The Lefever automatic hammerless gun, model 1898-99, with or without the automatic shell ejector, Figure 1, has good points all around, symmetry of proportion, finish, balance, wear, penetration and general shooting qualities. It is built with compensated action to take up the wear in every direction. Especial attention is given to boring for trap and wild fowl shooting. All grades of the gun are bored on the taper system, giving the greatest penetration and even distribution of shot, are built for both black and nitro powder, and handle both with equally good results. The improved cocking hook dispenses with many small pieces contained in the former models. The new cocking hook actually performs the work of ten pieces thus displaced. The cocking hook by one operation raises both hammers to full cock, ejects' the shells and forms a check hook that takes the strain entirely off the hinge joint. This cocking hook allows the gun to open more easily than formerly, the hook being lA inch longer and allows the gun to be thrown open with one hand, leaving the other free to insert the shell. With only one piece required to operate every movement of the mechanism it makes an action absolutely positive, one that will not get out of order. These advantages are worthy of the careful consideration of the sportsman.
The compensating features of the action are shown in Figure 2. F, is a compensating ball and socket joint. If, after a long use and heavy loading, the gun should become open at the breech and allow the gas to escape, by closing the gun and turning this screw to the right as far as possible, the barrels are forced back against the face of the frame and joint made as tight as when the gun first left the factory. The ball is made of fine cast steel and tempered. C, is a cast steel bolt with bearing cut on level of 15 degrees. B, is a top fastener with notch cut to correspond with bolt bearing. In case of wear on either the bolt or top fastener, the bolt will enter farther, thus taking up the wear without aid of a screw. A square shouldered top fastener B, is used, having by experience found that the round head top fastener fitting down into the breech has a tendency to spread it This top fastener has a bearing on each side of the neck one-eighth of an inch in thickness and three quarters of an inch in depth. This in connection with the self-compensating bolt, makes it utterly impossible for this action to be shot loose by gunpowder. The new bolt does away with several pieces and accomplishes the compensation by simply cutting the bearings of top fastener and bolt on an angle of 15 degrees, thus allowing the bolt to enter further as the wear takes place.
As shown in the perspective view, Figure 3, the improved ejector movement consists of only two pieces, one in the frame and one 'n the hammer. This construction does not in any way change or interfere with the action of the gun, thus leaving the square shoulder top fastener and compensating features intact. A, is a lever pivoted in the frame with projections on the front end and notch on the rear end and is actuated by the upper arm and main spring. B, is a hook pivoted in the hammers and is always in contact with the notch in the end of the lever, so when the hammers lift, in cocking, the rear end of the lever is forced down. When the hammers reach the cock notch, the hook B is released, thus forcing the front end of this lever A, which is in contact with the lever in the lug, thus forcing out the extractor and shells.
The following advantage of the Lefever hammerless gun are apparent. 1. Very strong and simple action. 2. Compensated action to take up wear in every direction. 3. Long frame, increasing strength of action. 4. No thicker frame than an ordinary hammer gun, avoiding the clumsy and "out of proportion" appearance of the majority of hammerless guns. 5. The locks and action can be taken apart and cleaned as easily as a hammer gun. The gun can be taken apart and put together with the hammers up or down. 6. The position of the hammers can be ascertained by the indicators as readily as with a hammer gun. 7. Hammers cannot be jarred off, even with a trigger pull as light as two pounds. 8. The only action with one piece to raise hammers, extract shells and form a check to take the strain off hinge joint. 9. The action of the locks is twice as quick as a hammer gun, thus increasing the chances of the sportsman when firing at quick-moving objects. 10. No hammers to obstruct the sight or catch on twigs or bushes. I1. The safety can be made either automatic or non-automatic. 12. The use of gastight, independent plungers prevents any chance for escape of gas into the locks. 13. The locks are rebounding. 14. Both hammers being raised by a single lever, need no adjustment screws or pins to make them cock together. 15. The ease with which the gun is opened, there being but little friction to overcome, as only one piece is employed to raise the hammers. 16. Little liability to misfire because no levers or cocking rods obstruct the fall of the hammers. 17. Interchangeable main spring. 18. Self-compensating bolt. 19. Cocking device has only one lever to raise both hammers. 20. Can be taken apart or put together with the hammers in any position. 21. Has a powerful check-hook which takes all strain off of the hinge joint.
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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