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Old August 22, 2011, 09:23 AM   #26
Hawg
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You are in the wrong forum. Those are not muzzle loaders.
The forum is black powder and cowboy action shooting, not muzzle loading. So if it shoots black powder whether it be real muzzle loaders, cartridge guns or even *cough* *hack* inlines it goes here.
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Old August 22, 2011, 10:10 AM   #27
Bill Akins
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Rifleman 1776, the entire thrust of my thread has been about a MUZZLELOADING BLACK POWDER harmonica weapon design idea of mine. My very first picture in this thread was of a MUZZLELOADING BLACK POWDER harmonica rifle made for General Sam Houston. I showed some pictures of a BLACK POWDER pinfire harmonica pistol to show its design attributes pertinent to the muzzleloading black powder harmonica gun idea of mine that is the subject of this thread. The last modern harmonica pistol I showed pics and videos of that was made in the modern Czech republic is also a BLACK POWDER MUZZLELOADING pistol.

Perhaps if you HAD read my "very lengthy posts" you would have realized your complaint was misplaced.



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"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

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Old August 22, 2011, 10:23 AM   #28
batjka
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This is an interesting subject. I have thought about a muzzle-loading semi-auto before.

That British pistil you have shown is used in competitions and is in .32 caliber. Nice, interesting, but expensive and is not a semi-auto.

I have come up with a conceptual design for a muzzleloading semi-auto after reading about the above pistol. In my design, the "chambers" would be stacked up in a grip and pushed in alignment with the barrel by a magazine spring. Just like in a modern pistol. The "chambers" will eliminate the need for a slide since they can withstand the pressures on their own. A pull of a trigger would allow the chamber to move up and fire. On release of the trigger after firing the lower chamber would push the fired one out of the action through a window in the top. I believe this can be built pretty easily. The only problem would be the weight of the loaded chambers and finding a strong enough spring to be able to lift them into position.
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Old August 22, 2011, 10:44 AM   #29
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Kozak 6 wrote:
The whole gas seal thing seems complicated and unnecessary if it's going to be fired from a tripod. If you just put some spade grips on it, all of your body parts would be out of the way and it would save a ton of machine time.
Good point Kozak. If I were only concerned about it spitting lead and burnt powder at the cylinder to barrel gap. But I was also thinking about sealing it as best as possible to maximize the rearward thrust against the cylinder (if a revolver) or the harmonica block, to give maximum thrust to the rear.

Quote:
Kozak 6 wrote:
Does the harmonica really need to feed horizontally? If it moved vertically, gravity would help, although you'd need Bren style offset sights.
It's possible to feed the harmonica block vertically instead of horizontally and with the aid of gravity would even be easier. But unless one's tripod was a very high anti-aircraft tripod, which would not be in the Victorian timeline of this fictional but viable design (unless one were shooting at civil war balloons), a long 50 or 100 round vertically fed harmonica block would likely strike the ground before it finished feeding.

Quote:
Kozak 6 wrote:
I've had some similar thoughts about an automatic harmonica gun. What I've been thinking about is a scaled down version using bb's and those plastic strips of 209 primers.
I'd like to see that Kozak. Sounds interesting.




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"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
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Old August 22, 2011, 11:01 AM   #30
Bill Akins
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Hawg Haggen wrote:
Why not make it belt fed?
For several reasons Hawg.

1. Belt fed has already been done since the days of the crankfired Bailey gun (which was the very first belt fed gun) and some later belt fed versions of the still crank fired Gatlings as well as a later belt fed version of the Gardner gun.

Crankfired Bailey gun. First belt fed gun in history.....



Bailey gun feed mechanism....



Bailey gun cartridge belt. Look carefully at this and the above pic. The holders for the cartridges on the belt actually doubled as strong pressure holding chamber supports for the cartridges and were inserted into the barrel's chamber along with the cartridges!



A pic of a rare, belt fed version of the normally hopper fed Gardner twin barrel crankfired gun that was known as "The Robertson"...but it's still a Gardner. You see the drum holder for the belt but the belt appears missing from the picture. Gardner's were single and twin and even five barreled versions. Sometimes the twin barrel version was watercooled. The first waterjacket cooled gun in history. This is a pic of an air cooled twin barrel belt fed model. Pretty rare version. Not too many Gardners made in belt feed.



2. If I made my design idea belt fed it would be a cartridge fed FIREARM instead of a non firearm muzzleloader and would fall under the NFA. Even the Union Auger coffee mill gun would be viewed by the BATFE today as a cartridge gun even though it is crankfired. As a crankfired gun, the Auger is not a machinegun but it is a firearm since it uses a self contained cartridge. Because it used a steel charger with a percussion cap inserted in its end. An early version of a self contained cartridge....ergo a cartridge gun....ergo A FIREARM under the National Firearms Act (NFA). I want to stay away from that and keep it a muzzleloading harmonica block fed NON firearm weapon. No mistaking that for a cartridge FIREARM. There is a provision in the NFA exempting certain cartridge guns if their cartridges are obsolete and not normally in commercial manufacture, but a case COULD be made by the ATF as to what the word "normally" means. And a liberal judge that knows next to nothing about firearms and doesn't care what the congressional NFA says (don't get me started ) might be inclined to agree with them. So staying with a muzzleloader if one is even thinking of making a full auto version or even a semi-auto for that matter, since by being a muzzleloader it cannot be classified as a firearm under the NFA.....is the safest way to go.

3. If I made it belt fed and it was a cartridge fed FIREARM, then I couldn't make it full auto like I could if it remained a NON firearm muzzleloader.

4. The whole idea is to keep it a Victorian style muzzleloading harmonica gun design that could have been and had the unrealized possibilities of being a semi or full auto, but never was....until now. Chiefly because standard black powder is too fouling. But modern black powder substitutes get around that fouling problem for the most part. Part of the fun is putting yourself in the time of the percussion only era designers (only with the advantage of available non fouling black powder substitutes) just as we do in our standard muzzleloading shooting today.



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"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

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Old August 22, 2011, 11:43 AM   #31
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batjka wrote:
I have come up with a conceptual design for a muzzleloading semi-auto after reading about the above pistol. In my design, the "chambers" would be stacked up in a grip and pushed in alignment with the barrel by a magazine spring. Just like in a modern pistol. The "chambers" will eliminate the need for a slide since they can withstand the pressures on their own. A pull of a trigger would allow the chamber to move up and fire. On release of the trigger after firing the lower chamber would push the fired one out of the action through a window in the top. I believe this can be built pretty easily. The only problem would be the weight of the loaded chambers and finding a strong enough spring to be able to lift them into position.
I laud your inventiveness batjka, and I hate to tell you this, but you have just described a semi-auto self contained cartridge fed pistol.

According to your description, you use separate SINGLE steel "chambers" exactly like the civil war era Union Auger coffee mill gun. But according to the ATF and the NFA, it would be no different legally than any other semi-auto cartridge fed firearm.

The fact that the separate chambers you described might be made out of steel instead of brass or copper is irrelevant. The fact that they might have a nipple taking a percussion cap like the Union Auger coffee mill gun is irrelevant. If placed on a nipple of a SINGLE self contained "charger", a percussion cap is no different legally than a modern primer in a modern cartridge case.

If they are a self contained single cartridge, steel "charger" with a percussion cap on the nipple..... they are still a cartridge. You have to get away from a single self contained cartridge and get to a cylinder or large block that cannot by any means be construed as a SINGLE self contained cartridge in order to be exempt from the NFA.

You could build it in semi-auto but not full auto (unless you were an SOT), but even if just a semi-auto it would still be classified as a cartridge using FIREARM because your steel "chamber" or "chargers" are separate and single and not attached to each other as in a muzzleloading cylinder or muzzleloading harmonica block.

Sorry to rain on your idea batjka, but that's the way the unconstitutional NFA works. Now some may see why I like the muzzleloading harmonica block idea so much as a platform for a semi auto or full auto. There is NO WAY it can be construed as using any type of SINGLE self contained cartridge, thus it is not a firearm under the NFA, and if it isn't a firearm, it could not be a machine gun under the law. (With whatever good the actual "law" does us these day if the "authorities" want to ignore it.)



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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; August 22, 2011 at 12:07 PM.
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Old August 22, 2011, 12:58 PM   #32
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I'm not what you would classify as a "Steampunker" at all. I've read a bit about it and find some of the Victorian/Vernian things built by Steampunk fans to be very inventive and imaginative (but usually fake, inoperative and strictly for looks). I didn't intend for my ideas in this thread to be "Steampunk"....but they no doubt fall into that category.
I hadn't thought about that, but your gun design would be all the rage of the Steampunkers. If you can design it for serial production, you might could make some money from this.
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Old August 22, 2011, 02:24 PM   #33
batjka
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Thank you for describing the legalities to me. I didn't realize that having separate chambers makes my design a "firearm" in the eyes of the law. By same standards a loaded muzzle loader can be considered a "firearm" because the muzzle loader in itself is a "self-contained cartridge". But who am I to argue with NFA? Guess I won't be building my pistol after all.
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Old August 22, 2011, 02:38 PM   #34
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Sorry Batjka, I hated to rain on your idea. I know how that feels. But you needed to know.

The NFA and all gun laws are unconstitutional and are designed to control the people rather than make them safe. But it is what it is.
I personally agree that a loaded muzzleloader is in itself a self contained loaded cartridge. The difference is that although it is a single self contained loaded cartridge by its self once it is loaded with loose powder and ball, it doesn't USE a separate self contained cartridge that is inserted into it via a case or charger. Also muzzleloaders are exempted from the NFA by the language of if it uses a primitive ignition system such as flintlock, percussion cap, etc. Yeah, I know, a primer for a CARTRIDGE is almost exactly like a percussion cap so which one is a "primitive" ignition system? It's all B.S. and we know it and they know it. But the abuse of power and of our 2nd amendment sadly continues. It's ancient Rome exerting its power and controlling the peasants.



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"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
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Old August 22, 2011, 02:52 PM   #35
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Completely needless innovation for an obsolete weapon?

All of these things make me say : give it your all! I'd love to see it
Coming up on the next episode of "Sons of Guns: Blackpowder"

Gotta love outside the box thinking.
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Old August 24, 2011, 01:44 AM   #36
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I'm not sure why the harmonica feed mechanism would need to be dependent on recoil energy to operate the mechanics of its movement.
For instance why not just rely on battery power and/or a micro processor program turning some gears to move the harmonica "magazine" along?
Or something like a solenoid or another method that hasn't been considered?
Could the firing pin be operated by an electromagnetic switch or relay?
Or why not use an electrode to ignite the powder rather than percussion caps?
It just seems that the basic method to achieve the concept could be updated by using newer technology which could make the project more feasible, if not more interesting.
There may be more than one way to make the concept work besides trying to harness recoil energy by capturing it with a mechanical design.
Ask 10 students or 10 design teams to build a new type of gun and 10 different designs may be produced that will accomplish the same result.
In that way various types of engineering students may even be interested in working on such a project and would be free to come up with their own unique ideas and designs about how to best accomplish it.

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Old August 24, 2011, 01:53 AM   #37
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Congratulations, batjka. You have just invented the tround .

EAA almost released a pistol that used the same idea, the Witness FCP. They ended up shelving the idea for unknown reasons.
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Old August 24, 2011, 05:16 AM   #38
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Kozak 6 wrote:
Congratulations, batjka. You have just invented the tround .
It's been many years since I last read about it as well as once saw a rare one at a gun show, but wasn't the "tround" the three sided, plastic cased, rocket propelled projectile used in the Dardick pistol? But Kozak is right in a way, because although the tround was a three sided affair, and the Agar coffee mill gun used a cylindrical "charger" cartridge, they still had one thing in common....
they both loaded into a revolving open chamber.

The difference is that the tround was supported around its three sides by the revolving surfaces of what amounted to an open revolver cylinder and the top of the receiver closed in and added support for the top of the tround once the tround was rotated inline with the barrel. So the tround was supported at first by an open on one side revolving cylinder and then fully supported all the way around by the addition of the receiver over the tround once the tround was rotated inline with the barrel. Like this...



The above pic and further explanation from this below link....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dardick_tround

The difference between the tround and the individual "chargers" that Batjka was describing (which are exactly like the civil war Agar coffee mill gun's "charger" CARTRIDGES, are this.....

The tround eventually had 360 degree support once it was rotated in line with the barrel. But Batjka's percussion cap "chargers" being exactly like the civil war Agar coffee mill gun's thick steel "chargers" is that those chargers ARE the sole support all the way around the charger case except for a rising wedge that kept the "charger" CARTRIDGE from blowing rearward. The sprocket that carried those "chargers" from the hopper to line up with the breech of the barrel, was not a pressure support for the explosion. The thick steel chargers were their own explosive pressure vessels.

Both in the Agar coffee mill gun and in Batjka's description of his idea, the thick steel "charger" cartridge case held the pressure without any support on one side. The rotating sprocket of the coffee mill gun was just to pick up and rotate the charger from the "coffee mill" hopper to be inline with the barrel. Then a wedge rose up to hold the charger from being propelled to the rear when it fired. I believe that is the exact same idea Batjka was describing in his idea.

A below quote of a description of the way the Agar's chargers worked from this link....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agar_gun

"The Agar machine gun fired .58 caliber cartridges. Standard paper cartridges were loaded into re-usable metal tubes. A separate percussion cap was fitted to a nipple at the rear of this re-usable tube, and the loaded tubes were placed into a funnel shaped hopper, which gave the weapon its "coffee mill" appearance.[3]
The weapon was fired using a hand crank, located at the rear of the gun. The crank would feed rounds into the weapon from the hopper, and would fire them one by one. A wedge shaped block would rise up and lock the round in place, and a cam operated hammer would strike the percussion cap, firing the round.[4] The empty metal tubes would then be collected in a pan located under the weapon. The metal tubes would then be reloaded and placed back in the hopper.
The Agar machine gun had a single barrel. This design proved to be vulnerable to overheating, especially during periods of sustained fire. The overheating problem was solved somewhat through the use of replacement barrels which could be swapped out when the barrel in use overheated. Two spare barrels were typically carried with each gun. Agar also added a cooling mechanism to the barrel, which consisted of a metal jacket through which air was forced to provide cooling. The air came from a turbine, which was powered by the same hand crank that was used to fire the weapon. This cooling air also tended to blow away any pieces of unburned paper from the cartridge that happened to be near the barrel. The rate of fire was also
limited to 120 rounds per minute, which helped to prevent overheating."

Another quote from the same site....

"The single barrel design proved vulnerable to overheating, and the weapon was also prone to jamming. The special steel tubes used to hold the cartridges were heavy and expensive, and were often prone to loss. Later cartridges would use brass, but this was not widely available during the time that the Agar machine gun was used."

The writer of the article got it wrong. The steel tubes (with percussion cap nipples) weren't used to HOLD the cartridges.....they WERE the cartridges. Lol.

Actually in addition to being cartridges, the chargers were actually also multiple individual chambers, because their thick steel walls held against the explosive pressure without any external support....making them in effect chambers themselves, just like little individual percussion fired cannons themselves.

For cooling they should've stuck a water jacket on it like David Gardner did his gun, that would have solved the problem with less complication. Or used the same method Lewis did on his Lewis gun to force air over the barrel by using a long tube and cooling fins and creating a slight vacuum from the muzzle blast to draw cool air from the rear over the barrel/cooling fins. By the way, I LOVE the Agar gun in spite of its limitations due to the pressure limitations of its chargers and the fact that they did not make a great gas seal at the barrel breech. But what a great advancement it was in rapid fire in the black powder era. The oldies like the Agar and the Gardner inspire me.
Heck the Gardner inspired Maxim!

Kozak 6 recognized that the tround and the steel tube with percussion cap nipples "charger" had similarities in that they both loaded into an open sided rotating cylinder. But the tround was externally partially supported by the rotating cylinder walls and eventually by the top of the receiver (once inline with the barrel) when it fired, while the Agar and Batja's steel "chargers" with its thick steel cartridge walls.....was its own explosive pressure vessel, unsupported externally against pressure except for the rising wedge holding it against the barrel.

It's hard to find a closeup online of the rotating sprocket area that rotated the Agar's "chargers", but I did find one closeup. Look carefully below the brass hopper at the rotating sprocket that the chargers fell into from the hopper and were then rotated to be inline with the barrel, where a wedge then rose to hold them tightly against the barrel for firing.....



Couple of more pics....





The Agar's "chargers" actually partially used a very old concept from ancient cannons known as "beer mug" cannons. There was a cutout in the breech of the cannon that the "beer mug" loaded with black powder fit into. The "beer mug" was so called because it looked like a beer mug and had a handle like a beer mug.

First a cannon ball was loaded into the BREECH of the cannon, then the gunpowder loaded "beer mug" (which also had the touchhole for the fuse) was inserted behind the cannonball. Then a wooden wedge was hammered in place behind the mug to hold it tight against the breech. Almost the same idea as the Agar coffee mill gun, only the beer mug didn't hold the projectile like the Agar's chargers did. And the beer mug cannon was set off using a fuse or touching a torch to the touchhole unlike the Agar's percussion cap chargers. Similar basic idea though.

"Beer mug" cannons.....


I love the very ancient and also Victorian black powder weapons. Once you understand them, you realize a lot of the "modern" weapons aren't as "modern" a concept as we may have thought.



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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; August 25, 2011 at 03:10 AM.
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Old August 24, 2011, 06:05 AM   #39
Bill Akins
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Arcticap wrote:
I'm not sure why the harmonica feed mechanism would need to be dependent on recoil energy to operate the mechanics of its movement.
There may be more than one way to make the concept work besides trying to harness recoil energy by capturing it with a mechanical design.
You're correct Arcticap. But recoil and blowback energy would be the simplest, take less parts, and decrease weight. But it could also be done using a crank (ala Gatling or Gardner) to retract the firing pin or hammer and advance the harmonica block with gearing as you suggested. But that would make it heavier and more complicated. If using less fouling pyrodex, it could also be gas operated using direct impingement or a piston to either drive the harmonica block rearward or actuate its advancement to the next chamber.
Some later Victorian Gatlings were made that used gas operation to rotate the barrels while still using the crank too. The gas operation made the cranking easier for the operator.

As you recognized, there are other options on how to advance the harmonica block, but I believe the simplest and lightest would be recoil/blowback forces utilizing the Webley Fosbery style zig zag slots in the harmonica block to advance its next chamber to the barrel.

Quote:
Arcticap wrote:
For instance why not just rely on battery power and/or a micro processor program turning some gears to move the harmonica "magazine" along?
Or something like a solenoid or another method that hasn't been considered?
Could the firing pin be operated by an electromagnetic switch or relay?
Or why not use an electrode to ignite the powder rather than percussion caps? It just seems that the basic method to achieve the concept could be updated by using newer technology which could make the project more feasible, if not more interesting.
That would be possible if not for the National Firearms Act (NFA). We must remember, the NFA says muzzleloaders using primitive ignition systems are exempt. Battery power, micro processor programs, electrical solenoids, electrodes to ignite the powder,....are not primitive ignition systems.
You could use those if you didn't mind making a FIREARM instead of an unregulated muzzleloader. But you could only make it semi-auto and not full auto (unless you are an SOT) even though it would be a muzzleloader. Because you wouldn't be using a primitive ignition system.

Quote:
Arcticap wrote:
Ask 10 students or 10 design teams to build a new type of gun and 10 different designs may be produced that will accomplish the same result.
In that way various types of engineering students may even be interested in working on such a project and would be free to come up with their own unique ideas and designs about how to best accomplish it.
Very true and to be encouraged.

No doubt one of those students would realize that if overheating became a problem if multiple 50 or 100 round harmonica blocks were available for it, how could that be addressed? You could put a water jacket on it like the crankfired Gardner gun (first waterjacket cooled gun in history), or....another way to keep it cool (if you really wanted to "Steampunk" it out and over complicate it just for the pure design fun of it,) you could use multiple rotating barrels like the Gatling.

That would of course require perhaps a gearing synchronizing of the barrels to the harmonica block so that a barrel was properly aligned when the harmonica block reached its forward position after it recoiled and then went forward again. But then recoil/blowback forces or gas operation, or a complicated combination of all those forces may or may not be enough power to turn the barrels, retract the firing pin/hammer AND advance the harmonica block and you would probably have to go to a manual cranking system. But a muzzleloading, horizontally fed harmonica block weapon design that resembled a Gatling would be mechanically interesting and no doubt possible, but overly complicated. But then again it would still mostly look like and be mistaken for....A Gatling. And the Gatlings have been done and overdone.

But if one is enamored of the multiple barrel system for cooling, would it be the lightest, least complicated and require less parts than just using one barrel and putting a water jacket on it? That's the same conclusion David Gardner came to with his single and double barreled air cooled and water cooled Gardner guns, no doubt after studying Gatling's more multiple barrels design.

Interestingly, Hiram Maxim's recoil operated machine gun IS basically the Gardner gun design.....only recoil operated instead of crank operated. That is obvious and it is obvious that Maxim HAD to have closely studied the Gardner gun when contemplating his recoil operated design version. The Gardner was an improvement over the heavier and more complicated Gatling and the recoil operated Maxim was an improvement over the crank operated Gardner. An example of exactly what you said Arcticap, about how there are various different design ways of achieving the same result.....rapid projectiles downrange.

All of which shows as you correctly mentioned, there are various ways of achieving the same desired result with various different designs. But which designs are lightest, least complicated, easiest to make and take the least parts to achieve the same desired result and which designs take into account the legalities of the NFA? That's what I try to keep in mind and engineering students might want to keep in mind also. Of course I'm taking into account that my harmonica block recoil/blowback design idea is not the simplest, lightest or least complicated way to rapidly throw rounds downrange compared to modern firearms. But I do think it may be the simplest muzzleloading, primitive ignition system way of doing it.



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__________________
"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; August 24, 2011 at 03:42 PM.
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Old August 25, 2011, 02:05 AM   #40
Bill Akins
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Stephanie B wrote:
I hadn't thought about that, but your gun design would be all the rage of the Steampunkers. If you can design it for serial production, you might could make some money from this.
Gosh, I just don't know Stephanie. You might be right but I just don't know. Even though I'd try to design it as uncomplicated and with as few parts as possible, it would still require a lot of machining. So it would no doubt be expensive to produce (although nowhere near the expense of a reproduction Gardner or Gatling gun.) And would the small niche market it attracted, support that endeavor enough to make it financially worthwhile? How many people would actually spend a lot of money for a muzzleloading, tripod mounted, semi-auto or full auto harmonica fed weapon? See what I mean?

You might be correct, but I just don't know. In this depression being a muzzleloader it would be inexpensive to shoot not to mention a hoot of fun. No cartridge cases to buy. Just propellant, projectiles and percussion caps, all of which in a pinch you could make yourself. And it would be unregulated. So it has all that going for it. If I ever do build one it would be with the idea that it was just for my own enjoyment without any intentions of manufacturing it for market. Then if I got enough people asking me to build one for them and they didn't mind the expense it would cost....then maybe.

Right now it's just a (I believe viable) rapid firing muzzleloading design concept I'm enjoying sharing and discussing with y'all here. I've got other unfinished cartridge firearm projects I'm currently involved in so I can't start a new project right now. Maybe later. But I wouldn't mind working as a designer/consultant with someone else who was interested in making them. As long as it didn't eat up too much of my time I need to invest in my other current firearm projects that I'm already behind on.



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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; August 25, 2011 at 02:25 AM.
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Old August 28, 2011, 05:12 AM   #41
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Member kwhi43@kc.rr.com's thread entitled "What Competition Ruger's (Old Army) look like" at this thread.....
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=461087

.....had this picture in it.....



So using that picture and my idea for a semi-auto muzzleloading revolver, I did a little work in photoshop to help visualize my idea.



Spring loaded, frame mounted, inertial firing pin rod, (pictured in white) won't reach percussion cap unless firing pin rod is firmly struck by long drop of hammer. Which means revolver may be somewhat safer with six chambers loaded. (Could it discharge cap if dropped muzzle down on concrete? Unknown at this time.) Upon the cylinder recoiling, Webley Fosbery style zig zag cylinder's slots ride on modified cylinder bolt lug on inside bottom of frame which turns cylinder halfway to next chamber.

Recoiling cylinder also pushes back on inertial firing pin rod which pushes against hammer and cocks it (using inertia like a short stroke M1 carbine piston), hammer stays cocked to the rear while trigger is still depressed. (Hammer to trigger lockwork would be modified to allow hammer to cock and hold while trigger is still depressed, then upon trigger release, the trigger would reset to be ready to be functioned again to drop hammer for next shot.)

As recoil spring decompresses and pushes cylinder firmly back toward barrel breech, zig zag cylinder slots riding on lug turn cylinder the final half way to the next chamber. Hammer has semi-automatically cocked for next shot, shooter releases trigger which then resets and then shooter functions trigger again to fire next shot. Nipple holes might possibly be enlarged too so cap could blow off nipple against firing pin rod to add to and aid force of cylinder recoil forcing the firing pin rod rearward for cocking the hammer. (Not sure if that would be necessary or not though.) No doubt the powder charge would have to be experimented with to get just the right load for it all to work.

Never been done before. A blowback cylinder semi-auto muzzleloading revolver.

Why?....Why not?

SASS competition approved of course.... Well, maybe as a side match under "Steampunk muzzleloading" category....preceding the semi-auto 1911's in the "Wild Bunch" category. It could happen .

It's all an academic design idea at this point, but can y'all visualize it better now?

Captain Nemo's character would like it or a civil war version of Hellboy's character would too. (Only Hellboy's version would have to be scaled up to .68 caliber and fire explosive balls )



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"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; August 28, 2011 at 04:52 PM.
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Old August 28, 2011, 06:58 PM   #42
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My above post's pic showed a zig zag cylinder much shorter than a standard muzzleloading cylinder would be on either a Ruger Old Army or a '58 Remington.

In order for there to be enough blowback force to operate everything correctly, it MIGHT (not sure yet) be necessary to elongate the frame so that either the normal full length cylinder or even a longer than normal cylinder could be used so that more powder could be loaded in the chambers.

Compare the difference between my initial concept photo in 1st pic below, to possible elongated frame and longer cylinder version in 2nd below pic.

1st short cylinder concept rendering.


2nd enlongated frame with longer cylinder rendering.



Thoughts? (Besides the obvious "Why make a muzzleloader semi-auto?")




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__________________
"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
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Old August 28, 2011, 07:06 PM   #43
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At least you're using a Ruger for mockups.
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Old August 29, 2011, 08:28 AM   #44
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OK, it is a black powder, not a muzzle loading forum.
So, shoot me. But please do it with a true muzzle loading firearm.
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Old August 29, 2011, 01:31 PM   #45
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I'm sure right about the time you get it all figured out the BATFE will **** you over again.

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Old August 29, 2011, 06:42 PM   #46
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THIS IS THE BEST THREAD THAT I'VE EVER READ ON THIS ENITRE SITE.

One of the best things about shootng and guns is the mechanics and inventiveness of the whole evolution of them.
It's the men, who through the ages, asked the same questions and had the same discussions. "What if we tried this?" "How can we modifity that?" "Let's take this part of George's design and add that part that Hank had on his gun."

Often modern firearms get a bit boring. Another polymer frames wizz-bang, another uber accurate computer designed super magnum, yet another new tactical rifle for tomorrow's "warfighter"....yada, yada, yada.
Sometimes you've got to look back at history, squint a little and see what you see.
Just wish I had a machine shop to try out all the stuff that I've imagined or heard of.
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Old September 1, 2011, 02:31 AM   #47
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Thanks Jo6pak, glad you appreciate the subject matter and history like I do.

In continuing this thread, I've got some harmonica rifle still pics never seen before until this thread. These "Mysterious Island (2005)" muzzleloading harmonica rifles are pertinent to this thread because I can see the concept capability of these PARTICULAR muzzleloading harmonica rifle's design being made semi-auto or full auto, and either being blowback, recoil or gas operated.

I scoured the internet intensely and was unable to find even just ONE picture of the harmonica rifles from the 2005 movie "Mysterious Island" (by Jules Verne). No still pics of them seem to exist online. So I downloaded the movie and studied/evaluated the rifles externally and visually and made some screen shots of them which I believe may be the only existing still pictures of them available online.

I've noticed some of my harmonica rifle pictures I've collected and uploaded at Webshots.com are being referenced by "External links, More pictures of a harmonica gun" at this Wikipedia link, which comes up at the top of any google search for "Harmonica rifles".....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonica_gun

Not sure who did that or if some search engine did it, but the good thing is that now that I've just added the "Mysterious Island (2005)" harmonica rifles to my same photo set at webshots.com, these only existing pics (to my knowledge and intense searching) of the "Mysterious Island (2005)" muzzleloading harmonica rifles will finally be available online at last and people won't have to download and screenshot the movie like I had to do.

First take a look at several more Jonathan Browning harmonica rifles as well as an underhammer harmonica rifle by an unknown maker and then we will compare them to the "Mysterious Island (2005)" harmonica rifles.

3 shot underhammer rifle.


3 shot underhammer rifle underside of receiver closeup.


Hand built copy of a Remington Style, Underhammer harmonica rifle. To my eyes, it appears that the front of the chambers are made to telescope into the breech ala the Nagant revolver. Forming although not a perfect gas seal, at least a better one than it would have had without it, and precluding lead and powder spitting at the harmonica block to breech junction. That alone would make it worthwhile even without a perfect gas seal.


Harmonica AIR gun. (Not pertinent to this particular thread, but I couldn't resist sharing it here as a rare curiosity.)


Jonathan Browning harmonica rifle action


Continued next thread due to six pics per post limit.....




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__________________
"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; September 1, 2011 at 03:00 AM.
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Old September 1, 2011, 02:32 AM   #48
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Jonathan Browning harmonica rifle


Top view of Jonathan Browning harmonica rifle action


This is a Jonathan Browning REVOLVING rifle. But I'm posting it to show how unless my eyes deceive me, Jonathan Browning extended the front of the cylinder's chambers so that they would fit into the breech of the barrel ala the Nagant revolver. Which would make for a better gas seal exactly like I was contemplating with my harmonica rifle concept at this thread. Look very closely at the chamber fronts. I can only go as high as 600 pixels on my webshot.com uploads, so you may not be able to see it like I can on my hard drive since I can view it much larger than on webshots.com which are the pictures I post here. So if you can't tell, you'll have to trust me that those chamber fronts look extended to telescope a short distance inside the breech. Many decades before the Nagant revolver used the same concept with its cylinder's cartridge mouths pushing forward also telescoping into the breech to form a much better gas seal than the Jonathan Browning rifle could due to the Nagant's expansion of the brass against the chamber.
So although this isn't a harmonica rifle, it demonstrates an early attempt of pushing the chambers forward telescoping into the breech to avoid spitting lead, burnt powder spitting, and loss of compression at the cylinder to barrel gap. Not ideal of course without an expanding brass cartridge case, but an improvement over the normal barrel to cylinder or barrel to harmonica block gap.


You will note that most of the harmonica rifles you see are either exposed underhammer or overhammer versions. They all also mostly have percussion cap nipples that thread into the harmonica block chambers SIDEWAYS.

Now here's the "Mysterious Island (2005)" muzzleloading harmonica rifle screen shots I took.

Note the trigger guard. It is also a crank that manually rotates 360 degrees to cock the striker/hammer and advance the harmonica block. You can see the actor doing that in the 2nd pic following this one and the one after that also. Note also the cone shaped cutout in the receiver just forward of the harmonica block receiver cutout for supposedly loading a muzzleloading projectile.


Actor is just beginning to rotate the trigger guard which is a crank handle turning 360 degrees to advance harmonica block.


Now you can see the trigger guard further into the process of being rotated to advance the harmonica block. I will refer back to this following pic and the above pic when I discuss the lack of a trigger movement slot and the fact that the harmonica block did NOT advance when the trigger guard was rotated, making me wonder whether or not this is just a harmonica block cosmetic mockup using a real muzzleloading single shot only, or a single shot cartridge gun mocked up to look like a harmonica muzzleloader,.....or just an inoperative non firing movie prop.



Continued next post due to six pics per post limit....




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__________________
"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; September 3, 2011 at 01:13 AM.
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Old September 1, 2011, 02:34 AM   #49
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All Captain Nemo's designed harmonica rifles being held in this pic.


A nice clear pic to study the barrel bands, sights, ramrod and left front of receiver.


Right side view.


Partial underside view.


Nice right side and partial upper view.


Nice upper view study of top back of receiver. Rear of receiver design almost looks modern doesn't it?


Did you notice what was different in design from most of the other harmonica rifles? One is a lack of an exposed hammer. Another is the very straight cylinder (like a skinny bolt) trigger, that does not appear to be able to move. I see no movement slot for it to move in the closeup photos of the actor turning the triggerguard crank handle to advance the harmonica block. That trigger makes me wonder if this is an operational muzzleloader, or just a movie prop. You could see flame and smoke come from them, but that could be computer generated. Also when the actor rotated the trigger guard SUPPOSEDLY to advance the harmonica block....the block did not advance. That's a dead giveaway that it may not be a real muzzleloader at all and just a non firing movie prop, or that it could be a single shot muzzleloader mocked up to look harmonica fed.

So I'm not sure if this is a movie prop or a real muzzleloader. I did a movie search and found who the armorer and asst armorer for the movie were, but have no links or way to contact them to find out more about the rifles. As I mentioned earlier, there is NOTHING online describing the operation of, or showing these rifles. Until now in this thread. So I have to extrapolate from what I can see, analyze and deduce.

Assuming that the rifle is real and not a prop, it could also be a single shot with a simple internal striker/hammer firing a single percussion cap so it could be filmed firing for the movie. And the rotating trigger guard supposedly to advance the harmonica block, as well as the harmonica block too, could all just be cosmetic and inoperative. The trigger looking like it is screwed into the bottom of the receiver, and has no movement slot, makes me lean towards it being an inoperative movie prop. But let's analyze its design as if it were real.


Continued next post due to six pics per post limit.



.
__________________
"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".
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Old September 1, 2011, 02:36 AM   #50
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The rotating trigger guard is historically reminiscent of the Furguson flintlock rifle's rotating (and chamber opening) trigger guard.....


There could be a gear or other internal function that when the Mysterious Island harmonica rifle's trigger guard is rotated, it cocks the internal striker/hammer and also advances the harmonica block. That in itself is an ingenious design concept....movie prop or not.

You will notice on the right side of the receiver forward of the harmonica block cutout, there appears to be a conical shaped hole that looks like the hole on a muzzleloading revolver's receiver that gives you room to put a conical or ball projectile into the chamber. See it? But....there is no pivoting ramrod. Only a standard type long ramrod under the barrel. I am wondering, since the ball or conical needs to be tightly rammed into the harmonica block chamber to avoid it moving forward or falling out due to recoil, would that standard type ramrod be able to exert enough force on the projectile to ram it into the chamber tightly enough to shave a ring of lead?

It appears that one would load a projectile into that cutout on the receiver, then place the ramrod down the barrel and ram the ball or conical projectile into one of the harmonica block chambers, advance the harmonica block, and ram the next projectile into the next chamber. But using a standard type ramrod and ramming down the barrel. See what I mean?

But the beauty of this real or prop design, is that it has an internal hammer, and easily advancing harmonica block which could be modified to blowback, recoil or gas operation, or a combination thereof to preclude having to manually rotate the trigger guard to cock the striker/hammer and to advance the harmonica block. It has a pleasing streamlined receiver looking modern on the rear of the receiver area, but still looking very Victorian, Jules Vernian, "Steampunk". Very appealing.

The blowback operation concept I've already discussed much earlier in this thread both for a rifle and revolving handgun using either a zig zag TYPE Webley Fosbery cylinder or harmonica block. The cylinder or harmonica block literally blows back upon firing compressing a spring, cocking the hammer and the zig zag slots would advance the cylinder or harmonica block.

But the Mysterious Island rifle could also be modified to gas operation wherein the harmonica block never moved rearward, but either through direct impingement of gas, or by a piston, the hammer is cocked and the cylinder is advanced. The gas port could be adjustable so that the system would still operate with different powder charge loads. Using modern black powder substitutes to avoid standard black powder fouling. There also wouldn't be an issue of having to have a heavy enough charge to move the weight of the harmonica block to the rear as in my blowback conceptualization.

It could also be modified to use recoil. A recoiling barrel could do the above too. Just like on the browning rifle shotgun and machinegun. The only disadvantage of using a recoiling barrel, is that you can't adjust to let more gas in for operating using reduced charges like you could on a gas operated design. So with a recoiling barrel operated design, you'd have less options with your powder charge load. The advantage of recoiling barrel vs gas operation would be the omission of any gas piston assembly and its weight. But....you could do direct gas impingement using a tube without a piston just like on the French MAS 49/56 and M16/AR15 rifles. For these reasons I believe the modified version concept of the semi-auto or full auto Mysterious Island harmonica rifles, should most obviously be a gas operated one. For THAT particular rifle.

I picture two versions. One would look very much like the movie rifle. Only it operates semi-automatically and has a 10 rd harmonica block. Horizontal harmonica block is excellent for prone shooting. Nothing sticking downward.

The other would be tripod mounted with spade grips or a single pistol grip.
It would have anywhere from a 50 to 100 rd harmonica block supported by struts the harmonica block rests on as it sits in the gun and feeds. I see it with and without a water jacket. I see extra harmonica blocks ready to put in the weapon when the first one is empty. I see it as semi-auto or full auto.




.
__________________
"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; September 1, 2011 at 05:27 AM.
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