US 2248970 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 15, 1941.
J. B. DECKER ETAL FIREARM Filed May 4, 1938 M M W m, Quad @54 M10, M, M sdlu l Patented July 15, 1941 FKREARM- Josef B. Becker, Elkton, Md, and August Hummel, Bernardsville, N. J.
Application May 4, 1938, Serial No. 206,068
This invention relates to fire arms and more particularly to hand fire arms or pistols intended solely for use with large diameter signal cartridges of the types at present in use for marine, aviation, military and naval signal purposes.
It is a general object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved fire arm of the type described.
More particularly it is an object to provide a fire arm for use with large caliber Signal cartridges in which the balance is materially improved by providing a heavy breech block and mechanism behind the handle or grip to balance the long cartridge which projects forwardly thereof and beyond its support by the arm.
Another object of the invention is to provide, in a pistol of the type described, substantial weight in direct alignment with the axis of the cartridge to absorb a large portion of the heavy recoil from such cartridge.
Another and probably the most important feature of the invention resides in the construction of the means for holding the cartridge on the arm or pistol and including an expansible band or ring together with means to manually expand the same to receive the straight cylindrical, grooved base of a signal cartridge and to automatically contract about the base to hold it firmly on the pistol.
A further object of the invention consists in the provision of a ring member of inherent resilience and slightly less bore than the diameter of the cartridge base, together with 2. lug within the ring for engaging the groove in the cartridge base, which ring is expansible manually and automatically contractible to grip the base of the cartridge case and hold the same in position for firing.
Another important object of the invention resides in the arrangement for supporting the forward and enlarged portion of a two-diameter signal cartridge or a single diameter cartridge.
Another important feature of the invention resides in the arrangement, in a pistol, of a straight line movement for the firing pin, hammer and spring, a straight slide trigger, and a safety lock.
Other important objects and features of the invention will be more apparent to those skilled in the art upon a consideration of the accompanying drawing and following specification, wherein is disclosed a single exemplary embodiment of the invention, with the understanding that the clisclosureis in no wise limiting except.
in accordance with the scope of the appended claims.
Figure 1 is a side elevation partly in vertical .central section through a fire arm constructed according to the present invention;
Figure 2 is a transverse vertical section on line 22 of Figure 1, clearly illustrating the ring expanding mechanism;
Figure 3 is a transverse section on line 33 of Figure 1; and
Figure 4 is a perspective View of the cartridge base gripping ring and its operating mechanism.
Pyrotechnic signal shells adapted to be fired from a hand fire arm are becoming quite widely used on aircraft both for identification purposes and for' landing reconnaissance at night. Likewise they are used for marine signalling and by the armed forces of the various nations for identification, etc.
Two types of'signal shell are generally in use at the present time; one having a uniform diameter of approximately'l /z" and a length of about 7 and the other having a base diameter the same as the smaller one but having a loading chamber 2" or more in diameter with the overall length of the shell about one foot. Heretofore for firing such shells asingle barrelled pistol has been provided, the barrel length being about 1 /2" to accommodate the cylindrical base of the cartridge case which is not flanged in the manner of the usual small arms cartridge, but has a groove just forwardly of the rear end. Such a cartridge is loaded from the muzzle of the fire arm and the groove receives a locking member or members for holding the cartridge in the arm. Firing is by means of the conventional hammer either exposed or in the so-called hammerless arrangement.
The recoil from the large shells which shoot a projectile casingof metal loaded with a parachute and a pyrotechnic candle is very severe even though the range of the projectile is not great. In addition, infiring such a projectile from a moving airplane the pilots hand and the pistol must be projected into the slip stream of the propeller beyond the cockpit cowling, subjecting the pilots wrist and arm to a considerable additional strain so that sprains and other injuries have not been uncommon.
The present invention seeks to overcome a number of the difliculties experienced with the older type of signal fire arm and to provide numerousimprovements which will be apparent as the description of thedevice proceeds.
Referring now to Figure 1, the pistol will be seen to comprise a conventional handle l forming a portion of the frame I I, preferably a single casting including the supports for the handle plates as well as for the rest of the mechanism. Mounted above and behind the handle is the extremely heavy cylindrical breech block 12 in front of which is mounted the cartridge base engaging sleeve l3 and forwardly of this and spaced therefrom only by the forward portion of the frame is the front support member M. The cartridge is shown in dotted lines at l5 and is of the type having two diameters, the larger one forward of the supporting member I4 and the smaller one shown as received in the sleeve l3.
The particular type of frame construction is unimportant, but preferably includes the handle section It adapted to receive the usual handle plates of any appropriate material. At its lower end the frame has the perforation I! for a lanyard for attaching the pistol to the pilots wrist to prevent the same from being dropped or blown away and lost. Extending horizontally from the top of the handle portion of the frame and both forwardly and rearwardly therefrom is a pair of facing, spaced L-shaped rails I9 having a common bottom member beneath the rear of the breech block to receive screws 25 for securing the same thereto.
As shown in Figure 3 the breech block I2 is substantially cylindrical. It has the radial lug 2| received between the frame rails and attached thereto. This block is of substantial weight and length and of somewhat greater diameter than the shell and overhangs the handle to the rear to provide a balance for the heavy cartridge when mounted in the front and to provide considerable mass directly in alignment with the recoil of the cartridge.
The forward end 23 of the breech block is flat and solid except for the conical perforation 24 for the passage of the firing pin 25 carried on the hammer member 26 slidable in the cylindrical bore 27 arranged co-axially of the breech block and closed at its rear end by the threaded plug 28 having the large knurled head 29 of the same diameter as the breech block for convenient removal when necessary. The plug 28 is hollow to provide a recess for the rear end of the helical spring 30, the forward end of which surrounds the integral stud 3| on the rear of the hammer 28. A light spiral helical spring 32 is secured to the forward face of the cylindrical bore in the breech block to be engaged by and to cushion the heavy hammer 25 on the firing operation.
Instead of the conventional, solid, fixed barrel of the usual signal piston, the present arm makes use of a tube or sleeve I3 of a suitable gauge metal. This sleeve has an integral lug 35 extending radially and vertically downwardly therefrom which is attached by screws 36 to the outer face of the vertical wall of the right hand rail l9 as clearly seen in Figure 2. This lug is preferably of the full length of the sleeve which is considerably less than the length of the cartridge case of the two-diameter signal shell. The sleeve proper rests on the upper edges 38 of the rails I9 which are appropriately shaped therefor as shown in Figure 2. To permit the sleeve to be expanded for the insertion of a cartridge case attached to a shell it is longitudinally split for its full length as at 49, between the rails. Being of proper material, thickness and temper to provide suitable resilience, the sleeve is formed to a diameter slightly less than the outside diameter of the cartridge case it is to receive and is adapted to be expanded manually to receive such cartridge case and when released to tightly clamp the same.
The expanding of the ring is preferably effected by a rocker member 42 hinged to a plurality of aligned lugs 43 extending radially from the ring just above and outside of the frame rail opposite that to which the lug 35 for supporting the ring is attached. The curvature of the inner face of this rocker member is such that its rib 44 engages the outer surface of the rail l9 so that when pressure is applied to the depending thumb lever 46 on the lower rear end of the rocker the rib 44 engages the rail and forces the lugs 43 outwardly, springing the ring open sufficiently to admit the base of the cartridge case. When the thumb lever is released the inherent resilience of the sleeve contracts it tightly about the cartridge and holds it immovably secured to the gun. It is to be noticed that the grip of this sleeve which is shown to come from its natural resilience, can also be achieved by the use of a spring or springs, or assisted by an auxiliary spring, but in any case exerts a true gripping action on the shell, holding it much more rigidly than the conventional barrel which must be loose enough to permit the shell to be slid into it from the muzzle.
The mouth of the sleeve bore is flared as at 4'! for ease of insertion of the shell. To insure the base of the shell being held tightly against the forward end 23 of the breech block so that the firing pin is effective, one or more lugs 50 may be formed on or applied to the inner face of the sleeve at the proper distance forwardly of the face 23. These lugs may have their forward faces tapered so that it is possible to insert a shell with the aid of the flare 41 and the taper of the lugs without use of the thumb lever which then need be used only to release the shell. The rear end of the sleeve fits in a rabbet 5| in the forward end of the breech block to maintain alignment of the sleeve and block.
The support l4 previously referred to is in the form of a ring having an internal bore to snugly receive the large diameter portion l5 of a shell and is suitably flared at 52 for ease of insertion. Its rear face or flange 53 is bored at 54 for a close fit to the small diameter of the shell and hence acts as a support for single diameter shells as well as those of two diameters. A rearwardly extending arm 55 integral with the supporting ring fits in the channel between the two rails l9 and screws 56 secure it in position. It is made removable so that it can be replaced by other supports for different diameter shells if desired.
The trigger 60 is of the straight slide type, being guided at the bottom in the dove-tailed groove Si in the frame extension 62 and at the top between the lower horizontal arms of the rails H! as seen at 63. Its forward movement is limited by engagement at 64 with the rear end of the arm 55 of the shell support. It is maintained in the forward position by a leaf spring 65 coiled about and supported from a post 66 carried on one of the handle plates. A pin 61 secured in the upper face of the trigger has pivoted thereto at 58 the forward end of the sear or pawl 69 provided with the nose 10 which engages in the peripheral groove H in the hammer and draws this back as the trigger is pulled. When the cam surface 12 on the rear of the sear engages the roller 13 carried by the frame, it draws the sear downwardly against the action of its supporting leaf spring 14, mounted in the rear face of the trigger, until it is released from the hammer groove. The released hammer then moves forward under the action of its spring 30 causing the firing pin to strike the percussion cap in the base of the cartridge case.
To provide a safety for locking the trigger against all but limited movement except when the pistol handle is properly gripped, :a locking dog 75 is pivoted at E6 in a slot in the forward portion of the handle frame and has a nose 17 extending upwardly above the lower corner 18 of the trigger. A safety lever 79, pivoted at 80 in the same slot in the frame, is prevented from swinging clockwise by the stop lug ill on its lower end engaging the inner face of the frame, but is movable counterclockwise when the forward projection thereon is grasped by the fingers gripping the handle of the pistol. A leaf spring 82 supported with the trigger return spring 65 bears on the rear face of the dog 15 below its pivot, pressing its forward face against the rear curved face 84 of the safety lever.
Any effort, under the conditions shown in Figure 1, to draw the trigger is resisted by the engagement of its lower rear corner 78 with the nose "H of the dog which cannot move clockwise because of its engagement with the curved rear face of the safety lever likewise prevented from clockwise movement. When the safety lever is pressed in a counterclockwise direction, however, it imparts a similar rotation to the dog l5, tipping the nose 1T forward below the lowest edge of the trigger and freeing the same so that it can be retracted for firing the gun.
The present form of pistol need be no heavier than the conventional but its balance is much superior and the major weight is directly behind the cartridge. The cartridge shells are supported further forward and have a mu h closer n ment at the rear so that there is no wobbling or shaking thereof in the air stream When the device is used on an airplane. The straight line action of the firing pin is simple and sturdy. The whole device can be readily taken down by the removal of several large size screws for access to the mechanism for cleaning, oiling, or repairs. The firing mechanism is extremely simple, fool proof, and substantially wear-proof. The same may be said of the safety. In practice the pistol has been found to be much superior to the older type in every respect.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secure by Letters Patent is:
1. In a fire arm for pyrotechnic signals of the type having a non-flanged cartridge case, in combination, a frame, a breech block fixed to said frame, a firing pin extendible through said block, a ring extending forwardly from said breech block, the bore of said ring being normally maintained sufficiently less than the base diameter of the cartridge case to exclude the same, and means permanently carried on said arm for manual operation to expand said ring only sumciently to receive a cartridge through the muzzle thereof.
2. In a fire arm for pyrotechnic signals of the type having a grooved base cartridge case, in combination, a handle, a frame thereon, a breech block fixed to said frame, a firing pin operable to extend through said block, a ring carried by said frame and extending forwardly of said block, the bore of said ring being slightly less than the cartridge case diameter, a lug carried on the inner wall of said ring to engage in the base groove and manually operable means on said arm to expand the ring to receive a cartridge base.
3. In a fire arm for pyrotechnic signals of the fit type having a grooved base cartridge case, in combination, a handle, a frame thereon, a breech block fixed to said frame, a firing pin operable to extend through said block, a ring carried by said frame and extending forwardly of said block, the bore of said ring being slightly less than the cartridge case diameter, the ring being split longitudinally, and lever means engaging the ring and a fulcrum, said lever having a surface positioned for convenient operation by the thumb of a hand grasping said handle, to expand the ring to receive or release a cartridge.
4. In a pistol of the type described, in combination, a frame having a handle portion and forward and rear overhangs, means on the forward overhang to circumferentially grip only a short portion of the rear end of a cartridge case with the major portion of the cartridge overhanging the frame forwardly, a long, heavy breech block carried by said rear overhang coaxially with such cartridge, said block being weighted to substantially counterbalance the cartridge about said handle, and a support at the forward end of the frame, spaced forwardly from the grip means and adapted to engage the cartridge to hold the same rigid.
5. In a fire arm for use with a large bore signal cartridge having a cylindrical cartridge case with a grooved base, in combination, a fixed breech block, a barrel substitute adjacent the forward end thereof and comprising an open ended spring ring split longitudinally and normally having a bore sufficiently less than the diameter of the cartridge case to prevent entrance of the same, and means to expand said ring only suificiently to permit entry of a cartridge case of the type described into the forward end thereof.
6. In a fire arm for use with a large bore signal cartridge having a cylindrical cartridge case .provided with a grooved base, in combination, a frame having a handle portion, a breech block fixed to said frame and having a circular rabbet at the forward end thereof, a resilient ring split longitudinally at the bottom having its rear end engaged in said rabbet, the ring being secured to said frame adjacent said split, means engaging the ring on the opposite side of the split for actuation manually to expand said ring to receive a cartridge case.
7. In a fire arm of the type described, a barrel substitute comprising an expansible ring having a normal bore slightly less than the diameter of the cartridge case to be received therein, a lug on the inner face of said ring adapted for engagement in a groove in the cartridge case forward of the rear end thereof, and means to manually expand the ring to withdraw the lug for free admission or release of a cartridge case.
8. A pistol for signal cartridges and adapted to receive those of uniform diameter throughout or those having the same base diameter and an enlarged forward diameter, in combination, a frame, a breech block thereon, means forward of the breech block to grasp and hold the base of either type cartridge, and a ring carried by said frame and spaced forwardly of said grasping means, said ring having a bore and a counterbore, the first to snugly guide the forward portion of a uniform diameter cartridge and the second to snugly receive the enlarged forward diameter of the other form of cartridge.
9. In a pistol of the type described, in combination, a frame having a handle portion and a pair of spaced rails extending forwardly from the top thereof, a barrel substitute comprising a circular ring split longitudinally, a lug on said ring adjacent the split, means securing said lug to one of said rails with the split between them, correspondingly positioned lugs adjacent the opposite rail, a rocker lever pivoted to said second mentioned lugs and having a rib bearing on the outside of said second rail and a thumb plate depending from said rocker lever for use in expanding said ring.
10. In a pistol of the type described, in combination, a frame having a handle portion and a pair of spaced rails extending forwardly from the top thereof, a barrel substitute comprising a circular ring split longitudinally, a lug on said ring adjacent the split, means securing said lug to one of said rails with the split between them, correspondingly positioned lugs adjacent the opposite rail, a rocker lever pivoted to said second mentioned lugs and having a rib bearing on the outside of said second rail and a thumb plate depending from said rocker lever for use in expanding said ring, the upper edges of said rails engaging under said ring on opposite sides of said split to support and guide the same.
11. In a pistol of the type described, in combination, a frame having a handle portion and a pair of spaced rails extending forwardly from the top thereof, -a barrel substitute comprising a cirular ring split longitudinally, a mg on said ring adjacent the split, means securing said lug to one of said rails with the split between them, correspondingly positioned lugs adjacent the opposite rail, a rocker lever pivoted to said second mentioned lugs and having a rib bearing on the outside of said second rail and a thumb plate depending from said rocker lever for use in expanding said ring, the upper edges of said rails engaging under said ring on opposite sides of said split to support and guide the same and a breech block mounted on said frame behind said ring, said block having a portion of reduced diameter fitting within the end of said ring to center it in respect to said block.
12. A pistol for signal cartridges and adapted to receive those of uniform diameter throughout or those having the same base diameter as the first mentioned and an enlarged forward diameter, in combination, a frame, a. fixed breech block thereon, means forward of the breech block to receive and retain the base of either type cartridge, and a ring carried by said frame forward of said means, said ring having a bore and a counterbore, the first to snugly guide the forward portion of a uniform diameter cartridge and the second to snugly receive the enlarged forward diameter of the other form of cartridge.
JOSEF B. DECKER. AUGUST HUMMEL.