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Percussion Lock for Artillery, 1831

The following article was originally published in The United Service Journal , and Naval and Military Magazine. in 1831:

CAPTAIN HENRY DEHNEL, of the Royal Hanoverian Artillery, Knight of the Guelphic Order, has invented a Percussion Lock for pieces of Ordnance, which does much credit to his ingenuity. Annexed is a sketch of the invention,

The lock consists of a hammer in the form of a swan's neck... the foot of which is circular, and revolves upon a steel bolt, which traverses an iron block fixed in the cascabel of the gun.

The hammer moves in the vertica1 plane of the gun's axis, performing its stroke on a small bridge, which is let in to the vent field, and which receives the copper arm of a detonating tube. It is set in motion by means of a rope which runs round its circular foot, and is fastened to the neck of the hammer. The rope is directed by a little sheave placed behind the block, to the flank of the gun, from whence the motion is given to the hammer.


Figure 1. represents the lock affixed to a British light six-pounder, as seen from the right side.

Fig.2. Detonating tube.

3. lock and bolt attached to the cascabel

4. Back of the block and bolt, with suspending pin, the hammer being upright.

5. Front of the Block.

6. Ground plan of the block and bolt.

7. Pulley case from above.

8. Hammer from ditto.

9. Ditto from the right side.

10. Ditto from below.

11. Bridge from above.

12. Back of the bridge.

13. Bridge from below.

14. Turnscrew and nut.

The principal advantages which Capt. Dehnel ascribes to this lock are-- its certain effect, and simple and solid construction; its firm fastening without weakening the body of the gun; the protction which its position on the cascabel ensures to the lock; the facility which the manner in which it is attached to the gun, affords of refixing it on the cascabel in case of accident; its capability of construction by any common blacksmith; the ease with which it can be cleaned, and the little expense with which it can be constructed.

Moreover, the vent remaining free, the gun can also be fired in the usual manner

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