A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Magazines can be integral to the firearm; the magazine functions by moving the cartridges stored within it into a position where they may be loaded into the barrel chamber by the action of the firearm. The detachable magazine is colloquially referred to as a clip, although this is technically inaccurate. Magazines come in many shapes and sizes, from tubular magazines on lever-action rifles that hold only a few rounds, to detachable box and drum magazines for automatic rifles and machine guns that can hold more than one hundred rounds. Various jurisdictions ban what they define as "high-capacity magazines". With the increased use of semi-automatic and automatic firearms, the detachable magazine became common. Soon after the adoption of the M1911 pistol, the term "magazine" was settled on by the military and firearms experts, though the term "clip" is used in its place; the defining difference between clips and magazines is the presence of a feed mechanism in a magazine a spring-loaded follower, which a clip lacks.
A magazine has four parts as follows. A clip may have no moving parts. Examples of clips are moon clips for revolvers. Use of the term "clip" to refer to detachable magazines is a point of strong disagreement; the earliest firearms were loaded with loose powder and a lead ball, to fire more than a single shot without reloading required multiple barrels, such as pepper-box guns and double-barreled shotguns, or multiple chambers, such as in revolvers. Both of these add bulk and weight over a single barrel and a single chamber and many attempts were made to get multiple shots from a single loading of a single barrel through the use of superposed loads. While some early repeaters such as the Kalthoff repeater managed to operate using complex systems with multiple feed sources for ball and primer mass-produced repeating mechanisms did not appear until self-contained cartridges were developed; the first mass-produced repeater was the Volcanic Rifle which used a hollow bullet with the base filled with powder and primer fed into the chamber from a spring-loaded tube called a magazine.
It was named after a room used to store ammunition. The anemic power of the Rocket Ball ammunition used in the Volcanic doomed it to limited popularity.. The Henry repeating rifle is a lever-action, breech-loading, tubular magazine fed rifle, was an improved version of the earlier Volcanic rifle. Designed by Benjamin Tyler Henry in 1860, it was one of the first firearms to use self-contained metallic cartridges; the Henry was introduced in the early 1860s and produced through 1866 in the United States by the New Haven Arms Company. It was adopted in small quantities by the Union in the Civil War and favored for its greater firepower than the standard issue carbine. Many found their way West and was famed both for its use at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, being the basis for the iconic Winchester rifle which are still made to this day; the Henry and Winchester rifles would go on to see service with a number of militaries including Turkey. Switzerland and Italy adopted similar designs; the first magazine-fed firearm to achieve widespread success was the Spencer repeating rifle, which saw service in the American Civil War.
The Spencer used a tubular magazine located in the butt of the gun instead of under the barrel and it used new rimfire metallic cartridges. The Spencer was successful, but the rimfire ammunition did ignite in the magazine tube and destroy the magazine, it could injure the user. The new bolt-action rifles began to gain favor with militaries in the 1880s and were equipped with tubular magazines; the Mauser Model 1871 was a single-shot action that added a tubular magazine in its 1884 update. The Norwegian Jarmann M1884 was adopted in 1884 and used a tubular magazine; the French Lebel Model 1886 rifle used 8-round tubular magazine. The military cartridge was evolving. Cartridges evolved from large-bore cartridges to smaller bores that fired lighter, higher-velocity bullets and incorporated new smokeless propellants; the Lebel Model 1886 rifle was the first rifle and cartridge to be designed for use with smokeless powder and used an 8 mm wadcutter-shaped bullet, drawn from a tubular magazine. This would become a problem when the Lebel's ammunition was updated to use a more aerodynamic pointed bullet.
Modifications had to be made to the centerfire case to prevent the spitzer point from igniting the primer of the next cartridge inline in the magazine through recoil or rough handling. This remains a concern with lever-action firearms today. Two early box magazine patents were the ones by Rollin White in 1855 and William Harding in 1859. A detachable box magazine was patented in 1864 by the American Robert Wilson. Unlike box magazines this magazine fed into a tube magazine and was located in the stock of the gun. Another box magazine, closer to the modern type, was patented in Britain by Mowbray Walker, George Henry Money and Francis Little in 1867. James Paris Lee patented a box magazine which held rounds stacked vertically in 1879 and 1882 and it was first adopted by Austria in the form of an 11mm straight-pull bolt-action rifle, the Mannlicher M1886, it used a cartridge clip which held 5 rounds ready to load into the ma
Windsor is a town in Windsor County, United States. As the "Birthplace of Vermont", the town is where the Constitution of Vermont was adopted in 1777, thus marking the founding of the Vermont Republic—a sovereign state until 1791 when Vermont joined the United States. Over much of its history, Windsor was home to a variety of manufacturing enterprises; the population was 3,553 at the 2010 census. One of the New Hampshire grants, Windsor was chartered as a town on July 6, 1761, by colonial governor Benning Wentworth, it was first settled in August 1764 by Captain Steele Smith and his family from Farmington, Connecticut. In 1777, the signers of the Constitution of the Vermont Republic met at Old Constitution House, a tavern at the time, to declare independence from the British Empire. In 1820, it was a thriving center for trade and agriculture. In 1835, the first dam was built across Mill Brook to provide water power. Factories made guns, tinware and harnesses; the community is named for Connecticut.
In 1846, Robbins and Lawerence received a government contract to manufacture firearms. Using advanced machine tools to produce interchangeable parts and their associates established factories in the Connecticut River valley and throughout New England. Two factories, now both closed, sustained the economy of Windsor: Cone Automatic Machine Company and a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant. Windsor village began development at the end of the 18th century and achieved importance in Vermont history as the location of the framing of the constitution of Vermont, it is known as the birthplace of Vermont, where the state constitution was signed, acted as the first capital until 1805 when Montpelier became the official state capital. Commerce prospered due to the village's location on the banks of the Connecticut River where several smaller streams run into it; the economy improved in the mid-19th century when Windsor became the first town in the state to break ground for the railroad with the construction of a rail depot.
Windsor Station connected the town to out-of-state markets. It was. Windsor's war memorial, the City Center Veterans Memorial, was created by sculptor Lawrence Nowlan. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 19.8 square miles, of which 19.5 square miles is land and 0.2 square mile is water. Home to part of Mount Ascutney, Windsor is situated beside the Connecticut River; the town is crossed by Interstate 91, U. S. Route 5, Vermont Route 12, Vermont Route 44, Vermont Route 44A, it is bordered by the town of Weathersfield to the south, West Windsor to the west, Hartland to the north. To the east, across the Connecticut River, is Cornish, New Hampshire, to which Windsor is connected by the Cornish–Windsor Covered Bridge, one of the longest covered bridges in the world; as of the census of 2000, there were 3,756 people, 1,520 households, 945 families residing in the town. The population density was 192.1 people per square mile. There were 1,611 housing units at an average density of 82.4 per square mile.
The racial makeup of the town was 97.74% White, 0.24% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.24% from other races, 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.06% of the population. There were 1,520 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.3% were couples living together and joined in either marriage or civil union, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.8% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.83. In the town, the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, 20.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.6 males. The median income for a household in the town was $33,815, the median income for a family was $43,551.
Males had a median income of $29,897 versus $23,313 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,640. About 6.4% of families and 7.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those age 65 or over. Windsor is served by Vermont; the district serves grades kindergarten to twelfth. The two schools in the district are Windsor High School; the Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center is located in Windsor. Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides daily service through Windsor, operating its Vermonter between Washington, D. C. and St. Albans, Vermont. Moon Dance Since 1999, Windsor has hosted this Autumn street festival, complete with live bands and hypnotists. Windsor is home to Paradise Park in the Windsor Town Forest which borders Runnemede Lake Asa Aikens, Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court Asher Benjamin, author, educator Carlos Coolidge, politician Edward Curtis, politician A. E. Douglass, astronomer Josiah Dunham, Secretary of State of Vermont Maxwell Evarts, president of the Windsor Savings Bank and founded the State Fair Program in Vermont William M. Evarts, United States Attorney General, United States Secretary of State, U.
S. senator for New York Horace Everett, US congressman William Laurel Harris and arts organizer Valentine B. Horton, US congr
Sharps rifles are a series of large-bore single-shot rifles, beginning with a design by Christian Sharps in 1848, ceasing production in 1881. They were renowned for long-range accuracy. By 1874 the rifle was available in a variety of calibers, had been adopted by the armies of a number of nations, it was one of the few designs to transition to metallic cartridge use. The Sharps rifles became icons of the American Old West due to their appearances in many Western-genre movies and books; as a result, a number of different rifle companies offer reproductions of the Sharps rifle. Sharps' initial rifle was patented September 12, 1848 and manufactured by A. S. Nippes at Mill Creek, Pennsylvania, in 1850; the second model used the Maynard tape primer, surviving examples are marked Edward Maynard - Patentee 1845. In 1851 the second model was brought to the Robbins & Lawrence Company of Windsor, Vermont where the Model 1851 was developed for mass production. Rollin White of the R&L Co. invented the knife-edge breech block and self-cocking device for the "box-lock" Model 1851.
This is referred to as the "First Contract", for 10,000 Model 1851 carbines - of which 1,650 were produced by R&L in Windsor. In 1851 the "Second Contract" was made for 15,000 rifles and the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company was organized as a holding company with $1,000 in capital and with John C. Palmer as president, Christian Sharps as engineer, Richard S. Lawrence as master armorer and superintendent of manufacturing. Sharps was to be paid a royalty of $1 per firearm and the factory was built on R&L's property in Hartford, Connecticut; the Model 1851 was replaced in production by the Model 1853. Christian Sharps left the company in 1855 to form his own manufacturing company called "C. Sharps & Company" in Philadelphia. In 1874, the company was reorganized and renamed "The Sharps Rifle Company" and it remained in Hartford until 1876, whereupon it relocated to Bridgeport, Connecticut; the Sharps rifle would play a prominent role in the Bleeding Kansas conflict during the 1850s in the hands of anti-slavery forces.
The Sharps rifles supplied to anti-slavery factions earned the name Beecher's Bibles, after the famed abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher. The 1874-pattern Sharps was a popular rifle that led to the introduction of several derivatives in quick succession, it handled a large number of.40- to.50-caliber cartridges in a variety of loadings and barrel lengths. Hugo Borchardt designed the Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878, the last rifle made by the Sharps Rifle Co. before its closing in 1881. Reproductions of the paper cartridge Sharps M1859 and M1863 Rifle and Carbine, the metallic cartridge 1874 Sharps Rifle, Sharps-Borchardt Model 1878 are being manufactured today, they are used in Civil War re-enacting and target shooting. The military Sharps rifle was a falling block rifle used during and after the American Civil War in multiple variations. Along with being able to use a standard percussion cap, the Sharps had a unusual pellet primer feed; this was a device which held a stack of pelleted primers and flipped one over the nipple each time the trigger was pulled and the hammer fell—making it much easier to fire a Sharps from horseback than a gun employing individually loaded percussion caps.
The Sharps Rifle was produced by the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company in Connecticut. It was used in the Civil War by multiple Union units, most famously by the U. S. Army Marksman, known popularly as "Berdan's Sharpshooters" in honor of their leader Hiram Berdan; the Sharps made a superior sniper weapon of greater accuracy than the more issued muzzle-loading rifled muskets. This was due to the higher rate of fire of the breech loading mechanism and superior quality of manufacture, as well as the ease of which it could be reloaded from a kneeling or prone position. At this time however, many officers were distrustful of breech-loading weapons on the grounds that they would encourage men to waste ammunition. In addition, the Sharps rifle was expensive to manufacture and so only 11,000 of the Model 1859s were produced. Most were unissued or given to sharpshooters, but the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves carried them until being mustered out in 1864; the carbine version was popular with the cavalry of both the Union and Confederate armies and was issued in much larger numbers than other carbines of the war and was top in production in front of the Spencer or Burnside carbine.
The falling block action lent itself to conversion to the new metallic cartridges developed in the late 1860s, many of these converted carbines in.50-70 Government were used during the Indian Wars in the decades following the Civil War. Some Civil War–issue carbines had an unusual feature: a hand-cranked grinder in the stock. Although long thought to be a coffee mill, experimentation with some of the few survivors suggests the grinder is ill-suited for coffee; the modern consensus is that its true purpose was for grinding wheat. Unlike the Sharps rifle, the carbine was popular and 90,000 were produced. By 1863, it was the most common weapon carried by Union cavalry regiments, although in 1864 many were replaced by 7-shot Spencer carbines; some Sharps clones were produced by the Confederates in Richmond. Quality was poorer and they used brass fittings instead of iron. Sharps made sporting versions from the late 1840s until the late 1880s. After the American Civil War, converted A
A bullet is a kinetic projectile and the component of firearm ammunition, expelled from the gun barrel during shooting. The term is from Middle French and originated as the diminutive of the word boulle, which means "small ball". Bullets are made of a variety of materials such as copper, steel, polymer and wax, they are available either singly as in muzzleloading and cap and ball firearms or as a component of paper cartridges, but much more in the form of metallic cartridges. Bullets are made in a large number of shapes and constructions depending on the intended applications, including specialized functions such as hunting, target shooting and combat. Though the word "bullet" is used incorrectly in colloquial language to refer to a cartridge round, a bullet is not a cartridge but rather a component of one. A round of ammunition cartridge is a combination package of the bullet, the case, the propellant and the primer; this use of the term "bullet" when intending to describe a cartridge leads to confusion when the components of a cartridge are referred to.
Bullet sizes are expressed by their weights and diameters in both imperial and metric measurement systems. For example: 55 grain.223 caliber bullets are of the same weight and caliber as 3.56 gram 5.56mm caliber bullets. The bullets used in many cartridges are fired at muzzle velocities faster than the speed of sound — about 343 metres per second in dry air at 20 °C — and thus can travel a substantial distance to a target before a nearby observer hears the sound of the shot; the sound of gunfire is accompanied with a loud bullwhip-like crack as the supersonic bullet pierces through the air creating a sonic boom. Bullet speeds at various stages of flight depend on intrinsic factors such as its sectional density, aerodynamic profile and ballistic coefficient, extrinsic factors such as barometric pressure, air temperature and wind speed. Subsonic cartridges fire bullets slower than the speed of sound; this means that a subsonic cartridge, such as.45 ACP, can be quieter than a supersonic cartridge such as the.223 Remington without the use of a suppressor.
Bullets do not contain explosives, but damage the intended target by transferring kinetic energy upon impact and penetration. The first use of gunpowder in Europe was recorded in 1247, it had been used in China for hundreds of years. The cannon appeared in 1327. In 1364, the hand cannon appeared. Early projectiles were made of stone. Stone was used in hand cannon. In cannon it was found that stone would not penetrate stone fortifications which gave rise to the use of heavier metals for the round projectiles. Hand cannon projectiles developed in a similar fashion following the failure of stone from siege cannon; the first recorded instance of a metal ball from a hand cannon penetrating armor occurred in 1425. In this photograph of shot retrieved from the wreck of the Mary Rose, sunk in 1545 and raised in 1982; the round shot are of different sizes and some are stone while others are cast iron. The development of the hand culverin and matchlock arquebus brought about the use of cast lead balls as projectiles.
"Bullet" is derived from the French word boulette, which means "little ball". The original round musket ball was smaller than the bore of the barrel, it was loaded into the barrel first, just resting upon the powder, using some sort of material as a wadding, between the ball and the powder as well as over the ball to keep it in place, it held the bullet in the barrel and against the powder. The loading of muskets was, easy with the old smooth-bore Brown Bess and similar military muskets; the original muzzle-loading rifle, was loaded with a piece of leather or cloth wrapped around the ball, to allow the ball to engage the grooves in the barrel. Loading was a bit more difficult when the bore of the barrel was fouled from previous firings. For this reason, because rifles were not fitted for a bayonet, early rifles were not used for military purposes; the first half of the nineteenth century saw a distinct change in the shape and function of the bullet. In 1826, Henri-Gustave Delvigne, a French infantry officer, invented a breech with abrupt shoulders on which a spherical bullet was rammed down until it caught the rifling grooves.
Delvigne's method, deformed the bullet and was inaccurate. Square bullets have origins that pre-date civilization and were used by slingers in slings, they were made out of copper or lead. The most notable use of square bullet designs was done by, James Puckle and Kyle Tunis who patented them, where they were used in one version of the Puckle gun; the early use of these in the black-powder era was soon discontinued due to irregular and unpredictable flight patterns. Delvigne continued to develop bullet design and by 1830 had started to develop cylindro-conical bullets, his bullet designs were improved by Francois Tamisier with the addition of "ball grooves" which are known as "cannelures", these moved the resistance of air behind the center of gravity of the bullet. Tamisier developed progressive rifling; the rifle grooves were deeper toward the breech, becoming shallower as they progressed toward the muzzle. This causes the bullet to be progressively molded into the grooves which incre
Alexander Brydie Dyer
Alexander Brydie Dyer was an American soldier in a variety of 19th century wars, serving most notably as a general and the Army's Chief of Ordnance for the U. S. Army Ordnance Corps during the American Civil War. Dyer was born at Richmond, Virginia, on January 10, 1815, he was the son of William Hay Dyer and Margaret Dyer Dyer graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1837 as 6th out of 50 cadets. He served in the Seminole Wars 1837–38 in the 3rd US Artillery and as Lieutenant in the Ordnance Corps. In the Mexican–American War in 1846–48, he was brevetted Captain for gallant conduct at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Rosales, he was promoted to full Captain in the Ordnance Department on March 3, 1853. Between the wars, Dyer commanded Fayetteville Arsenal, Little Rock Arsenal, Fort Monroe Arsenal, he became a member of the Ordnance Board in 1859. When the Civil War erupted Dyer stayed with the Union, in August 1861 he was given command of the Springfield Armory in Springfield, where his expansions and enlargement of operations gained notice.
During his tenure at Springfield, Dyer was responsible for expanding the output of small arms for the Union Army. Doubts about the wisdom of placing a southerner in such a position of responsibility were dispelled as Dyer upgraded production with energy and dispatch. In 1862, Dyer was approached by his superiors concerning the possibility of his supplanting General Ripley as Chief of Ordnance, but he declined to take the assignment because he had great respect for his chief, because he was in the middle of a major upgrading of weapons production at Springfield Armory. On the retirement of General Ramsey, the previous Chief of Ordnance, on September 12, 1864, he was advanced three ranks and appointed as the 7th Chief of Ordnance of the United States Army with the rank of Brigadier General. On December 12, 1864, President Lincoln submitted his nomination to brevet Major General to the U. S. Senate, which confirmed the appointment on February 23, 1865. During his ten years in the office, Dyer had to contend with the demands of inventors and unscrupulous contractors, who took their various complaints to Congress.
Seeking to clear his name, Dyer asked for a court-martial. Failing in this, he requested a court of inquiry, which proved to be exhaustive, he was declared to be an exemplary officer. Worthy of emulation by all Army officers. Dyer is known as being the first commander committed to the purchasing of a Gatling gun, one of the first designs of a machine gun, he is known as the creator of the Dyer Shell, an artillery projectile for the 3-inch ordnance rifle, a principal artillery piece by the end of the Civil War. After the war Dyer stayed in the army and continued his service as head of the Ordnance Department until his death. Dyer was married to Elizabeth Beersheba Allen. Together, they were the parents of six children. Of note is his son, Colonel Alexander Brydie Dyer, jr. West Point class of 1873. Dyer died on May 1874, in Washington, he was survived by his wife. List of American Civil War generals Eicher, John H. and Eicher, David J. Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
"Alexander Brydie Dyer". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2014-02-09
Christian Sharps was the inventor of the Sharps rifle, the first commercially successful breech-loading rifle and the four-barrel Sharps Derringer. Born in Washington, New Jersey, in 1810, Christian Sharps married Sarah Elizabeth Chadwick of Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania; the couple had two children: a daughter, a son, Leon Stewart. Sharps was hired as an apprentice gunsmith at the Harpers Ferry Arsenal in the 1830s. While at Harpers Ferry, he was introduced to the Hall rifle, an early breech-loader, worked for its inventor, Captain John H. Hall. Sharps became versed in the manufacture of weapons with interchangeable parts. Sharps' first rifle was patented September 12, 1848, a breech loading design it featured "slanting breech action" and used paper cartridges, it was manufactured by "A. S. Nippes" at Mill Creek, Pennsylvania, in 1850. In 1851, Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company was organized as a holding company with $1,000 in capital and with John C. Palmer as president, Christian Sharps as engineer, Richard S. Lawrence as master armorer and superintendent of manufacturing.
Sharps was to be paid a royalty of $1 per firearm and the factory was built on R&L's property in Hartford, Connecticut. Christian Sharps left the company in 1855 to form his own manufacturing company called "C. Sharps & Co." which produced four-barrel derringers, renamed "Sharps & Hankins", in partnership with William Hankins, in 1862. Both firms were located in Philadelphia. Sharps & Hankins not only produced four-barrel derringers, but the single-shot Model 1861 Navy Rifles and the Model 1862 Carbines, both of which featured forward "sliding breech actions" and fired the.56-52 Spencer rimfire metallic cartridge. The Sharps and Hankins partnership ended in 1867, Sharps resumed the manufacturing of firearms under the C. Sharps and Co. name. In 1870, Sharps and his family moved to Vernon, where he continued working on firearm designs and started a large trout farming business. Succumbing to tuberculosis, Sharps died in Vernon, on March 12, 1874. In all, he was awarded a total of fifteen firearms-related patents.
"C. Sharps & Co." was shuttered after his death and firearms production came to an end. Although, "Sharps Rifle Co" continued to produce his namesake rifles until 1881, when it too closed its doors. In 1983, Shiloh Rifle Manufacturing Company began to produce a line of modern reproductions of the legendary 1874 Sharps Rifle, featured in the 1990 Western film Quigley Down Under, starring Tom Selleck; the Sharps rifle reproductions were manufactured by "Shiloh Products Inc." founded by Len Mulé in partnership with Wolfgang Droge. Len Mulé is considered the second founder of Sharps and responsible for its re-introduction into the modern era. Sharps was issued a patent for his design of a breech-loading rifle on September 12, 1848; the deficiencies of the Hall rifle may have caused Sharps to adopt his new design. The Sharps rifle was designed with a vertical dropping block action, operated by a lever which served as a trigger guard; the action was not only limited the release of gases when the gun was discharged.
Sharps' first rifle, the Model 1849, was manufactured by A. S. Nippes & Co. at Mill Creek, Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Despite not being the first breech-loading rifle, Sharps' was the first to be accepted and, with the onset of the American Civil War, the first to be produced in large quantities; the Sharps, in a carbine version, was the most used cavalry carbine by the Union Army. It was so successful that it was copied and manufactured by the Confederate government to arm its mounted troops. Sharps-designed firearms saw extensive use in the American West as military and hunting weapons, they were regarded as target rifles and were used extensively in international shooting competitions through the late 19th century. One of the more common derringers found in the "Old West" were the Sharps Derringers, they are single-action derringers with a revolving firing pin. They come in.22.30 and.32 rimfire, their four barrels slide forward to load and unload. First patented in 1849, they were not made until 1859, when Sharps patented a practical derringer design.
These first model derringers had brass frames and fired the introduced.22 Rimfire metallic cartridges. The second model was a.30 Rimfire derringer. These pistols were made by "C. Sharps and Co", are sometimes classified by modern collectors as a pepperbox. In 1862 William Hankins partnered with Sharps, bringing much needed funding and the company was renamed "Sharps & Hankins", they introduced the third model derringer in.32 Rimfire, with an iron frame, the barrel release was moved from under the frame to the left side of the frame. These were discontinued when the partnership ended in 1867. In the same year, the newly renamed "C. Sharps and Co" introduced the fourth model derringer with a new "birdshead" grip and shorter barrels, otherwise it was identical to the third model. Production of these little pistols came to an end with the death of Christian Sharps in 1874. 100,000 of these derringers were made between 1859 and 1874. Sharps & Hankins Model 1862 Carbine Sellers, Frank. Sharps Firearms. Smith, Winston O.
The Sharps Rifle. Severn, James E. "The Sharps Sporting Rifle", in The American Rifleman, April 1962. Scientific American, 9 March 1850. Daily National Intelligencer, 21 October 1850
The caplock mechanism or percussion lock was the successor of the flintlock mechanism in firearm technology, used a percussion cap struck by the hammer to set off the main charge, rather than using a piece of flint to strike a steel frizzen. The caplock mechanism consists of a hammer, similar to the cock used in a flintlock, a nipple, which holds a small percussion cap; the nipple contains a tube. The percussion cap contains a chemical compound called mercuric fulminate or fulminate of mercury, whose chemical formula is Hg2, it is made from nitric acid and alcohol. When the trigger releases the hammer, it strikes the cap; the flames from this explosion travel down the tube in the nipple and enter the barrel, where they ignite the main powder charge. The rudimentary percussion system was developed by Rev. Alexander John Forsyth as a solution to the problem that birds would startle when smoke puffed from the powder pan of his flintlock shotgun, giving them sufficient warning to escape the shot.
His invention of a fulminate-primed firing mechanism deprived the birds of their early warning system, both by avoiding the initial puff of smoke from the flintlock powder pan, as well as shortening the interval between the trigger pull and the shot leaving the muzzle. Forsyth patented his "scent bottle" ignition system in 1807. However, it was not until after Forsyth's patents expired that the conventional percussion cap system was developed. Joseph Manton invented a precursor to the percussion cap in 1814, comprising a copper tube that detonated when crushed; this was further developed in 1822 by the artist Joshua Shaw, as a copper cup filled with fulminates. The caplock offered many improvements over the flintlock; the caplock was easier to load, more resistant to weather, was much more reliable than the flintlock. Many older flintlock weapons were converted into caplocks so that they could take advantage of this increased reliability; the first purpose built caplock guns were fowling pieces commissioned by sportsmen in Regency era England.
Due to the mechanism's compactness and superior reliability compared to the flintlock, gunsmiths were able to manufacture pistols and long guns with two barrels. Early caplock handguns with two or more barrels and a single lock are known as turn-over or twister pistols, due to the need to manually rotate the second barrel to align with the hammer. Pocket sized versions of this pistol were used by gamblers in the Old West. With the addition of a third barrel, a ratchet to mechanically turn the barrels while cocking the hammer, these caplock pistols evolved into the pepperbox revolver during the 1830s. From the 1830s onwards, the armies of Britain, France and America began converting their muskets to the new percussion system; the Americans' breech loading caplock Hall rifles, muzzle loading rifled muskets and Colt Dragoon revolvers gave them an advantage over the smoothbore flintlock Brown Bess muskets used by Santa Anna's troops during the Mexican War. In Japan, matchlock pistols and muskets were converted to percussion from the 1850s onwards, new guns based on existing designs were manufactured as caplocks.
The Austrians instead used a variant of Manton's tube lock in their Augustin musket until the conventional caplock Lorenz rifle was introduced in 1855, the Prussians replaced their muzzle loading flintlock Potsdam muskets with the bolt action Dreyse needle gun in 1841. The needle gun fired paper cartridges containing a bullet, powder charge and percussion cap, but by the time of the Franco-Prussian War this had evolved into modern brass ammunition. After the American Civil War, Britain and America began converting existing caplock guns to accept brass rimfire and centrefire cartridges. For muskets such as the 1853 Enfield and 1861 Springfield, this involved installing a firing pin in place of the nipple, a trapdoor in the breech to accept the new bullets. Examples include the Trapdoor Springfield, Tabatiere rifle, Westley Richards and Snider Enfield conversions; the British army used Snider Enfields contemporaneously with the Martini-Henry rifle until the.303 bolt action Lee-Metford repeating rifle was introduced in the 1880s.
Military surplus Sniders were purchased as hunting and defensive weapons by British colonists and trusted local natives. Caplock revolvers such as the Colt Navy and Remington were widely converted during the late 19th century, by replacing the existing cylinder with one designed for modern ammunition; these were used extensively by the Turks in the Russo-Turkish War, the US Cavalry during the Indian Wars, by gunfighters and outlaws in the Old West. How percussion caps work