US 3797153 A
A rotary shell chamber for use in firearms is disclosed. The rotary shell chamber housing loaded shells is secured within a rifle, such as a lever action rifle, by a breech plug. The breech plug, through a plurality of locking lugs, locks the chamber and the shells disposed therein within the receiver of the rifle to effect a positive lock up as strong as conventional bolt action rifles. The breech plug is rotatable to disengage from the receiver and is laterally pivotable to permit rearward extraction and reloading of the chamber. The lever action, acting through a pawl arrangement, rotates the chamber to position an unfired shell in alignment with the barrel.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191' Hagan Mar. 19, 1 974 ROTARY SHELL CHAMBER  Inventor: Edward A. Hagan, 617 LaVilla PL,
Tucson, Ariz. 85710  Filed: Dec. 18, 1972  Appl. No.: 316,119
2/1968 Ramsay 42/39.5
Primary ExaminerSamuel Feinberg Assistant Examiner-C. T. Jordan Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Cahill, Sutton & Thomas  ABSTRACT A rotary shell chamber for use in firearms is disclosed. The rotary shell chamber housing loaded shells is secured within a rifle, such as a lever action rifle, by a breech plug. The breech plug, through a plurality of locking lugs, locks the chamber and the shells disposed therein within the receiver of the rifle to effect a positive lock up as strong as conventional bolt action rifles. The breech plug is rotatable to disengage from the receiver and is laterally pivotable to permit rearward extraction and reloading of the chamber. The lever action, acting through a pawl arrangement, rotates the chamber to position an unfired shell in alignment with the barrel.
8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEDNAR 19 I974 SHEET 1 0F 2 2 M 3 m 8 \u N mm 5 LIPM.
PATENTEDIAR 19 I974 37971 153 sum 2 0F 2 ROTARY SHELL CHAMBER The present application describes subject matter related to subject matter of previously filed patent applications entitled Ball Rifled Barrel; Ser. No. 294,281; filed: Oct. 2, 1972 and Low Friction Projectile; Ser. No. 294,280; filed: Oct. 2, 1972, and invented by the same inventor.
The present invention relatesto magazines for firearms, and more particularly, to rotary magazines.
Conventional firearms, and particularly rifles, generally incorporate one of three types of reloading mechanisms, that is, bolt action, lever action, or pump or trombone actions. Of these, the bolt action is generally accepted as the strongest action because of the lugs extending from the bolt and mating with receiving cavities within the receiver. For this reason, bolt action rifles are generally used where high power is paramount or where accuracy is at a premium. Where fast reloading at the expense of strength and accuracy is paramount, lever action or pump action rifles are used.
Conventional firearms are generally inflexible in their capability to receive and discharge shells of other than a particular size and configuration, even though the projectile caliber remains the same. Thus, the owner of any particular rifle is restricted to the use of shells having cartridges expressly made for that rifle as shells having the same caliber projectile but different cartridge configuration cannot be used.
It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide a firearm having the inherent strength of a bolt action and the cartridge advance speed of a lever action.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a multiple shell magazine for use in a lever action firearm.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a rotary chamber magazine for a lever action rifle.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a means for rapidly reloading a lever action rifle.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a cartridge interchangeability feature in a lever action rifle.
A yet further object of the present invention is to providea lever action rifle capable of receiving one of a plurality of rotary chambers, which rotary chambers are individually adapted to receive a plurality of one type of commercially available cartridges.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a rotary shell chamber adapted to key the projectiles to the rifling of the barrel.
These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art as the description thereof proceeds.
The present invention may be described with more specificity and clarity with reference to the following drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the receiver and pistol grip of a lever action rifle in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.
FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the rotary shell chamber of the present invention.
FIG. 3 is an end view of the rotary shell chamber as shown in FIG. 2, taken along lines 33.
FIG. 4 is a top view of the operation of the breech plug of the rotary shell chamber, taken along lines 4-4 as shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the rotary shell chamber taken along lines 55 as shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the fore part of the rotary shell chamber taken along lines 66, as shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 7 illustrates the exterior of the rotary shell chamber.
Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a rifle 1, which rifle includes a barrel 4, a receiver 5, and a stock 3. A
sight 6 is disposed at the tip of the barrel 4. Barrel 4- may be secured to receiver 5 by segmented lugs 12 coacting with threads 15. Other conventional methods for securing a barrel to a receiver may also be used.
In proximity to the receiver 5 and pistol grip 2 of stock 3, there is disposed a lever 7 for positioning the shells with receiver 5. Lever 7 includes a trigger guard 8 to protect trigger 9 against inadvertent discharge of the firearm. Lever 7 pivots about pivot point 20. As lever 7 is rotated downwardly in a clockwise direction, end 19 of the lever rotates upwardly and causes a yoke 71 to move upwardly. The function of yoke 71 is that of advancing a loaded shell into alignment with the bore of barrel 4, as will be explained in more detail be low.
Trigger 9 may also be provided at pivot point 20 or at another mechanically and functionally convenient point on lever 7. A turret case 13 is secured to lever 7 and partially encloses the body of striker 14. Trigger 9 is pivotally secured to lever 7 and includes a scar l6 biased by a spring 17 for engaging notch 18 of striker 14 when the striker is cocked. As lever 7 is pivoted downwardly in the clockwise direction, the combination of trigger 9, striker 14, and turret case 13 also pivot in the clockwise direction about pivot point 20.
In order to permit turret case 13 to move in a clockwise direction about pivot point 20, some space must be provided between the turret case and pistol grip 2. To prevent dirt and debris from entering this space, a cover 26 is slidably secured within cavity 25. Cover 26 abuts turret case 13 and is free to move in and out of cavity 25 as the turret case moves toward and away from pistol grip 2. A flange 27 extends downwardly from cover 26. A spring 28 disposed intermediate one wall of cavity 25 and flange 27 biases cover 26 against the turret case 13 to insure contact therebetween.
The turret case 13 includes a slot (not shown) therein through which striker 14 extends. The slot permits the striker to be cocked by rotating it for a predetermined amount in the clockwise direction. Rotation of striker 14 is facilitated by thumb grip 11 extending upwardly from the rear part of striker 14. As striker 14 is rotated in a clockwise direction, it will pivot about its pivot point until sear 16 is forced into notch 18 of striker 14 by spring 17. The striker 14 is released from. sear 16 by applying a rearward force on trigger 9, which force acting through the pivot point for the trigger disengages sear 16 from notch 18. A spring 20 disposed intermediate striker 14 and the base of turret case 13 applies a bias on striker 14 to urge striker 14 to rotate in a counterclockwise direction on release of sear 16. Spring 20 is positioned within a depression 22 in striker 14 and centered therein by nipple 21 extending within the center part of the spring. A similar nipple 23, extending from the base of turret case 13, is disposed within the interior of spring 20 to position it at one location on the base of the turret case.
Referring jointly to FIGS. 1 and 2, the rotary magazine 50 of the present invention will be described in more detail. Receiver 5 has disposed therein a circular cavity for receiving magazine 50. Magazine 50 includes two primary elements, a rotary chamber 52 and a surrounding interposed sleeve 51. Rotary chamber 52 includes a plurality of shell chambers 53 for receiving loaded shells 60. A first part of shell chamber 53 is configured to receive a cartridge 61. A second part of shell chamber 53 is configured to receive a projectile 62 extending from cartridge 61. The projectile 62 may include a plurality of spherical bearings 63 protruded therefrom as described in a co-pending patent application entitled Low Friction Projectile, Ser. No. 294,280, filed Oct. 2, 1972, and invented by the present inventor. When such a projectile is used, the forward part of shell chamber 53 includes rifling 64, which rifling mates with similar rifling within barrel 4, as described in the above-referenced patent application. With this arrangement, the projectile 62 will begin to rotate at the instant of separation from its cartridge 61.
The means for seating magazine 50 within receiver 5 will be described with reference to FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. A breech plug 40 is hingedly secured to receiver 5 by means of a hinge mechanism 48. The hinge mechanism 48 includes an arm 54 secured to the exterior of receiver 5 by a plurality of bolts 55. A pair of hinge lugs 47 are pivotally secured to arm 54 by means of pin 56 engaging both the lugs and the arm. A slip ring 41 is brazed or otherwise secured to each of lugs 47. Slip ring 41 engages an annular depression 42, which depression is wider than the width of the slip ring. The extremities of the depression 42 are defined by an annular flange 49 and the body of the breech plug 40 itself. Thus, breech plug 40 is free to move axially with respect to slip ring 41. The forward end of breech plug 40 includes a plurality of segmented lugs 44 extending therefrom. These lugs 44 co-operate with grooves 45 disposed within receiver 5. In this manner, breech plug 40 is initially inserted within receiver 5 and then rotated to engage lugs 44 with their respective grooves 45. In this position, any force exerted upon breech plug 40 along its axis is translated to receiver 5 through lugs 44. This method of securing breech plug 40 is similar in operation to that of the lugs of the bolt of a bolt action rifle engaging its receiver.
As shown in further detail in FIG. 5, receiver 5 includes a plurality of grooves 57 through which lugs 44 are passed when the breech plug 40 is initially inserted within the receiver 5. When shoulder 58 of breech plug 40 contacts the edge of receiver 5, the breech plug is rotated to insert lugs 44 within their respective grooves 45 and drive the breech plug home.
The previously discussed depression 42 co-operating with slip ring 41 is of a width sufficient to accommodate the axial movement of breech plug 40 during both the initial insertion and subsequent turning of the breech plug. That is, when breech plug 40 is seated, slip ring 41 is generally adjacent flange 49. As the breech plug is rotated and withdrawn from within the receiver 5, shoulder 59 will become generally adjacent slip ring 41. At this point, breech plug 40 is free of the constraint imposed upon it by receiver 5 and the breech plug 'may be pivoted rearwardly and laterally about hinge 48 as shown in FIG. 4. A breech lever 46 extending from breech plug 40 will facilitate the rotation and extraction of breech plug 40 from within receiver 5. From the above description, it will become evident that the use of a slip ring co-operating with a depression within the breech plug permits the use of a fixed axis hinged mechanism 48.
Breech plug 40 includes a circular cavity 37 extending therethrough for receiving firing pin 43. Firing pin 43 is seated within cavity 37 by a pair of sleeves 38 extending inwardly from either end of cavity 37. Intermediate the two sleeves 38, there is disposed about firing pin 43 an enlarged portion or ridge 39. The ridge 39 is free to move for a limited distance between sleeves 38, thereby, the total axial movement of firing pin 43 is limited. The firing pin 43 is positioned within breech plug 40 such that it will cooperate with striker l4 and on impact therefrom strike the igniter of the cartridge within the rotary chamber 52. An obturator disc may also be attached to the breech plug 40 to insure that the shell to be fired is firmly lodged within the rotary chamber 52.
The rotary chamber 52 as shown in FIGS. 2, 5 and 6, includes four shell chambers 53 equiangularly disposed therein. When a shell 60 is discharged, the rotary chamber 52 must be advanced to position the next succeeding loaded shell in position to be fired. The advancement of the rotary chamber 52 is effected through a yoke 71 pivotally secured to end 19 of lever 7 at pivot point 72. Yoke 71 includes a pair of arms 73 and 74 secured to end 19 by either a nut and bolt combination or by a rivet 75 as shown. Arms 73 and 74 are positioned within a corresponding vertical channel in receiver 5, which channels face inwardly toward the rotary chamber 52. A pawl 84 is pivotally secured to arm 73 by shaft 86. A spring 85 biases the pawl 84 away from arm 73. Similarly, a pawl 81 is pivotally secured to arm 74 by shaft 83. A spring 82 biases pawl 81 away from arm 74. As shown in FIG. 6, pawl 84 opens upwardly while pawl 81 opens downwardly.
An interposed sleeve 51 is rotatably fitted within receiver 5 and houses the rotary chamber 52. The sleeve is keyed to the rotary chamber by key 65 engaging keyway 66 to ensure that the rotary chamber advances as the sleeve is caused to rotate.
A plurality of notches are disposed within sleeve 51. Each of these notches are positioned approximately equiangularly distant from the adjacent shell chambers 53. Where there are four shell chambers as shown, there will also be four notches. The operation of advancing the rotary chamber 52 and sleeve 5 may be described as follows. As lever 7 is moved downwardly in a clockwise direction, end 19 will also move in a clockwise direction, or in a direction toward the rotary chamber 52. As end 19 moves upwardly, yoke 71 will also move upwardly. The upward movement of yoke 71 will cause pawl 84 secured to arm 73 to engage notch 80. The engagement of notch 80 with pawl 84 and the continuing upward movement of pawl84 will force the rotary chamber to rotate in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 6. Arm 74 will, of course, also move upwardly along with its pawl 81. Although pawl 81 normally extends inwardly, the upward movement of arm 74 will cause pawl 81 to pivot counterclockwise and slide along the exterior surface of sleeve 51.
By appropriate selection of moment arms, the total upward movement of end 19 is configured to be sufficient to cause pawl 84 to rotate rotary chamber 52 and sleeve 51 through an angle of 45. At this point, pawl 81 will engage the notch 80 diametrically opposed to the notch 80 engaged by pawl 84. As lever'7 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction to draw the lever adjacent pistol grip 2, yoke 71 will descend. As yoke 71 descends, arm 74 will also descend. However, at the upwardmost limit of arm 74, pawl 81 was forced into the adjacent notch 80 by its spring 82 and as arm 74 descends, pawl 81 engaging its notch will rotate rotary chamber 52 through a further angle of 45. From the above description, it may be seen that for each full movement of lever 7, rotary chamber 52 will always rotate through an angle of 90. As the angle of 90 corresponds to the angular orientation between adjacent shell chambers 53, rotary chamber 52 will be advanced one shell position for each cycle of lever 7.
Lever 7 may include a key 90 positioned just off pivot point to engage one of depressions 91 disposed within sleeve 51. Depressions 91 are aligned with the axis of rotary chamber 52 and the center line of one of the shell chambers 53. The function served by key 90 and its associated depressions is that of securely locking rotary chamber 52 in position after the chamber has been advanced. The operation of unlocking and locking rotary chamber 52 may be described as follows. Key 90 extends from lever 7 to the rear of the pivot point 20 so that key 90 will move downwardly as lever 7 is rotated in a clockwise direction. The downward movement of key 90 extracts the key from the associated depression 91 to permit the rotary chamber 52 to rotate. As the lever 7 is subsequently brought adjacent pistol grip 2, key 90 will engage the succeeding depression 91 after the rotary chamber 52 has been rotated through 90. Thus, the rotary chamber is securely locked in place with the shell being fully aligned with the bore of barrel 4 and the firing pin 43.
With the present invention, a plurality of differently sized shell chambers 53 may be used in each of a plurality of rotary chambers 52. Thus, it is possible to use a 4 plurality of different sized cartridge shapes and configurations within the same rifle, provided only that the projectile caliber matches the caliber of the rifle. Thus, the present invention teaches the construction of firearms, which firearms are not restricted to a single manufacturers shells for any given size caliber but, instead, permit the rifle to be used with any number of manufacturers shells. The only change that must be made to permit such use is that of using a rotary chamber 52 specifically adapted for a particular manufacturers shells.
The removal and insertion of rotary chambers 52 within a firearm constructed in accordance with the present invention can be easily accommodated by unlocking breech plug 40 and swinging it lateral to receiver 5. At the same time, lever 7 is rotated in a clockwise direction to its extremity, which rotation will cause striker 14 and turret case 13 to recede within pistol grip 2; thus, neither striker 14 nor turret case 13 will impede the removal or insertion of a rotary chamber 52, from within sleeve 51.
While the principles of the invention have now been made clear in an illustrative embodiment, it will be immediately obvious to those skilled in the art many modifications of structure, arrangement, proportions, the elements, materials, and components, used in the practice of the invention which are particularly adapted for specific environments and operating requirements without departing from those principles.
1. Apparatus for housing cartridges within a lever action rifle, which rifle includes a lever operating the lever action of the rifle, a barrel, a receiver, and a stock, said apparatus comprising in combination:
A. a rotary chamber having a plurality of cavities for receiving and cartridges;
B. a housing disposed within the receiver of the lever action rifle for receiving said chamber;
C. a breech plug threadedly secured to said housing for locking said chamber within said housing;
D. advance means connected to the lever of the lever action for rotating said chamber to serially position the cartridges in alignment with the barrel of the rifle; and
E. means for discharging a cartridge in alignment with the barrel; whereby, the cartridges can be serially advanced within the receiver by operation of the lever action and serially discharged by operation of said discharge means.
2. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said breech plug includes a plurality of interrupted thread lugs, and the receiver includes interrupted threads for receiving said lugs.
3. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said receiver includes a plurality of channels, equal in number to the number of axially aligned rows of said interrupted thread lugs, for receiving said interrupted thread lugs, whereby said breech plug is axially slideable into said receiver prior to engagement of said interrupted thread lugs with said interrupted threads.
4. The apparatus as set forth in claim 3 including means for hingedly securing said breech plug to said receiver 5. The apparatus as set forth in claim 4 wherein said breech plug includes a channel disposed about said breech plug and said securing means comprises:
A. a slip ring disposed within said channel in said breech plug;
B. hinge lugs extending from said slip ring;
C. an arm affixed to said receiver; and
D. pivot means disposed intermediate said hinge lugs and said arm; whereby said breech plug is free to move in its axial direction for a distance equivalent to the difference in width between said channel and said slip ring and pivot with respect to the receiver.
6. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said advance means includes:
A. an interposed sleeve disposed about said rotary chamber, including means for keying said sleeve with said rotary chamber;
B. a yoke secured to the extremity of the lever of the lever action, said yoke including a pair of arms; C. a first inwardly biased pawl pivotally secured to one of said arms, said first pawl being oriented in a first direction;
D. a second inwardly biased pawl pivotally secured to another of said arms, said second pawl being oriented in a second direction; and
E. notch means disposed within said sleeve for alternately engaging one of said pawls; whereby, one of said pawls engages one of said notches when the 1 of said notches when the lever is moved in a second direction to further rotate said sleeve. 7. The apparatus as set forth in Claim 6 wherein said advance means further includes:
A. a plurality of keyways disposed about said sleeve;
B. a key extending from said lever, said key engaging one of said keyways when the lever is in a first position and disengaging from said engaging keyway when said lever is in a second position; whereby, said key and keyway inhibits rotation of said rotary