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Dec- 24,-1946-
<5; waPoNTlus, 313., E.TAL .
. 2,413,113
Filed Nov. 5, 1942
3 Sheets-Sheet l
, NM
GEORGE M Pawr/usw
' we‘ I
Dec. 24, 1946-
2,41 3,1 13
Filed N06. 5; 1942
s Sheets-Sheet 2
650%,‘: M Pawr/us 1”
Air/m? R MASON
Dec. 24, 1946.
G_. W. PONTIUS, 3D., El‘ AL
Filed Nov. 5; 1942
3 SheetséSheet 3
. K, .
Patented Dec. 24, 1943
George W. Pontius, III, and Arthur P. Wilson,
South Bend, Ind., assignors to Bendix Aviation
Corporation, South Bend, Ind., a corporation of
Application November 5, 1942, Serial No. 464,609
4 Claims.
This invention relates to charging systems for
automatic guns and particularly to automatic
charging systems therefor.
In many types of guns the loading operation
is performed by the reciprocation of a breech
(01. 89——-_1)
cessive ?ring of each round. the dashpot will
travel through its entire stroke and set the charg
ing system in action. Obviously, the ?ring of
each round places an abusive force on the dash
pot, and its life as a result thereof is extremely
block such as in machine guns and automatic
cannon employed in military aircraft. In most
Another expedient has been proposed to effect
of the automatic guns now employed, the recip
the automatic recharging of guns, which expe
rocation cf the breechblock and its attendant
dient has been the use of automatic electric re
breech bolt is actuated by the power developed 10 charging mechanism. These devices have been
by the ?ring of a cartridge, which ejects the
open to the objection that oftentimes they are
empty. shell and places a succeeding cartridge
as large as the gun upon which they are used
in the gun breech ready for ?ring. If, however,
for recharging. Where space and weight are
one of these cartridges fails to ?re there is no
matters of prime importance such an expedient
reciprocation of the breech block to eject the 15 is hardly a desirable one.
faulty cartridge and to insert a fresh cartridge.
This invention improves upon the prior art in
It may also happen that the moving parts of
that hydraulic ?uid is used for eifecting a re
an automatic gun may become stuck or pinched
chargingoperation, and that electric power is
so that it is unable to operate automatically.
used merely as a controlling means and not as
In either event, such a gun ‘is termed a jammed 20 the power meansv as is the case in'an electro
gun, and the only way to restore it to automatic
operation is to retract the breech bolt by means
external to the gun.
In the past it has been customary to retract
the breech bolt of a jammed gun by hand. Such
an operation is ordinarily not possible in modern
military vehicles since the guns may be located
mechanical charger. Hydraulic ?uid has. been
found to be most reliable and positive in action
and therefore is preferred over pneumatic sys
tems. Too, since hydraulic ?uid is available un
der pressure in most military vehicles, particu
remotely from the operator, as, .for example, in
an electro-mechanical charging system is em
the wings of a military aircraft.
In such a case,
to free guns in the manner described, it is known
to provide cables running from the wings to the
cockpit, which cables can be actuated by the pilot
or gunner.
Obviously, such an expedient re
quires an elaborate system of pulleys and long
cables, particularly. in the case of the larger air
craft now employed, and with the larger caliber
guns and cannon now in use it is very dif?cult
to reciprocate the moving parts manually. Fur
larly aircraft, little additional burden is placed
upon the power plant as would be the case where
Whereas with a pneumatic system the
motivating fluid is exhausted to atmosphere at
the conclusion of a charging operation, the ?uid
used in a hydraulic system is exhausted to a res
ervoir and may be used over and over again.
This-invention is a further improvement over
the prior. art in that an electrical time lag mech
anism is employed, thereby saving weight, and
also not being open .to'the criticisms and objec
tions inherent in a dashpot used to accomplish
the same purpose. The improved charging sys
ther, if the gunner or pilot has other duties, he
cannot take the time and effort necessary man 40 tem comprising this invention is also an improve~
ually to free and recharge the guns. These and
other considerations make it desirable to have
a power mechanism for recharging guns in the
event of mis?re‘ and it is desirable to have this
mechanism operate‘ automatically.
' Attempts have been made to provide power
means to recharge guns, as for example by use
of pneumatic power systems. Some of the pneue
matic systems are automatic, using electrical
controls to create an automatic action.
iably, however, in these systems there is a me
chanical time lag mechanism such as a‘ dashpot
which is reset each time a round is ?red. If the
gun should fail to ?re in a time period longer
than the normal time of bolt travel between suc
ment over the prior art in that hydraulic ?uid
under high pressure may be employed, thereby
requiring only the use of a small motor having
a high power-to-weight ratio thereby adding but
A an
little weight to the aircraft. A feature of the
invention lies in the use of a single valve to con
trol the nowgor a fluid to a charging motor, small
intermediate selector valves being employed to
pass ?uid only to the charging center of the gun
50 requiring recharging.
Othergimportant features of the invention in
clude a specially designed charging motor using
hydraulic ?uid, spacedbrackets for holding the
charging cylinder to'its gun and permitting easy
' removal of the charging motor without dismam
Figure 5 is a section taken along the lines 5-5
of Figure 3.
With reference to Figure l of the drawings
applied to a single gun. This last is an impor
there is shown, the invention having incorporated
tant feature, since a gun requiring a large num
therewith a ?uid pressure system normally form
ber of charging operations has probably expend
ing a part of the equipment of an aircraft for
ed its ammunition or is in some way defective.
supplying fluid under pressure to charging motor
The invention‘also includes means whereby an
attendant upon eachgun .22 and-operative to
armcrer .may-‘reload the gun with .a ‘fresh belt
retract the bolt of a mis?ring gun under condi
of ammunition or test the operation'of the gun
when it is equipped with the improved charging 10 _.tions later to be described. The ?uid pressure
system comprises a reservoir at which supplies
system. There is also provided a cut-out means
‘fluid ‘to apump 26 and places the fluid under
for stopping a “run away” gun, which otherwise
pressurein an accumulator 28. The accumulator
might be injured by a long burst-of ?re.
12.8 .is-connectedizbya conduit 30 to each solenoid
With the foregoing problems
.mind, it is :an
operated .valve
Valve 32 is connected by a
object of this invention to provide .an electro
conduit til-to each charging motor 26, at times
hydraulic charging system which is fully auto
supplying i‘iuid at high pressure from the conduit
matic, the charging system being applicable to a
3%,’ and at times exhausting the fluid from the
single gun or to a plurality of guns.
charging motor 23 through a return line 36 to
A further object of the invention is to provide
an automatic chargingsystem {or either a single 20 the reservoir 25. The conditions under which the
solenoid operated valves 3.2 operate WillI'be-later
gun or a plurality of guns ‘which will add but
little to the weight era military vehicle.
The electric circuits shown in-Figurei-willgnow
The still furtherobject is to provide an auto
be described, and for purposes of simpli?cation
matic chargingsystem which is operable by pres
sure "from a fluid pressure system normally in 25 willbe described with relation-to one'gun. How
ever, like parts'shown in Figure »1 bear corre
cluded in a military aircraft.
sponding ordinals and the circuit which will be
Yet another object ,is to provide a charging
tling the gun, and a charge counting device to
limit the number of charging operations to be
described'as applied .to onegun is equally applica- V
ble to the other gun "22. Electrical energy may
system for several gunsxwherein selector valves
draw ?uid from aslngle master valveqto the par
i30 be supplied as from arbattery'ii?, which battery
ticular gun .or guns ‘requiring charging.
passes'current to a slowrelease-relayitil through
Still another-object is to provide an improved
an ignition switch 52. Atbranch of his circuit
charging motor for use with-hydraulic ?uid.
passes current to-a switch rid-which is held-open
A still further object istoprovide a charging
during the proper-operation .o'f'its associated gun.
motor which is operable to retract the bolt of a
Thecircuit which includes the switch 4113 has also
mis?ring gun and to hold it in retracted position 2
therein an electrical charging counter mecha
before freeing it for unimpeded counter move
nism 46 which is placed'intermediate the switch
441‘ and the-solenoid operated valve 32.
The control of the charging mechanism :20
and its attendantsolenoid-operated valve 152 is
.effectedzby making and ‘breaking the ‘switch M.
The circuit eiiectingjtheoperation ,of the switch
M comprises the slow releasegrelay’ll? whichhas
Another object is to provide acharge counter
two branches leading toground. Interposedbe
for each gun whichcuts out the-‘operation of the
charging system associated .with each‘gun to stop’ 1 tween the. relay? éii' anjdground is. a manually. oper
atedzswitchxii? andzarrearigun switch 56, ‘which
a gun" which aims regardless of whether the sear
is ‘closed and opened by the-reciprocation of the
ment to the ?ringposition.
, A still further object contemplates-the
sion of means whereby the varmorer of
equipped with this invention may reload
with a fresh beltoi ammunition or'test the
tion of the gun.
a gun
.a gun {
is actuated or not.
Another object is'to provide a .cuteout mecha
breech ‘pin which-strikes :a switch actuator :51
nism for the ?ringimotorxof 'animproperly oper
ating gun.
These and other objects and features of the
invention are pointed ‘out in the x following de
scripticn in terms of the importance thereof
which are showninthe. accompanying drawings.
It is to be understood,.however, that the draw
ings are for the purpose .of illustration only and
are not designe'das a :de?nition of the limits of
the invention, reference being ‘had to ‘.the ap
pendedclaims for ‘this purpose.
at the rearward endiOf,ltSfI33llhgUf‘TGCipIOCQtlOH.
A second ground: circuit for theslow release relay
{iii includes the ‘manually operated vswitch '48, a
forward gun switch: 52 and iajdouble pole switch
edtwhich is closed.
Switch 55' isopenat times when thebreech bolt
is, in its forward position, but ,is closed by the
breech bolto'f the gun ZZ'Whenjthe bolt recipro
cates during thei?ring oiithe .gun.- The :switch
is also-closed at the completion of :a _- charging
cycle. , Switch :52, which‘ is at the forward end
of :the path of reciprocationof :the :breech bolt
is normally ‘closed ‘by --said;breech :bolt. .The
bodiment of this-invention:
breech bolt will keep the switchikélosed when
‘-Figure 1 is a diagrammatic plan view of the
ever-the breech :isqclosed, but iw'hen :not "closed
entire charging system- asapplie'd to a plurality
by the v"breech boltit tends ;=to. open; it'hlus when
of machine guns;
, 65 the breech bolt is ;closed‘_:there wilkbe aground
Figure 2v is a diagrammatic‘view of amodi?ed
circuit :ior relay ‘:40 ‘through fthe,:switch 15-2 and
form of an automatic charging system'je‘mploying
the switch 51%. Grounding relay :40 energizesit,
Inthe drawings illustrating a preferred em»
selector valves for each charging motor;
,Figure '3 is alongitudinal verticalv seg-mentof
a charging motor and a cooperating-switchthere;
for including a mechanical charge counterj l
Figure {i is~a fragmentary ,elevational view of
our improvedcharging cylinder showing its at
tendant'switch inoutline form, parts‘of ‘the switch
being shown in dotted ‘outline; and
actuating 'jbell :crard: .1456 "thereby :opening the
switch “Li?l'ld‘thlIS cutting off theilow of cur
rent :to the _. solenoid operated .valve .32. .Thus
when switch t2 ‘ is ;;closed, and the :breech .block
of'the gun ; 22 vis rclosed ‘:the '.-relay ‘4.0 will be
grounded, and the ‘only 1e?e.ct,1then,=closing‘the
switch Iii-2' will-be ‘to open switch "M when ‘the
breech bolt is‘inza closed :orforward ‘position. i
élosing' switch 42 also passes current to one
contact of a safety switch 58 which when closed
passes current to one contact of the trigger switch
66. Closing trigger switch 66 passes current to
notches of the member 66. The arm 12 is actu-r
ated upon the energization of a solenoid 16, which
solenoid is energized whenever the switch 44 is
closed. That is, each time switch 44 is closed,
solenoid 16 receives an impulse of-current from
a ?ring motor 62 mounted on each gun 22. The
?ring motor 62 when energized will actuate a
the source to actuate the mechanism 45. Each
sear, not shown, of the gun 22 and will cause the
movement of the arm 72 contacts a succeeding
gun to ?re provided there is a live cartridge in
notch on the member 66 and after a predeter
the ?ring chamber. Intermediate the switch 60
mined number of current impulses through the
and the ?ring motor 62 is a, cut-out mechanism 10 solenoid operated valve 32 one of the brush seg
45 which operates as a unit with an electric
ments ‘Ill will move out of engagement with the
counter unit 46. These will be described later
sector of member 66 to thereby cut on’
in this description. Simultaneous with the clos
the flow of current to the solenoid operated valve
ing of the trigger switch 60 is the energization of
32. In this way a, gun which has expended its
the relay 64, which opens the switch 54, thus 15 ammunition and which repeatedly jams will not
breaking the ground circuit of the relay 40, which
be charged after a predetermined number of
thereupon loses its energy. However, relay 4!} is
charges have been made.
of the slow release type and will hold the switch
Since a useless expenditure of power would be
44 in open position during the particular time
attendant upon the continued energization of the '
period for which the relay is constructed. This 20 ?ring motor 62 of a gun which has been cut out
period can be any period longer than the time
from the system by the counter mechanism 46,
between the ?ring of each round of gun 22 when
a ?ring motor cut out is incorporated into the
?ring automatically. When the breech bolt upon
system for deenergizing the ?ring motor of such
?ring reaches the rearward end of its travel, the
a gun. This cut-out mechanism consists of a
breech bolt closes the switch 50 thereby ground
unit 45 connected to the charge counter by the
ing relay 4!] thereby reenergizing it. This inter
shaft 63. The unit comprises a circular disk 4'!
mittent energization of relay 43 through switch
of the same dimensions as the member 66 and
50 maintains the switch 44 in an open position
so that the valve 32 will not be operated.
having a conductor sector 49 like that of mem
ber 66. Two brushes 4941 contact the conductor
If the gun should jam, however, relay 40 would
sector 49 and pass current to the trigger motor
62 when both are in contact with the conductor
sector 49. When the counter mechanism 46 cuts
out its attendant gun, the ?ring motor cut-out
likewise cuts out the ?ring motor 62 of the same
not be intermittently energized through switch
50 and at the expiration of the time period of
the relay 4!] the switch 44 would close, thereby
passing current through the counter 46 and to
the solenoid operated valve 32. Upon energiza
tion of the solenoid operated valve 32 ?uid is
passed from accumulator 28 to the charging mo
tor 20 to retract the breech bolt thereof and re
charge or recock the gun 22. When the breech
bolt has been retracted by the charging motor
20 the rearward gun switch 50 will close thereby
once more energizing the relay 46, and opening
switch 44. With the trigger motor in energized
The switch 48 is manually operable, and by
holding switch 48 open current cannot pass
through the relay 4!] as both its ground circuits
will be broken, thereby dissipating its energy,
thus closing switch 44 effecting a, charging op
eration as described above. By means of switch
48 the gunner may charge any gun if he has rea
son to doubt that it is not in an operative condi
tion, or if there is a “runaway” gun. This gun
condition, and after the breech bolt has returned
to the forward position the gun will continue to 45
may be effectively stopped by opening switch 48,
?re automatically, thereby periodically closing
which also causes any gun to be charged; By
switch 50 and periodically energizing relay 46 to
holding switch 48 open the associated gun will
keep the switch 44 open.
charge and the breech bolt will be held in a re
If a charging cycle as described above should
be started and the ?ring period then terminated 50 tracted position, and if the object in so doing is
to cool o?’a “runaway” gun, this switch can be
by opening the trigger switch 60 the gun 22 will
kept open until such a gun is cooled to the point
nevertheless continue to charge. When the ?r
where another burst of ?ring will not injure it.
ing period ceases as by opening trigger switch 60
A ring 18 is provided to actuate one member of
the relay 64 will be deenergized, allowing switch
52. This ring is used by the armorer when
54 to close, thus closing one of the two branch
ground circuits for the relay 46. However, after
the charging cycle has started switch 52 opens,
thus opening the only possible ground circuit for
the relay 40, since the other ground circuit to
switch 50 is already broken. Thus with both
ground circuits open, the relay 46 will continue 60
to be deenergized effecting a charging cycle as
previously described, as the switch 44 is already
The electric counter unit 46 is provided to limit Y ,
the number of charges for any one gun, as a
gun which requires a large number of charges
has expended its ammunition or is probably de
fective. This counter 46 comprises a plate mem
ber 66 having a conductor sector and notches
along the edge of another sector. The member
66 rotates about a shaft 68, and brushes ‘(0 con
tact the conductor sector. A ratchet arm 12 is
also pivoted at the end of the shaft 68 and has
a pawl 14 pivoted thereto, which contacts the
reloading the gun with a new belt of ammunition.
By pulling on ring 78 the ground of relay 4!] will
be broken and if the pull is of a duration long
enough to allow relay 46 to deenergize before re
leasing ring 78 current will thereby pass to the
solenoid of valve 32 to effect a charge.
If a live
cartridge remains in the ?ring chamber, it will,
of course, be ejected by the charging operation.
The ?rst link of a new belt is then inserted in the
feedway of gun 22 and ring 18 is again pulled
as before, allowing the gun pawl to engage the
?rst live round. Following these operations, one
more charging cycle must be performed before
the gun will ?re. This charge is usually per
formed by the gunner, just prior to combat by
manually opening switch 48. This charging se
quence is followed to provide an additional safety
feature and makes possible the reloading of the
gun while performing a minimum of manual op
erations upon it.
The details of construction of the charging cyl
automatic machine
charger employing a selector valve system. The
selector valve system differs from the system
shown in Figure l in that each charging motor
could be usedis describedin the copending appli
cation of 'White and Pontius, Ser. No. 311,978,
?led January '2, 1940, now Patent No. 2,332,419.
inder will be later described as well as the con
struction of the brackets which holdthecharging
motor 2a to the gun 22.
With reference to Figure 2 .of thedrawings
The charging motors can also be used in a semi
automatic system such as described in the appli
cation of Pontius, Ser. No, 319,925, ?led February
20, 1M0, now Patent No. 2,355,179. Other uses
andapplications of the charging unit canibe made
and it is not intended to limit its use to the pres
28 has a selector valve 39 for controlling the
?ow of fluid from the single master valve 32. 10 ent systems.
The charging motor 29 comprises a cylindrical
The selector valves are connected to a common
casing iI'Els‘él within which a cylindrical piston I02
hydraulic fluid line t2 to'the master valve ‘I8 and
are selectively opened to charge the proper gun.
The selector valve 8% is open only when there is
no iiuid pressure in the line to the charging mo
tor 2E and. therefore needs to employ only a small
and light weight solenoid 84.
In most installa
tions there is a saving in weight by the use of
selector valves making the system very desirable
for aircraft.
The electricalcircuit for the selector valve sys
tem of Figure .2 is basically the same as for the
system shown in Figure 1. Closing switch 42
passes current to relay AI}, which as in Figure 1
has two ground circuits one through switch 5%
and the other through switches 52 and 54. Re
lay !lU, when energized, acts through'a bellcrank
86 to open switch M to master valve 32 in much
the same way as in Figure 1. vBell crank 86 dif
reciprocates. The right-hand end of the unit is
toward ‘the front of the gun on which it is
mounted, and the left-hand end of the unit is
secured to the rear of the gun. Thepiston I02
contacts a breech pin IM (shown in dotted out
line) and moves the breech block of the gun 2‘2
rearwardly by acting on breech pin IM during
a charging operation. Fluid under pressure is
directed into the cylinder its at the ?tting I06,
which may be connected to either the selector
valve 85 of Figure ‘2 or directly to the solenoid
operated valve 32 of Figure 1. ‘The cylinder I00
is held to the gun by a forward bracket vHi8 and
bya rear bracket H0.
The piston m2 is held in a forward position by
a spring H2 which ?ts inside cylinder I00 and
extends into piston Hi2. Spring H2 is mounted
fers from bell crank 56 of Figure 1, however, in 30 on a-two-part tubular telescoping spring guide,
one part of which comprises an outer member
that it is a conductor of current, passing current
1 iii, the other‘part being an inner tubular mem
through its length when switch M closes, the
beer I 15 secured to the piston Hi2. As the piston
other end of hell crank 86 forming also a part of
m2 reciprocates within cylinder Iilll under the
switch 88 at the same-time it operates switch 44.
When relay 48 is deenergized and the bell crank 35 influence of fluid pressure and thespring I I2, the
inner member H6 telescopes in the stationary
86 is released, current flows from switch 44 to
outer member I I4.
master valve
and in addition through bell
A pointed pin H8 slides in guide member H4
crank '23 to switch point 38 and through a con
and .has an extended shank I20 which passes
ductor to the solenoid 3d of_ selector valve BI),
thus when the relay iii} is deenergized current is 40 through a construction in the inner end of guide
member H6, and has a head i-2.2 attached to the
passed to the selector valve 89 associated with a
end of the shank ‘IZIl. The relationship of parts
mis?ring gun and to the master valve 32.
is such that the last portion of the ‘rearward
The selector valve 3% is a simple solenoid oper
movement of piston I02 causes the inner tele
ated or poppet valve of any suitable construction.
scoping member H6 to contact the pin H8 and
The solenoid 8.13 employed may be made very
move it rearwardly. ‘The last part of the for
small, and. it
therefore desirable that means
ward'niovement of piston I532 causes the con
be provided to insure that there will be no pres
stricted end of guide tube ill-IE to act onthe head
sure on the line 32 when it‘ is operated. The
I22 of shank I28 to pull the pin H3 forward.
means provided includes a bell crank 96 for
These movements of pin H8 cooperate-with a
grounding the master valve 32, which switch is 50
breech bolt latch to hold the breech bolt in a re
operated by the opening movement of selector
tracted position after the charging stroke until
valve at. A movable core 92 of the solenoid valve
the piston I82 has returned nearly to its starting
8E! actuates the bell crank 99, which closes a
position, permitting the unimpeded movement of
switch 93 thereby grounding the circuit to master
the breech pin upon its return to the forward
valve 32. This construction insures that the se- ' position. The breech pin latch includes a rocker
lector valve as will always be open before fluid
arml 24 pivoted at I26to the rear support bracket
under pressure is passed to the charger motor 28.
‘I it]. Pivoted at the forward end of the rocker
The selector valve system employs mechanical
arm I24 is a catch ?nger I28 pivoted at I35 and
charge counters, and these will be next ‘described
along with the charging cylinder 20. The elec 60 urged by a leaf spring I32 to a “catch” position.
At'the rear end of ‘the rocker armv I24 is a roller
trical counters Q5 of Figure 1 could also be ap
I34 designed to reduce friction when the rocker
plied and could be in the selector valve circuit
arm is-contacted by the pin I I8. Also secured to
with equal effect, and the mechanical charge
the rear end of the rocker arm IM is a leaf spring
counters associated with the charging motors 20
I36 which contacts the bracket I I0, and normally
could also be appiied to the system of Figure 1
maintains the arm I24 in a disengaged lOQsition.
with equal effect.
A ?tting I38 on the rear end of cylinder I00 has
Referring now to Figures 3, 4 and 5 there is
secured thereto a roller Idll to provide a thrust
shown the charging motor 2i’! of Figures 1 and
bearing when the pin I_I8 strikes the rocker arm
2. Although this charging unit is well suited for
the automatic systems here described, it is ap 70 roller I34.
The operation of the‘charging motoras thus
plicable also to any type of gun charging system.
far described is as ‘follows. Charging ?uid “from
The unit may be .used on a manually controlled
any suitable control device, manual or automatic,
system, and for such use none of the electrical
enters the cylinder IE0 at the ?tting I06 and
features of the present systems would be vused.
forces the piston I02 to-the left, ‘and in so doing
A manually controlled system in which this unit
9' '
the breech bolt of the gun is retracted through the
contact of the skirt of piston I02 with the breech
pin I04, shown in dotted outline. As the piston
I02 nears the end of its stroke, the guide tube I I5
strikes the end of pin I I8 forcing it between the
rollers I40 and I34. This movement of the pin
H8 forces the rocker arm I24 to pivot about I20
against the load in spring I36 so that the rocker
arm I 24 assumes a nearly horizontal position.v In
that position the latch I28 is in the path of‘ the breech pin I04, as shown by the dotted outline of
the latch I28. As the breech pin I04 nears the
end of its permissive travel, it strikes the latch
I20 and causes it to rotate about its pivot against
leaf spring I32, allowing the breech pin I04 to
pass. Once the breech pin I04 is past the latch
I28 the spring I32 causes the latch to snap back
The actuator switch 50 is rotatably secured to
the bracket I 42 by means of a pivot pin I50. Pro
truding from the‘rearward side of the pivot pin
I50 is a ?nger I52 which contacts the ratchet
‘ wheel I 44 and which is urged rotatably in a clock
wise direction by spring I54 coiled about the pivot
pin I50, one end of spring £54 engaging the rear
bracket, the other end of which contacts the ?nger
I52. However, the switch 50 is held in a sub
stantially horizontal position by the contact of
the ?nger I52 with the ratchet wheel I44. The
purpose of the ratchet wheel I44 and the push
button I 45 is to cut out the charging unit 20 from
the hydraulic system when 1a predetermined num
ber of charging operations have been made. As
has been explained before, an excessive number
of charging operations generally indicates that
to its normal position, locking the breech pin in
a gun has expended its ammunition or is in some
its retracted position.
defective. It is therefore best to out such '
When the piston of the charging cylinder 20 20 way
a gun out from the hydraulic system so as not to
reaches the end of its stroke the charging ?uid is
reduce the hydraulic pressure excessively or un
cut oil from the pressure source and ported to at
mosphere either automatically or manually.
Spring I I2 now forces the piston I02 to its start
ing position forcing out the ?uid to atmosphere.
The latch I28 on the rocker arm I24 holds the
breech pin I04 and its breech bolt in a retracted
position until the piston' I02 is out of the path
of travel of the breech pin I 04 to allow the breech
bolt to have unimpeded action on the closing
stroke. The release of the breech pin I04 is ac
complished by pulling the pin IIS from between
the rollers I40 and I34, which removal allows the
rocker arm I24 to rotate about its pivot to render
the latch I28 inoperative. The pin H8 is pulled
from between the rollers by the restriction in the
inner tubular member H6 striking the head I22
The operation of the mechanical charge counter
just described is as follows. At every charging
stroke the ratchet wheel I44 will be rotated one
notch by the spring metal strip I48 attached to
the push button I40 whenever it is contacted by
the pin I I8. After a given number of movements,
the ratchet wheel I44 will be rotated so that the
so relieved portion or segment is adjacent the ?nger
I52, which, through the pressure of spring I54
causes the end switch unit 50' to rotate in a clock
wise direction to the position shown in Figure 4.
When in this position the switch 50 remains con
tinuously in a closed position. This closed posi
tion is maintained by the torsional effect of spring
I 54 in rotating the switch 50 clockwise against the
on the shank I20 of the pin II8 as the piston I02
cylinder I00. Rotation of switch 50 against cyl
is moved to its starting position. The arrange
inder I00 actuates the operator 5I which closes
ment of the parts is such that the pin I I 8 is pulled 40 the circuit. As has been described previously
out from between rollers only when the piston
when the switch 50 remains in closed position a
I02 has reached its starting position and out of
ground is made for the relay 40 thereby energiz
the path of travel of the breech pin I04. _As de
ing it and keeping the switch 44 open to prevent
scribed, the device is a charging unit which will
the ?ow of ?uid from the fluid pressure system
hold the breech bolt in a retracted position until ” through the valve 32 and-the selector valves 80.
the charging piston has withdrawn from the path
To return the gun to normal operation, the ratchet
of travel from the breech pin.
wheel I44 is manually rotated to its starting po
The charging unit as applied to the systems
sition, causing switch 50 to once more assume an
herein described incorporates further features.
operative position as shown in Figure 3.
The actuator switch 50 is also shown in detail ir.
The switch 52 is also shown in Figure 3 and is
Figure 3. The switch 50 is operated by a switch
operated by a switch operator 53, similar to the
actuator 5I which is secured to the bottom of the
operator 5I for switch 50. This operator is con
switch 50. At every reciprocation of the breech
tacted by the breech pin I04 whenever the breech
bolt, Whether during automatic ?ring or during
is closed on the ?ring chamber.
a charging cycle, the breech pin I04 strikes the
Another part of the invention relates to brackets
switch actuator 5| which in turn closes the switch
I08 and I50 for holding the charging unit to the
50. It will be noted that the switch 50 is of the
snap spring type wherein a small movement of
the actuator in one direction causes a relatively
guns. As shown in Figure 5, which is a section
through the rear bracket IIO, the bracket is of a
type which may be opened to remove the charging
large movement in the opposite direction.
60 cylinder I00 from the gun 22. _A semi-circular
The charging unit as shown in Figure 3 incor
‘locking member I56 is pivoted to the bracket H0
porates a mechanical charge counter. Mounted
on'the rear bracket I I0 is an arm I42 supporting
a rotatable ratchet wheel I44 which has a re-
at I58. ' A clamp member I60 is hinged to the ,
bracket II!) at .I62 and acts through a screw I04
to clampthe locking member I50 around the fit
moved segment as shown, and a reciprocable 65 ting I30 of the charging cylinder I00. When it
spring pressed push button I46. A strip of spring
is desired to dismount the charging cylinder I00
metal I48 is attached to the upper end of the push
the screw E46 is loosened, the clamp swung down
button I46 and contacts the ratchet wheel I44.‘
wardly and the locking member swung upwardly.
The push button I46 extends into the path of "
Inv this waythe charging cylinder I50 may be re—
travel of the pin'l I8, and at every charge stroke
moved from the gun and the gun- removed with
of the motor 20 the pin II8 strikes the push but
out disconnecting the hydraulic circuit. This type
ton I46 causing it to move upwardly against the
of bracket is desirable for removing a gun from
compression of its spring, and causing the mem
ber I48 to move the ratchet wheel I44 one notch
in a clockwise direction.
its emplacement for repairs, cleaning or replace
ment, which operations may be performed with
out disconnecting any hydraulic circuits.
The operation of the system shown in Figure 1
is as follows. The pump 26- is operated by- any
suitable source of power, and pumps hydraulic
?uid from reservoir 24 to accumulator 28. Sole
noid valves 32 are now ready to direct hydraulic
fluid to conduits 34 when operated by the'elec
trioal circuit. Conduits 34 direct the ?uid from
valve 3?. to the charging motors 29 to charge'guns
The electrical system may be conveniently di
?ring chamber for the next ?ring period and this
operation is as follows. Upon cessation of firing,
relay 64- is deenergized and switch 54 is thereby
closed. Relay 49 is not-grounded, however, as the
?rst movement in the‘ charging cycle forces the
breech bolt backwardly opening switch 52. Be
cause switch 52 is open the ground of relay 40 is
broken during the charging cycle until the breech
bolt reaches the end of its reciprocatory move»
10 ment, at which time relay 40 is grounded through
vided into ?rst and second circuits,v and afiring
circuit. The ?rst circuit comprises a, battery 38,
switch 42, openable connection 44, counter-unit or
switch 50, and valve 32 is thereby closed. The
charging operation inserts fresh shell in the ?r
ing chamber and the gun is once-more ready for
?ring when the trigger is actuated.
current impulse responsive means 46-45, and
Often when a period of fire is over it isdesirable
electrically operated valve 32. The second circuit 15
reload the machine gun 22 by inserting a fresh
comprises the source or battery 38, switch 42,
belt of ammunition into the mechanism of the
time-delay relay 40, normally open switch 56‘,
gun. The old belt is removed from the gun and
switch 52, which is normally closed’ when the
a new belt inserted into the gun. The charging
breech bolt is in its forward position of the gun,
operations necessary to place a cartridge of the
and normally closed means 54. The ?ring circuit
new belt intothe gun can be performed by the
comprises the battery 38, switch 42, trigger switch
charging system. The armorer pulls on ring 18,
69, relay 54, cut out member 45, and ?ring motor
opening switch 52, breaking the connection to
ground for relay 40. If ring '58 is pulled to keep
The operation of the electrical circuit will now
switch 52 open for a period longer than the time
be described with relation to one gun 22, as the
interval of relay 4i), the deenergization of relay
operation is identical for the other gun. Ignition
40 will release bell crank 56: closing switch. 44,
switch 42 is ?rst closed, passing current to slow
which actuates valve 32, charging the system.
release relay 40 which is normally connected
This ?rst charging stroke ejects the live shell in
through manual switch 48, which is normally
the ?ring chamber. The ?rst link in a new belt
closed, and through switch 52, which is normally
is then inserted in. the feedway of gun 22, and
closed by the breech bolt when the breech of the
ring 18 is again pulled, allowing the gun pawl
gun 22 is closed and from there through. switch
54 which is normally closed when the gun is not
?ring and is there grounded. Grounding this cir
cuit energizes the relay 49, which acts through bell
crank 5'5 to open switch 44, thus cutting off cur~
rent to solenoid valve 32. When it is desired to
?re the gun, safety switch 58 is ?rst closed, and
then trigger switch 88 is closed. The ?ring motor
62 is operated by the current from switch 60 and
the gun begins to ?re. At the same time relay 64
is energized, which breaks the ground of relay. 40
at switch 54.
When the ground of relay 4!} is broken at switch
54, there is a tendency for the relay 40 to release
the bell crank 56, closing switch 44. However,
relay 4D is a. slow release relay having a release
period greater than the interval between shots of
the gun tovwhich the charging .mechanism is
affixed. Since the same switch operation that .
breaks the ground of relay 4!} at switch 54 also
energizes the firing motor 62, the gun 22 will ?re
at the same time switch 54 is broken, and the
breech bolt reciprocates, alternately closing and
opening switch 50. Closing switch. 50 grounds ,
relay 4%, energizing. relay 40 so that it will con
tinue to maintain switch 44 in an open position.
If the gun jams during a ?ring period actuator
to engage the ?rst live round. Following these
operations, one morecharging cycle must be per
formed before the gun will ?re. This charge is
usually performed by the gunner, just prior to
combat by manually opening switch 48. This
charging sequence is followed to provide an added
safety feature inasmuch as the gun cannot be
?red until this ?nal charge is made.
The electrical charge counter 45 cuts out a gun
which requires an excessive number of charges, as
such a gun is probably defective, and the opera
tion is as follows. At every charge, solenoid 16 is
energized, pulling on ratchet arm- 12 which in
turn rotates conductor-member 66 about its pivot
68. The current meantime flows from brushes")
through the conductor to operate valve 32. After
a predetermined number of charges have been
made, the ratchet will have rotated conductor
member 65 out of contact with one of the brushes.
In this position of member 66, current can no
longer pass to valve 32, and thereafter when gun
22 jams it will not be-charged, but will remain in
a jammed condition.
As has been explainedv before when the charge
counter 46 cuts out a mis?ring gun the ?ring
motor cut-out 45 likewisecuts out the ?ring motor
62 of the samegun.
> >
switch 50 remains continuously open becauselthe
In ?ring aguntitvsometimes happens-that-a.
breech bolt will not reciprocate, and the relay 40. 60
part. will becomestuck or injured so-that a gun
becomes deenergized at the end of its time period‘
will continue to ?re regardless. of trigger actua- causing switch 44 to close. Solenoid valve- 32
tion. Such a gun is known as ‘a “runaway” gun. ‘
then opens, passing ?uid to they ?uid motor 20
Our invention provides means to control such
which charges the gun by retractingthe breech
bolt of the gun, ejecting the dud shell and insert 65 guns to keepthem from becoming injured by long .
ing a fresh ones When the breech bolt reaches
its most retracted position it acts on operator
5i. to close switch 5%, thereby grounding relay 4%
and breaking the connection to solenoid valve 32.
If the. trigger system is’ still inv a?ring. condition
the gun will oncemore ?re uponthebre'echbolt '
closing and contacting the. cartridgechamber.
If the ?ring control is cut oil during the charg
ing stroke it is desirable to continue the charging
operation so that a fresh cartridge willbe inthe
continued ?re. This means is the manually ope
eratedswitch 48 illustrated as near relay'40. By
manually opening switch. 48 the ground connec
tions of. relay Mlare all disconnected and-switch '
' 44 doses passing current to solenoid valvev 3?.
causing it to charge the gun 22. Often _a-_sin'gle
charge is enough to restore a runaway gun to.nor.'-_
mal- operation, but where'this is not suf?cient the:
breech bolt of the guncan be heldin a retracted
position by keeping switch 48 open'until the gun.
is cooled. to a point where further “runaway”
?ring will not injure it. The switch 48 is shown
adjacent to the gun, but by using longer. con
ductors it may be placed near the other manually
operated switches 42, 58 and '50.
The operation of the selector valve system
shown inFigure 2 is as follows. Ignition switch
42 is ?rst closed passing current to slow release re
lay 49 which is grounded through switch 59, which
is normally closed by the bolt of gun 22 and from
there through switch 54, which is closed when
If the ?ring control is cut o? during the charg
ing stroke, it is desirable to continue the charg
ing operation so that a fresh cartridge will be in
the ?ring chamber for the next ?ring period and
this operation is as follows. When the charging
cycle is started just prior to the cessation of ?ring,
switch 52 is opened, thereby breakingthe ground
circuit for relay 48 that is normally established
upon cessation of ?ring. Relay so therefore re
mains deenergized, and switches 88 and 44 remain
closed. When the breech bolt reaches the end
of its charging stroke, it causes switch 50 to close
thus grounding relay 49, and causing switches 88
and 44 to open, allowing the charging ?uid to re
the gun is not ?ring. Grounding this current en
ergizes .the relay 40, which acts through a bell
crank 86 to open switch 44 and switch 88, thus
cutting 01? current to master valve 32 and selector 15 turn to exhaust. By this operation a fresh car
valve 80. When it is desired to ?re the gun, safety
tridge is placed in the ?ring chamber, and the gun
switch 58 is ?rst closed, and then trigger switch
is again ready for automatic ?re when the trigger
60 is closed. The ?ring motor 62 is operated by
is actuated.
current from switch 60 and the gun begins to ?re.
The armorer’s charging operation by pulling on
At the same time relay 64 is energized, breaking 20 ring 78 is similar to that of Figure l which has
the ground of relay 49 at switch 54.
already been described. Also the operation for
When the ground of relay 4 is broken at switch
stopping a “runaway” gun in the system of Figure
54, there is a tendency for relay 40 to release the
2 is similar to that of Figure l, which operation
bell crank 86, close switches 44 and 88. Relay 40
has also been described.
is, however, a slow release relay of any suitable
Having described our invention it is not in
time period greater than the period of automatic
tended to be limited by the speci?c embodiment
?re of the gun 22. Due to this characteristic, re~
herein disclosed. The hydraulic and electrical
lay 40 will hold the bell crank 85 until its time
systems may be changed in many ways and yet
period has elapsed, in the absence of an inter
fall within our invention. Any ?uid could be
vening charging current. Relay as is intermit 30 used in place of a hydraulic ?uid in the system dis
tently grounded, however, through actuator
closed. The devices included in the system may
switch 59, and the bell crank 86 is thereby held
have various different applications and still come to keep switches 44 and 88 in an open condition,
within the scope of the invention. Nor is the in
preventing the operation of master valve 32 and
vention limited in any way other than by the
selector valve 80. Actuator switch 50 is intermit
terms of the following claims,
tently closed by the reciprocating breech bolt of
This application is a continuation in part of
gun 22 striking switch operator 5 I. At every shot
our copending application Ser. No. 371,742, ?led
of the gun 22, the breech bolt reciprocates and
December 26, 1940.
as the time between shots is less than the period
We claim:
of the slow release relay 40, it will be reenergized 40
for use with a gun
before its release period has expired.
having a reciprocable breech bolt movable from
If one of the guns should jam during a ?ring
a normal forward position of the gun to a re
period, the relay 40 of the jammed'gun becomes ,
tracted position thereof and then released for
deenergized at the expiration of its release period,
counter movement when charging of the gun is
and the bell crank 86 moves to close switches 44 45 desired, comprising a ?uid pressure motor adapted
and 88. Selector valve 86 now opens, and the
to be mounted on the gun and constructed and
movement of its core 84 acts through hell crank
arranged to engage the bolt to retract the same, an
90 to close switch 9|, grounding the current
electrical system including a, source of current and
through the solenoid of master valve 32 which
then opens to ?uid pressure from the accumulator 50 ?rst and second circuits, an electrically operated
valve in the ?rst circuit for controlling the flow
28. When master valve 32 is operated, high pres
?uid to said motor and connected in the ?rst
sure ?uid ?ows into line 82, and through the open
circuit through an openable connection, a time
selector valve 80 and into the charging motor 20
delay relay in the second circuit constructed and
of the jammed gun, charging that gun by retract
arranged to be energized in response to normal
ing its breech bolt for counter-movement, which 55 reciprocation of the breech bolt to open said
action ejects the dud shell and inserts a fresh
openable connection and to be deenergized in re
one. During this charging operation, the selector
sponse to abnormal reciprocation of the breech
boltto permit closing of said openable connection,
switch in the second circuit normally open and
continues to ?re uninterruptedly. When the 60 aconstructed
and arranged to be closed by the
breech bolt reaches its most retracted position
breech bolt when in a retracted position only, to
during the charging stroke, it acts on operator 5|
connect the time delay relay in the second circuit
to close the switch 58, thereby grounding relay
to energize said relay, means in the second circuit
40 and breaking the connection to selector valve
80 and master valve 32. The charging mechanism 65 normally closed to energize the time delay relay
at times when the switch is open, a, ?ring circuit
exhausts its charging ?uid and the gun is again
a ?ring motor mounted on the gun and
ready for ?ring. If the trigger system is still in a
a trigger switch interposed between the ?ring cir
?ring position, the gun will once more ?re upon
valve of the other gun remains closed; no ?uid
can enter its charging mechanism, and the gun
the breech bolt contacting the cartridge chamber.
cuit and the source of current, and a relay in the
?ring circuit constructed and arranged to open
Upon cessation of ?ring, relay 64 is deeper
said normally closed means when the trigger
gized; allowing switch 54 to close and establishing
switch is closed so that energization of the time
a ground for relay 40 through switches 48 and .52.
delay relay must depend upon normal breech bolt
This energizes the relay 451' which acts on bell
crank 86 to render master valve 32 and solenoid
2. A gun charging apparatus for use with a gun
valve 80 inoperative.
75 having a reciprocable breech bolt movable from
a‘ normal; forward position. of‘ the. gun to a re
tracted. position‘ thereof, andv then; released: for
countermovement: when charging’ of: the_ gun is
desired; comprising a fluid pressure‘ mot'oradap'ted
to be mounted. on the. gunand" constructed and
arranged‘to'engagethe'bclt to retract the same,
air-electrical systemlincluding a source of‘ current
normally closed to energize the time delay. relay
at times ‘when the switch is open, a switch-in the
second circuit constructed and arranged to close‘
when the breech bolt is in its forward position
of the gun and to open when the breech bolt is
moved toward its retracted position, to thereby
complete a charging'cycl'e once initiated, a; ?ring
circuit including a, ?ring motor mounted on the
gun and a trigger switch interposed between the‘
and ?rst and second circuits, an electrically op
erated' valve in the ?rst circuit‘for. controllingthe
flow of fluid to said motor and connected in the 10 ?ringcircuit and the source of current, and a re—'
lay in the ?ring‘ circuit constructed and arranged
?rst‘ circuit through an openable connection, a
to open said normally closed means and when the'
timev delay relay in the second circuit constructed
trigger switch is closed so that energization of the‘
and arranged to be energized in responseto nor
time delay relay must depend upon normal breech
mal» reciprocation of the breech bolt to open. said
openable' connection and to be deenergi'zed in re
sponse to‘ abnormal reciprocation of the breech
bolt to permit closing of saidiopenable connection,
bolt reciprocation.
s. A gun charging'apparatus for use with a gun
having a reciprocable breech bolt movable from
a switch in the second circuit normally‘ open and
a normal forward position of the gun to a re
mounted on the gun and a trigger‘ switch inter
posed'between the ?ring circuit‘ and the source of‘ .
current‘, and a relay iii-the ?ring circuit con
a time delay relay in the second circuit con-v
structed and arranged to be energized in response
to normal reciprocation of the breech bolt to open
said openable connection and to be deenergized
in response to abnormal reciprocation of the
breech bolt to permit closing of said openable con
tracted position thereof and then released for
constructed and arranged to be closed by the
breech bolt‘ when in a retracted position" only,‘ to 20 countermovement when charging of the gun is
desired, comprising a ?uid pressure motor adapted
connect'the time delay relay in the second circuit
to be mounted on the gun and constructed and
to energize said relay, means in‘ the second circuit
arranged to engage the bolt to retract the same,
normally closed to energize the'time delay relay
an electrical system including a source of current
at times when the switch is open, amanually op~
and ?rst and second circuits, an electrically op
erated switch in the secondicircuit normally closed
erated valve in the ?rst circuit for‘ controlling
and‘ constructed and arranged'to be opened to de
the flow of fluid to said motor and connected in
energize. the time delay relay to manually initiate
the ?rst circuit through an openable connection,
charging, a ?ring circuit including a ?ring'motor
structed and arranged to- open said normally
closed means when the trigger switch'is closed so
that energization of the‘ time delay relay must
depend upon normal breech'bolt reciprocation.
3. A' gun charging apparatus for use with a gun
having‘ a reciprocable breech bolt' movable from
a normal forward position of the gun to a re
. nection, a switch in the second circuit normally
open and constructed and arranged to be closed
by the breech bolt when in a retracted position
only, to connect the time delay relay in the sec
ond‘ circuit to energize said relay, means in the,
tracted position thereof and then released for
countermcvement when charging of the gun is 4U second circuit normally closed to energize the time '
delay relay at times when the switch is open, a
desired, comprisinga ?uid pressure motor adapted
?ring circuit including a ?ring motor mounted
to be mounted on the gun and: constructed and
on the gun and‘ a trigger switch interposed be
arranged‘ to engage the bolt to retract the same,
an‘ electrical systemincluding a source of current
tween the ?ring circuit and the source of cur~
=rent, means in the ?rst circuit responsive to im- '
and ?rst and second circuits, an electrically, op
pulses of current to the electrically operated valve,
eratedvalve in the‘ ?rst. circuit for controlling, the
a mechanism in the ?ring circuit having a, mem
?ow of ?uid to said motor and connected in the
ber connected to said current impulse responsive
?rst circuit through an openable connection, a
means and operated thereby to cut-out the ?ring,
timedelay relay in the second circuit constructed
and arranged to be energized in response to nor— 5o'-motor after a predetermined number of current
impulses to said current impulse responsive means,
mal reciprocation of the breech bolt to open" said
and a relay in the ?ring circuit constructed and‘
openable connection and to be deenergized in re
arranged to open said normally closed means
sponse to abnormal! reciprocation. of the breech
when the trigger switch is closed so that ener-v
bolt to permit closing or said-openable connection,
a switch in the second circuit normally open and 55gization of the time delay relay must depend upon
normal breech bolt reciprocation.
constructed and arranged. to‘ be closed by the
breech bolt when in a-retractedposition only, to
connectthe time delay relay in-thefsecond circuit
to energize said relay, means in the second. circuit
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