Military Review

“Great Rifle US Drama” (Rifles by countries and continents - 6)

Theme small weapons The USA of the middle of the XIX century aroused a keen interest of the IN readership audience and offers to continue it. Well, why not, especially since the last time one of the directions in which it developed there, this time has not been considered ...

To begin with, one of the ways to increase the rate of fire of firearms (and, probably, the simplest) was initially to equip it with several trunks at once, which made it possible not to spend time on their loading, but to fire them alternately. That is how the 16th century multi-barreled pistols appeared. and later "Marietta" and "hand of death", but it is quite possible to say that the immediate predecessor of all these killer "organs" was the so-called "sprinkler" of the English king Henry VIII, named in the inventory of the Tower by his ... "recreational device". It represented itself by itself ... of a terrible kind of spiked club, inside of which three trunks were hidden. The firing holes were closed with sliding covers, well, and the monarch had to hold a smoldering wick in his hand. If necessary, it was necessary to aim the weapon at the enemy, holding it under the arm, move the cover and attach the wick to the gun-filled firing hole. Well, having shot like this three times, Heinrich — God didn’t hurt his blessing by force — could stand up for himself, using his “sprinkle” as his usual spiked club.

“Great Rifle US Drama” (Rifles by countries and continents - 6)

"Kropilo" King Henry VIII.

But multi-barreled weapon. Therefore, in the same XVI century, they squeaked with wick locks, in which the charges were in a drum with several cameras. In the 70 of the XVII century, English gunsmith John Duft made the first revolver with a rotary drum, rotated during cocking. In Russia, master Pervusha Isaev, who worked in the Armory Chamber, made both pishchal and a revolver with drums for five and six charges, respectively, for Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich. True, the drums were turned by hand, however, and what he did was a great achievement, not to mention the fact that both the food and the revolver had rifled barrels! So the system with the drum content of ammunition is very old, and slowly but surely improved. And the first serious steps on this path were again made precisely in the USA.

And it was that someone Elisha Collier (1788 – 1856) from the city of Concord in Massachusetts designed a revolver with a flint lock, for which in November 1818 received a patent. He was not interested in the US military. The war with England ended in 1812, a new one was not expected and they simply didn’t need a need for such a complex and expensive weapon. But he became interested in the military in England, where from 1819 to 1824, the London-based company, John Evans and Son, produced about 10000 copies of Collier's revolvers. The novelty was tested in India, where officers of the British colonial army were armed with a new revolver. There is a very high probability that it was there, in India, that Samuel Colt, who sailed a sailor to India in the 1831 on the brig Korvo, saw him. And when he saw it, he wanted to do something better.

The drum of the Collier’s revolver of figured form, equipped with figured grooves for weight reduction, had five chambers. Due to the presence of the drum, it was not possible to place the load spring under the lid of the powder shelf, and it was installed above it. Another original solution of the inventor was a container with gunpowder in the lid of the powder shelf! That is, in fact, it was a dispenser, each time sprinkled powder on the shelf when turning the drum. It was convenient and, moreover, significantly increased the rate of fire. In the early models, the drum was turned while cocking. But then such a solution was considered redundantly complex, the design was simplified, so that in the end it had to be twisted manually. Despite the good combat and operational qualities, the revolver did not become very popular. It was a long time to charge, and the flintlock gave quite a few misfires.

Revolver Elisha Collier.

It is hardly worth telling. history Samuel Colt created and eventually created his first Colt Paterson. What is important is that, simultaneously with the revolver, he also developed a rifle with a drum mechanism and blasting ignition. The work began in March, and soon the rifle of the .34, .36, .38, .40 and .44 calibers was ready, in which the trigger was hidden (!), And its cocking and simultaneously turning the drum shop was due to the retract in front of the trigger with a ring at the end. And after this rifle, five-inch Paterson revolvers with folding triggers and with both levers for a tight bullet and without bullets in calibers .28, .31 and .36 went to the market.

One of the samples of a Colt rifle with a secret trigger.

In 1837, the Colt fired a .69 (17,5-mm) musket caliber ten-shot rifle, seeking to please the United States Army, and this was partly possible. The fact is that in the same year the Seminole War broke out, so colorfully described by Main Reed in the novel Osceola Leader of Seminoles. The American army had to fight in the virgin forests and marshes of Florida, where seminoles attacked its soldiers literally because of every bush. At the same time, they learned to quickly wait out the first salvo, after which they ran at the Yankee soldiers with spears and applied clubs in their hands. Not everyone was able to withstand this, but the soldiers simply did not have time to reload their flint and even capsule rifles a second time.

Colt rifle drum.

It should be noted here that the US military didn’t like this model either. Moreover, for this they had every reason. There were two main complaints, and both were very serious: first, a strong burst of flame between the barrel and the drum, only a few centimeters from the shooter’s eyes. In a revolver, this lack was not so strongly felt, because he was held in an outstretched hand. The second flaw was a consequence of the first. It was necessary to carefully cover the openings of the chamber with “cannon fat,” otherwise the flame from the ignition of one charge spread immediately to all the charges in the drum, in the immediate vicinity of the shooter’s hand. Well, if at that time he was holding on to the drum itself, but it happened. What happened to his hand then?

The photograph clearly shows the reload lever, that is, the rotation of the drum.

However, when I had to choose between these accidents and victims of seminole attacks, it turned out that ... it’s better to lose fingers than to remain without a scalp, or even not to return from Florida. And it turned out that from the first 100 17,5-mm rifles 30 drowned in the sea and only 50 were involved during the Second Seminolsky war. Newspapers reported that the new weapon is eight times faster than what is required by the charter, and allows one to meet the raging seminols with a barrage of fire, about which their most desperate gusts were broken. In turn, the commanders demanded that subordinates thoroughly clean their weapons and not allow the accumulation of waking up powder in various "secluded places".

Colt M1855 rifle with a lateral arrangement of the trigger and a lever located under the forearm for a tight bullet point in the drum chambers.

In 1839, Colt presented an improved model of his gun, and in 1855, he received a patent for a rifle with a lateral arrangement of an external trigger and issued corresponding samples of rifles.

Colt M1855 Carabiner with 15-inch barrel.

The design of the Colt's rotating rifle was essentially similar to its revolvers with five or six charging magazine of different calibers from 0,36 to 0,64 inch.

The scheme of the device Colt rifle on the patent 1857 year.

The 1855 model of the year was available in 0,36, 0,44 and 0,56 calibers and 15, 18, 21 and 24 inch barrels. The drum had six chambers if the caliber was 0,36 or 0,44. If the caliber was larger, for example, .56, then a five-chamber drum was used.

Cavalry carbine. The case for caps mounted on the bed is clearly visible. Near the pulley for two bullets.

Another problem rifles became primers. Rather, fragments of lead caps, flying in different directions when fired. And usually they fell into the wrist or hand of the shooter, in which there was nothing good. Nevertheless, Colt drum rifles were even used as sniper weapons and were used as such during the Civil War between the North and the South.

To be continued ...
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  1. D-Master
    D-Master 26 February 2018 15: 18
    Very interesting. It is especially interesting that sometimes being late in such a development and not rearming the army with such weapons is more useful than rushing and rearming.
    1. Simargl
      Simargl 26 February 2018 17: 28
      Quote: D-Master
      It is especially interesting that sometimes being late in such a development and not rearming the army with such weapons is more useful than rushing and rearming.
      It’s even more useful to know that it’s better to have your own developers and an industry capable of mastering the product, rather than buying patents and weapons themselves abroad!
  2. alex-cn
    alex-cn 26 February 2018 17: 37
    five-inch Paterson revolvers
    Vyacheslav! it’s a sin to miss such errors, correct it or something.
    And the rest is quite interesting, plus
    1. Michael_Zverev
      Michael_Zverev 26 February 2018 18: 33
      Probably, I mean the "belt" model number five (Number 5 Belt Revolver).
    2. kalibr
      26 February 2018 19: 03
      It's not a mistake! I mean the length of the barrel!
      1. alex-cn
        alex-cn 26 February 2018 19: 45
        then this should be specified, for example, I decided that we are talking about a half-inch caliber ... and hence
        1. kalibr
          27 February 2018 07: 26
          Of course it is. But ... it was a translation of the English text. It did not make a reservation. It seemed clear to me. I just did not realize that perception could be different.
  3. polpot
    polpot 26 February 2018 18: 27
    Thanks for the article, the idea of ​​a revolving rifle came to light immediately after the appearance of a mass revolver, but the reload speed of the rifle was much slower than the revolver and even 2-3 loaded rifles like revolvers you can not carry
    1. 97110
      97110 26 February 2018 20: 31
      Quote: polpot
      Yes, and 2-3 loaded rifles like revolvers do not carry with you

      I remember that the owners of 5-charges usually carried a 12-gauge double-barreled gun with them to the dawn, because the automatic machine for eliminating the delay requires a dry shore, which is not present in the reeds when hunting for a duck. Under the USSR, machine guns were unreliable ... I don’t know what didn’t work there. When the machine started, it was Binelli. This one did not wedge.
      1. alex-cn
        alex-cn 27 February 2018 10: 01
        Do not offend our MC 21-12, Soviet-made, with good ammunition, it was almost without failure. even when we fell in the freezing rain and I moved like a statue of a commander, he shot. he chewed and ate a branch of raspberries a pencil thick .... for 15 years of operation, there was one delay that required disassembly when it flew into the anvil mechanism from the capsule. I know a couple of mts working so far, there aren’t much complaints ... they’re already shooting ... I myself refused only in 2005 because of sores ... it became hard to wear
  4. fighter angel
    fighter angel 27 February 2018 12: 09
    The author "correctly" circumvents the fact of creating a revolver. Colt only patented, but the revolver was created by engineer John Pearson. The Texas model -1834 is one of the first Pearson models. By the way, Pearson, left with nothing thanks to Colt, died in poverty. And Colt himself was "shod" in Russia. He came twice to St. Petersburg, successively to the two emperors, Nikolai and Alexander, gave his revolvers, gave "presentations", hoping to interest Russia with his weapons. But both times he was "politely sent" ... Perplexed, poor fellow, why. Everything is simple: at the same time, in Tula, his models “Dragoon” and “Marine” with some modifications, quite calmly, “counterfeit” were made by Russian gunsmiths, in particular, the master Goltyakov and “others like him”. Naturally, they didn’t get a single penny from them.
    1. 97110
      97110 27 February 2018 12: 28
      Quote: fighter angel
      By the way, Pearson, left with nothing thanks to Colt, died in poverty.

      They wrote in a direct Bolshevik way, philanthropic. But for us, building natural capitalism, this is just what we need: Bolivar cannot stand two!
      1. fighter angel
        fighter angel 27 February 2018 12: 57
        Here it’s more likely not Bolivar, but elementary greed, envy and a desire for money-grubbing, moreover, “bum” at any cost. Naturally, from the side of Colt. Although why be surprised? Who founded the "exclusive nation"? Fraudsters, crooks, bandits and murderers who fled to America and destroyed the indigenous population. Colt is no exception.
        1. 97110
          97110 27 February 2018 13: 07
          Quote: fighter angel
          Who founded the "exclusive nation"?

          And who will base our exclusively capitalist nation? Students, Komsomol members and just beauties? Of course, after the Dagestanis from capitalism are cleaned up on the almost Stalinist zone?
    2. kalibr
      27 February 2018 19: 48
      The article is not about revolvers, but about rifles. If Pearson did not manage to patent his development in time, then this is his problem. No need to yawn! The law is strong, but it's law.
  5. fighter angel
    fighter angel 27 February 2018 12: 52
    Thanks to the author! A little compressed, but the pictures are wonderful! Incidentally not from the "MasterRun" of past years? Even Mine Reed reminded Osceola too. We are waiting for the continuation. Plus, definitely.
    1. kalibr
      27 February 2018 19: 43
      No, not from the "Master." This is all taken from our "partners".
  6. kalibr
    27 February 2018 19: 45
    Quote: fighter angel
    Naturally, they didn’t get a single penny from them.

    That is, a thief has stolen a baton from a thief and this should be rejoiced? Lawlessness elevated to the rank of law is neither good nor an example to follow.
    1. fighter angel
      fighter angel 28 February 2018 11: 21
      No, it’s rather different here: "Not all cat has cottage cheese, it happens - for eggs and for the threshold!"
  7. Kibb
    Kibb 5 March 2018 12: 47
    The article is generally not very bad, thank you. One “But” they did not have any gun drama - they had a small army then.