US 3495349 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
i N @I Feb. 17, 1970 -w. A. THOMPSON ELECTRICALLY-FIRED GUNYHAVING A VERTICALLY MOVABLE MISSILE TRANSFERRING AND FIRING CHAMBER MEANS Filed Dec. 26. 1967 INVENTOR W. ANSEL THOMPSON.
3,495,349 ELECTRICALLY-FIRED GUN HAVING A VERTI- CALLY MOVABLE MISSILE TRANSFERRING AND FIRING CHAMBER MEANS William Ansel Thompson, Merryville, La., assignor of fifty percent to Alvin E. Moore, Waveland, Miss. Filed Dec. 26, 1967, Ser. No. 693,227 Int. Cl. F41c 19/12; F42b 9/08, /08
US. Cl. 42-84 11 Claims ABSTRAGT OF THE DISCLOSURE A firearm for electrically firing a missile that has a heavy part, powder and combustible powder-holding means, no part of which remains in the firearm after firing. Firearm loads are transferred from a magazine to a missile holder that slidably and sealingly is mounted in a substantially sealed compartment which has walls that are sealingly fixed to each other and to the gun barrel. The rear compartment wall, taking up the recoil from firing, is imperforate except for a small hole which sealingly fits around a firing pin. This pin may produce an electric spark or be resistantly heated to powder-firing incandescence. When it is thus heated, preferably the electrical system includes gun-frame-mounted means for safely preheating the pin before it is moved into contact with the combustible powder holder and powder.
This invention pertains to firearms in which missiles are electrically fired or detonated. It may be incorporated in hand-guns, rifles, cannon or any other kind of firearms.
The ejectable cartridge cases of metal or paper that were combined with breech-loaded guns in the nineteenth century have entailed hard problems in the making and shooting of firearms. The discarded case adds to the weight and the cost of loads; its ejection after each firing takes time, involves complication of firearm structure, and in automatic or semi-automatic guns sometimes causes jamming. Although the old type of gun that was fired by a flint in a cock or hammer or a match at a touchhole had serious defects that caused its abandonment, it was of a simpler and less costly design than that of this presentday breech-loading firearm.
In view of these facts, an object of the present invention is to provide a relatively simple and inexpensive hammerless gun, suitable for firing a bullet, rocket or other projectile that is not loaded into firing position through an opened breech, but instead is laterally moved into this position from a side chamber. A further object is to provide a magazine or semi-automatic firearm comprising a missile-transferring and firing-chamber device that automatically is charged with another projectile after each firing. Another purpose is to present a gun that has an electrically-fired powder-igniting pin. Another objective is to provide an electrically fired gun, and a missile used in the gun, every part of which is either shot from or burned within the gun barrel. The foregoing and other objects of the invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description, and from the drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of the firearm, with an upper part of the cover plate removed to expose the firing mechanism.
FIGURE 2 is a detail, elevational, sectional view from a plane through the longitudinal axes of the barrel and magazine, showing all the moving parts except the spring which raises the missile holder into firing position, and comprising a few details of design that vary from the showing of FIGURE 1.
3,495,349 Patented Feb. 17, 1970 ice FIGURE 3 is a detail, longitudinal, sectional view showing one type of electrical firing pin and the electrical connections that are adjacent to it.
FIGURE 4 is a detail view in section of an alternative type of projectile that can be fired from the gun.
As shown in the drawings, the gun comprises four main parts: the projectile-containing magazine, barrel and gun frame; the missile-transferring and firing-chamber device (holder 14 and means for reciprocating it); the electrical firing device; and the triggering mechanism, which controls the missile-transferring and electrical firing devices.
Although the gun frame may be that of any other type of firearm, it is shown in the drawings in a hand gun. It comprises a main housing part 1, and a cover, of which only the removable grip plate 2 is shown in the drawing. The cover also comprises a lateral plate on the side of the firearm not shown in the drawings, which may be cast integrally with the part 1 or, optionally, may be removable and screwed to part 1. On the illustrated side of the gun the cover comprises a second removable plate, not shown, fastened or removed from part 1 with the use of screws that fit in holes 3.
The housing part 1 having a thicker forward element 4 is fixed to lateral gun walls or plates and to a rear bracing and supporting element 5, which comprises the substantially sealed forward wall of the firing compartment. These elements, which are welded or otherwise securely and sealingly joined to part 1, have holes in which barrel B and magazine 6 are securely fixed. The wall 5 also supports a trigger-mechanism lever by means of pin 7 which is fixed to forks 8.
The magazine 6 comprises: a hollow space, open at its rear end, containing projectiles; a known type of rotatable and lockable magazine end cap 9 that is removable for insertion of projectiles; and spring 10, reacting against cap 9 and forcing the projectiles toward the rear end of the magazine.
The housing part 1 also has a third bracing and supporting member 12, welded or otherwise securely and sealingly joined to part 1, and supporting parts of the firing mechanism.
The missile-transferring and firing-chamber device comprises missile holder 14 and holder-elevating spring 16 which functions within fixed recess 17 and movable recess '19. The holder 14 has a firing-chamber bore which receives a projectile from the magazine and houses it while it is being raised into firing position in line with the bore of barrel B. The holder 14 also comprises a fork 18 that is spanned by lever-stop pins 20 and 22. This missile holder and carrier has long vertical sides that have bearing surfaces that closely and sealingly fit in the rectangular socket that is formed by and between elements 5 and 12 and parallel parts of the two side cover plates. Because of this sealing fit, the close fitting of pin 34 in the hole in element 12 and the above-mentioned sealed junctions between the housing part and the walls 5 and 12, no appreciable amount of gas can escape laterally or rearwardly from the holder firing compartment. The closing sliding fit of the trigger element 53, below the element 12 and indicated in FIGURE 2, is a further insurance against such escape of burned gas.
The gun-frame element 12, which weldedly and sealingly extends to the bottom of the gun frame, has three functions: (1) it forms a strong rear wall of the firing component in which member 14 has close bearing, and therefore takes up the recoil from the firing of a missile; (2) because it is sealed to the sides of the gun frame, and is imperforate except at the closely fitting hole and bearing 59 for the firing pin 34 and at its bottom slot in which the upper part of the trigger element closely and slidingly hears, it is a seal against rearward escape of gas from the firing compartment onto the rear mechanism; and (3) by means of its bottom slot it guides the trigger ring and abutment 58 in their fore-and-aft sliding movement.
The missiles that are moved upward by the sliding holder may be either bullets of the general type shown in the magazine and holder bore or rockets of the general type shown in FIGURE 4. Each missile has a solid, forward, barrel-fitting part 24 and a rear chamber in which powder 26 is housed. The extreme rear end of the chamber is sealed by a thin, easily-punctured, combustible closure element 28. This powder-confining membrane may be any waterproof, easily penetrated material that quickly ignites and burns; but preferably it is not explosive. Any waterproof, combustible plastic that has a low ignition pointfor example, cellophane or a thermoplastic material may be used. The membrane may be separately made and then glued in place back of the powder; or it may be applied in pasty condition and thereafter solidified. The key to its nature is that it must ignite, burn and leave the holder firing-chamber within the time required for the missile gas to exit from the barrel.
When the projectile is of steel or other hard material, and the barrel is rifled as indicated at 30, a known type of rifling band or ring of a material that is softer than that of the main projectile body is fixed to part 24. But when the missile is of lead or other soft material no rifling band is necessary.
In FIGURE 4 arrow-like stabilizing fins are shown at 25. This type of stabilizing means is used on boat-tailed projectiles that are fired from a smooth-bore gun. At right angles to the two fins 25 there are two other similar fins; and all of them are fixed to the rear part of the projectile. For convenience of illustration in FIGURE 4, they are shown as separately made and welded or otherwise bonded to 24; but in practice they are preferably molded or pressed integrally with the main body of the missile. They span the diametrical extent of the circumferentially largest part of this body. To prevent jamming of the missile transferring member all missiles used in the magazine shown in FIGURE 2 must have rear-end portions that will not enter the firing chamber until it i in line with the rear end of the magazine bore.
Electrical firing device The mechanism for firing the powder comprises: the firing pin 34, having a point that penetrates the membrane or other closure element 28 and ignites the powder; storage battery 36, preferably of the dry-cell type, in serted in the grip compartment when plate 2 is removed (or alternatively thru a removable plate at the base of the grip), having positive and negative poles that are clamped upward by spring 40 against contacts that are fixed to frame bar 38; conductors from the battery to a coil; voltage-increasing coil 42; and current-conducting means leading from the coil to the firing pin, optionally comprising switch 44 and flexible elements 46 and 48, which allows the firing pin to be moved relative to the switch.
Triggering mechanism The device which controls the projectile-transferring and electrical firing means comprises: lever 50, pivoted on projection 52 that is fixed to support 12, stopped from normal contact with abut-ment 58 by pin 53; loose connection 54 between the lever and firing pin; tension spring 55 which urges the upper end of lever 50 rearward; trigger ring 56 having an abutment 58 which forces the lower end of lever 50 rearward when the ring is pulled backward, thus moving the (firing pin into the closure element 28 thru a small hole in the rear wall of the holder chamber (this hole as well as the bearing in element 59 closely fit around the firing pin, so that it thus seals the' holes against rearward escape of gas); bellcrank lever 60, pivoted on 7; element 62, pivoted in a fork of 60 and in the forked end of an arm that projects forward 4 from trigger ring 56; and tension spring 64, fastened to element 62 and to the pin 66 that is fixed to the frame. Spring 64 is stronger than spring 16.
Operation This invention may be used in the construction of hand guns, rifles, toys, large-caliber guns or rocket launchers. The operation of the disclosed hand gun comprises the following steps: (1) rotation and removal of cap 9, loading the magazine, and replacing the cap; (2) after moving safety switch 44 into contact position when this optional switch is part of the device, and after aiming: pulling the trigger ring 56 rearward, thus moving the rear end of lever 60 upward from pin 22, and allowing spring 16 to raise holder 14, so that as the trigger ring continues rearward the pin 22 closely follows the rising rear end of lever 60; (3) in this rearward movement, when abutment 58 is about to contact the lower end of lever 50, spring 16 has raised missile holder 14 until its projectile chamber is in alignment with the barrel and the orifice in the chambers rear wall is aligned with the firing pin 34; (4) in continuing its rearward movement with the trigger ring, abutment 58 moves the lower end of lever 50, against the action of spring 55, away from stop pin 53, so that the upper end of lever 50 forces the pointed end of the firing pin on thru the Orifice and into combustible closure element 28; (5) when the firing pin is of the glow-plug type it is pre-heated due to previous turning on of switch 44, said switch acting as a safety device when in off position; thus the preheated point of the firing pin quickly ignites the powder when the trigger ring is pulled into its extreme rear position (in this position lever 60 is in tight contact with pin 20, thus locking holder 14 in firing position); and (6) after firing, trigger ring 56 is released and spring 64 pulls the ring forward, and forces holder 14 downward due to resumed forcetransmitting contact of lever 60 with pin 22, thus aligning the holders firing-chamber and magazine for another automatic loading of the chamber by compression spring 10.
Spark-gap firing pin Instead of using a preheated, glow-plug firing pin, the type of pin shown in FIGURE 3 may be utilized in the invention. This comprises: metallic tube 68 that has a curved, pointed end 70; element 72 of hard, electricallyinsulative material such as porcelain or other ceramic material; conductors 74 and 76 and spark-gap points 78 and 80. As the firing-pin 68 (not preheated) is forced into closure element 28 metallic abutment 82' strikes frame-supported resilient contact 84, thus completing a firing circuit thru the firing pin. A spark then jumps between points 78 and 80, thus firing the powder and the projectile.
The safety switch 44 is an optional feature of the gun when the pointed end of the firing pin comprises sparkgap points. But when the pin is of the electrical-resistance, glow-plug type, switch 44 (or an equivalent switch for energizing the pin prior to its penetration of element 28) is a necessary feature for quick-firing of the gun. This prior energization for pre-heating occurs before the trigger lever means is activated to force the pointed end of the heated pin into element 28.
1. A firearm comprising:
a tubular barrel having a bore and a rear, circular, terminal portion defining a barrel opening in a plane transverse to the longitudinal axis of the barrel;
a firing chamber for containing a load comprising powder and aheavy missile part, connected to said barrel, adjacent to said terminal portion, comprising a wall having a hole for access of a powder-firing pin into the chamber;
an electrically-energizable firing pin, comprising an electrically-heatable resistance, having a closely fitting bearing in said hole and slidable in the hole;
force-transmitting means, comprising a manually controllable device for moving said pin in said hole into contact with said load; and
electrical means for heating the said firing pin and firing said powder comprising a controllable device for preheating the firing pin before said manually controllable device is actuated to move the pin.
2. A firearm as set forth in claim 1, further comprising a magazine for housing firearm loads, having a container with'an exit opening and means in said container for forcing a firearm load out of the exit opening, and in which:
the said firing chamber is movable and has an opening for reception of a firearm load, comprising powderand a heavy part, from said magazine via said exit opening; and
said force-transmitting means comprises: a device for moving said firing chamber from its load-receiving position, in which said exit opening and said secondnamed opening are in communication, to its loadfiring position, in which the chamber is in communication with said bore; and means for returning the firing chamber from its load-firing position to its load-receiving position.
3. A firearm as set forth in claim 2, in which said chamber comprises top, bottom, side and rear walls, said hole is in the rear chamber wall and said opening in the chamber is in a forward part of the chamber, thru which the said heavy part is fired.
4. A firearm as set forth in claim 1, in which the said electrical means comprises a circuit connectible to the said firing pin, and in which said controllable device comprises a switch, mounted on the rear of the firearm frame in a position easily accessible to an operator of the firearm, operable, prior to actuation of paid pin by said force-transmitting means, to supply electric current for preheating the firing pin, thus preparing the firearm for quick aiming and quick firing of the said powder.
5. A firearm, adapted to electrically fire a missile that has a heavy part, powder and a combustible powderholding means and that has no portion remaining in the firearm after the firing of the missile, comprising:
a gun frame having: a rear wall, two side walls and top and bottom walls; a forward, frame-bracing partition sealing fixed to said walls, extending from one of said side walls to the other and from the frames top wall to its bottom wall, having a missile-firing opening adjacent to said top wall and, at points well spaced from said missile-firing opening, a trigger-mechanism bearing and a missile-loading opening, said partition being otherwise imperforate; a rearward, frame-bracing partition, spaced from said forward partition sealingly fixed to said walls against rearward escape of gas, extending from one of said side walls to the other side wall, having a slide bearing, adjacent to said first-named hearing, 'for reception, guidance and slidable sealing of a reciprocable trigger member, and having an upper, firing-pin hole, oppositely spaced from said missile firing opening for reception and guidance of a firing pin, said rearward partition being imperforate except at said bearing and hole and sealed against rearward escape of gas; and a front gunframe wall;
a tubular barrel, fixed to said front wall and to said forward partition, rearwardly terminating at said forward partition and having a barrel opening at the rear surface and at said missile-firing opening of the forward partition;
a magazine for storing and supplying missiles for firing, fixed to said front wall and to said forward partition, having a rear opening at said missile-loading hole and at said rear surface;
a missile-transferring and firing-chamber device, comprising: a missile holder, slidably and sealingly reciprocable between said rear surface and a parallel surface of said rearward partition, from a loading position, adjacent to said rear opening, to a firing position, adjacent to said barrel opening, said holder having a missile-chamber opening toward said forward partition; and means facilitating reciprocation of said holder between said positions; the space between said missile holder and top wall and between said surfaces being sealed against escape of gas;
firing means for electrically firing a missile in said chamber, comprising: an electrically conductive firing pin, sealingly reciprocable in said firing-pin hole to and from a firing position relative to said combustible powder-holding means and powder; and means for supplying electrical current to said firing pin; and
triggering mechanism for controlling said missile-transferring device and firing means, comprising: a handoperated, trigger member, slidably and closely fitting in said slide bearing, having a part extending thru and below a trigger hole in the bottom gun-frame wall and a part which seals said hole, said trigger member being reciprocable from a forward, missile-loading position rearward to a missile-firing position; means, having a part mounted on said trigger-mechanism bearing, actuated by a forward part of said trigger member during a first portion of its rearward motion, for causing said holder to move to said firing position; and means, rearward of said rearward wall, actuated by a rearward part of said trigger member, during a second part of its rearward movement, for moving said pin into its firing position.
6. A firearm as set forth in claim 5, in which said firing pin is resistively heated to powder-firing temperature by said current, and said means for supplying electrical current comprises a manually-controllable switch mounted on a rear part of said gun frame, in a position easily accessible to an operator of the firearm, operable prior to actuation of said pin into its firing position, for supplying current for preheating the pin before firing the said missile.
7. A firearm as set forth in claim 5, in which said firing pin comprises means for producing an electric spark, and in which said means for supplying electrical current comprises means actuated during said second movement of the trigger member for completing a circuit thru said pin and forming the said spark.
=8. A firearm as set forth in claim 7, in which said means for completing a circuit comprises a switch, actuated by said triggering mechanism.
9. A firearm as set forth in claim 5, comprising a gunholding means, attached to a rear part of said gun frame, having a hollow storage space, in which the said means for supplying current comprises a battery, housed in said storage space.
10. A firearm as set forth in claim 9, in which said gun-holding means is a pistol grip.
11. A firearm as set forth in claim 5, in which said means facilitating reciprocation of said holder comprises resilient means for elevating the holder and a stop member at a lower part of the holder, and in which the said part mounted on said trigger-mechanism bearing comprises a lever, having one end in contact with said stop member in its downward movement and in its lowest position, and said triggering mechanism comprises resilient means, stronger than said first-named means, connected to another end of said lever and to said gunframe.
(References on following page) References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Russell 42-84 Thompson 4284 Day 10246 McCullough 42-84 Hofirnann 4215 Johnson 4239.5
Peuble 42-84 BENJAMIN A. BORCHELT, Primary Examiner CHARLES T. JORDAN, Assistant Examiner U.S. c1. X.R. 42 15, 23, 39.5; 10246