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.
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