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Publication numberUS2382522 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 14, 1945
Filing dateJun 17, 1942
Priority dateJun 17, 1942
Publication numberUS 2382522 A, US 2382522A, US-A-2382522, US2382522 A, US2382522A
InventorsTrotter John C
Original AssigneeBell Aircraft Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ordnance
US 2382522 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 14, 1945. 1, c, TROTTER ORDNANC E 3 Sheets-Sheet l Filed June 17 1942 Aug. 14, 1945. J. C. TROTTER 2,382,522

ORDNANCE Filed June 17, 1942 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 aangaan-Mv T NEYS Aug. 14, 1945.

J. c. TRoTTl-:R 2,382,522

ORDNANCE Filed June 17, 1942 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR Patented Aug. 14, 1945 OBDNANCE Bell John C. Trotter, Williamsville, N. Y., assigner to Aircraft Corporation, Builalo, N. Y.

Application June 17, 1942. Serial No. 447,381

9 Claims.

This invention relates to gun installations, and more particularly to ammunition feeding means for use in conjunction with heavy caliber flexibly mounted firearms of the automatic or rapid re types such as aerial cannon or the like.

One of the objects of the invention is to provide an improved means for feeding ammunition to a gun which is mounted at a position where only a small space is available for occupancy by the gun and the gunner so that the main ammunition storage magazine therefor must of necessity be located at a position remote from the gun. Another object is to provide an improved ammunition feeding mechanism whereby the firearm may be continuously fed with ammunition from a stationary magazine while the firearm is being moved through various angles of aiming adjustments. Another object of the invention is to provide an improved ammunition feed mechanism for the purposes above stated which is particularly adapted to accommodatethe heavier caliber ammunition rounds such as are so large and heavy as to be dilcult to feed satisfactorily inn the form of linked ammunition belts. Another object is to provide an ammunition feed mechanism for the purpose described which comprises a dual element mechanism; one element of which comprises an ammunition feed magazine carried directly by the gun for immediate feeding of ammunition to the gun; and the second element of which comprises an automatically operating mechanism for replenishing the feed magazine automatically as the latter operates to charge the gun. Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear in the specification hereinafter.

In the drawings:

Fig. l is a fragmentary top plan of a combination ammunition storage and storage feeding mechanism of the invention mounted within a rotatable turret and in conjunction with an aerial cannon or the like, with portions of the storage feeding mechanism shown in section;

Fig. 2 is a fragmentary side elevation of the mechanism of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary end elevation thereof looking into the muzzleend of the gun;

Fig. 41s a detail of the operating mechanism; and y Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic view of the cam control mechanism thereof.

In the drawings, the invention is illustrated in conjunction with an automatic firearm of the aerial cannon type which comprises generally a gun casing Ill and gun barrel I2. The gun is i1- lustrated as being mounted upon a rotating turret I4 by means of yoke arms lli-I6 terminatling in trunnions Ill- I8 whereby the firearm is rotatable about the horizontal trunnion axis for elevational aimingadjustments of the gun. It will be understood that rotation of the turret I4 about the vertical axis thereof will provide the necessary azimuth aiming adjustments of the gun, and that any suitable means for powering the elevational and azimuth adjustments of the mechanism may be employed. A crank arm I9 (Fig. 3) is keyed to the gun trunnion shaft -for transmitting elevational adjusting movements to the gun from the control means therefor.

The ammunition feeding mechanism includes a small packet or gun feed magazine which is indicated generally at 20 as being mounted directly upon the gun casing and closely coupled thereto to move as a unit therewith in connection with al1 aiming adjustments of the gun relative to its support. The packet 20 comprises `generally a closed circuit ammunition trackway'which is approximately oval shaped in section and adapted to accommodate a series of ammunition rounds in side-by-side relation-so as to be movable about the trackway toward a position of registry with the usual ammunition feedway port of the lirearm. For this purpose the trackway structure comprises a cylindrical-like inner wall portion 22 which is flanked by outwardly extending flanges 24-24 at its opposite edges. Thus, the magazine 20 is of outwardly open continuous channel form and adapted to accommodate the ammunition rounds therewithin as indicated at 25 with the opposite ends of the rounds slidably abutting the corresponding flange portions 24-24 of the magazine, An endless conveyor for the ammunition rounds within the packet 20 is provided to comprise a series of plates 26 which are hingedly interconnected at corresponding `end portions thereof by means of pins 21. A pair of opposed spring finger devices 28-28 extend from each of the plates 26 to resiliently engage upon the ammunition rounds 25 to resiliently clamp them in place upon the endless carrier. Cradles 29 also extend from the plates 42li to center the rounds and to cooperate with the spring fingers 28 to firmly hold the ammunition in place.

As illustrated in Fig. 3, the gun feed magazine trackway is interrupted at its lower section to engage upon opposite sides of the ammunition feedway portion 30 of the firearm; and it will be understood by those versed in the art that the customary feed pawl mechanism of the firearm will be adapted' to engage the rounds of ammunition which are loaded within the magazine 28 and to pull them successively into the breech mechanism of the firearm as required for the gun firing operation. Thus, in connection with each charging operation the feed pawl mechanism of the gun will operate upon the next-in-line ammunition round to pull the latter into position directly over the feed inlet port of the breech mechanism. whereby the entire length of the endless carrier will be motivated to shift around the wall portion 22 of the magazine whereby a new round of ammunition will -be presented for the next following operation of the feed pawl mechanism. The movement of the ammunition carrier in this respect is in clockwise direction as viewed in Fig. 3, and a pair of rollers 32--32 are pivoted upon the magazine to engage at their peripheries against the plate members 26 of the carrier for easing the movement of the carrier around the bends of the magazine trackway. i

Thus. it will be understood that the gun feed magazine 20 is mounted directly upon the gun and is arranged to continuously feed the ammunition feed pawl mechanism of the gun as long as the carrier of' the packet magazine contains ammunition. However, due to limitations as to permissible size and capacity of the packet magazine, arrangement is made for continuously replenishing the carrier belt thereof as ammunition is withdrawn therefrom into the gun. For this purpose the invention embodies an automatically operating ammunition feed system which is adapted to withdraw ammunition from a main or storage ammunition magazine which may be located at any convenient position disposed remotely from the position of the gun. For example, as illustrated in Fig. 3 an endless type elevator as designated generally at 40 may be employed to elevate the ammunition into the approximate region of the gun from a storage compartment disposed at any convenient position therebelow, whereby the turret i4 housing the gun battery need be only of such size as to accommodate the gunner and the gun and the feed magazine 20 and the ammunition transfer mechanism of the invention. In such case the elevator 40 may comprise solely the primary ammunition magazine, or it may be arranged adjacent its lower end portion in registry with any suitable ammunition feeding mechanism whereby the elevator 40 will be continuously replenished with ammunition as it services the packet magazine 20.

In any case the elevator 40 is arranged to be power driven, and for this purpose the invention is illustrated herein as including an electric motor 42 coupled to a shaft 44 driving the sprocket engaging the lower end of the elevator chain 46. The elevator chain comprises a series of plates 48 which are linked together by means of pins 50 to provide a flexible endless link belt arrangement to train about sprockets 52-52 at the opposite ends of the elevator device. It will be understood that the lower elevator sprocket engages upon the motor drive shaft 44; and the upper elevator sprocket 52 is rotatably mounted upon a fixed cross shaft 54. A pair of spring iingers 56 extend from each of the elevator plates 48 to resiliently engage at opposite sides upon rounds of ammunition 25 when mounted therebetween, and cradles 58 are provided to center the ammunition rounds and to assist the spring nngers in holding the rounds against accidental disengagement from the elevator.

The plates 48 of the elevator 40 are each centrally perforated as indicated at 8| for registry with spring-pressed pins 82 which are carried by the elevator sprocket 52 to extend radially therefrom at each plate engaging face portion thereof. The pins 62 are arranged tobe normally urged by their spring mechanisms to extend outwardly of the sprocket 52 so as to register with and to be inserted through the apertures 46 of the corresponding elevator plate members as the elevator chain revolves about the sprocket 52; but the `pins 62 are longitudinally dimensioned so that as the elevator plates 48 move into engagement with the sprocket 52 the ammunition round mounted upon each of the elevator plates forces the corresponding pin 82 to be moved inwardly against the action of its spring mechanism so as to extend at its opposite end into registry with a fixed stop device 64 which is carried by the stationary shaft 54. Thus, as the elevator operates to bring4 each successive ammunition round into a position of approximately horizontal alignment with the position of the upper sprocket shaft 54, the corresponding pin device 62 is pressed inwardly by the ammunition round thereof to engage the stop 64 for momentarily halting the elevator operation at this position. As soon as the ammunition round is removed from the elevator mechanism, as will be explained in detail hereinafter, the corresponding spring-pin device 62 will be thereby released and the engagement thereof against the stop pin 64 will be relinquished. Hence, the elevator mechanism will be free to operate again to rotate about the sprockets 52 to elevate the next succeeding ammunition round to the position of horizontal alignment with the feed-out position of the mechanism, whereupon the next succeeding spring-pin device of the sprocket will be depressed to engage the stop pin 64 for again interrupting the elevator operation until the next ammunition feedout operation is effected, and so on.

To motivate the elevator mechanism, the motor 42 is coupled to the sprocket shaft 44 through means of a spring-coupling device. For this purpose a bell 10 is keyed to the sprocket shaft 44 by means of apin 12, and a clock type spring 14 is arranged within the bell 10 so that the outer end of the spring 14 is fixed to the bell while .the inner end of the spring 14 is xed to the motor shaft 16. The shaft 16 is'threaded at 18 to mount in screwthreaded relation thereon a control plate which extends at an end portion 82 th'ereof into an axially slotted portion 84 of the bell 10. Thus, it will be understood that so long as the bell 10 and the motor shaft 16 rotate in unison the control plate 80 will remain stationary relative to the motor shaft. However, upon stoppage of the sprocket shaft 44, as by halting of the elevator operation by one of the spring pin devices as explained hereinabove, the bell 10 will be thereby retarded relative to th'e operation of the motor shaft 16 while the spring 14 absorbs the motion differential. Simultaneously, the control plate 80 will be thereby actuated to move axially of the motor shaft 16 toward the open end portion of the bell 10. A bell crank 86 is pivoted to the motor bracket at 81 and is arranged to be actuated by spring means to bear against the control plate 80 and to contact at its opposite end portion the control element 88 of a switch 88 which is arranged to control the power supply circuit of the motor 42.

Thus, it will be understoodthat incidental to each elevator stopping operation the control plate 82 will be moved to actuate the motor switch 89 to open-circuit condition andl that the spring 14 will be coincidently stressed to absorb the shocks of the motion deceleration forces, and will be thereby tensioned in such manner as to provide an instantaneously available form of energy for restarting the elevator operation. A ratchet pawl device as indicated at 90 (Fig. l) is arranged to coact between the motor shaft andfadjacent fixed structure to prevent unwinding of the spring 14 during periods of inactivity.- Thus, upon subsequent release of the stop mechanism preparatory to recommencement of the ammunition feeding operation, the spring 'I4 will drive the elevator while the motor 42 is coming up to speed subsequent to re-closing of the control switch 89.

Upon such subsequent release of the elevator stop mechanism the bell will be rotated under the action of the spring 14 relative to the shaft 'I6 whereupon the control plate 80 will be moved axially in reverse direction to release the bell crank 86 and the control finger of the electric switch 89, whereupon the motor 42 will be re`- energized and will pick up the elevator driving operation as the pre-tensioned energy of the spring 14 becomes dissipated. Thus, an entirely automatic elevator driving operation is provided in combination withfan elastic driving action whereby the upper sprocket 52 of the elevator may operate intermittently without imposing undue stresses upon the elevator driving'mechanism; and whereby power for driving the elevator is instantaneously available at all times.

To transfer successive ammunition rounds from the upper end of the elevator into the packet or gun feed magazine 20, a rotating carrier or transfer unit is provided as indicated generally at 9|. 'I'he carrier comprises generally an arm 92 which is rotatably mounted upon a fixed housing 94 and bracket 95 by means of a tubular shaft 96 and spaced bearings 98-98 (Fig. l). The axis of the shaft 96 is arranged to substantially coincide with the trunnion axis Iof the gun mount about which elevational aiming adjustments of the gun are effected. 'I'he shaft 96 is formed at an end portion thereof with an enlarged bell |00, and is arranged to be motivated by means of an electric motor and spring coupling and automatic motor control arrangement similar to the arrangement for motivating the elevator 40 as explained hereinabove.

Thus, the bell |00 is arranged to accommodate a clock spring |02 and the outer end of the clock spring is fixed to the bell |00 and the inner end of the spring is fixed to a motor shaft |04 extending from the armature of a motor which is indicated at |06. A control plate |08 is screwthreaded upon the motor shaft and arranged in splined relation with respect to the bell |00 as at I0. A spring pressed bell crank ||2 is arranged to be actuated by the control plate |08 for pressing the control finger ||4 of a switch ||6 which controls the power supply circuit of the motor |06. Thus, the switch and actuating elements of the mechanism are so arranged that operation of the motor |06 will normally drive the shaft 96 to rotate the ammunition transfer arm 92 about an axis coincident with the elevational adjustment axis of the gun mount arrangement. However, upon stoppage of the transfer arm rotation, the coupling spring |02 will be stressed to accommodate the movement differential of the motor shaft |04 and the transfer arm, whereby the control plate |08 will be displaced axially of the motor shaft |04 to cause the bell crank ||2 to open the motor control switch IIB, thus deenergizing the motor |06. A suitable ratchet device will be arranged in conjunction with the motor shaft |04 so that the energy so stored within the spring |02 will not be allowed to be dissipated by reverse operation of the mechanism and thus, the spring will remain in a pre-tensioned condition whereby its energy will be available for driving the transfer arm 92 whenever it is subsequently released.

The transfer arm 92 embodies an ammunition carrier portion |20 which is adapted to register in ammunition receiving alignment with the feedout position of the elevator mechanism 40 as explained hereinabove. and to be rotated by the arm 92 about the 4axis of the shaft 96 into ammunition ldischarge alignment with the ammunition in7 take portion of the packet magazine 20, irrespective of the position of the magazine 20 relative to the gun support base as will be controlled by the elevational angle of adjustment of the gun. Thus, as illustrated in Eig. s, the transfer arm 92 is adapted to be rotated by the operation of the motor |06 so as to be rst stopped at the position thereof illustrated in Fig. 3 wherein it is in ammunition receiving registry with the elevator segment which is in horizontal alignment with the elevator shaft 54, and then to be rotated and again stopped in alignment with the open left hand end portion of the packet magazine 20, and so on for continuous transfer of successive ammunition rounds from the elevator 40 into the gun feed magazine 20. Thus, the transfer arm 92 is adapted to alternately receive rounds of ammunition from the elevator 40 in the carrier portion |20 and to carry them to the position designated |25 for retransfer into the magazine 20; and for this purpose the feed-out portion of the elevator 40 and the intake port of 'the magazine 20 are so arranged as to be equidistant from the trunnion axis of the gun |0 so that irrespective of the angle of gun inclination for aiming purposes the transfer arm will be at all times adapted to register alternately with the feed-out portion of the elevator 40 and the feed-in portion of the magazine 20.

To effect displacement of ammunition rounds i from the feed-out portion of the elevator 40 into the transfer carrier |20, a lever bracket having a pair of parallel arms |26|26 is carried by ay tubular shaft |28 which is in turn journaled upon a pair of bracket arms |30-I30 extending from the arm 92 so as to be integral therewith. Thus, the tube |28 is rotatably supported so that its rotation axis intersects at all times the axis of rotation of the transfer arm 92. 'Ihe lever arms |26|26 are keyed to the tubular shaft |28 and are interconnected by a cross bar |32. A coil spring |34 is arranged to substantially encompass the tube |28 and to be fixed at its opposite end portions to extending ears |36|36 of the bracket' members |30|30. An intermediate body portion of the spring |34 is arranged to extend as indicated at |38 (Fig. 2') into bearing relation against the cross bar |32, and the springl |34 is assembled upon the mechanism so as to be pretensioned in such manner as to at all times resiliently urge the fingers |26|26 to rotate the tubular shaft |28 about its longitudinal axis in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in Fig. 3.

The free end portions of the fingers |26|26 are arranged so as to be adapted to engage behind successive rounds of ammunition 25 as they are lifted by the elevator 40 to the uppermost position thereof shown in Fig. 3; and thus it will be understood that the spring |34 tends to rotate the viingers |26|26 from the position thereof shown in Fig. 3 in counter-clockwise direction so as to press the engaged ammunition round out of connection with the corresponding spring fingers 56 of the` elevator 40 and into the transfer carrier |20 of the transfer unit 9 A To control the ammunition transfer.,operation of the fingers |26-l2-6 the tubular shaft |28 is fitted with a cam arm |40 carrying a roller |42 which is adapted to track upon a circular cam portion |44 of the stationary bracket 94. As illustrated in Fig. 5 the cam surface |44 includes a raised portion and a dwell portion; and as shown in Fig. 3, the raised portion thereof is adapted to force the crank arm |40 to rotate the shaft 20 and fingers |26|25 against the action of the spring |34 into such position that the fingers IZB- |26 engage behind the ammunition rounds being elevated by the elevator 40. The recessed portion of the cam track |44 permits the arm E40 to retreat so as to allow the spring |34 to move the fingers V20-|20 to kick the ammunition rounds out of the elevator fingers 56 and into the transfer arm carrier |20, and from thence into the ammunition inlet port of the feed magazine 20. For this purpose-the fingers Imi- |20 extend through suitably apertured portions of the carrier |20 and into registry with the position of the ammunition round disposed therein, as indicated at |40 (Fig. 2).

To interrupt the ammunition transfer action of the fingers 62E-|26 at the stage where the round is disposed within the confines of the carrier |20 during the period that the transfer arm is rotating from the loading position thereof to the unloading position thereof, a second cam track portion |50 is arranged to extend from a circular plate |52 which is rotatably mounted upon the stationary bracket 94. The plate |52 is arranged so as to be rotatable about the axis of the shaft QE while the cam track |50 is next adjacent to and inwardly concentric of the stationary cam track |44. The plate |52 is arranged to be rotatably shifted in unison with elevational adjustments of the gun by means of a control arm |54 which extends rigidly from a bracket device |50 mounted upon the gun casing l0 at a position offset from the axis of elevational rotation of the gun.

Fig. is a purely diagrammatic illustration of the cam track portions of the mechanism to show the operation thereof, and for the purposes of this illustration the cam tracks are shown as being lineally extended and relatively arranged approximately in accord with their functional reiationships. It will be understood that the dimensioning and relative proportioning thereof will be regulated to suit different conditions of installations.

The cam track |50 is shown in the drawings as comprising a major body portion which is adapted to hold the roller |42 at an elevation approxi- 'mately midway between the elevations of the high and low portions of the cam track |44; but in addition the cam track |50 is formed with a short dwell portion |60 which enables the roller |42 to drop to the elevation of the low portion of the cam track |44 at the time that the transfer carrier reaches a position of ammunition unloading registry with respect to the ammunition intake portion of the feed magazine 20. Consequently, at this stage of operation of the mechanism the arm |40 is allowed to rotate further in counterclockwise direction as viewed in Fig. 3 under the impetus of the spring |34 whereby the ammunition transfer fingers |26-I26 are enabled to move so as to push the engaged ammunition round from the carrier |20 into the ammunition intake portion of the feed magazine 20.

To facilitate the two-stage ammunition transfer action into and then out of the transfer arm |20, the latter is fitted with a plurality of opposed spring rails |62 at positions above and below the engaged ammunition roundfand the spring rail members are formed so as to be permanently set into such shapes as to have dwell portions intermediately of their ends for complementing engagement upon the ammunition rounds as the rounds are pressed laterally into the carrier |20. Thus, as the transferniingers IZB-|26 press each successive round of ammuni` tion into the carrier |20, the rounds initially deform the rails i2- |52 elastically, and as the rounds then move into positions of registry with the dwell portions of the rails the latter close upon the rounds in resiliently gripping relation thereon and thus prevent the rounds from continuing to move through the carrier opening under the momentum forces thereof. However, upon subsequent operation of the cam controlled spring |34 to actuate the'transfer fingers |20 in connection with their second stage of operation to move the rounds from the transfer carrier into the feed magazine, the rounds are pressed out of engagement with the rails |52 and are projected laterally from the transfer carrier into the feed magazine 20 as explained hereinabove.

To facilitate the loading of successive ammunition rounds from the discharge portion of the elevator 40 into the transfer carrier |20, it is arranged that rotation of the transfer unit about its axis of rotation shall be momentarily interrupted at each time for loading thereof. For this purpose a stop arm |54 is formed to extend flxedly from the shaft |20 so as to rotate therewith about the axis of the shaft-|20 coincident with cam-controlled movements thereof. The stop arm i615 is so shaped as to side-pass the cam track |44 and to rotate with the transfer arm about the axis of the bearing 98 into the path of a stop abutment |56 which is fixedly mounted upon the stationary bracket 94. The stop |06 is formed with a sloping end face |68 (Fig. 4) and is so positioned circumferentially of the cam track |44 that as the arm control roller |42 comes into registry with the drop on the cam track |44 leading into the dwell portion thereof, the end of the stop arm |64 will abut against the sloping face |68 of the stop |66 to momentarily halt the rotation of the transfer arm unit. The slope of the face |68 is formed to be tangent to a radius extending therefrom to the axis of rotation of the shaft |28, and consequently, subsequent to the stop action referred to next above, the spring |34 will be enabled to rotate the unit comprising the shaft |28 and the cam arm |40 and the stop arm |04 in counterclockwise direc tion as viewed in Fig. 3, because the cam roller |42 will now be able to run down into the dwell portion of the cam track |44 While the stop arm |04 wipes out of engagement with the stop |66. Simultaneously, the ammunition transfer fingers |26-I26 will be actuated to transfer a. round of ammunition from the elevator into the carrier |20 as explained hereinabove; and thus upon completion of the disengagement of the stop devices |64|66 the transfer unit will be freed to continue to rotate in response to the action of the motor drive mechanism thereof toward a position of ammunition discharge registry with the ammunition intake portion of the feed vmagazine 20.

A second stop arm |10 (Fig. 2) is formed to extend rigidly from the shaft |28 and to side-pass the inner cam track structure |50 so as to rotate with the transfer unit as an integral part thereof into the path of a, second fixed stop abutment |12 which is mounted to extend rigidly from the plate |52 which carries the cam track |50. The stop |12 is so positioned circumferentially of the cam track |50 as to be adapted to register with the stop arm whenever the transfer carrier reaches a position of ammunition discharge registry with respect to the ammunition intake portion of the feed magazine 2,0. It will be understood that since the plate |50 is automatically rotated about the elevational adjustment axis of the gun in response to all elevational adjustments thereof, the position of the stop |12 will be thereby automatically adjusted so that the stop |12 is adapted toy function at all times to momenf tarily halt the rotation of the transfer arm unit whenever the latter moves into a position of ammunition discharge registry with the feed magazine 20, regardless of the elevational adjustment position of the gun.

The stop arm |10 and the stop abutment |12 are similar to the stop devices IBL-|88 referred to hereinabove, and thus it will be understood that they will be arranged to initially halt rotation of the transfer arm and then to permit the cam control shaft |28 to rotate to effect the second -stage of ammunition transfer movement thereof from the transfer arm into the feed magazine 20: and that the yparts are so proportioned and arranged that this last referred to opera; tion will be effected by the force of the spring |28 `in view of the fact that the cam roller |42 is at that time enabled to move-into the dwell portion |80 of the cam track 50. Upon completion of the final ammunition transfer movement the stop devices |10-I12 will be thereby disconnected, and the drive mechanism of the transfer arm unit will be thereby freed to recommence rotationalmovement of the transfer arm mechanism for return of the carrier portion |20 again into position for reloading; andit will be understood that this cycle of operation will thereupon be automatically repeated as long as the gun is fired.

In order to bolster the action of the spring |34 in connection with the ammunition transferring operations thereof, it is preferred to employ a supplementary spring and to arrange that the supplementary spring be automatically tensioned into increased activity as the spring |34 relaxes in conjunction with the untensioning operation thereof as is permitted by movement of the cam 7 roller |42 into the dwell vportions of the cam tracks I44-I50.I For this purpose a supplementary coil spring |80 is illustrated as connecting at one of its ends to a lug portion |82 extending from the tube shaft |28, and at its other end the spring |80 connects into one end of a shaft |84 which threads through'the interior of the tube |28 and is arranged to be freely rotatable there- I within.

At its opposite end the shaft |84 A,extends interiorly of the plan view position of the cam tracks |44|50 and is ttedat its inner extending end portion'with a cam arm |06 carrying a roller |88 adapted to track upona circular cam track |90 formed upon the plate |52 concentrically of the tracks |44|50. \As illustrated in Fig. 5, the majority of the cam track |90 is of constant elevation but a rising abutment portion |92 thereof is disposed at such position thereon that whenever the cam roller |44 drops into the dwell portion |60 of the cam track |50 the cam arm |88 is forced to rise and to rotate the shaft |84 in such manner as to tension the spring |80 in such direction as to cause the spring |80 to act upon the tube |28 to assist in the ammunition 5 transfer operation thereof. Thus, it will be understood that whereas the primary spring |34 tends to relax and to exert a reduced pressure upon the ammunition transfer fingers IZB-|26 as lthe ammunition transfer operation proceeds,

10 the supplementary spring |80 is automatically brought into play at such time to supplement the action of the spring |34 whereby a. substantially uniform ammunition transfer action is obtained. Thus, it will be understood that the invention l5 provides a simple and rugged mechanism which automatically operates to maintain the immediate gun feed magazine in loaded condition by automatically transferring ammunition thereL into from a main storage magazine, and that the Lo transfer mechanism of the invention is adapted to function uniformly and at constant speeds irrespective of the inclination of the gun and its feed magazine relative to the plane of the storage magazine.

I'he mechanism is adapted to start and stop automatically in accord with firing operations of the associated gun inasmuch as the operation of unloading the transfer carrier into the gun feed magazine is dependent upon the existence of am- .'io munition receiving space within the magazine.

This is because it is only upon movement of the ammunition carrier'within the magazine 20 by the feed pawl mechanism of the gun to such a poy sition that an empty ammunition receiving space moves into registry with the ammunition unloading position of the transfer arm, that it is possible for the transfer carrier to unload. Since continuance of the transfer arm rotational movement depends upon release of the stop devices |10|12 4U' as controlled by the unloading action of the fingers |26-l26 the movement of the ammunition carrier within the magazine 20 directly controls the ammunition transfer operation; and. as explained hereinabove, the automatic controls of the motors 42|06 function upon each complete stoppage of the ammunition transfer operation and upon each renewal thereof to alternately deenergize and energize the motors in accord with the ammunition feed requirements of the g Thus it will be understood that the invention contemplates the provision of an ammunition feed magazine of compact form which is directly coupled to the gun and is operable thereby at all times in direct accord with the ammunition feed requirements thereof, and that the said feed magazine is of such capacity and size as to be enabled to respond readily to varying feed requirements of the gun and to operate with extreme exibility in this respect. The feed magazine is arranged to be] constantly replenished from the main storage magazine by means of a transfer mechanism which automatically starts and stops in accord with the ammunition reduirements .of the feed magazine; and the transfer 'mechanism' is adapted to successively convey rangement may be employed and that in such case the additional transfer arms will extend radially from the common hub 96 and in spaced relation therearound; and that each transfer arm unit willv embody a suitable ammunition carrier and displacement linger and cam controlled actuating shaft arrangement as illustrated and described hereinabove in connection with the transfer arm 92. It will also be understood that whereas the ammunition transfer mechanism of the invention has been illustrated and described hereinabove in detail only in connection with the transfer of ammunition from a storage magazine mounted stationarily with respect to the gun turret floor to a gun which is mounted to pivot about a horizontal axis for elevational aiming adjustments of the gun, that the invention is applicable with equal facility to the transfer of ammunition from a storage magazine disposed remotely with respect to a rotating gun mount table for transfer of ammunition to the gun battery irrespective of the azimuth adjustment thereof. It will also be appreciated that although only one form of the invention has been shown and described in detail to those skilled in the art the invention is not to be considered as so limited, but that various changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In combination, an ammunition feed mechanism and a gun mounted upon a support having a trunnion axis about which said gun is pivotable for aiming adjustments thereof, said gun having an ammunition feedway, said feed mechanism comprising an ammunition feed magazine mounted upon said gun in registry with said ammunition feedway and having an ammunition inlet portion thereof disposed eccentrically of said trunnion axis, ammunition storage means disposed remotely from the position of said gun and having an ammunition discharge portion thereof at a xed position, the positions of said magazine ammunition inlet portion and said storage discharge portion being equidistant from said trunnion axis, and ammunition carrier means comprising a device mounted forrotation about said trunnion axis and including stop means operable automatically to alternately stop rotation of said carrier means at positions in registry with said storage discharge portion and with said magazine inlet portion irrespective of the angular aiming adjustment of said gun about said trunnion axis, and an ammunition transfer member rotatable with said carrier means and pivotable thereon, a first cam positionally regulated by the position of said ammunition discharge portion of said storage means, and a second cam positionally regulated by the position of said ammunition feed magazine inlet portion, said transfer member having a finger portion thereof adapted to bear against said first and said second cams to anism comprising an ammunition feed magazine mounted upon said gun in registry with said ammunition feedway and having an ammunition inlet portion thereof disposed eccentrically of said trunnion axis, ammunition storage means disposed remotely from .the position of said gun and having an ammunition discharge portion thereof at a fixed position, the positions of said magazine ammunition inlet portion and said storage discharge portion being equidistant from said trunnion axis, and ammunition carrier means comprising a device mounted for rotation about said trunnion axis and constructed and arranged to rotate to alternate positions in registry with said storage discharge portion and with said magazine inlet portion irrespective of the angular aiming adjustment of said gun about said trunnion axis, and an ammunition transfer member rotatable with said carrier means and pivotable thereon, a first cam positionally regulated by the position of said ammunition discharge portion of said storage means, and a second cam positionally regulated by the position of said ammunition feed magazine inlet portion, said transfer member having a. finger portion thereof adapted to -bear against said first and said second cams to be cammed alternately thereby to pivotally actuate said transfer member so as to alternately displace successive ammunition rounds from said storage means into said carrier means and from said carrier means into said magazine, whereby to convey ammunition from said storage means to said magazine in accord with the feed requirements thereof.

3. In combination, an ammunition feed mechanism and a gun mounted upon a support having a trunnion axis about which said gun is pivotable for aiming adjustments thereof, said gun having an ammunition feedway disposed veccentrically of said trunnion axis, ammunition storage means disposed remotely from the position of said gun and having an ammunition discharge portion thereof at a fixed position, the. positions of said ammunition feedway and said storage discharge portion being equidistant from said trunnion axis, and ammunition carrier means comprising a device mounted for rotation about said trunnion axis and constructed and arranged to rotate to alternate positions in registry with said storage discharge portion and with said feedway irrespective of the angular aiming adjustment of said gun about said trunnion axis, and an ammunition transfer member rotatable with said carrier means and pivotable thereon, a first cam positionally regulated by the position of said ammunition discharge portion of said storage means, and a second cam positionally regulated by the position of said ammunition feedway, said transfer member having a linger portion thereof adapted to bear against said first and said second cams to be cammed alternately thereby to pivotally actuate said transfer member so as to alternately displace successive ammunition rounds from said storage means into said carrier means and from said carrier means into said feedway, whereby to convey ammunition from saidV storage means to said gun in accord with the feed requirements thereof.

4. In combination, an ammunition feed mechanism and a gun mounted upon a support having a truxmion axis about which said gun is pivotable for aiming adjustments thereof, said gun having an ammunition feedway disposed eccentrically of said trunnion axis, ammunition storage means disposed remotely from the position of said gun and having an ammunition discharge portion' thereof at a fixed position, the positions of said ammunition feedway and said storage discharge portion being equidistant from said trunnion axis, and ammunitionv transfer means having carrying means thereon adapted to pick up and convey ammunition rounds singly from said storage magazine discharge portion to said feed magazine inlet port, said pick up means comprising an ammunition carrier device rotatable between positions of registry with said magazine discharge portion and said feed magazine inlet port, said carrying device including a finger mechanism pivotable relative to said carrier and cam means connected to said finger mechanism and cam track means carried by said gun support in registry with said cam means and operable to actuate said finger means so as to project laterally from said carrier device as the latter is rotated into the region of said storage magazine discharge portion to engage behind ammunition rounds presented thereat and to thereupon initially move relative to said carrier to a limited extent so as to load said carrier with ammunition and then to move further as the carrier is rotated into registry with said feed magazine inlet port so as to unload the transferred ammunition from said carrier into said feed magazine.

5. In combination, an ammunition feed mechanism and a gun mounted upon a support having a trunnion axis about which said gun is pivotable for aiming adjustments thereof, said gun having an ammunition feedway disposed eccentrically of said trunnion axis, ammunition storage means disposed remotely from the position of said gun and having an ammunition discharge portion thereof at a flxed position, the positions of said ammunition feedway and said storage discharge portion being equidistant from said trunnion axis, and ammunition transfer means having carrying means thereon adapted to pick up and convey ammunition rounds singly from said storage magazine discharge portion to saidfeed magazine inlet port, said pick up means comprising an ammunition carrier device rotatable between positions of registry with said magazine discharge portion and said feed magazine inlet port, said carrying device including a finger mechanism pivotable relative to said carrier and cam means connected to said finger mechanism and cam track means carried by said gun support in registry with said cam means and operable to actuate said finger means so as to project laterally from said carrier device as the latter is rotated into the region of said storage magazine discharge portion to engage behind ammunition rounds presented thereat and to thereupon initially move relative to said carrier to a limited extent so as to load said carrier with ammunition, and second cam track means carried by said gun in registry with said cam means and rotatable with said gun about said firstmentioned axis and adapted to cooperate with said cam means to actuate said finger means to secondarily move further relative to said carrier as said carrier moves into registry with said feed magazine inlet port so as to unload ammunition fromvsaid carrier into said feed magazine automatically irrespective of aiming rotational movements of said gun upon said support.

6. In combination, an ammunition feed machanism and a gun mounted upon a support having a trunnion axis about which said gun is pivotable for aiming adjustments thereof, said gun having an ammunition feedway disposed eccentrically of said trunnion axis, ammunition storage means disposed remotely from the position of'` said gun and having an ammunition discharge portion thereof at a fixed position, the positions of said ammunition feedway and said storage discharge portion being equi-distant from said trunnion axis, and ammunition transfer means having carrying means thereon adapted to pick up and convey ammunition rounds singly from said storage magazine discharge portion to said feed magazine inlet port, said pickup means comprising an/ ammunition vcarrier device' rotatable between positions of registry with said magazine discharge portion and said feed magazine inlet port, said carrying device including a finger mechanism pivotable relative lto said carrier and cam means connected to said finger mechanism and cam track means carried byl said gun support in registry with said cam means and operable to actuate said finger means so as to project laterally from said carrier device as the latter is rotated into the region of said storage magazine discharge portion to engage behind ammunition rounds presented thereat and to thereupon initially move relative to said carrier to a limited extent so as to load said carrier with ammunition, and second cam track means carried by said gun in registry with said cam means and rotatable with said gun about said first mentioned axis and adapted to cooperate with said cam means to actuate said finger means to secondarily move further rlative to said carrier as said carrier moves into registry with said feed magazine inlet port so as to unload ammunition from said carrier into ,said feed magazine automatically irrespective of aiming rotational movements of said gun upon said support, said finger means comprising lever means and elastic means tending to bias said lever meanstoward ammunition unloading posie tions.

` 7. In combination, an ammunition feed mechanism and a gun mounted upon a support having a trunnion axis about which said gun is pivotable for aiming adjustments thereof, said gun having an ammunition feedway disposed eccentrically of said trunnion axis, ammunition storage means disposed remotely from the position of said gun and having an ammunition discharge portion thereof at a fixed position, the positions ofv said ammunition feedway and said storage discharge portion beingI equi-distant from said trunnion axis, and ammunition transfer means having carrying means thereon adapted to pick up and convey ammunition rounds singly from said storage magazine discharge portion to said feed magazine inlet port, said pick up means comprising'an ammunition carrier device rotatable between 'positions of registry with said magazine discharge portion and said feed magazine inlet port, said carrying device including a finger mechanism pivotable relative to said carrier and cam means connected to said linger mechanism and cam track means carried by said gun support in registry with said cam means and operable to actuate said finger means so as to project laterally from said carrier device as the latter is rotated into the region of said storage magazine discharge portion to engage lbehind ammunition rounds presented thereat and to thereupon initially move relative to said. carrier to a limited extent so as to load said carrier with ammunition, and second cam track means carried by said gun in registry with said cam means and rotatable with said gun about said first mentioned axis and adapted to cooperate with said cam means to actuate said finger means to secondarily move further relative to said carrier as said carrier moves into registry with said feed magazine inlet port so as to unload ammunition from said carrier into said feed magazine automatically irrespective of aiming rotational movements of said gun upon said support, said finger means comprising lever means and elastic means tending to bias said lever means toward ammunition unloading positions, and second elastic means arranged to supplement the action of said first elastic means upon dissipation of elastic energy thereof.

8. In combination, an ammunition feed mechanism and a gun mounted upon a support having a trunnion axis about which said gun is pivotable for aiming adjustments thereof, said gun having an ammunition feedway disposed eccentrically of said trunnion axis, ammunition storage means disposed remotely from the position of said gun and having an ammunition discharge portion thereof at a nxed position, the positions of said ammunition feedway and said storage discharge portion being equi-distant from said trunnion axis, and ammunition transfer means having carrying means thereon adapted to pick up and convey ammunition rounds singly from said storage magazine discharge portion to said feed magazine inlet port, said pick up means comprising an ammunition carrier device rotatable between positions of registry with said magazine discharge portion and said feed magazine inlet port, said carrying device including a finger mechanism pivotable relative to said carrier and cam means connected to said nger mechanism and cam track means carried by said gun support in registry with said cam means and operable to actuate said finger means so as to project laterally from said carrier device as the latter is rotated into the region of said storage magazine discharge portion to engage behind ammunition rounds presented thereat and to thereupon initially move relative to said carrier to a limited extent so as .l to loadsaid carrier with ammunition, and second cam track means carried by said gun in registry with said cam means and rotatable with said gun about said first mentioned axis and adapted to cooperate with said cam means to actuate said finger means to secondarily move further relative to said carrier as said carrier moves into registry with said feed magazine inlet port so'as to unload ammunition from said carrier into said feed magazine automatically irrespective of aiming rotational movements of said gun upon said support, said finger means comprising lever means and elastic means tending to bias said lever means toward ammunition unloading positions, and second elastic means arranged to supplement the action of said first elastic means upon dissipation of elastic energy thereof and coupled to a third cam means carried by said gun for actuation of said second elastic means coincidentally with the cam controlled ammunition unloading operation of said finger means.

9. In combination, an ammunition feed mechanism and a gun mounted upon a support having a trunnion axis about which said gun is pivotable for aiming adjustments thereof, said gun having an ammunition feedway disposed eccentrically of said trunnion axis, ammunition storage means disposed remotely from the position of said gun and having an ammunition discharge portion thereof at a fixed position, the positions of said ammunition feedway and said storage discharge portion being equi-distant from said trunnion axis, and ammunition transfer means having carrying means thereon adapted to pick up and convey ammunition rounds single from said storage magazine discharge portion to said feed magazine inlet port, said pick up means comprising an ammunition carrier device rotatable between positions of registry with said magazine discharge portion and said feed magazine inlet port, said carrying device including a finger mechanism pivotable relative to said carrier and cam means connected to said finger mechanism and cam track means carried by said gun support in registry with said cam means and operable to actuate said finger means so as to project laterally from said carrier device as the latter is rotated into the region of said storage magazine discharge portion to engage behind ammunition rounds presented thereat and to thereupon initially move relative to said carrier to a limited extent so as to load said carrier with ammunition and then to move further as the carrier is rotated into registry with said feed magazine inlet port so as to unload the transferred ammunition from said carrier into said feed magazine, and stop means carried by said arm to register during rotation of said arm with abutment means for lhalting rotating movements of said arm as said carrier device registers alternately with said storage magazine discharge portion and said feed magazine inlet port.

JOHN C. TRO'I'I'ER.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2477936 *Jan 29, 1946Aug 2, 1949Molins Machine Co LtdAmmunition magazine for use with ordnance
US2499271 *May 15, 1945Feb 28, 1950Molins Machine Co LtdAmmunition feeding device for ordnance
US2542200 *Feb 14, 1947Feb 20, 1951United Shoe Machinery CorpAmmunition supply system
US2561255 *Jul 21, 1945Jul 17, 1951Glenn L Martin CoAutomatic feeding device
US2587607 *Apr 28, 1945Mar 4, 1952Wallace Farrell EdwardAmmunition conveyer for guns
US2988962 *Feb 9, 1944Jun 20, 1961United Shoe Machinery CorpShell-handling mechanisms for guns
US2997923 *Nov 28, 1957Aug 29, 1961Curtiss Wright CorpAmmunition feed mechanism
US4838144 *May 25, 1988Jun 13, 1989Rheinmetall GmbhAutomatic loading device for a gun
US4939980 *Jul 25, 1989Jul 10, 1990Rheinmetall GmbhTank turret magazine system with a primary magazine and an additional magazine
EP0356616A1 *Apr 25, 1989Mar 7, 1990Rheinmetall GmbHTurret magazine
Classifications
U.S. Classification89/33.14, 89/46, 89/45, 89/33.5
International ClassificationF41A9/00, F41A9/82, F41A9/04
Cooperative ClassificationF41A9/82, F41A9/04
European ClassificationF41A9/04, F41A9/82