This novel repeating or magazine rifle, developed and introduced by the Whitney Arms Company, has the magazine placed under the barrel, and is operated by a lever, the backward and forward movement of which cocks the hammer, opens the breech, throws out the empty shell, and brings a new cartridge into place, ready for discharge.
The following may be noted as the advantages of this arm: It has all the requirements requisite to a first-class magazine gun. It is of simple construction, and has fewer parts than any other magazine rifle operated by a lever. The parts are of such size and form as not to be liable to break or get out of order. It is very easily manipulated, and can readily be understood by any person who is at all familiar with fire-arms. It is safe, accidents from premature discharge being impossible. The resistance to discharge is in direct line with the bore of the barrel. The firing-pin cannot reach the head of the cartridge until the breech is fully closed—consequently the piece can only be fired when the breech is locked. The cartridge used is the 45-caliber center-fire, United States Government standard, containing 70 grains of powder and 400 grains of lead. When a lighter charge is desired, the United States carbine cartridge—the same length as the above— but loaded with only 55 grains of powder, may be used. The magazine is charged through the side of the receiver when the breech is closed, and the rifle can be used as a single loader, the charged magazine being held in reserve.
The arm is made in three styles: The musket weighs 9 lbs. 4 oz. The barrel is 33-inch. It carries, when loaded, 11 cartridges. The carbine weighs 7 lbs. 8 oz. The barrel is 22-inch. It carries, when loaded, 7 cartridges. The sporting rifle weighs 9 to 10 lbs. The barrel is 28-inch. It carries, when loaded, 9 cartridges. See Phoenix Rifle and Whitney Rifle.
Farrow, Edward S. American Small Arms; a Veritable Encyclopedia of Knowledge for Sportsmen and Military Men. New York: Bradford, 1904. Print.
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