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ordinarily used; and it is so arranged that as the nipple slides forward with the barrel, the hammer cannot strike it and explode the cap until the barrel and breech are securely screwed together. Hence there is no possibility of an explosion with an open breech, which is so much dreaded by some of the opponents of the breech-loader, and which may happen to some other kinds. When the barrel is driven forward, as shown in fig. 80, the cartridge is pushed into the chamber at
PRINCE'S RIFLE, OPEN. f, when the lever being laid hold of, and the barrel being drawn back, the former is turned downwards till it is in a line with the front of the trigger-guard (as in fig. 79), and it is only necessary to cap the nipple before the rifle may be fired. The process is so expeditious that eight rounds can be fired per minute. Here, then, we have a rifle which can be loaded in eight or nine seconds, and which is quite as secure and free from escape as the muzzle-loader, while its accuracy of shooting is so great that on a favourable day the palm of a man's hand may be hit nine times out of twelve at 200 yards.
In loading this rifle the stock is held firmly under the right arm, which fixes it against the ribs and leaves the hand at liberty to lay hold of the lever and turn it to the right,
after which it is free to force the barrel forward to the position shown in fig. 80. The cartridge is then pushed into the chamber f, and the hand again drawing back the lever and turning it to the left with some little force, the loading is completed. Fig. 81 exhibits a view of the lever and slide from below.
The cartridge preferred by Mr. Prince is made of an explosive paper prepared by him. A piece of this is first pasted round the base of the ball, leaving an open cylinder, which is then filled with the charge of powder and tied. Any one can make these cartridges readily enough with a little paste, the only thing necessary after the above-described preparation being to dip the ball and the paper covering it into some melted grease. Ordinary paper will do, but as the fire from the cap has to pierce it, the explosion is not so certain or so rapid as with the prepared paper. Nevertheless, a miss-fire with the common paper does not occur once in a thousand times if the caps are good. Of course they should be those specially made for rifles.
The skin cartridges, invented and patented by Captain M. Hayes, R.N., are particularly serviceable with all rifles which, like this, require the percussion fire to perforate the envelop of the powder. They consist merely of the charge of powder confined to the base of the ball by a fine animal membrane, and kept in the cartouche box in a cover of cartridge paper, which is readily torn off by means of a piece of red tape attached to it. Gunpowder thus confined will keep for a long time, and the additional expense is so trifling as to be scarcely worth a moment's consideration to the sportsman. They are manufactured and sold by Messrs. Brough aud Moll, London.
MR, PRINCE'S RIFLE OF 1859. During the present year Mr. Prince has been engaged in bringing
to perfection a new rifle, adapted chiefly to military purposes, by which sixteen discharges may be effected in the minute with the aid of a capping machine, and as long as the reservoir of caps is unexhausted. There will always, however, be more or less escape at the breech, and on that account I think it objectionable for sporting purposes.
TERRY AND CALISHER'S RIFLE. In Mr. Prince's specification of his patent for his sliding rifle, an exact description of Terry's plan is embodied, and any merit, therefore, which may be connected with it of right belongs to the former, as his patent was completed long before Terry promulgated the one which bears his name. Mr. Prince, however, has abandoned his claim, because I believe he considers the sliding barrel far superior to the piston-breech, and in that opinion I cannot but concur, for reasons which will be better understood after examining the annexed illustrations.
In order to prevent any imputation of carelessness or prejudice in reference to a rifle to whose principle I am opposed, I prefer inserting the description given by Mr. Terry himself in the Illustrated Inventor, to any of my own :
“The upper portion of the engraving (fig. 82) shows the elevation of the rifle when charged ready to be cocked and to have the percussion-cap placed on the nipple. Fig. 83
shows a longitudinal section of the rifle with the chamber open ready to receive the charge; and for the purpose of fully illustrating it, a cartridge and ball are placed in the position they take previously to being fired. The advantages which the patentee states this rifle to possess are its simplicity and the small number of parts which enter into its construction, its safety, and the impossibility of accident arising from its use with ordinary care; the ease with which it can be loaded, and the rapidity with which can be fired as compared with any other weapon of the kind at present constructed. There are several peculiarities in the construction of this rifle, and also in the formation of the cartridge, which it will be necessary generally to notice before minutely describing the details and various parts of which it is formed.
“The cartridge is made of strong brown paper, and is secured to the end of the ball by some adhesive substance; it has glued to the back of it a wad well saturated with tallow for preventing the gun from fouling after repeated use, the action of which will be hereafter explained. By referring to the lower illustration it will be seen that the cartridge is placed directly under the channel or bore which leads from the nipple, in such a position that when the cap is discharged by the fall of the hammer, the explosion of the powder takes place from the centre of the cartridge, and not from the end, as is usually the case. The object of this arrangement is for the purpose of detaining the tallowed wad in the barrel at the time the ball is ejected from it by the force of the exploded powder; it there remains ready to be forced forward by the next ball and cartridge inserted, and leaves the barrel when the discharge again takes place. It will therefore be understood that there is always a wad left behind every discharge, ready to be pushed forward by the following charge. We shall now explain the various parts of the rifle, the way in which they are fitted together, and their action when in use: a is the cartridge, b the ball, c the wad; d is a sliding conical piston or plug, operated on by a rod (e), and fitting into a seating in which it has been truly ground. Directly at the back of the charge-chamber f is a cam, or more properly speaking, an oval collar, formed on the rod e, which fits
e, into a corresponding oval recess formed in the breech; and when thus positioned, by turning it one quarter round, the eccentric or oval parts jam themselves into two chambers made to receive them, and form the point of resistance for the back of the charge-chamber; g is a hinged joint which, turning round, forms not only a door for the opening h, through which the cartridge is placed, but also a lever for more readily turning the cam f, and removing the conical piston d, when it is required to insert a fresh charge.
"In loading, the operation is extremely easy, and can be performed in a very short space of time-the hinged door 9, which is kept tight in its place by a spring on the back, is first thrown round at right angles to the position it occu