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Publication numberUS3729853 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 1, 1973
Filing dateNov 24, 1967
Priority dateNov 24, 1967
Publication numberUS 3729853 A, US 3729853A, US-A-3729853, US3729853 A, US3729853A
InventorsCritcher J
Original AssigneeAai Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Underwater pistol
US 3729853 A
Abstract
A pistol is disclosed which is suitable for underwater use and adapted to fire a cylindrical cartridge with laterally opposite notches formed therein. The cartridges are inserted into a plurality of circumferentially-disposed cartridge-receiving chambers formed in a cylindrical magazine having an annular slot extending radially into the chambers with a snap retaining ring disposed therein and engaging the notched portion of the cartridges to retain them in the magazine. The cylinder magazine is inserted into a magazine chamber portion formed in the pistol barrel through a longitudinally extending lateral opening.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

llimite tates atet n 1 Qritclner UNDERWATER PISTOL [75 Inventor: John L. Critcher, Cockeysville, Md.

[73] Assignee: AAI Corporation, Cockeysville, Md.

[22] Filed: Nov. 24, 1967 [21] App]. No.: 688,647

[52] U .S.- CI. ..42/65, 42/1 L, 42/49 R, 42/59, 42/70 E [51] Int. Cl. ..F4lc l/00, F4lc 19/00, F41c 17/00 [58] Field of Search ..42/1, 1 G4 I, 42/1.41.6, 39.5, 59, 62, 65, 66, 70, 70.5, 49, l L

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 180,037 7/1876 .loslyn ..42/59 380,361 4/1888 Sprague.... ....42/62 756,182 3/1904 Novak ..42/59 946,351 l/19l0 Haeghen ..42/59 1,150,566 8/1915 Woods ..42/S9 2,082,288 6/1937 Hillyard..... ..42/59 2,221,706 11/1940 Havill ....42/59 2,225,583 12/1940 Blizard ..42/70.5

l l l' 259 l I [451 May 1, 197a 2,379,946 7/1945 Baker ..42/70.S 3,050,892 8/1962 Vogler et a1. 3,296,729 l/1967 Stevens, Jr. ..42/59 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 345,118 12/1921 Germany ..42/70.5

Primary Examiner-Benjamin A. Borchelt Assistant Examiner-C. T. Jordan AttorneyReginald F. Pippin, Jr.

[5 7] ABSTRACT 12 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures Patented Ma 1, 1973 3,729,853

8 Sheets-Sheet 1 In o I I p r U m 1 I v N L N I a: a

N p l N I a F fl |n I) J l I John L. Grim-her INVENTOR ATTORNEY Patented May I, 1973 3,729,853

8 Sheets-Sheet 2 John L. Cr/tbher INVENTOR ATTOR N Ii Y Patented May 1,1973

8 Sheets-Sheet :s-

Ja/m L. Crl'lcher ATTORNEY Patenfed May 1, 1973 8 Sheets-Sheet 5 John L. Grits her INVENTOR ATTORNEY Patented May 1, 1973 8 Sheets-Sheet 7 John L. Cn'fc/zer WWi/wa Patented May 1, 1973 3,729,853

8 Sheets-Sheet 8 John L. Cri/cher INVENTOR BWWW ATTORNEY UNDERWATER PISTOL A conventional pistol is generally unsuitable for underwater use because it is constructed with a fixedly disposed breech which must be sufficiently strong to withstand the recoil force resulting from the firing of a cartridge. Such a strong breech generally necessitates the use of a heavy material which is undesirable for underwater use because it is difficult for a gunner to manipulate a heavy object in the water. In addition, the parts of a conventional pistol usually have close tolerances and are constructed of materials subject to corrosion which would interfere with the operation. Furthermore, the necessary loading and unloading operations of a conventional pistol cannot be easily performed when submerged in water because of the gunners difficulty in sensing and grasping small objects in a water environment.

Accordingly, it is a feature of the present invention to provide a lightweight pistol which is suitable for underwater use.

It is another feature of the present invention to provide a pistol having a movable breech plate and shock absorbing buffers to permit the pistol to be constructed from a weaker and consequently lighter material.

Still another feature of the present invention is to provide a pistol which is easy to load and unload while submerged in water.

It is a further feature of the present invention to provide a pistol with a clip for attachment to a belt and a safety device to prevent the accidental firing of the weapon, both of which may be disposed on either side of the pistol to facilitate its use by either a right-handed or a left-handed gunner.

Another feature of the present invention is to provide a pistol which reduces the recoil torque resulting from the firing of a cartridge.

In accordance with the present invention, a pistol is provided having a housing with a magazine chamber formed in the barrel which is adapted to have inserted sideways therein a cylindrical magazine with a plurality of circumferentially disposed cartridge-receiving chambers. Rotatably disposed in the housing is an axially movable breech having a resiliently biased ratchet detent attached thereto which is adapted to engage the cylindrical magazine to cause it to rotate with the breech plate, and radially protruding lugs engaging tracks formed on the surface of a trigger member slidably disposed in the pistol housing to cause the breech plate to rotate with the movement of the trigger. Shock absorbing buffers are provided to engage the axially movable breech plate to dampen the recoil force which the pistol must withstand, thereby enabling the pistol housing and many of the firing mechanism parts to be constructed from low strength and desirably lightweight materials. Disposed in the trigger member is a resiliently biased cylinder index adapted to engage an indexing slot formed in the cylindrical magazine and a notch formed in the rotatable breech plate to insure that a cartridge disposed in a magazine chamber and a hole formed in the breech plate, through which the firing pin must strike, are in proper firing alignment. The firing pin is disposed in the pistol in a manner that enables it to strike a cartridge disposed in a chamber of the magazine nearest the handle of the pistol to reduce the recoil torque caused by the firing of the cartridge. A

safety mechanism having an external knob is provided to controllably prevent the accidental firing of the pistol.

Still other objects, features and attendant advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following detailed description of the embodiment constructed in accordance with the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a preferred embodiment of an underwater pistol constructed in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a front view of the pistol in FIG. I having a cylindrical magazine disposed in the barrel and with the side cover of the barrel shown in the open position.

FIG. 3 shows an exploded schematic view of the pistol housing and the various assemblies of the pistol which are adapted to be disposed in the housing.

FIG. 4 shows a cross-sectional view of the pistol with a loaded cylindrical magazine disposed in the barrel, illustrating the details of the firing mechanism contained inside the housing.

FIG. 5 shows a cylindrical magazine constructed in accordance with the present invention, along with a cartridge suitable for use in the pistol in the manner in which it is to be disposed in a chamber.

FIG. 6 shows a sectional view, taken along section line 6-6 of FIG. 4, of the trigger member disposed inside the housing in the manner in which the trigger guide resiliently biases the trigger member.

FIG. 7 is a schematic representation of the pistol in full and phantom lines, with only the handle and the reversible safety assembly and the trigger member being shown in full lines for clarity of illustration.

FIG. 8 is a partial section view, taken along lines 8 8 of FIG. 1, and illustrates the manner in which the safety assembly is disposed in the handle portion of the housing and shows the vent formed in the rear of the housing and the counter bore adapted to be engaged by the trigger guide.

FIG. 9 shows a cross-sectional view of the core assembly, taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 4, and illustrates the manner in which the firing pin and ram buffers are disposed relative to each other, as well as the manner in which the core is retained in the housing.

FIG. 10 shows a partial sectional view, taken on line l0 10 as shown in FIG. 9, of the breech plate and core assemblies and illustrates the manner in which they interact with each other.

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary illustration of the cylindrical magazine breech plate assembly and core assembly, with the magazine removed forward from the breech plate assembly to more clearly illustrate the manner in which the breech plate assembly and magazine interact with each other in response to the movement of the trigger assembly.

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary view showing the breech plate, core assembly, firing pin assembly, and trigger assembly and illustrates the manner in which they interact to fire a cartridge.

Referring now to the Figures of the drawings, in FIG. 1 is shown an underwater pistol, generally indicated at 11, having a housing 13 which forms a barrel portion 15 and a handle portion 17, and 'contains a firing mechanism which is actuated by a trigger 19. The movement of the trigger 19 is controlled by a safety having a control knob 21 mounted externally on the handle 17. Forward and rearward aiming elements, 23 and 25 respectively, are provided for enabling a gunner to aim the pistol, and a belt clip 27 is provided which enables the gunner to hook the pistol 11 to his belt when the pistol is not in use. A cylindrical magazine, generally indicated at 29, is disposed inside the barrel of the pistol 11, as shown in FIG. 2, and has a plurality of circumferentially disposed cartridge-receiving chambers 31 formed therein. The cylindrical magazine 29 is adapted to be inserted into the barrel 15 by means of an opening 33 formed therein which is covered by a pivotally connected door, generally indicated at 35, that is resiliently biased open. The door 35 may be locked in a closed position by a door sear, generally indicated at 37, and opened by depressing a door lever 39 which pivots the door sear 37 out of engagement with the door 35, thereby permitting the resiliently biased door 35 to open.

The pistol, as more particularly shown in FIG. 3, is composed of several assemblies removably disposed in the housing 13 to provide a lightweight pistol suitable for use both above and below water. The housing 13 has a bore 41 formed in the barrel portion 15 which extends longitudinally along the axis of the barrel 15 throughout the entire length of the pistol 11. A magazine chamber area 43 is formed coaxially with the bore 41 and has forward and rearward annular lands, 45 and 47 respectively, which serve to support a cylindrical magazine 29 disposed in the magazine chamber 43. The relatively small surface area of engagement between the lands 45 and 47 and the cylindrical magazine 29 minimizes the rotational friction therebetween. An annular shoulder 49, as more particularly shown in FIG. 4, connects the forward land 45 of the magazine chamber 43 with the bore 41 formed in the barrel. Upper and lower camming surfaces, 51 and 53 respectively, are provided in the annular shoulder 49 to facilitate the insertion of a cylindrical magazine 29 through the opening 33 formed in the side of the barrel 15 and into the magazine chamber 43.

At the forward and rearward ends of the lower portion of the opening 33 are formed forward and rearward door bosses, 55 and 57 respectively, which are interconnected by a door flange 59 which is adapted to have a hinge portion of a door 35 disposed therein. The longitudinally extending bores 61 and 63 respectively are formed in the forward and rearward door bosses 55 and 57 to enable the door 35 to be pivotally connected to the housing 13. A vertical slot 65 is formed in the rearward portion of the housing 13 which extends upwardly from the rearward door boss 57 and is adapted to have the door sear 37 disposed therein. In addition, a transverse bore 67 is formed in the rearward door boss 57 which is adapted to have the door lever 39 disposed therein in controlling relationship with the door sear 37.

A box-like cavity 69 is formed in the housing 13 beneath the barrel portion 15 and is adapted to have the trigger 19 disposed therein. The trigger cavity 69 is connected to the bore 41 of the pistol 11 by a slot 71 which slopes upwardly at the rearward portion of the housing 13, as more particularly shown in FIG. 4. In addition, the trigger cavity 69 opens rearwardly to the exterior of the pistol 11 by means of a vent 73 through which fluid may be expelled as a result of the motion of the trigger 19 in the housing 13 of the pistol 11. An opening 75 is formed in the bottom of the barrel 15 which extends forwardly from the trigger cavity 69 with a flange 76 formed thereon, to enable the indexing cam 153 to engage a cylindrical magazine 29 disposed in the magazine chamber 43, and extends laterally to facilitate the movement of some of the parts of the firing mechanism. In addition, a keyhole bore 77 is formed in the handle 17 with an exterior annular recess 78 on both sides thereof, which opens partially into the trigger cavity 69 and is adapted to have the safety disposed therein in controlling relation with the movement of the trigger 19. As shown in FIG. 10, laterally opposite bosses 79 are provided at the rearward end of the casing 13 with bores 81 formed therein which are adapted to receive pins to hold a portion of the firing mechanism in the casing 13. Finally, a bore 83 is formed in the handle 17 of the pistol 11 to reduce the weight of the housing 13 and thereby minimize the weight of the pistol 1 1.

In FIG. 5 is shown a cylindrical magazine, generally indicated at 29, suitable for use with the pistol l l and a cartridge, generally indicated at 85, adapted to be disposed in one of the cartridge-receiving chambers 31 of the magazine 29. The cartridge 85, which is more fully described in copending application Ser. No. 650,373 which was issued as US. Pat. No. 3,476,048 is generally cylindrical in length and has two laterally opposite notches 87 formed in the exterior surface between the ends of the cartridge 85, with a primer 89 disposed at the rearward end of the cartridge and adapted to be engaged by the firing mechanism of the pistol 11. The cylindrical magazine 29 has a plurality of longitudinally-extending circumferentially disposed chambers 31 with the annular shoulders 91 formed at the forward end which are adapted to receive the cartridges 85. Between the ends of the cylindrical magazine 29 is formed an annular groove 93 which extends radially into the circumferentially disposed cartridge-receiving chambers 31 and has a cartridgeretaining snap ring 95 disposed therein. A camming edge 97 is formed on the retaining ring 95 to enable it to be pressed out of the chamber 31 by the forward end of a cartridge being inserted into the chamber 31 until a notch 87 enables the retaining ring to snap into the chamber 31 to lock the cartridge 85 therein.

The cylindrical magazine 29 has an axial bore 99 formed therein which is adapted to be engaged by a pin 267 inside the pistol 11 which serves to provide an axis about which the magazine 29 may be rotated. Formed in the exterior surface of the cylindrical magazine 29 and in radial alignment with the cartridge-receiving chambers 31 are rearwardly extending indexing slots 101 which are adapted to be engaged by a cylinder index cam 153 to insure proper angular firing alignment in the pistol 11. In addition, laterally opposite engagement relief and camming slope surfaces, 103 and 105 respectively, are formed beside each indexing slot 101 at different longitudinal positions on the surface of the cylindrical magazine to facilitate the insertion of a cylinder index cam 153 into the indexing slot 101 at a first position and its removal therefrom at a second position. At the rearward end of the cylindrical magazine 29 and laterally disposed counterclockwise beside each indexing slot 101 are ratchet camming surfaces 107 which are adapted to facilitate the disengagement of a ratchet detent with the indexing slot 101 to enable the cylindrical magazine 29 to be rotated in the pistol 11.

A door assembly as shown in FIG. 3 is provided to cover the opening 33 formed in the barrel to insure the retention of a cylindrical magazine 29 in the magazine chamber 43, as well as to protect the interior of the pistol 11 from damage. The door assembly includes the door sear 37 adapted to be disposed in the vertically extending slot 65 formed in the housing 13 and having a locking detent 109 at the upper portion which is adapted to engage the door and a tang 111 at the bottom portion. The door release lever 39 has a shaft 113 attached thereto with both a vertical slot 115 and a transverse slot 117 formed therein which is adapted to be disposed in the transverse bore 67 of the rearward door boss 57 with the vertical slot 115 engaging the lower portion of the door sear 37 immediately above the tang 111 to provide an axis about which the door sear 37 can pivot. The door 35 has a longitudinally extending arcuate shape with the rearward end having a camming surface 119 formed thereon adjacent to a notch 121, both of which are adapted to be engaged by the detent 109 of the door sear 37, and a forward end having an arcuate portion of the bore 41 formed thereon along with an arcuate portion of the annular land which is adapted to engage the forward end of the cylindrical magazine 29.

Extending along the edge of the door 35 throughout a portion of its longitudinal length is an integrally formed hinge 123 which is adapted to be disposed between the forward and rearward door bosses, and 57 respectively, with longitudinally extending hinge pin bores, 125 and 127 respectively, formed at both the forward and rearward ends thereof. A forward hinge pin 129 with an annular flange 131 formed thereon is adapted to have one end inserted in the forward bore 125 of the door hinge 123 and the other end inserted in the bore 61 of the forward door boss 55 with a torsion spring 133 disposed about the forward hinge pin 129 and engaging both the housing 13 and the door 35. A rearward hinge pin 135 with an annular flange 137 formed thereon is adapted to have one end inserted inside a spiral spring 139 and then disposed in the rearward bore 127 of the door hinge 123. The other end of the rearward hinge pin 135 is inserted into the bore 63 of the rearward door boss 57 and engages the bottom portion of the door sear 37 to resiliently bias it and the door release lever 39 in a counterclockwise direction.

A-trigger group assembly is provided to cause the cylinder 29 to be revolved in the magazine chamber 43 and actuate the firing mechanism. The trigger group assembly includes a trigger member 19 adapted to be disposed in the trigger cavity 69 of the housing 13 which has an arcuate finger portion 141 along the forward portion and having dual canted camming tracks 143 and 145 formed on the upper surface of the trigger member 19 with one of the camming tracks 143 extending to the forward end of the trigger member 19 and the other camming track 145 extending to the rear ward end of the trigger member 19. An upwardly extending bore 147, as more particularly shown in FIG. 4, is formed in the trigger member 19 which is connected to the upper surface by means of a slot 149. A cylinder index 151 integrally connected to a cylindrical portion 155 and having a camrning surface 153 formed on the upper edge thereof is disposed in the bore 147 with the cylinder index 151 protruding through the slotted portion 149 of the trigger member 19. A plunger 157 having a head formed thereon is inserted into a spiral spring 161 which is disposed inside a bore formed in the cylindrical portion of the cylinder index 151 to resiliently bias the index upwardly through the slot 149. Vents 165 are provided in the upper surface of the cylindrical portion to permit water to be expelled therethrough to prevent the motion of the cylinder index 151 from being retarded in the bore 147.

As more particularly shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6, a longitudinally extending bore 167 is formed in the trigger member 19 and has a trigger guide disposed therein which includes a tubular member 169, with a longitudinally extending slot 171 formed therein, that is closed at one end and adapted to engage an indexing notch (FIG. 4) 173 at the rear of the housing of the pistol between the water vent 73. Disposed inside the tubular member 169 is a spiral spring 175 having a plunger 177 inserted therein which has a head 179 that engages the forward portion of the bore 167 formed in the trigger member 19 and the head 159 of the cylinder index plunger 157. A transverse bore 181 is formed in the trigger member 19 and has a trigger guide retaining pin 183 disposed therein which engages the longitudinal slot 171 formed in the tubular trigger guide member 169 to slidably retain the tubular member 169 in the bore 167 of the trigger member 19. A sear 189 is pivotally connected by means of a pin 191 in a cavity formed in the rearward portion of the trigger member 19 and is resiliently biased counterclockwise into a slot 107 by a spring 193 having one end disposed in a bore 195 formed in the sear 189 and the opposite end disposed in a bore 197 formed in the trigger member 19.

A safety assembly as more particularly shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, is provided to control the movement of the trigger member 19 to prevent the accidental operation of the firing mechanism. The safety assembly includes a knob 21 having the flange portion 199 which is integrally connected to a shaft 201 having a notched portion 203 and a lug 205 at the opposite end. The interior surface of the flange portion 199 of the safety knob 21 has two angularly disposed indexing dimples, 207 and 209 respectively, with a camming surface 211 therebetween and a laterally extending notched portion 213 formed in the outer edge of the flange 199 of knob 21. The indexing dimples are adapted to be engaged by the end of an indexing pin 215 which is resiliently biased by a spring 217 in a bore 219 formed in the handle 17 of the housing 13 coaxial with the bore 77 fonned for the shaft 201. The shaft 201 of the safety member is inserted into the keyhole type bore and rotated to enable the lug 205 to engage the annular recess 78 on the opposite side of the handle 17.

When the safety indexing pin 215 engages the indexing detent 209 formed on the interior surface of the flange 199 of the safety knob 21, the notched portion 203 formed in the shaft 201 is flush with the bottom portion of the trigger cavity 69 formed in the housing 13 and enables the trigger member 19 to move rearwardly in the trigger cavity 69 past the notched portion 203 of the shaft 201. However, when the safety knob is rotated until the safety indexing dimple 207 engages the resiliently biased indexing pin 215, the full diameter of the shaft 201 extends upwardly into the trigger cavity 69 to block the passage of the trigger member 19. The safety assembly is reversible so as to facilitate its use by either a left-handed or right-handed gunner. in accordance with this reversible feature, another bore 221 is formed on the opposite side of the handle 17 to enable the shooter to remove the safety assembly and reinstall it with the knob 21 on the opposite side of the handle 17.

A core assembly as more particularly shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, is provided to maintain the various parts of the firing mechanism properly positioned in the housing 13 as well as to provide support for the breech plate. The core assembly generally consists of a core member 223 adapted to be disposed in a housing 13 and having two laterally opposite bores 225 formed therein which are aligned with the bores 81 formed on laterally opposite sides of the pistol housing 13 in the bosses 79. The core member 223 is secured in the pistol housing 13 by core pins 229 inserted through the bores of the housing 13 and into the bores 225 of the core member 223. An access bore 236 is provided in each core pin to facilitate its removal from the core member 223. The core pins 229 are secured in the core member 223 by retaining pins 231 inserted through a pair of longitudinally extending bores 233 formed in the core member 223 and transverse bores 235 formed in the core pins 229.

A bore 237 is formed parallel to the axis of the barrel 15 of the pistol 11 at the lower portion of the core member 223 and is adapted to have a firing pin disposed therein in generally coaxial alignment with the primer 89 of a cartridge 85 disposed in a chamber 31 of the cylindrical magazine 29. A slot 239 is formed between the firing pin bore 237 and the bottom surface of the core member 223 which extends partially throughout the longitudinal length of the core member 223 to provide an access for the firing sear 189 to engage a firing pin disposed in the bore 237. At the rearward end of the firing pin bore 237 is formed downwardly sloping camming surface 241 which is adapted to be engaged by the firing sear 189 and cause it to be depressed at the end of the rearward stroke of the trigger member 19.

In addition, an axial bore 255 is formed in the cylindrical core member 223 which opens to the rear end thereof by means of a laterally extending slot 257 through which the locking lugs 259 of a breech retainer 261 may be inserted. On laterally opposite sides of the firing pin bore 237 are formed dual coaxial bores 243 and 245 which extend through the core member 223 with the larger diameter bore 243 being at the forward portion of the core member 223 and having ram buffers, generally indicated at 247, disposed therein. The ram buffers 247 serve as buffers for the movable breech plate 263 and include a tube 249 which is closed at one end and has a rubber cylinder 251 and a metal ram cap 253 disposed therein with the latter' 249. The ram buffers 247 are adapted to absorb the rearward energy resulting from the firing of a cartridge and reduce the peak force exerted against the pistol 11 as well as dissipating a portion of the energy in the form of heat. The small diameter bore 245 provides an access to the closed end of the tubes 249 to facilitate the removal of a worn ram buffer 247 which may become stuck in the larger diameter bore 243.

A breech plate assembly, as more particularly shown in FIG. 11, is provided to engage the rear end of the cartridge 85 in a manner which presses the cartridge 85 toward the shoulder 91 located in the forward end of the chamber 31 of the magazine 29 and the cylindrical magazine 29 is in turn pressed toward the annular shoulder 49 formed in the barrel 15 yet enables the cartridge 85 to move rearwardly in response to firing, and further enables the magazine 29 to be rotated in the magazine chamber 43. The breech assembly includes a breech plate, generally indicated at 263, having a circular portion 265 with a pin 267 protruding from the forward side of the circular portion 265 which is adapted to engage the axial bore 99 of the cylindrical magazine 29 to provide an axis about which the cylindrical magazine 29 may be revolved to bring the cartridges 85 disposed in the chambers 31 into firing alignment. On the opposite side of the circular portion 265 is formed a shaft 269 adapted to be disposed in the axial bore 255 of the core member 223 to provide an axis about which the breech plate 263 may be rotated.

A smaller diameter coaxial shaft 271 extends rearwardly from the shaft 269 and has laterally opposite retaining lugs 273 formed thereon with a pin 275 extending rearwardly which is adapted to have a head space spring 277 disposed thereon. The shaft 269 of the breech plate 263 is inserted into the axial bore 255 of the core member 223 from the forward end. At the opposite end, the breech retainer 261 with the forwardly protruding locking lugs 259 are inserted through a hole 279 in a plate 281 which is integrally connected to the belt clip 27 and through the laterally extending slot 257 at the rearward end of the core member 223 until a canted rectangular opening 283a which opens into a cavity 283 formed inside the locking lugs 259 of the breech retainer 261 passes over the lugs 273 of the breech plate 263 and rotated thereby captivating both the breech plate 263 in the axial bore 255 of the core member 223 with the breech plate 263 resiliently biased forward as a result of the compression of the head space spring 277 inside the cavity 283 with breech retainer 261.

The circular portion 265 of the breech plate 263 has dual radially protruding canted lugs 287 and 289 adapted to engage respectively the tracks 143 and 145 formed on the upper surface of the trigger member 19 to cause the rotation of the breech plate 263 in the axial bore 255 of the core member 223 as a result of the motion of the trigger member 19. A camming surface 291 connects the flat forward side of the circular member 265 with a raised portion 293 which is adapted to engage the back side of a cartridge 85 and having a hole 295 formed therethrough to enable a firing pin to pass through the breech plate and strike the primer 89 to fire a cartridge 85 disposed in a magazine 29 engaging the breech plate 263. Extending laterally in the raised portion 293 from the hole 295 is a vent 296 through which water may be expelled to prevent retardation of the striking motion of a firing pin through the hole 295. Adjacent to the radially protruding canted lug 287 is a notch 297 adapted to be engaged by the cylinder index 151 disposed in the trigger member 19 to insure that the breech plate is locked in the proper position prior to the firing of a cartridge 85.

At another angular position on the circular portion 265 of the breech plate 263 is formed a notch 299, with a recessed portion 301, formed in the forward side of the circular member 265 both of which are adapted to be engaged by a ratchet assembly, generally indicated at 303. The ratchet assembly 303 is provided to engage the ratchet camming surface 107 and the rearwardly exposed portion of the indexing slot 101 at the rearward end of the cylindrical magazine 29 to provide means for rotating the magazine 29 in the magazine chamber 43 of the pistol 11 in response to the rota tional movement of the breech plate 263. The ratchet assembly 303 has a protruding ratchet detent 305 which is resiliently biased by a spring 307 disposed on a pin 309 which has an annular groove 311 formed therein which is adapted to be inserted into the notch 299 formed on the outside edge of the circular portion 265 and permit the ratchet detent 305 to be in generally arcuate alignment with the outer edge of the breech plate 263.

A firing pin assembly, as more particularly shown in FIG. 12, is provided to strike the primer 89 of a cartridge 85 disposed in proper firing alignment in the magazine chamber 43 of the barrel 15 as a result of the rearward movement of the trigger member 19. The firing pin assembly includes a shaft313 having a protruding nipple 315 formed on the forward end thereof with an annular shoulder 317 formed at the forward end thereof and a cocking flange 319 formed slightly behind the annular shoulder 317. The forward end of the firing pin 313 is disposed inside a spiral standoff spring 321 while the rearward end of the firing pin 313 is disposed inside a firing spring 323. The firing pin 313 is disposed in the firing pin bore 237 formed in the'core member 223 with the standoff spring 321 engaging an annular shoulder 324 formed at the forward portion thereof and with the nipple 315 adapted to protrude through the hole 295 in the circular portion 265 of the breech plate 263 while the forward end of the firing pin shaft 313 is adapted to engage a beveled shoulder 325 formed in the rearward side of the breech plate 263- to limit the extent nipple 315 protrudes through the hole 295. The cocking flange 319 is adapted to be engaged by the forward and upwardly protruding portion of the firing sear 189 when the trigger member 19 is not rearwardly depressed.

A firing pin retainer 327, having a pair of coaxial bores 329 and 331 formed therein, is adapted to be inserted through an opening 333 formed in the breech retainer 261 and into the firing pin bore 237 with the rearward end of the firing pin shaft 313 extending through the smaller diameter bore 331 of the firing pin retainer 327 and the firing pin spring 323 being disposed inside the larger diameter bore 329. The firing pin retainer 327 is captivated in the pistol 11 by a locking pin 335 disposed in a vertical extending bore 337 formed in the breech retaining member 261 and engaging the rearward end of the firing pin retainer 327 and being resiliently biased downward into a locking position by a spring 339 also disposed in the bore 337 of breech retainer 261.

In operation, a cartridge is inserted into the rear of a chamber 31 of the cylindrical magazine 29 until the forward end of the cartridge 85 engages the camming surface 97 formed on the inner edge of the annular snap retaining ring thereby pushing it out of the chamber 31 to enable the cartridge 85 to be further inserted into the chamber 31. When a notch 87 formed on the surface of the cartridge 85 passes underneath the retaining ring 95, it snaps into the chamber 31 and locks the cartridge 85 therein. The cartridge 85 is further inserted into the chamber 31 until the forward end engages the annular beveled shoulder 91 at the forward end of the cylindrical magazine 29. Other cartridges 85 may be desirably inserted into the remaining cartridge-receiving chambers 31 until the magazine 29 is fully loaded.

After the magazine 29 is loaded, the gunner will insert it into the pistol 11 by first pressing the door lever 39, thereby pivoting the resiliently biased door sear 37 clockwise to remove the detent 109 from locking engagement with the notch 121 in the door 35 to permit the torsion spring 133 to pivot the door 35 about its hinge pins 129 and 135 into an open position, thereby exposing the interior of the barrel 15. Next, the rearward end of the cylindrical magazine 29 is inserted into the magazine chamber 43 of the barrel 15 in a manner that enables the axial bore 99 to engage the pin 267 protruding from the breech plate 263 to provide an axis about which the cylindrical magazine 29 may be rotated.

The forward end of the cylindrical magazine 29 is then pivoted into the magazine chamber 43 until the upper and lower camming surfaces 51 and 53 formed in the annular shoulder 49 are engaged and the movable breech plate 263 pressed rearwardly until the cylindrical magazine 29 is disposed in the magazine chamber 43 supported by the forward and rearward lands 45 and r 47 and pressed against the annular shoulder 49. After the cylindrical magazine 29 is inserted into the receiver area, the gunner may pivot the door closed thereby causing the camming surface 119 to engage and press the detent 109 until the resiliently biased sear 37 pivots counterclockwise into the notch 121 thereby locking the door 35 into a closed position.

When the gunner desires to fire the pistol, he will first rotate the knob 21 of the safety assembly until the resiliently biased pin 215 engages the dimple 209 thereby holding the safety in a position wherein the notched portion 203 of the shaft 201 enables the trigger member 19 to slide rearwardly and actuate the trigger mechanism. Next, the operator will aim the pistol 11, by means of the front and rear aiming elements 23 and 25 respectively, and squeeze the trigger 19 rearwardly into the trigger cavity 69 formed in the housing 13. As the trigger 19 moves rearwardly, the resiliently biased trigger plunger 177 is pressed into the trigger guide 169, and the firing sear 189 presses the sear flange 319 rearwardly, thereby compressing the trigger spring 323 against the firing pin retainer 327. The vent 73 at the rear of the trigger housing 13 enables the water displaced by the rearward motion of the trigger member 19 to be expelled from the trigger cavity 69.

Although it is not necessary for the cylinder index 151 to initially engage a slot 101 in the cylindrical magazine 29, because the magazine 29 will be rotated during the first rearward movement of the trigger until the cylinder index does engage an indexing slot 101, for the purpose of explanation, it is assumed that the cylindrical magazine 29 was inserted into the magazine chamber 43 in a manner which enabled the cylinder index 151 to be initially disposed in an indexing slot 101 of the magazine 29. Accordingly, as the trigger member 19 moves rearwardly, the cylinder index 151 slides rearwardly through the cylinder index slot 101 to a position adjacent to the camming slope 105 formed in the cylindrical magazine 29 while the radially protruding canted lug 289 slides forwardly in the rearwardly extending portion of the track 145. When the lug 289 engages the slanted portion of the track 145, it causes the breech plate 263 to rotate counterclockwise about the shaft 269 disposed in the axial bore 255 of the core member 223. As the breech plate 263 rotates, the forwardly resiliently biased ratchet detent 305 attached thereto engages the rearwardly exposed portion of a cylinder index slot 101, thereby causing the cylindrical magazine 29 to rotate along with the breech plate 263.

As the breech plate 263 rotates, the camming surface 153 of the cylinder index 151 is engaged by the camming slope 105 of the cylindrical magazine 29 which depresses the cylinder index 151 into the trigger member 19 and causes the cylinder index 151 to slide laterally and rearwardly across the cylindrical surface of the magazine 29 and the engagement relief 103 into the next circumferentially disposed cylinder index slot 101. As the breech plate 263 rotates, the radially protruding canted lug 287 engages the canted portion of the track 143 which continues the rotation of the breech plate 263 during the rearward trigger movement as the radially protruding canted lug 289 disengages from the canted portion of the track 145 thereby bringing a cartridge 85 engaged by the raised portion 293 of the breech plate 263 with the primer 89 aligned with the hole 295 into the firing alignment with the firing pin 313.

Further rearward movement by the trigger member 19 brings the cylinder index 151 into engagement with the notch 297 of the breech plate 263, thereby locking both the breech plate 263 and the cylindrical magazine 29 in firing alignment. Additional rearward movement of the trigger member 19 brings the sear 189 into engagement with the camming surface 241 at the rearward end of the sear slot 239 in the core member 223, thereby causing the upwardly resiliently biased sear 189 to be pivoted downwardly out of engagement with the sear flange 319 and release the resiliently biased firing pin 313 which strikes through the hole 295 in the breech plate 263 and impacts the nipple 315 thereof against the primer 89 of a cartridge 85 to cause it to fire. The extent that the nipple 315 of the firing pin 313 extends beyond the breech plate 263 is limited by the shoulder 325 engaged by the shaft of the firing pin 313. As the firing pin 313 strikes through the hole 295 in the breech plate 263, the standoff spring 321 is compressed and, after the cartridge 85 is fired, the standoff spring presses rearwardly against the shoulder 317 to remove the firing pin 313 from the breech plate 263 to again enable it to rotate.

After the gunner has fired the cartridge 85, he will release the resiliently biased trigger member 19 thereby permitting it to move forwardly from the trigger cavity 69 to disengage the cylinder index 151 from the notch 297 in the breech plate 263 thereby unlocking it to permit it to rotate. As the trigger member 19 moves forwardly, the cylinder index 151 slides forwardly through the cylinder index slot 101 while the radially protruding canted lug 287 slides rearwardly in the forwardly extending portion of the track 143. When the lug 287 engages the slanted portion of the track 143, it causes the breech plate to rotate clockwise about the shaft 269 disposed in the axial bore 255 of the core member 223 thereby causing the camming surface 291 to engage the end of another cartridge disposed in the chamber 31 and into engagement with the raised portion 293 to bring the raised portion 293 formed on the forward side of the breech plate 263 into engagement with the rear end of the next circumferentially disposed cartridge. in addition, as the breech spindle rotates clockwise the resiliently biased ratchet detent 305 engaging a camming surface 107 is rearwardly depressed and slides along the rear end of the cylindrical magazine 29 until it engages the next rearwardly exposed portion of the cylinder index slot 101 of the next circumferentially disposed cartridge 85 in the chamber 31.

The firing operation may again be repeated until all of the cartridges disposed in the cylindrical magazine have been fired. The gunner may then remove the spent magazine from the magazine chamber by again depressing the door lever 39 to remove the protruding detent 109 of the door sear 37 from locking engagement with the notch 121 of the door, thereby permitting the torsion spring 133 to pivot the door 35 into an open position to enable the operator to grasp the spent cylindrical magazine 29 and remove it from the barrel 15 by pivoting it about its rearward end. The cartridges 85 may be unloaded from the cylindrical magazine 29 by shaking the magazine 29 to cause the cartridges 85 to slide rearwardly therefrom until the forward portion of the notch 87 engages the snap retaining ring 95. The gunner may then grasp the rearwardly protruding ends of the cartridges 85 and rotate them degrees to bring the outer surface thereof into engagement with the snap retaining ring 95, thereby pressing it out of the chambers 31 to permit the gunner to remove the cartridges 85 from the chambers 31.

While the invention has been illustrated and described with respect to a single preferred embodiment, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that still other improvements are possible and that various modifications and improvements may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. For example, the various springs used in the pistol may be captivated onto other members and a greater number of radially protruding canted lugs and tracks may be provided to enable a thinner'trigger member to be utilized or conversely to provide a greater degree of rotation such as for a pistol having a cylindrical magazine with fewer circumferentially disposed cartridge-receiving chambers.

That which is claimed is:

1. In a pistol having a breech plate, a firing mechanism including a firing pin having a striking path extending through a hole formed in said breech plate to fire a cartridge, and a magazine having a plurality of circumferentially disposed cartridge-receiving chambers disposed in said pistol with the rearward portion engaging the face of said breech plate and having a ratchet index for each of the plurality of cartridgereceiving chambers formed in said magazine:

said magazine being disposed in said pistol in a manner enabling it to be rotated, and said breech plate being rotatably disposed in said pistol and having a ratchet detent adapted to engage the ratchet indexes formed in said magazine to cause said magazine to rotate with said breech plate.

2. In a pistol according to claim 1:

said ratchet indexes being formed in said magazine about the outer periphery thereof, and

said ratchet detent being disposed at the outer periphery of said rotatable breech plate,

3. In a pistol according to claim 2:

said ratchet detent being resiliently biased toward said magazine, and

said magazine having a camming surface formed to one side of each of said ratchet indexes to facilitate the movement of said resiliently biased ratchet detent as said breech plate moves relative to said magazine until said resiliently biased ratchet detent engages one of said ratchet indexes.

4. In a pistol having a firing mechanism including a trigger member and a firing pin with a striking path to fire a cartridge, and a cartridge-receiving magazine movably disposed in said pistol and adapted to bring a cartridge into alignment with the striking path of said firing pin:

a magazine-engaging unit rotatably disposed in said pistol and having at least a single lug protruding therefrom, and

said trigger member being movably disposed in said pistol and having at least a single track formed therein inclined to the direction of trigger motion and engaging the protruding lug of said magazineengaging unit to move said cartridge-receiving magazine and bring a cartridge into alignment with the striking path of said firing pin.

5. In a pistol according to claim 4:

said magazine-engaging unit having a plurality of angularly spaced lugs protruding thereon, and

said trigger member having a plurality of spaced parallel tracks formed therein each adapted to sequentially engage one of the plurality of angularly spaced protruding lugs to effect a maximum I movement of said cartridge-receiving magazine with a minimum single track length.

6. In a pistol having a breech plate, a firing mechanism including a trigger and a firing pin having a striking path extending through a hole formed in said breech plate to fire a cartridge, a cylindrical magazine rotatably disposed in said pistol and having a plurality of chambers formed therein adapted to receive a cylindrical cartridge with laterally opposite notches formed between the ends thereof:

said magazine having an annular slot extending radially into said circumferentially disposed cartridgereceiving chambers,

an annular snap retaining ring with a camming surface formed on the inner edge thereof being disposed in the annular slot and adapted to be pressed out of said cartridge-receiving chamber upon engagement with the outer diameter of said cartridge and adapted to snap into said cartridgereceiving chamber upon radial alignment of one of said laterally opposite cartridge notches with said annular slot to retain a cartridge in said cartridgereceiving chamber.

7. in a pistol having a laterally protruding handle, a cylindrical magazine rotatably disposed in the pistol about a longitudinal axis and with a plurality of circumferentially disposed cartridge-receiving chambers formed therein, and a firing mechanism including a trigger and a firing pin having a striking path adapted to effect firing of a cartridge disposed in one of said magazine chambers: said firing pin being operatively connected to said trigger, and the zone of striking of a cartridge by said firing pin along said striking path being disposed between said laterally protruding handle and said magazine axis, to minimize the resulting upward torque about the handle of said pistol upon firing the cartridge.

8. In a pistol according to claim 7:

said trigger being slidably disposed in said pistol and adapted to move parallel to the striking motion of said firing pin.

9. In a pistol according to claim 8:

said firing pin having a striking path substantially coaxial with a cartridge-receiving chamber formed in said cylindrical magazine.

10. In a pistol having a breech plate, a firing mechanism including a trigger and a firing pin having a striking path extending through a hole formed in said breech plate to fire a cartridge, and a cylindrical cartridge-receiving magazine rotatably disposed in said pistol against the face of said breech plate:

said cylindrical magazine having a plurality of Iongitudinally extending indexing slots formed in the surface of said magazine, and

said trigger being slidably disposed in said pistol and containing a cylinder index resiliently biased against the surface of said cartridge-receiving magazine and adapted to engage one of said longitudinally extending index slots throughout the length of travel of said slidably disposed trigger member.

1 1. In a pistol according to claim 10:

said cylindrical magazine having longitudinally disposed transverse camming surfaces formed on laterally opposite sides of each index slot to facilitate the removal of the resiliently biased cylinder index from one index slot and its insertion into the next circumferentially disposed index slot in response to the rotation of the cylindrical magazine.

12. In a pistol having laterally opposite sides, a barrel with a bore formed therein and adapted to have a projectile pass therethrough, a handle, a breech plate, a firing mechanism including a firing pin with a striking path extending through a hole formed in said breech plate to fire a cartridge by striking the primer thereof and a trigger adjacent to the handle and having an operating path to actuate the firing mechanism, a magazine having a plurality of circumferentially disposed chambers adapted to receive cartridges with laterally opposite notches formed between the ends thereof and being rotatably disposed in said pistol with a forward portion engaging a shoulder to prevent forward movement of the magazine and a rearward portion with ratchet indexes formed therein for each of the chambers and engaging the face of said breech plate:

said magazine having an annular slot extending radially into said circumferentially disposed cartridgereceiving chambers,

an annular snap retaining ring with a camming surface formed on the inner edge thereof being disposed in the annular slot and adapted to be pressed out of said cartridge-receiving chamber upon engagement with the outer diameter of said cartridge and adapted to snap into said cartridgereceiving chamber upon radial alignment of one of said laterally opposite cartridge notches with said annular slot to retain a cartridge in said cartridgereceiving chamber,

a magazine chamber area formed in said barrel and adapted to have said cylindrical magazine rotatably disposed therein against the face of said breech plate,

a longitudinally extending lateral opening formed in said barrel for insertion of said cylindrical magazine into the magazine chamber area formed in said barrel,

means to retain said cylindrical magazine in the magazine chamber area formed in said barrel,

said cylindrical magazine having a plurality of longitudinally extending indexing slots formed in the surface of said magazine,

said trigger member being slidably disposed in said pistol and containing a cylinder index resiliently biased against the surface of said cylindrical magazine and adapted to engage one of said longitudinally extending index slots throughout the length of travel of said slidably disposed trigger member,

said cylindrical magazine having longitudinally disposed transverse camming surfaces formed on laterally opposite sides of each index slot to facilitate the removal of the resiliently biased cylinder index from one index slot and its insertion into the next circumferentially disposed index slot in response to the rotation of the cylindrical magazine,

said breech plate being rotatably disposed in said pistol and having a ratchet detent adapted to engage the ratchet indexes formed in said cylindrical magazine to cause said magazine to rotate with said breech plate,

said ratchet indexes being formed in said magazine about the outer periphery thereof,

said ratchet detent being disposed at the outer periphery of said rotatable breech plate and resiliently biased toward said cylindrical magazine,

said magazine having a camming surface formed to one side of each of said ratchet indexes to facilitate the movement of said resiliently biased ratchet detent as said breech plate moves relative to said magazine until said resiliently biased ratchet detent engages one of said ratchet indexes,

said breech plate having a plurality of angularly spaced lugs protruding therefrom,

said trigger member having a plurality of spaced parallel tracks formed therein inclined to the direction of trigger motion with each adapted to sequentially engage one of the plurality of angularly spaced protruding breech plate lugs to rotate said cylindrical magazine and bring a cartridge into alignment with the striking path of said firing pin, with a maximum movement of said cylindrical magazine being effected with a minimum individual track length,

said breech plate being slidably disposed in said pistol in a manner enabling it to move away from and towards the magazine and being resiliently biased towards said cartridge-receiving magazine in a manner that compensates for slightly varying lengths of cartridges disposed in said magazine to maintain the cartridge primers in consistently close proximity with the hole formed in the breech plate of the pistol through which said firing pin must extend to fire a cartridge,

said breech plate having an annular recess formed therein about said hole, and

said firing pin having an annular shoulder formed thereon, adapted to engage the annular recess formed in said breech plate to limit the extent the firing pin protrudes through said hole in said breech plate to prevent the cartridge primer from being ruptured,

said rotatable breech plate serving as a firing pin interrupter disposed in blocking relation to the striking path between said cartridge-receiving magazine and said firing pin and adapted to be moved out of blocking relation to the striking path to enable said firing pin to strike said cartridge only when said cartridge is disposed in said pistol in striking alignment with said firing pin,

said firing pin having a striking path substantially coaxial with a cartridge-receiving chamber aligned with the hole formed in said breech plate,

said firing pin being disposed in the pistol adjacent to said trigger and having a striking path adapted to fire a cartridge disposed in the cartridge-receiving chamber closest to the trigger to reduce the resulting upward torque about the handle of said pistol upon firing the cartridge,

said trigger being slidably disposed in said pistol and adapted to move parallel to the striking motion of said firing pin,

said piston having a bore formed therein transversely adjacent to the moving path of said trigger member,

a safety member having a protrusion and an integral knob formed thereon and adapted to be rotatably disposed in said transverse bore with the knob on either side of said pistol,

locking indexing means adapted to be disposed on either side of said pistol and resiliently biased against said safety member, and

first and second indexing means complementary to said locking indexing means being formed in the knob of said safety member at angularly spaced positions relative to the protrusion of said safety member and adapted to be engaged by said locking indexing means whereby rotatable movement of said first indexing means into engagement 3,729,853 Dated Patent No. May l 1973 Inventor(s) JOHN L. CRITCPIER It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 15, line 21, magazine chamber area" should read magazine chamber line 27, Teagazine chamber .r-mea. should read rhagazine chamber line 30, magazine chamber area should read maga z ine chamber Column 16, line 51,. piston should read pistol Signed ahd sealed this 22nd day of January 197L (SEAL) Attest:

RENE n. TEGTMEYER EDWARD MmLETcHER' R.

Acting Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer EDWARD MJLETcHER' R.

Attesting Officer Patent No. 3,729,853 Dated My I 1973 T inventofls) JOHN L. CRITCHER It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent end that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

flolumn 15, line 21, magazine chamber area" should read magazine chamber line 2?, magazine chamber line 30, "magazine area" should read magazine chamber chamber area" should read maga z ine chamber Column 16, line 5]., "piston" should read pistol Signed end sealed this 22nd day of January 19714..

(SEAL) Attest:

RENE D. TEGTMEYER T

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3782359 *Mar 9, 1973Jan 1, 1974Coleman CoRemovable clip with rotary projectile cylinder for a gun
US4122621 *Jul 14, 1977Oct 31, 1978Barr W LincolnUnderwater repeating spear gun
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US4418488 *Oct 2, 1981Dec 6, 1983Jack HughesPistol and removable cartridge shaped barrel insert
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Classifications
U.S. Classification42/65, 42/49.1, 42/70.6, 42/1.14, 124/48, 42/59
International ClassificationF41C9/06, F41C3/00, F41C9/00, F41C3/14
Cooperative ClassificationF41C9/06, F41C3/14
European ClassificationF41C3/14, F41C9/06