 1866-01-09



Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US51991D Expired - Lifetime US51991A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US51991A (en)

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US51991A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
USRE3117E (en) op new yoek
US261648A (en) Breech-loading fire-arm
US162224A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US40992A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US52925A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US52887A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US38643A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US41343A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US52654A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
USRE3680E (en) Peters
US34561A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US65812A (en) wheeler hubbell
US54743A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US34854A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fxbe-abms
USRE5727E (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US47088A (en) Improvement in breech-loading
US88730A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US51837A (en) Improvement in revolving fire-arms
US44991A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US41017A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US513808A (en) Breech loading firearm
US41242A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms
US72803A (en) L conroy
US115911A (en) Improvement in breech-loading fire-arms