US 2428594 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' Oct. 7, 1947. H. M. THOMAS EIAL AMMUNITION CHUTE Filed Jan. 31, 1945 Patentedoct. 7, 1947 AMMUNITION CHUTE Hal Thomas, Santa. Monica; and Joseph- S1;
DAmico,- 110s Angeles, Calif.,
DouglasAircraftCnmpany; Inc; a: corporation of Delaware;
5 Claims; i
The present invention relates to-ordnance-and more particularly to an improved'ammunitionchute for conveying a feed belt from an ammunition box to a machine-gun.
It has heretofore been the general practice to construct ammunition chutes of formed or bent sheet metal. Actual experience in the use of these prior type sheet metal chutes has revealed that they possess several inherent disadvantages particularly in that they are relatively heavy for the light load to which they are subje'cted and they do not permit of ready accessibility to the ammunition belt "in the event it becomes jammed; Other ammunition chutes of both rigid and flexible types have: been'constructed and used but have each met with objections= either 'in thein manufacture or use. Many of these-prion type chutes have also been found objectionable-from the standpoint.ot-theiinvisibility of the ammunition. belt within the'chute'and the lackof struc turaladaptability ofgthe chute to the formation ofnfasteningimeans to :the ammunition box,- thegun, and to other intermediate'supporting struc-- tures. These previouszdifliculties and objectionss have." been. overcome, by. the present invention: which comprises-essentially an openwork: chut -oi; stiff wire elements rigidly secured .as byibrazin g" or-spotwelding, the-:constructionbeing such 'that. the'longitudinal wire elements serve -as,;relative ly-iriction-free guide meansgfor the -ammunition:'
which passes through'the chute;
It is accordingly a major object of-the-present invention to provide aniimproved. ammun tion: chute which is, relatively light in weight; ofjslmpler more readily builtconstruction andeconomi-- cal incost. Another objectis-the provision of-a relatively friction-free guide for the ammunition. and one which is readilybent orrestoredtositsa' original shapeafter being damaged Another obi-i ject comprises the provision: of an, openwork chute of stiff wire elements which ,proyiderlull visibility of the ammunition passingthrough. the chute and isless vulnerable to gun fire than previous types. It 'is a further object to provide an improved ammunition chute in which ready a,c cess can be had to the ammunition belt inthe event it becomes jammed; at one -ormore points and in which the points of'jammingare readily ascertained by virtue of theaforementionedvislbility of the'ammunition-beltat all times.
A further object of thepresent invention residesin the provision of an ammunition chute which'iy structurally adaptable to the formation of fastening means for-the attachment of the chute-torthe ammunitionbox the gun; or to other-intermediate 55 2; supporting j structures. A still further object'f-has envisaged a construction using but two stock wires both the same indiameter or cross-section of materials suited to their actual use either as in con-.
tact with the-ammunition or-=asa support forthe contacting wires; thereby reducing theuse of strategic material toaminimum. Other objects and advantages ofthe present invention will: become-apparentto those skilled in the-art after reading -the-present specification; taken together with the accompanying drawings;. forminga part 1 hereof, inwh'ich:
Fig; 1 is aside-elevationalview-of a fragmentary portion of-alength of acartridgebelt within-the -improved=ammunition-chute of the p esent :in-
' Fig. 2' is an--en'd elevationalviewof :th'ei amt-ii munition belt and chute shownin Fig; 1; andt Fig; 3 is a perspective view of a fragmentary length of the-chute without any ammunition.
Thepresent ammunitionchute is adaptedlfor; use-witl1 various calibers of :standard belt type" ammunition as shown in Figs. 1 and ,2 in which th'e cartridges. Eiare provided. with conventional, shells orcasings 6; arirnmed base or firingzend: 'I'zand-the-usual bull'et portions -8 having an exposedrinose portion :of ogive shape meeting-in the: point at 93 A'plurality or train of cartridges 5 are: articulatedior interconnected in a manner well; known in theart-zby-thjeclipsiorlinks liltothereby form an: ammunition feed-:zbelt as..fragmentaril-y; shown inxFig. l;
Th iammunitionchute guide structure com-- pr isesiah plurality ofIlongitudinal wires and in themodification :shown, which has, been selected for;
the purpose ot'the-present description, comprises seveni'l)" such-wires, namely, H; l2; l3, l4; l5, l-Biancldl; Theseilon'gitudinal wires are prefer-- ablyot the same-guage, circular cross-section ordiameter; and are" continuous throughout the: length-of the chutes The longitudinal wires are secured to the inner surfaces of thestiffening. structure of the chute comprising a plurality' of transverse wire'groups I'B-and-IQ which encircleand serve to maintain the seven ('7) longitudinal wires in=their= proper relative positions. As indicatccl in Figs; 1 and- 3 everythird wire; namely; I8; l8a -andlab-forms acontinuous 01' completeloop completely encircling the-seven longitudinal wires whereas the intermediate loops; namely-l 9-; I900; [92), lilc and-lfid arepreferabl interrupted between-the longitudinal wires lZ' and Mon the same'sidej of thegammunition chute. Their'zneri surfaces;- of the longitudinal wires are accordingly I uninterruptedthroughout their length andserve as contacting slides for guiding the cartridges of the ammunition belt. For this reason they are preferably made of a material which suitably withstands the abrasive action of the sliding cartridges, whereas the loops l8 and I9 may be of softer nonstrategic material, being brazed, spot welded or cemented together,
Reference to Fig. 2 will indicate that the upper wire H engages or is closely contiguous to the grooved or base end of the cartridge shells, the wires l2 and I3 are closely contiguous to the opposite sides of the shells, and that the Wires IG and I5 are similarly closely spaced with respect to the opposite sides of the ogive portion 8 of the bullet. The longitudinal wires l6 and I! also lie contiguously with respect to the profile f the ammunition and in addition to being attached to the encircling loops [8 and [9 these wires are spot fastened to each other to provide a guide groove engaged by the nose of the bullet at its point 9.
The transverse endless loops 3 are formed as shown in Fig. 2, in the general shape of the profile of one of the cartridges, while at the same time being bulged outwardly midway of each of their sides to accommodate the links lb of the cartridge belt. The transverse cutaway loops I9 are similar to loops I8 in that they are bulged at one side while being cut away between the wires 12 and Id at the other side as indicated.
above to provide access to the belt for convenience in loading, or for-other purposes. Every third loop I8 is preferably a completeloop and the remaining intermediate loops are cut away to form the (L-shaped loops IS. The particular arrangement or ratio of complete and cut away loops may, of course, be'varied to suit the individual requirements of the caliber of the ammunition or a given installation.
The two longitudinal wires I76 and ll serve to stiffen the frame ofthe openwork chute by reason of the overall double width of the longitudinal track assembly 20 which they cooperatively form and provide a longitudinal slide groove for the pointed nose of'the bullet. The wires [6 and I! together with the wires l2, l3, l4 and I prevent the bullet'nose from slipping.
laterally and riding along the outside edge of this compound track 20. In' the event the latter misalignment were to occur, the bullet nose 9 would strike against the transverse loops at those points where. the loops are-fastened to the elements H5 or ll of thetrack 20 and would develop a substantial frictional engagement with of the advantages of the double wire guide track l6-|'|20 is obtained by the substitution of a flat strip ribbon of metal, the disadvantages result in requiring that two different kinds of stock are required to make the chute, and the ribbon cross-section will warp and wrinkle when bent to produce a curved chute.
The ends of the wires 12 and M, or l3 and [6, may preferably the outer surfaces of the track. Such misalignment is more likely to occur where only onewire is used or substituted for the element 20, and the frictional retardation and obstruction to the progress of the'ammunition belt becomes substantial when some bullet noses slip to one side and others slip to the opposite side of sucha The play between the wires l4 andv single wire. l5 and the profile of the bullet 8 is made insufiicient to permit the bullet nose point 9 from moving laterally far enough to slip outwardly against;
A distinct advantage in makingthe compound the outside faces of wires I6 and I1.
material. Theammunition chutes of the present invention are accordingly capable of being made. 7 with longitudinal bends in all longitudinal planes;
be bent to provide hooks or eyes 2| and Zlafor engagement with any suitable mating device on the ammunition box or gun by which the ,end
of the chute may be secured to the box or the gun.
It will accordingly be noted from the above description and the accompanying drawings that an ammunition chute providing a number of distinct advantages is obtained. Among these advantages might be stated the accessibility to the ammunition which is conveniently made 7 throughout the entire length of the chute within which it is at all times also completely visible. The construction of the chute is relatively light, in weight, and friction is reduced to a minimum by providing substantial point contact between the ammunition and the longitudinal guide members of the chute. .The present chute construction also permits the reduction in the use of strategic and, expensive materials inasmuch as they are used for the actualguiding members only, and non-strategic materials are preferably used for those members not subject to abrasion: 1 by contact with the ammunition. j
Among the other advantages of the present: type chute construction it might be stated, as indicated above, that the'guiding members of round section can be formed in any plane or com-' bination of planesprior toiassembly with equal ease, and that chutes of the present open type framework are far less susceptible to damage from gun-fire in view of the minimum of chute area which is exposed. A further advantage lies in' i the ability to readily repair any damage which might occur as a result of the bending 'ofthe wire of which the chute is constructed, and which can readily be straightened. The present type chute construction also offers'advantages from f the manufacturing standpoint in' that it can, be rapidly fabricated with a minimum amount of tooling; and stocking and, inventory problems are greatly reduced and simplified where but one size of wire and but two materials are'to be handled. The round wires may also be of hexagonal, octagonal, square or similar symmetrical rod-like cross sections. I
Other forms and advant'agesof the pres entinvention which may occur to. those skilled in, the: 7
art after reading the present. description are in-. tended to come within the scope and spirit of the present invention as more particularly set forth in the appended claims. "l V r.
The invention claimed isas follows-5 I 1. In a chute for belted ammunition comprisev ing a plurality of articulated cartridges having I nose portions; s-aidchute constructed ofa pluralityof longitudinal elements arranged for the I guiding of I ammunition therethrough; a guide track for said-nose portions comprising a paiifof longitudinalgodflikeelements fastened to each;
other to form a groove for guiding said nose portions.
2. A chute for belted ammunition consisting of a series of articulated cartridges having nose portions, said chute comprising a plurality of longitudinal elements arranged to define a profile closely contiguous to the cross-sectional outline of said cartridges and adapted to oppose movement of said cartridges in any lateral direction, each of said longitudinal elements being of substantially the same rounded cross-section whereby bending of said chute into curved formations is facilitated, a contiguous pair of said longitudinal elements arranged to form a guide for said cartridge nose portions, and spaced transverse elements enclosing and. maintaining the said contiguous relationship of said longitudinal elements with respect to the profile about said cartridges, the longitudinal and lateral spacings of said transverse and longitudinal elements being such that the ammunition is at all times visible from all of the exterior sides of said chute.
3. In an ammunition chute for cartridges having relatively pointed nose portions; said chute including a plurality of longitudinally extending rounded elements for guiding cartridges therethrough; a contiguous pair of said elements arranged to form a longitudinal recess for guiding said nose portions; said chute including means arranged to maintain the contiguous relationship of said recess-forming elements.
4. In a chute for cartridge ammunition having nose portions, said chute including a plurality of longitudinal elements arranged for the guiding of said cartridge ammunition, an adjacent pair of 6 said longitudinal elements contiguously disposed to form a, longitudinal recess for guiding said nose portions, and longitudinally spaced transverse encircling means arranged to maintain the relationship of said guide-forming longitudinal elements.
5. In an ammunition chute for cartridges having pointed nose portions, said chute including a.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,626,242 Lanza Apr. 26, 1927 2,310,884 Trevaskis Feb. 9, 1943 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 5,447 Germany June 3, 1879