The harmonica gun is a very interesting rifle. Has any one ever thought about working with the revolving rifles as a platform? Its a sound proven design.
4V50 Gary wrote:
The Colt Root 1855 Revolving rifle was the first weapon issued to Berdan's Sharpshooters. I'm thinking that the gas can be tapped to an operating rod to push the hammer (and rotate the cylinder) back.
Pvt. Long, when I was looking at using a modified muzzleloading Webley Fosbery style zig zag cylinder on a modified muzzleloading revolving handgun (as seen earlier in this thread), I also considered a revolving rifle
such as the 1858 Remington carbine/rifle for using the same blowback technique to recock the hammer and advance the cylinder as seen in this below photoshop mockup I made that could easily transfer the same system of operation to the 1858 Remington carbine/rifle.....
But the zig zag cylinder blowback system (as with using a recoiling barrel system) also suffers from the same problem of only working when the correct powder charge load would be used to have enough force to operate the system. It could work, but you wouldn't have a lot of options for different powder charges and would have to stick to whatever charge was sufficient enough power to operate the system. But still, that doesn't mean I might not try making that blowback zig zag cylinder system on a modified 1858 Remington muzzleloading revolving handgun. It sure would be simple and less complicated than a gas powered system.
But 4V50 Gary has a good idea too, and one that has been around since Browning, Pederson and Garand and actually even before them. And a gas powered system to cock the hammer and rotate the cylinder, would allow you to have a gas adjustment where you could let more or less gas into the system so that it would operate with a variety of different grain powder charges, giving you a lot more options in powder charge loading. Of course you would have to use less fouling black powder substitute powders almost exclusively instead of using the more fouling standard black powder.
So either cylinder or harmonica block blowback, or a gas operated muzzleloading system should work for either a revolving cylinder or a harmonica block. But, with a revolving cylinder you have limitations on how many chambers you can have in the cylinder without it becoming a big circular bulky beast of a cylinder. And remember, the middle of the cylinder is wasted space because all your chambers are around the outside perimeter of the circle.
Which is why I believe a horizontal harmonica block would hold more rounds with no circular bulk and no wasted space as you would have in the unused middle
of a large cylinder.
Case in point, look at this 15 shot muzzleloading Hall revolving rifle below.....
Now compare the Hall revolving rifle's bulky profile to these two slimmer profile harmonica rifles...
And here's a close up pic of the bulky 15 shot Hall cylinder for the same above Hall revolving rifle. Note the huge amount of wasted space in the middle of the cylinder circle. (It would seem to make more practical sense to me, and to eliminate wasted space inside that circle, to instead just straighten out that cylinder into a flat harmonica block)......
See all that wasted space in the middle of the cylinder that isn't used because the chambers are all on the outside perimeter
of the circle?
So all that other space to get to the chambers on the outside of the circle, is just wasted space adding to bulk. Whereas a flat, horizontal harmonica block wastes no space. Plus that large cylinder is obviously not easily removable because it is a closed circle and would not be as easy nor as fast to remove and insert a new cylinder as it would be to push another harmonica block into an action as the other harmonica block went out the other side. Plus even though this bulky cylinder holds 15 chambers, a harmonica block could hold many more chambers and with much less bulk because it is to the side and doesn't require a larger circle to have more chambers with wasted space in the middle of the circle as a revolving cylinder would.
For a semi-auto muzzleloading revolving handgun, not requiring a high capacity of shots, a cylinder would be okay, but for a muzzleloading rifle or one mounted on a tripod with wanting to utilize a large muzzleloading ammunition feeding device, the harmonica block would be the best choice I believe.