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pies in fig. 82, it is then turned up again at right angles to its previous position, when the oval collar fitting into the chambers, forming the point of resistance, is at once released, and the whole can be drawn back to the position indicated in fig. 83.
" The cartridge can now be introduced through the opening shown; the piston has then to be pushed forward until the conical part comes in contact with its seating, when the point g is forced round one quarter, and then closed over the opening. The gun is now ready for capping and firing. It will be observed that the oval collar is formed something like the twist of a screw; the chamber into which it fits is also formed in the same way; so that when the one is inserted in the other and the quarter turn given by the part g, which acts as a lever, it has a screwing action which drives the cone into its seating with considerable force, and thus effectually prevents any escape of the disengaged gases. The bore of the rifle we have illustrated is the same as that of the Enfield rifle, •577 of an inch diameter, being rifled in the same way with three grooves, but having a twist in every 4 feet, whilst the Enfield rifle has one complete turn in every 6 feet 6 inches. The chamber in which the cartridge lies is of the diameter of the circle described by the bottom of the rifling grooves, and the ball used exceeds the Enfield ball in diameter by the depth of these grooves. The barrel has a gradual bore from the larger to the lesser diameter, so that when the discharge takes place the ball is gradually driven into the rifling grooves, and presents precisely the same appearance as an Enfield ball does after it is discharged. In this way the patentee states he obtains greater range, force, and accuracy, with the same weight of ball and powder, than can be obtained by any other rifle. He has submitted it to the authorities at Enfield, Hythe, and Woolwich, and it appears to have undergone the severest test with complete success, and to be generally approved of by those qualified to judge. There is one peculiarity in the construction of the nipple which we had almost forgotten to mention—it consists in boring it in such a way, that the opening next to the percussion-powder in the cap is as large as can be made consistent with safety, gradually becoming smaller until it arrives at the ordinary size of the bore. By being so formed, a greater explosive power is obtained to burst the cartridge and ignite the charge, while the nipple itself is in no way injured.”
By comparing this with Prince's rifle just described, it will be seen that there are two points in which it is inferior to the latter. Firstly, it may be discharged with the breech unclosed, which would cause a serious damage to the eyes; and secondly, it requires that there shall always be a greased wad in front of the ball, by which the accuracy of the shooting is materially interfered with. Now, as in comparing the two there can only be alleged against these serious drawbacks in Terry's rifle the fact that Prince's barrel is not a fixture, but must necessarily slide, I think a moment's consideration will show that Mr. Prince was quite right in rejecting the portion of his specification which is now taken up by Messrs. Calisher and Terry, and that the rifle which now bears his name is far superior to theirs.
RESTELL'S RIFLE. Restell's rifle is a Belgian invention, but is patented in this country. The principle is as follows. The barrel is attached to the stock and lock in the usual way, and with an ordinary nipple. Behind the open breech is a short chamber, fig. 84 e, in which slides the plug b d, with a projection in front at d, which closes the open end of the breech. This plug is prevented from sliding in any other than one direction by a stud which travels in a small slot, the end of the stud being shown roughed, just above the lower end of the lever. When this plug is pushed forward, it occupies the position of the chamber e, and closes the breech; while, when it is drawn back, it leaves both open and ready to receive a cartridge, which however must be jointed, on account of the shortness of the chamber. The next thing is to provide for the movement and closing of the plug; and these objects are very ingeniously effected, but unfortunately with scarcely sufficient strength. An outside lever a is connected with an internal wedge c, which lies in a slot in the middle of the plug bd, and the shape of the wedge is such that when the lever moves it round on its axis, the segmental edge represented by the dotted line at c, drives the front of the
RESTELL'S RIFLE, OPEN. (HALF SIZE.) plug forward, so as to close the open breech. As in Prince's and Terry's, the fire from the nipple has to perforate the paper of the cartridge. The closure of the breech is well managed as long as the bolt of the lever is not worn; but when this becomes loose by friction, there is some little escape; and as either the bolt or the stock must be greatly reduced in strength beyond what is sufficient to withstand any severe pressure, there is an element of weakness which will always militate against the plan.
The cartridge used with this rifle is of the ordinary construction, but tied in behind the ball, so as to form a narrow neck or joint.
The above drawing is from a rifle made by Mr. Dean, of King William-street, City.
LEETCH'S RIFLE. Mr. Leetch, of Great Portland-street, London, has exhibited for the last three or four years a breech-loading rifle,
which is constructed on the principle of the revolver, but without more than one chamber. A single chamber (fig. 85 6), capable of holding a cartridge complete, is forged in a block
of metal a, and furnished with a nipple. This chamber is hinged so that it readily falls sideways to the right (see fig. 85), on being pulled in that direction by the hinged lever, c, exposing the open end of the barrel, and the space d between this and the false breech, in which it lies; while its own open mouth, b, admits of the insertion of the Government cartridge in the usual way, after which it is turned back, the nipple is capped, and the whole is ready for use. A bolt in connexion with the hammer drops into this chamber, and securely fixes it, preventing the explosion of the cap unless the chamber is secured. This plan is very sinple, and I have
seen extremely good practice made at short ranges; there must of necessity be an escape of gas quite as great as in the revolver, which has the advantage of permitting five or six shots in rapid succession. If, therefore, the escape is not objectionable to the sportsman, I should advise a revolving rifle with five or six chambers in preference to this, with only one. Still, Mr. Leetch's rifle has the advantage of using the Government ammunition, and on that account it will be valuable to sportsmen on distant stations,
WESTLEY RICHARDS' NEW RIFLE. A patent was taken out in 1858, by a celebrated gunmaker of Birmingh im, for a breech-loading carbine, which,
WESTLEY RICHARDS' NEW RIFLE, OPEN (IALF SIZE), AND SECTION OF THE
BARREL (FULL SIZE). as recently modified, has given great satisfaction to the Small Arms Committee, and for some purposes is likely to be useful