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Percussion cap

The percussion cap, introduced circa 1820, is a type of single-use ignition device used on muzzleloader firearms that enabled them to fire reliably in any weather condition. This crucial invention gave rise to the percussion lock system. Before this development, firearms used flintlock ignition systems that produced flint-on-steel sparks to ignite a pan of priming powder and thereby fire the gun's main powder charge. Flintlocks were prone to misfire in wet weather, many flintlock firearms were converted to the more reliable percussion system; the percussion cap is a small cylinder of brass with one closed end. Inside the closed end is a small amount of a shock-sensitive explosive material such as fulminate of mercury; the percussion cap is placed over a hollow metal "nipple" at the rear end of the gun barrel. Pulling the trigger releases a hammer that strikes the percussion cap and ignites the explosive primer; the flame travels through the hollow nipple to ignite the main powder charge. Percussion caps were, still are, made in small sizes for pistols and larger sizes for rifles and muskets.

While the metal percussion cap was the most popular and used type of primer, their small size made them difficult to handle under the stress of combat or while riding a horse. Accordingly, several manufacturers developed "auto-priming" systems; the "Maynard tape primer", for example, used a roll of paper "caps" much like today's toy cap gun. The Maynard tape primer was fitted to some firearms used in the mid-nineteenth century and a few saw brief use in the American Civil War. Other disc or pellet-type primers held a supply of tiny fulminate detonator discs in a small magazine. Cocking the hammer automatically advanced a disc into position. However, these automatic feed systems were difficult to make with the manufacturing systems in the early and mid-nineteenth century and generated more problems than they solved, they were shelved in favor of a single percussion cap that, while unwieldy in some conditions, could be carried in sufficient quantities to make up for dropping one, while a jammed tape primer system would instead reduce the rifle to an awkward club.

The first practical solution for the problem of handling percussion caps in battle was the Prussian 1841, which used a long needle to penetrate a paper cartridge filled with black powder and strike the percussion cap, fastened to the base of the bullet. While it had a number of problems, it was used by the Prussians and other German states in the mid-nineteenth century and was a major factor in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. In the 1850s, the percussion cap was first integrated into a metallic cartridge, which contained the bullet, powder charge and primer. By the late 1860s, breech-loading metallic cartridges had made the percussion cap system obsolete. Today, reproduction percussion firearms are popular for recreational shooters and percussion caps are still available. Most percussion caps now use non-corrosive compounds such as lead styphnate; the percussion cap replaced the flint, the steel "frizzen", the powder pan of the flint-lock mechanism. It was only applied to the British military musket in 1842, a quarter of a century after the invention of percussion powder and after an elaborate government test at Woolwich in 1834.

The first percussion firearm produced for the US military was the percussion carbine version of the M1819 Hall rifle. The discovery of fulminates was made by Edward Charles Howard in 1800; the invention that made the percussion cap possible using the discovered fulminates was patented by the Rev. Alexander John Forsyth of Belhelvie, Scotland in 1807; this early system coined "Percussion Lock" operated in a near identical fashion to flintlock firearms and used fulminating primer made of fulminate of mercury, chlorate of potash and charcoal, ignited by concussion. It was an invention born of necessity, his invention of a fulminate-primed firing mechanism deprived the birds of their early warning, by avoiding the initial puff of smoke from the flintlock powder pan and shortening the interval between the trigger pull and the shot leaving the muzzle. Fulminate-primed guns were less to misfire than flintlocks; the percussion cap helped lead to the self-contained cartridge, where the bullet is held in by the casing, the casing is filled with gunpowder and a primer is at the end.

Joshua Shaw, an English-born American, is sometimes credited with the development of the first metallic percussion cap in 1814 but his claim remains clouded with controversy as he did not patent the idea until 1822. According to Lewis Winant, the US government's decision to award Shaw $25,000 as compensation for his invention was a mistake. Congress believed Shaw's patent was the earliest and awarded him a large sum of money based on this belief but a claim for the percussion cap was filed in 1819 and granted in 1820 as an addition to an 1818 patent by Francois Prelat, two years before Shaw's patent. Prelat may not be the inventor as he made a habit of copying English patents and inventions and the mode of operation he describes is flawed. According to historian Sidney James Gooding, the most inventor of the percussion cap is Joseph Egg, around 1817. Shaw's percussion caps used a mixture of fulminate

Berwick St James

Berwick St James is a village and civil parish on the River Till in Wiltshire, about 7 miles northwest of Salisbury, on the southern edge of Salisbury Plain. The parish includes the hamlet of Asserton. At the 2001 census the parish had a population of 185. Yarnbury Castle, an iron age hillfort, is within the parish. In the Domesday Book of 1086, estates at Berwick and Asserton were part of Winterbourne Stoke. Stapleford Castle, a medieval ringwork castle, was just south of the parish at Stapleford. Manor Farmhouse, on the village High Street, is late 16th century. In medieval times Asserton was a village or hamlet, with its own church or chapel, in the 14th and 15th centuries it was a separate tithing. In 1557 Asserton manor was granted to a courtier to Queen Mary. Asserton House was rebuilt early in the 19th; the Church of England parish church of St James is Grade I listed. Originating in the 12th century and with a 17th-century tower, the building was restored in 1871; the civil parish does not elect a parish council.

Instead the first tier of local government is a parish meeting, which all electors are entitled to attend. The parish is in the area of Wiltshire Council unitary authority, responsible for all significant local government functions; the village has a pub, the Boot Inn, a 17th-century building. A National School was built northwest of the church in 1856 and was in use until 1936 when a new school was built in Stapleford parish to serve both parishes. Wasp Motorcycles - a small manufacturer near Berwick St James Media related to Berwick St James at Wikimedia Commons "Berwick St James community website". Retrieved 19 September 2015

Messerschmitt KR200

The Messerschmitt KR200, or Kabinenroller, is a three-wheeled bubble car designed by the aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and produced in the factory of the German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt from 1955 to 1964. Messerschmitt, temporarily not allowed to manufacture aircraft, had turned its resources to making other products. In 1952, Fend approached Messerschmitt with the idea of manufacturing small motor vehicles; these were based on his Fend Flitzer invalid carriage. The first of Fend's vehicles to enter production at Messerschmitt's Regensburg factory was the KR175; the title Kabinenroller means "scooter with cabin". While the Messerschmitt name and insignia were used on the car, a separate company, incorporated as Regensburger Stahl- und Metallbau GmbH, was created to manufacture and market the vehicle; the KR200 replaced the KR175 in 1955. While using the same basic frame as the KR175 with changes to the bodywork and an improved canopy design, the KR200 was otherwise an total redesign.

The rear suspension and engine mounting were reworked, hydraulic shock absorbers were installed at all three wheels. Tire sizes were enlarged to 4.00×8. Retailing for around DM 2,500, the KR200 was considered an instant success with 12,000 built during its first year, the highest annual production for Kabinenroller models. A maximum speed in excess of 90 km/h despite a claimed power output of only 10 PS, 1 more PS than the 175 cc engine fom the KR175, reflected the vehicle's light weight and low aerodynamic drag; the KR200, was 23 kg heavier than the KR175 it replaced but had a 10 km/h higher top speed. An "Export" package included a two-tone paint scheme, painted hubcaps, a trimmed interior, a heater, a clock, a sunshade for the canopy. In 1956, around a year after West Germany joined NATO, Messerschmitt was allowed to manufacture aircraft again and lost interest in Fend's microcars. Messerschmitt sold the Regensburg works to Fend who, with brake and hub supplier Valentin Knott, formed Fahrzeug- und Maschinenbau GmbH Regensburg to continue production of the KR200 and his other vehicles.

In 1957, the KR200 Kabrio model was released, featuring a cloth convertible top and fixed side window frames. This was followed by the KR201 Roadster without window frames, using a folding cloth top, a windscreen, removable side curtains. A Sport Roadster was offered with no top and with the canopy fixed into place so that the driver would have to climb in and out at the top of the car. Production of the KR200 was reduced in 1962 and ceased in 1964 as sales had been dropping for a few years; the demand for basic economical transport in Germany had diminished as the German economy boomed. A similar situation developed in other parts of Europe such as in the manufacturer's biggest export destination, the United Kingdom, where sales were affected by the increasing popularity of the Mini. A total of 30,286 units of the KR200 were built. In 1955, in order to prove the KR200's durability, Messerschmitt prepared a KR200 to break the 24-hour speed record for three-wheeled vehicles under 250 cc; the record car had a special single-seat low-drag body and a modified engine, but the suspension and braking components were stock.

Throttle and clutch cables were duplicated. The record car was run on 29–30 August 1955 at the Hockenheimring for 24 hours and broke 22 international speed records in its class, including the 24-hour speed record, which it set at 103 km/h Messerschmitt, subsequently FMR, made factory-converted Service Cars to order for the automobile service industry. Similar in concept to the Harley-Davidson Servi-Car and the Indian Dispatch Tow, the Service Car had a detachable tow bar and clamp, a revised front suspension to accommodate the tow bar when in use, a storage system inside the car to accommodate the tow bar when not in use; the service technician would drive the Service Car to the customer's car and, if the customer's car was drivable, attach the tow bar to the front of the Service Car, clamp the other end of the tow bar to the bumper of the customer's car, drive the customer's car to the garage. When the service was complete, he would drive the car back to the customer while towing the Service Car, detach the Service Car from the customer's car, drive back to the garage.

12 were built. The KR200 incorporated several features unique to the KR line and its four-wheeled derivative, the FMR Tg500. Externally, the narrow body, the transparent acrylic bubble canopy and low stance were among the more obvious features; the narrow body, corresponding low frontal area, was achieved with tandem seating, which allowed the body to taper like an aircraft fuselage, within a practical length. 10 PS propelled the KR200 to around 105 km/h. The claimed fuel consumption of the car was 3.2 L/100 km. The tandem seating centralized the mass of the car along the longitudinal axis which, combined with the low center of gravity, low weight, wheel placement at the vehicle's extremes, gave the KR200 good handling characteristics A more minor advantage of tandem seating was that it made an export version to countries that drive on the left unnecessary. An "Export" model was built. Entry to most KR models except the KR201 Sport Roadster and a corresponding Tg500 version was through a canopy door hinged on the right side of the vehicle.

The door included all the windows and the frame in which it was se