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,METALLIC

CARTRIDGES,
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(RELGULAI ON AND EX1Iq1APIMElNTALI.)

AT TI'lE FRANKF'ORI1) MANUFACTUREI) AND) T'ESTIEI) ARSENAL, PHILAI)ELI'H IA,PA.

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FRANKFORI) ARSENAJL,
PIHILADELPIIA, PA.,

Aplril 22 1873. SrnR: The following notes on the performance of metallic cartridges manufactured and offered at this Arsenal for service, comparative trial, and experiment, have been prepared with a view of presenting the subject in a brief comprehensive manler for the information of the Department, and are submitted with the hope that they may not
prove uninteresting.

As the investigation of the whole subject of metallic aItlnunition for small-arms would open up a field of research far beyond the limits of the present I'nrpose, it has been deemed best to confine its treatmentin a general descriptive mannerto the develop. ment of the question, based upon trials made by the Ordnance )cepartment, particularly at this Arsenal. Most of the prominent varieties of cartridges herein referred to having bccell tlhe subject of extended trials, the results of which have beenl given in full and special reports to the Bureau, the details of their performance have not beenl attempted in this
place.

I am indebted to Mr. Jabez IT. Gill, foreman of machine-shlop at this Arsenal, for
the preparation of the very creditable drawings accon)allnying thils mcmlnoral;lduln, as well as for valuable suggestions of forms and combinations used in the purely expierimental cartridges herein described, and for assistance in the comparative and extraorldinary tests that have been applied to determine the relative value and strengtll of car. trildge cases as developed by hydrostatic pressure, test elroulvette, .&c. The mode of application of the pressure-gauge, as (lescribed in the accompanayilng drawing, was devised by Lieutenant William Prince, Ordnance ])epal'tmenlt, andl adapted to the Springfield breech-loading rifle, with most satisfactory results. I have thle hlonor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, T. J. TRIADTI)WI'IWEL,

Mjl(jo1r of Ordnance, Commanding.
To the CIHIE OF ORDNANCE, U. S. A., Washington, . .C.

SERVICE AND EXPERIMENTAL METALLIC CARTRIDGES, AS MANUFACTURED AND TESTED AT FRANKFORD ARSENAL.

The following notes on metallic ammunition are prepared and submitted to the Ordnance Bureau, not with a view of discussing the whole question or chronological progress made iu the preparation of this kind of ammunition, but, more particularly, to give.information as to the results of experience in manufacture and experimental trials of metallic cartridges, as fabricated and tested at the Fralnkford Arsenal. In this connection it is not deemed out of place to touch briefly upon breech-loading small-arms, and the great advance made in their mechanical ingenuity and perfection, which, combined with the introduction of metallic self-primed ammunition in their use, overcame the prejudice against their general adoption into military service which prevailed, to a very decided extent, only a brief half-score of years since. Considerable attention was given to the subject and production of breech-loadilg small-arms in this country some twenty years ago, and their invention was stimulated by legislative enactment and appropriation. It was at that time designed, however, and for some years later, to produce a suitable arm for mounted troops; one that was safe and more readily manipulated in the saddle than the muzzle-loading rifle or Inusketoon with swiveled or separate ramrods, and provided witll a cartridge not requirilng so great a number of motions in loading and firing. Breech-loalding small-arms had been known and experimented with many years before this. It is not within the scope of this article to treat this branch of the subliect historically, but simply to briefly state by what rapid growth, of late years, breechloading small-arms, from very indifferent models giving more indifferent results in practice, have advancedl in general and universal use in all arms of service, among almost all civilized nations, and to what a surprising d(egree of perfection they have been brought. No branch of invention has been more rapidly; or beautifully developed and ilproved in the past ten years. especially in the United States, than that under consideration; and it is believed that it may be fearlessly asserted that the use of expalnding metallic self-primed ammunition, acting as a perfect gas-check to breech mcuchanlism, has been the chief cause of rendering effective the very many existing breechi-]oading systems now claiming attention in this country and abroad, which wouldl otherwise be useless and worthless. In the earlier stages of the solution of the probleml of the production of an efflicient breech-loading rifle, paper and linen ammunition was used, but the perfect ferSeture of the joint between the breech mechanism and barrel was never successfully accolnplished until the adoption of expanding cartridges, although some of thle earlier arlms were very ingenious, and found to give good results in practice. Among them may be named the justly celebrated, and perhaps most prominent and popular, Sharps' ri fle and

6 carbine, which, as is well-known, has given an excellent record of its performance in the field and on the experimental ground. These arms were most excellently well-made weapons, and believed by many military authorities to be the very best breech-loader produced for the use of paper or linen cartridges. The gas-check in this arm was an expanding metallic ring in the breech-block, which did its work well. Other meritorions systems, with ingenious means of closing the breech-joint, were in use, with fair results, but by far the most numerous varieties were not effective systems, and, in fact, were only tolerated and used in consequence of the dire emergency of immediate warfare, and the necessities of the armies. For a long time the idea of the general adoption of breech-loading arms for troops of all services met with almost no encouragement among military men, and it was not until as late as after the battle of Gettysburgh that it became popular and prevailed in the service. This prejudice once overcome, by what may be fairly termed an entire revolution of the character of the arms and ammunition, the new breech-loaders became rapidly popular, and gained many advocates throughout the Army, where their great superiority to the old muzzle-loaders is now universally recognized and assured. The use of some effective breech-loaders and magazine-arms had, for some time, popularized them for cavalry, but many of the best infantry and artillery officers were adverse to their employment by foot-soldiers. A marked contrast of the two systems was furnished the Department.by the recovery of upwards of 25,000 stands of muzzle-loading arms from the battle-field of Gettysburgih. These were sent to the Washington Arsenal, and there overhauled and examined, and were found to be nearly all loaded; some with one, two, three, four, six, and even as many as twenty rounds of cartridges in the barrel. This fact gave an active im pulse to the necessity for an arm which, by its construction and cartridge, could never produce such a result as the above, and which, by materially reducing the motions for loading and firing, was capable of greatly enhancing the power of the individual soldier. Ac an advancing-step in the right direction, various systems of breech-loading arms had been devised, using, instead of paper or linen, metal cases holding the powder and bullet, but not as yet self-primed. Among ingenious samples of these may be named the Burnside, Maynard, &c., &c. Still further progress developed more perfect systems using self-primed ammunition, including magazine-arms, as Spencer, HIenry, &c., and the speedy adaptation of all then known systems of any pretension to the use of such ammunition. InI the past few years, in this country at least, only such breech-loading arms as were so adapted or originally devised, stood the least chance of success in the many contests that have been had for supremacy. The various steps in the invention and perfection of ammunition suited to breechloading arms had, in the meantime, been as numerous and progressive as those for the perfection of the arms themselves. In the earlier varieties of the metal cartridge, the primer or cap by which it was fired was detached from the cartridge, as in the Burnside, and Maynard, &c., the cap being applied to a cone, as in muzzle-loaders, and the flame of it having to penetrate through the devious channel of the vent of the arm to the vent in the rear end of the cartridge, causing a considerable percentage of failures to ignite, due to fouling the rents, &c. A great step in improvement and advance was the combination of the primer and

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cartridge. This was variously efected by introducing the lriming composition into the folded rim of the head, where it was distributed by swiveling, as in the Spencer and other well-known varieties of so-called rim-primed ammunition; by introducing a primed cap into the cartridge, connecting this with a wire projecting fmn the case, or other means by which to strike the primer, as the Lefiaucheux, &c. Still another step wqas the introduction of center-primed metallic cartridges, either primed internally, as in the present Service, the Martin, and many others, or, externally, by use of a primed cap and anvil, inserted in a suitable pocket in the head, as the Berdan of the Bridgeport Company's manufacture, the Millbank, and many others; in fact, the varieties and inventions of these center-primed cartridges are very numerous, both methods of priming having been largely and successfully adopted, both by national works and private companies. A very excellent wrapped-metal cartridge has been successfully experimented upon and produced in large numbers in this country, where this very ingenious invention and application was originated, and where it is believed to have been produced in its greatest perfection; and in England, where it has been very extensively used a:l( tested experimentally, improved, and finally adopted under the name of the Boxer cartridge for use in their latest model Martini-Henry breech-loading rifle, also adopted by that government, and now acknowledged to be a modification of the American invention, under the name of the Peabody system. A wrapped-metal cartridge somewhat similar was also used with the English Snider rifle. The combination of primer and cartridge still further reduced the number of motions necessary to manipulate the arm, and greatly increased its efficiellcy. The machinery for production of metallic ammunition, both in the (Ioverlllent and private factories, has been brougllt to a high degree of perfection, its very beautifrll and almost automatic character and performance, uniform ad accurlate production, l making it the admiration of the beholder. As these machines have been developed and improved in the Government shops, many ingenious devices alnd comblillltions hlave been invented and perfected, under the direction of the officers of the Ordnance l)epartmlent, aided by the high skill of the ingenious mechanics in its emnlloy.* In tle private cartridge factories of the country, also, many skilled workers and illnventors hve grow n up contemporaneously. A very generous and free interchange of thought an(d design7, and unselfish exchange of information oll the sulbject generally, has llad the effi(ct of spurring to combined exertion and improvement, being fiuitful of new ideas, and tellding greatly to advance the work to its present very satisfactory state, while tlhe almost daily list of new inventions demonstrates that tile problem is by no mleans used up or exhausted. The very rapid advance .. nd excellence of material now produced may h;e referred to with just pride, in view of the fact that it is perfectly sale to assert that tlhe best of metallic ammunition now in use in foreign countries, as well as our own, is tile result of American (United States) invention and genius. Having touched thus generally on the subject of breech-loading silall-arms andll
Mr. R. Bolton, the master armorer, and Mr. Jabez Il. Gill, the forcmallln of the c:rtridgo factory :t Frankford Arsenal, may, without invidious distinction, be namled as havilg broulght to the' work, froml its inception, the highest order of mechanical skill, ingenuity, invention, and adaptation ; anld to their zeal, efficiency, and untiring effort the acknowledged degree of perfection of our present service metallic cartlridge is largely due.

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their ammunition, it is now proposed to submit, briefly, with suitable illustrations, the results of such experiments and tests with self-primed metallic ammunition as have been developed and carried out at this Arsenal, as well as the tests of such other varieties of metal cartridts as have been offered by other makers for comparative trial. For the purpose of a clearer understanding of the several forms of metallic cartridges experimented upon and in use, they are classified as follows: First. Those in which the shells are made of continuous metal, combined with a suitable primed-anvil, but not re-enforced in the head; e. g., the service folded-head cupanvil cartridge. Second. Those in which the shells are made of continuous metal, or of combinations of pieces of metal, combined with a primer, with and without a separate anvil, and are also re-enforced in the head ; e. g., the Berdan. Third. Those in which the body of the case is of continuous metal or several parts, and have a solid or other suitable attached head, properly primed; e. g., the Boxer. Fourth. Those made with a solid head of metal, continuous with the case, and suitably primed; e. g., the Hotchkiss, and United States Cartridge Company, (Farrington.) These several classes, that have been tested here, are given with illustrations, showing their combination and parts, and with brief explanations as to their fabrication, the results of their trial, and sufficient details of their parts and manner of assembling to give a general idea of their construction. That the present degree of perfection in the manufacture of these several classes of metal cartridges has been the result of gradual and careful development, is evident from a cursory examination and comparison of the earlier, intermediate, and more recent best forms. Among the first of metal cartridges of American invention is the Morse, which was brought out a short time before the war of the rebellion, but not thoroughly experimented with at the time or introduced into service. Its objectionable features are apparent in the light of progress made. Its merits over paper or similar ammunition are apparent, the chief, perhaps, being that it was designed as a self-primed cartridge, had a fianged-head for extracting the case, and that it reduced the operations of loading. About the same time the Burnside, Maynard, and a few others, were' produced, some of which were good in their day, and for the arms for which they were designed, but were fired by means of a cap, through a vent, at some distance from the cartridge, and were extracted by the fingers. With them there was not that necessary nicety of fit to the chamber of the gun, the joint was not absolutely closed, and the failures to explode were as frequent as with the old-fashioned paper cartridge and percussion-cap. Such failures would, now-a-days, be considered a most unwarranted percentage in any metallic ammunition laying claim to excellence, and, in the best known varieties, do not occur to the extent of one in one thousand rounds; in fact, many attain a much higher standard of surety than indicated by this figure. The records of the testing-grounds show long-continued firing and consumption of thousands of rounds without failure at all from any cause, and the summation of a year's practice and test, in proof of manufacture, exhibits but an exceedingly small percentage of such failures. For some time the idea of combining the primer and cartridge did not assert itself, but some inventions were pushed in this direction, and the rim-primed cartridge was produced. In this the fulminate compositon was placed in the folded head of the case.

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This mode of priming requires a large charge of the priming composition, which, being thrown into the fold by swiveling, the entire circumference of the head was not always primed thoroughly, and as the cartridge is exploded by striking the rim at a part of the head under the hammer, it not infrequently happened that it failed from the point struck not having any priming. The large charge required, also, (about 5 grains against A grain for the center-fire,) was a further objection to rim-priming; the exploding of so large a quantity of quick-powder in the folded-head, the weak part of the cartridge, tending to strain and open the fold to bursting, as it frequently did. Another objection to rim-primed cartridges is that they are more liable to accident in handling, and in shocks of transportation, and those incident to service; in fact, a number of instances of explosion in the magazine of repeating-arms, and in patent cartridge-boxes for service of such, have been reported, by which serious injury resulted to the soldier. Hence, efforts to produce a still more reliable and satisfactory cartridge, and the development, production, and general adoption for service of what is now so well-known as center-primed metallic ammunition, its advantages being sure explosion when struck by the point of the firing-pin; less of fulminate and less strain on the head of the cartridge; greater security in handling and using under all exigencies of service. These cartridges have been subjected to the severest tests to demonstrate their capability to resist all accidents, such as mashing up boxes of ammunition, and even firing into them with bullets. Only the cartridges actually impinged upon exploded under such tests, their neighbors being only blackened and not otherwise damaged. The safety of hlandling and transporting this ammunition in comparison with that of the old-fasllioned kind is vastly in its favor, and the risk attending its carriage is almost nothing. Its greatly superior quality to resist exposure of climate, moisture, &c., has also been proven by such severe tests that it may be asserted to be practically water-proof, A central and direct blow on the point primed is an essential and highly important feature of the center-primed cartridge; its general adoption, and the adaptation of all breech-loading service small-arms to its use is the best proof of its acknowledged superiority. Simple modifications of the form of the head adapt it to safe use in magazine arms, even though the front of one bullet rests on the head of the preceding cartridge, while with all varieties of repriming ammunition the central fire is a sine qua non. Other reasons in its favor might be given, but it is believed sufficient have already been adduced to warrant the statement that whatever may be claimed as the I)articular merit of any one variety of metallic ammunition, by ardent inventors or admirers of special forms, all are agreed that, for military purposes at least, the palm to center.priming must be yielded. The service-cartridge, made of a copper case with a folded-head and copper fullltinate primed cup-anvil, crimped in position, has been so long used andl tested on the experimental ground and in the fieldl, and by various boards of experts on small-arms, and its excellence in all these fields of trial so well demonstrated, that no particular description of its construction and performance is here necessary. Some of the varying modifications of the folded-flange cartridge are noted in the drawings. It is of rare occurrence that the fold is sometimes slightly opened or burst in fiiring, probably from a defect or thinness of metal, but this is not attended with the least inconvenience or risk to the person or arm, and, in most cases, would escape notice altogether outside the carefully scrutinized cases used at the experimental and testing grounds.
2 aI C

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So far, this has not been deemed of any consequence in the service, and none of the best model breech-loading arms take the least notice of it. If necessary, however, the folded-head cartridge is abundantly susceptible of improvement, in an easy and practicable manner, as is evident from an examination of the various forms of re-enforcement of cartridges of this construction, experimentally tested and herein described. *Of class second, one of the best and most extensively made and experimented with is the Berdan, as made by the Union Metallic Cartridge Company, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in large numbers, for the Russian governmnent, for use in the Berdan breechloa(ling rifle. This cartridge has been most strictly'and severely tested during their manufacture, and has proved of great excellence. It is exceedingly ingenious; its re-enforcement simple and effective; its capacity as a reloader fully tested and demonstrated by prolonged and repeated trial, daily, during production of millions of rounds; a number of the shells being reloaded, primed, and fired ten times, and much more extended trials have been had for special test of the endurance of the cases in this particular. ItS chief distinguishing feature is that its anvil is of the same continuous piece of metal as that of which the case is made. Herein there is no possible displacement or misplacement of the anvil, and it has afixed position with respect to the primer. The cartridge is singular in this respect, and superior to its rivals that require a separate anvil. In it was a very happy idea hit upon by the inventor of making his anvil by a simple return of the metal of the pocket for the primer. All other anvils are its inferiors in that they have to be handled in assembling the parts of the shell. Another advantage is, it presents a point to the primer inside, rendering it sensitive to the blow of the hammer. The use of the special Hobbs' primer is most excellent in this combination. Other \varieties of an excellent re-enforcement may be referred to, as exhibited in the drawings These re-enforcements may be accomplished in various ways, as by a ring of expandilg metal, a ring of solder, felt orpapier-mach' wads, &c. When the ring of this metal is used as a re-enforcement it is best applied, and perhaps only effectually, in those cartridges having a pocket or return of the head for the primin. In these cases it should be so formed as to act by expansion against the walls of the case and of the pocket, to cut off the escape of gas to the folded head in both directions.t The solder ring has been found to be a good re-enforce also, and in the wrapped-metat and some other varieties of cartridges it serves also to attach the flanged-head to the body of the case. It was first used here for this purpose, and th:at it acted also as a re-enlforce was a resulting discovery. The felt orpapier-mach wad is not believed to be as good or to hold the head as securely, although it is extensively used in the various forms of Boxer ,mnmunition. It is not believed that a simple ring of any soft metal of any shape, as lead or its alloys, forced into the case at the head, will act as a re-enforce, as has been claimed. No matter how closely the metallic surfaces are in contact, if the re-enlforcement does not expand more promptly and as fully as the case itself under the pressure of the
The object of a re-enforcement to the head of a folded metal cartridge is, to guard against defects in metal undeveloped in the process of manufacture, and not eliminated in the inspection of cases. As it is hardly likely that a defective case and defective re-enforcement will be assembled in the same cartridge, it is effective. t Some cartridge-cases were made of brass, re-enforced with plumbago and bees-sax, and tested. The re-enforcing material seemed to flow under the gas pressure, affording but little protection to the case.

ntld notes under this class.

11 gas, it does not strengthen or re-enforce the point to which it is applied. A re-enforcillg ring works well, applied to a Martin cartridge, as well, in fact, as to a Berdan, and in the same manner. An objection to the Martin is its small anvil for small-headed cartridges, and their liability to burn the priming composition inclosing the pocket on the anvil, a difficulty met with in their manufacture here, with the bar-anvil, and which can only be wholly eliminated by careful inspection of primed cases. The Martin, as made by the inventor's first patent, without the re-entrant fohl, is a good cartridge, and has given good results. The Martin, with the re-entrant fold, which for some time was believed to be a most admirable feature, was, on more extended trials, found to be liable to burst through the re entrant fold, leaving the body of the case in the chamber of the gun, or shearing the case and tearing off the head by the extractor in opening the breech, temporarily paralyzing the arm. This peculiar accident (lid not develop in the firing of a large number of rounds, even when it was reported to have occurred in service. Thousands of rounds were fired before it was met with here, but it is of such a dangerous and fatal character to the arm when it occurs as to render it the most formidable of all causes of failure, and led to the abandonment of their mnanufacture. An inspection of the drawings showing the construction of these cartridges, with those of tests with the eprouvette, will fully explain the cause and manner of the failure in question. When the metal was thoroughly sound and not demoralized in mnanuflcture, the re-entirant fold gave great additional strength to the head, and, as will be seen from the tests, enabled it to stand excessive charges and strains, but it would not answer to risk the manufacture of cartridges by the million that were liable to the defect above noted, even to the extent of 1 in 50,000. Defects which other cartridges have, rendering them liable to fail from any cause whatever, (to a very small fraction of per cent. in most good varieties,) involve only the loss of a single shot or charge, but leave tile arn in perfect working condition; but tearing off the head, the body of the ease is carried forward by the bullet andl wedged so tightly in the chamber as to require extraction by mechanical means; the arm is consequently useless until the obstruction is remlovedl. Perfection in metallic ammunition can hardly be expected, but the perchntage of failures is already so small that we may reasonably hope to reduce them to such a degree that, considering the rapidity of fire of breech-loading armns, they may be regarded as next to nothing. With regard to such wrapped-metal cartridges as come under this class, it nmay be added that they are easily re enforced, are cheap, require little plant, less skilled laibor' than other varieties, could be produced at various points in number in an elergency, and by suitable packing can be protected from moisture and shocks of transportation, except, perhaps, that incident to their use on the person of the soldier. They extract with ease, and in the tests have given good account of themselves. Those that have been made at this Arsenal are intended to be referred to in these remarks. Some of these cartridges were exposed for six months to an atmosphere saturated with moisture, and five of them fired for velocities without drying. They gave a mean average of 1,125.1 feet; loss of about 10 per cent. Another lot exposed in the same way for a year, and thoroughly dried before testing, gave a mean average velocity of 1,256 feet, whi(ch is a fair average mean. Service cup anvil cartridges similarly exposed showed no (ldeterioration at either trial.

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Of class third perhaps the most notable and most extensively made is the Boxer, as made at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, for the Snider and Martini-EHenry rifles; not that it is believed to be the best, but from the fact of its adoption by the English Government, and from the very large numbers made and expended in their trials and service. A perusal of the English reports of their small-arm ordnance board will show the most casual reader that the failures of these cartridges, from all causes, have been what would be considered in our trials of the best American cartridges as a very large percentage-sufficient to warrant the abandonment of a cartridge that failed so often. Unlike its American prototype, from which it was originally taken, without, however, giving any credit or compensation to its inventors, its parts are more numerous, and the steps of operations in its production more than double those in that simple cartridge. Its cost, hence,is also large, considering the low prices of labor and materials, and the very large numbers fabricated in the country of its adoption; a cost very much in excess, it is believed, of that of any other of the most approved American varieties of metal cartridges fabricated under similar advantages of cheap labor, low-priced material, and large production. It does not appear to be well adapted to stand the shocks of transportation or exigencies of service, is easily indented and disfigured, so much so as seriously to interfere, sometimes, with ease of loading. Per contra, it is beautifully expanded and brought into shape of the exact walls of the chamber in firing, and extracts readily if the head holds, which, from the reports, seems not always to be the case. It is not suitable in its present state and form for use as a reloader, whatever may be claimed for it in this respect, and it is doubtful if it could be made so. The idea of such a use does not seem to receive encouragement from recent reports. Its attachable heads, from the peculiar and awkward mode of fixing them, are not exact or even, and may not always be firmly put on. Made of iron, it is believed they never should be for cartridges subjected to all varieties of climate. The use of this metal for a cartridge, otherwise so costly, is the poorest kind of economy. Several varieties of this class have been tested at this Arsenal, as shown, but none have developed any remarkable excellence as compared with the best of the other classes. One variety, believed to be novel, and which may perhaps be hereafter the subject of more successful experiment and production, is the cast-head. Class fourth, solid heads. There are several varieties of these, as the Hotchkiss, the ])utch, the United States Cartridge Company's, &c. The head, here, is re-enforced by using a thick sheet metal strip to form the case, and leaving sufficient stock in the lhead, in drawing the case, to flow out and form the flange solidly. That this is effective in making a very strong case is unquestionable; its manufacture requires some heavier plant for special operations; its cost in metal and production is somewhat greater; a:nd it is believed that the head is unnecessarily strong for the present work required by well constructed breech-loading small-arms. Experience, it is believed, has fully demonstrated that, in order to insure the best results in service, our small Army should be furnished with the most approved arms and material practicable. To effect this, the careful selection of an excellent (the best if it can be determined upon, for the chief trouble of such a selection seems to be from embarras de ric]esse in this branch of invention) system of breech-loading rifle smallarm, and suitably working efficient ammunition for the service of the same, is preeminently desirable. Supposing the first part of the proposition accomplished, and such a breech-loading system selected, approved, and adopted, their production in such

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numbers as may be required by the Government for the Army, the uniform equipment of the militia, and the necessary reserve-stores for future emergencies, can unquestionably be accomplished at the National Armory, and no danger need be apprehended of any serious difficulty in the way of adaptation of its present machinery and plant, to the manufacture of any breech-loading system of small-arms, perfectly interchangeable, in these days of advanced scientific manufacture, when the production of the most complete and intricate machinery, interchanging in all their parts, is a problem of easy, sure, and daily accomplishment. If, from the abundance of good things to be chosen from, the difficulty of selection can be overcome, the rest, with adequate appropriations, is comparatively easy. A prime essential of such manufacture should be the institution of a rigorous standard from which there should not be the slightest departure, except by competent authority. Especially should this apply to the chamber of the gen or seat of the cartridge, the dimensions of which should be invariably fixed, and the greatest nicety of finish and adjustment of breech mechanism insisted upon. In other words, the chambers should, within the limits of mechanical construction, be of the same dimensions, to the thousandth of an inch, both for the body of the cartridge and its flange or head. The seat of the extractorshould not occupy any part whatever of the body of the chamber, and its surface should be as smooth as it is possible to make it. The depth of the flange recess of the chamber should only be enough deeper than the thickness of the head of the cartridge to be used in it, to allow for the easy closing of the breech block, the small variations of thickness of metal from which the case is made, and of necessary manufacture. A difference of 0."01 is believed to be ample for all purposes; its diameter may be at least 0."03 larger than that of the cartridge head, which should itself be great enough to allow a secure hold to the extractor. All the angles of the chamber sl8ould be slightly rounded. The length of the chamber should be but a few hundredths of an inch longer than that of the case of the cartridge, and its throat, or seat of the projecting part of the bullet, should be accurately attended to, so that, with the cartridge in situ, the breechblock being closed, it should always occupy the same relative position with respect to its bearings in the chamber, and the bullet have the smallest necessary distance to move before engaging the grooves of the barrel, which engagement should be well advanced before the bullet is free from the case, to insure that it shall start with its axis in the direction of the axis of the barrel. The expansion of the case in firing should immediately shut off escape of gas around its body to the rear-the only limits in difference of diameter of chamber and case allowable being those necessary to insure the required ease in loading, and there should be no fouling of the cllamber in firing ballcartridges. A little reflection will convince all that an invarialble chamber is the prime essential to the properperformance of the cartridge,assuming, of course, that the latter is also as carefully made. This once obtained, let us insist on the case of the cartridge fittinigas closely as practicable; the limit of variation allowable being only the very small unavoidable range of thickness in metal strips, and a reasonable life or wear of dies and punIleie necessary to the production of ammunition by the quantity. These degrees of perfection can be obtained only by the adoption and preservation of exact standard garages, by frequent and every day careful inspection of material and work, and keeping the attention of mechanics directed to the necessity of constant watchfulness over, and

14
frequent verification of, their tools, dies, and punches in current use to insure the desired nicety. Without this constant care in keeping up to the standard, work, however satisfactorily and successfully inaugurated, will soon become indifferent. I am satisfied that the difference in dimensions between the present chamber of the Springfield rifle and other trial arms, and the cartridges used in them, is unnecessarily great, and that it can be reduced to advantage, to the better performance of the arms and cartridges; and as these matters will be of great importance in the event of the adoption of a standard arm and caliber, to insure a correct beginning they should be strictly determined by competent authority. In this connection it may be added that a standard musket powder should also be determined upon. The copper cartridge case, from its expansion and comparatively small elasticity, does not return to its shape after firing, and could not be used as a reloader without reduction. The brass case expands sufficiently to act as a perfect gas-check, and by its superior elasticity regains sufficiently its shape to be used as a reloader without reducing, if properly made. For the same reason the brass case extracts more easily than the copper. The wrapped-metal case expands by unfolding, and from its somewhat yielding nature extracts easily and can also be reloaded and used without reduction. All experience shows that the fulminate composition for priming should not be il contact with any easily corroding metal, or so deposited in the primer or in assembling the parts as to render any galvanic action possible for its deterioration and eventual destruction. It is not believed that the service fulminate composition for priming in contact with pure copper undergoes any such deleterious change, as our percussioncaps of twenty years ago are now prompt and perfectly reliable.* It should not be inl immediate contact with brass, however, where brass is used in construction. This is not necessary, as in the Hobbs' primer, for instance, it is efficiently protected by being between two coats of varnish, one applied to the bottom of the cap before the priming is dropped in, the other to one side of a tin-foil varnished disk pressed over the priming, which also holds it securely in place. Similar means of protection are used in other primers, or an equivalent. The United States Cartridge Company's primers, the Millbank, &c., are well protected from moisture, deterioration, and injury. Competent authority should settle whether outside or inside priming should be
'Exposure of fiulminate composition upon copper-plates.-Small quantities of priming composition conmposed as follows: 35 fulminate of mercury, 15 chlorate of potash, 45 glass-dust, 4 gummed water; 35 fulminate of mercury, 15 niter, 45 glass-dust, 4 gummed water, were spread on clean sheet copper, and exposed to an atmosphere saturated with moisture for ten days. It was found, on examination, that in the composition in which niter entered, the niter had effloresced to a considerable extent and crystalized in needles, while that with the chlorate was apparently unchanged. In each case there was a slight discoloration at the seat of contact of the composition and metal. Portions of each were removed from the plates, dried, and tested. The chlorate compound was unchanged and exploded by a blow with the usual quick, strong intensity as before the exposure. The niter compound was quick to explode, but of less intensity of explosion. The former composition is that in use with service primers, and is used at the machine in a wet state; the latter is the old percussion-cap composition, (except that no glass-dust was used,) and was used in a dry state when priming, and protected in the cap by shellac varnish. It would appear that the chlorate composition is preferable for priming metallic ammunition. In some cases mealed powder is used, and makes a good priming, better for the same uses than refined niter. Chlorate composition that had been exposed for five years, on plates in a dry office, was removed and tested, and seemed to have lost none of its promptness or intensity.

15 adopted. Either mode, it is believed, can be readily and satisfactorily employed. Which is the best is perhaps now a question of preference, and probably small differences of cost of production. Outside the question of reloading shells, either mode can be and has been made sure and-reliable, and may be selected with safety. As far as this ques. tion of reloading shells is concerned no one has even thought of applying it except at garrison or fort practice. The expense and trouble of collecting and reloading shells is considerable. The practical results, wherever it has been attempted, it is believed, have not been satisfactory. In this country, where the posts and garrisons are numerous, small, and scattered over vast territories, it would be neither profitable nor practicable. To collect the shells and transport them to an Arsenal for reloading, as has been proposed in some countries, would be absurd, when one reflects on what they are and what the condition of the fired shells would be after such treatment. To supply the many posts with lead and material for bullets, cups, lubricant, and necessary paraphernalia for reloading shells would not stand the test of more than one trial. It has been observed in the experiments here, that any method of construction of the folded case, leaving a small surplus of metal at the head to draw from in the expanding of the shell at this point, adds largely to its strength. This was prominently shown in the Martin re-entrant-fold cartridge, and also in the concave-headed cup-anvil cartridge shells, &c. It is proposed to make a number of the service cup-anvil, the concave cup-anvil, the brass shell with service cup-anvil and re-enforcing-cup of copper, open at the head for the firing-pin to strike through but one thickness of metal, of .45 caliber,. to test with a Springfield rifle of the latest model, caliber .45. These cartridges to be made with a bullet of one-twelfth tin, of 400 grains weight, which, with 70 grains of musket powder, gave the best results in the recent trials of the Small-Arm Caliber 3Board. Since December 6, 1871, a test of the daily manufacture has been made, under the direction of Captain Phipps, Ordnance Department, of the service copper cup-anvil cartridges at this Arsenal, using alternately a Springfield and Remington rifle-musket, caliber .50. Twenty-five rounds with each arm, daily, have been fire(l, with the followilng results: From the Springfield rifle have been fired 9,794 rounds, from the Remington rifle have been fired 9,794 rounds, with the following failures: Burst at crimp 9, defective metal; burst in rim 1, defective metal; burst in body of case 7, defective metal; occasioning no harm, and only noticeable on careful examination of cases. Failed to explode, 4. Cause of failures to explode, 3 fulminate spoiled by oil; 1 cup not vented. The new parts supplied to the arms during the time have been as follows: Springfield, 3 new firing-pins'and 2 ejector-springs, to replace broken ones. Remington, 1 firing-pin, and 1 firing-pin spring. After the 4747th round, the extractor had to have its face repaired by brazing on a piece. In the same interval there has been fired 1,363 rounds of Remington pistol, caliber .50; 1 case burst in body, defective metal. Remington, Colt, and Smith & Wessoin pistol, 534. Blank cartridges, 439; 1 case split, defective metal. All these cartridges (except 480 Remington pistol, caliber .50, which were Martin) are of the folded-head variety, known as the service cup-anvil. Those for daily test are taken at random from the day's work. A large number of these cartridges have been

16
exposed for different periods, from one month to upwards of one year, to an atmosphere saturated with moisture. They were of all kinds, musket, carbine, pistol, and revolver. They were packed in paper boxes varnished with shellac. These boxes were reduced to a pulpy mass, and hanging in shreds. Two hundred and fourteen of these cartridges were taken from the vault in which they were exposed, and fired in their respective arms, dirty and dripping with water as they were. All exploded promptly at the first blow, no hanging fires or failures of any kind, and extracted readily. Two cartridges of each box were opened, and the powder found to be in good condition and priming composition unchanged. Two hundred and ten of the same were placed in the dryingroom, over the boilers, for a similar period of time, exposed to a temperature of 1200 ° to 1300 F. All exploded promptly at first blow except one cartridge in the Remington pistol, which required two blows. In no case had the lubricant escaped from the case, being undoubtedly retained by the crimp of case on the bullet.

DRAWINGS- OF METALLJIC (AR'I'I1I)(lES,
ANK ADE ) ASAT TIE18 FRANKF()RD ARSEN ALJ IX60TO ) 18739,

THE MILITARY SERVICE AND FOR EXiE!I'lMFN'I'.

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1.

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PHOTO.LITHOGIAPHER. WSHINTWON. D C

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V.

PRIMITIVE

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PLATE VII.

COL LAIOLEY'S
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PLATE

xm.

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BENTON'5

TIBBAL"S

CU P-REIPNFORCEf
U.S. ARMORY, SPRINGFIELD. MASS. RRANKFORD ARSENAL,
PA.

PATENRT
69n

18676

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CIUP

BENET'S

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SERVICE

BLANK CARTR IDIC
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WAS.rNOTON C 0

PLATE XVI.

CENTRE

8ENETDS.

PF MED.

F R, FORD ANK

EXP ERMENTA...,,
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PL ATE XVII.

COL CRISPI NS

CEOMBINATI AN.
PAPER
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METAL. WFRAFPE O.LA 5 E.
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PLATE XVI! . *

EXPERIMENTAL
CARTRI DGE
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WASIWGON. D C

PLATE XIX.

MART IN95

CARTR I[DE,

I ST PATENT. 1869.

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WAS"iN.rD1, DC

PLATE XX.

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PLATE XXI.

MARTIN 9 CARTRIUGE 'S SERVICE,
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FARRINCTON 95 PRIMER.
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