SPENCER-LEE MAGAZINE GUN
In this arm, the breech-block is supported against the pressure of the gas, when the piece is fired, by a recoil block, solid with the guard, which has a circular recess concentric with the rear of the breech-block. The latter is slipped in the recess sideways and has, when assembled, a motion of rotation in a vertical plane. The recoil block is in turn supported by the rear of the receiver. The trigger and the hammer are pivoted in the guard-plate, the nose of the former or the sear being held in position in the notch of the latter by the sear-spring. The mainspring is connected with the hammer and the under rear of the breech-block by swivels. When the trigger is pulled the head of the firing-pin is struck by the upper ,end of the hammer. The breech-block is operated by a cam-pin, with friction roller on the inside of the rear end on the left of two sliding bars, connected by the hand-grasp. The cam-pin travels in the groove on the left side of the breech-block, which also has a frog or switch, pivoted near its rear. When the cam-pin enters the groove, as it does when the forked side is forced to the rear, it rolls over the incline of the frog. The pin cannot rise, since the bars of the slide travel in grooves on the inside of the receiver. Hence, the frog must be pressed downward, and its point in turn, pressing on the bottom of the groove in the block, compels the latter to descend. When the pin passes out of the groove to the rear, the front of the breech-block would rise above the receiver under the pressure of the mainspring, if not held down by the extractor, as explained later on. When the slide is returned to its first position, the cam-pin travels on the lower side of the groove, the frog turning freely about its pivot, and the front of the block is forced to descend to the level of the chamber. The piece is cocked in the act of opening the breech-block by the cam-pin coming in contact with the hammer and pressing it back until the nose of the sear enters the notch. At the front of the breech-block is a movable face or head, which is forced against the base of the cartridge during the closing of the breech. On the opening of the latter the head drops away, and thus facilitates extraction of the shells.
The magazine is known as the Lee, with very slight modification. It is attached to the under side of the breech-block, and rises and falls within. The breechblock is recessed on its under side sufficiently to receive a single cartridge. When this cartridge is drawn forward into the chamber, another from the magazine takes its right place in the block. It will be seen that the complete backward motion on the slide causes the block to descend, the shell to be pushed out on its upper surface, and then the block to fly up and eject the empty shell; the forward motion then carries a cartridge from the magazine into the chamber and causes the block to descend to its proper position in rear of it. A cut-off may be so turned as to limit the backward motion of the side, thus preventing the extractor passing beyond the shoulder. The block then cannot rise and bring the cartridges from the magazine opposite the chamber. The piece may then consequently be used as a single loader. When the cut-off is turned vertically downward, the piece may be used as a magazine gun. If turned upward to its farthest extent, a small pin, on its under side, will enter a notch in the slide and lock it, and therefore the breechblock. Three motions are necessary to operate this piece as a magazine gun, viz., the movement of the slide to the rear, to the front, and the pulling of the trigger.
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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