An Unusual Invention


The novel firearm shown in the accompanying engraving consists of a short barrel attached to a base plate that slides upon two rods projecting from the handle. The barrel is pressed forward by spiral springs which surround the guide rods. The handle or stock is similar to a saw handle, and contains a lock or spring mechanism which throws the needle forward into the cartridge when the trigger is pulled.royals_patent

The recoil which follows the discharge of the weapon is taken up by the spiral springs, thus relieving the hand from the shocks which generally follow the discharge of firearms.

This weapon would seem to be especially useful in fighting at close quarters, as in the case of a marine engagement. Its large caliber enables it to carry formidable and effective ammunition, while its length is such that it can be used when rifles and ordinary pistols are useless. Either shot or shells may be used.

This firearm was recently patented by Mr. Jarvis Royal, of Rochelle, Ill., from whom further information may be obtained.

Scientific American – January 25, 1879

—Jeff Burks

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7 Responses to An Unusual Invention

  1. Niels Cosman says:

    If they mated… A Disston D-8 and a blunderbuss have a baby.

  2. Someone should propose such an idea on Shark Tank.

    • toolnut says:

      Judging the caliber size in the drawing relative to the hand holding it, I would market it as the “Pocket Cannon” or “Personal Mortar”, and sell it as a must have for hikers in bear country.

  3. jenohdit says:

    That’s going to be a fun project to build. I am a little disappointed that the holster design isn’t included.

  4. steveschafer says:

    I wonder if Mr. Royal ever test-fired his invention, and if so, whether or not he still had the use of his right hand afterwards.

  5. beshriver says:

    If the Marine Corps had issued me carpentry tools…

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