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Publication numberUS2390401 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date4 Dec 1945
Filing date16 Mar 1942
Priority date16 Mar 1942
Publication numberUS 2390401 A, US 2390401A, US-A-2390401, US2390401 A, US2390401A
InventorsTrotter John C
Original AssigneeBell Aircraft Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ordnance
US 2390401 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

De@ 4, 1945. J C; TRO'ITER 2,390,401

` oRDNANcE Fled'March 16, 1942 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR NEYS Patented Dec. 4, 1945 ORDNANCE John C. Trotter, Williamsville, N. Y., assigner-to kItell Aircraft Corporation, Buffalo, N. Y.

Application March 16, 1942, Serial No. 434,826

7 Claims.

This invention relates to ordnance, and more particularly to improvements in ammunition feed mechanisms of the Chatellerault feed mechanism type for use in conjunction with rapid re or machine guns, automatic cannon, or the like.

One of the objects of the invention is to provide a feed mechanism for the purpose referred to which is adapted to be employed in improved manner as an accessory to any standard type of automatic iire arm for substantially relieving the usual feed pawl mechanism thereof of the loads incidental to elevating the ammunition to the level .of the gun and accelerating movement of the ammunition belt .toward the gun in connection with recommencement of gun firing operations. Another object of the invention is to provide an improved ammunition feed device for automatic nrearms which is adapted 4to receive a belt of nlinked ammunition and to disassociate the links from the rounds in improved manner prior to fdeliveryiof the rounds into the ammunition feedway of the gun. Another object of the invention is to provide an ammunition feed mechanism of ythe character described which is adapted to oper- Late with equal facility in conjunction with ammu- :n'ition rounds having projectile or nose end portions of various lengths. Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear in the specii'ication hereinafter.

In the drawings:

Fig. l is a transverse section through an ammunition feed mechanism of the invention;

Fig. 2 is a section through the mechanism of Fig. l taken along line II-II thereof, and indicating an automatic firearm disposed in opera- Ative relation therewith; A

Fig. 3 is an end elevation of the mechanism of Figs. 1 and 2;

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view along line IV-IV of Fig. 1, showing the ammunition rounds and belt link segregating mechanism of the invention;

Filg. 5 is a. bottom plan of a group of shells and their associating links showing the relationships. of the rounds and links at various stages of the rounds and links segregating operation of the invention; and

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary section taken `along line VI-VI of Fig. 4.

The `invention is illustrated in the drawings as being arranged in conjunction with an automatic firearm indicated generally at I6 (Fig. 2) hav- ,ing the usual ammunition feedway port at I2. The ammunition feed device of the invention Icomprises generally a self-contained unit which is illustrated in Figs. y1 to 3 as being housed in a cylindrical casing I4. A cartridge belt inlet port is provided at I6 for training of a linked cartridge belt thereinto, and an ammunition outlet port ,i8 :is provided at the opposite side of the casing for registry with an ammunition feed ,conduit 2D lead-ing to the ammunition feedway portion lI2 of `belt may be disintegrated upon backward shifting of lthe cartridges relative to the links in directions parallel to the longitudinal axes of the cartridges, whereby lesser diameter portions of the `cartridges register With the side openings in the links to permit lateral withdrawal of the cartridges from the links. As will be explained more fully hereinafter, a reel device is mounted within the casing I4 so as to be freely rotatable therein and is formed with sprocket wheel portions to engage the cartridge belt in geared relation therewith for pulling the belt into the feed mechanism ,prior to disintegration of the belts and feeding -of the cartridges to the associated gun.

An electric motor is mounted upon one end of the casing I4 by having an enlarged housing portion 32 thereof tight-,fitted telescopicall'y withinxthe adjacent end portion of the housing I4. Preferably, the housing vis split and `periorated as indicated at ,33 to carry a screw or bolt for detachably clamping the split end portion of the housing uponthe motor case. An end bell of the motor 30 is indicated at 34 as extending inwardly of the khousing I4, and the motor shaft is indicated at 36. The motor shaft `3S is formed vforspline connection with a driving cup .38 havingacylindrical wall portion 39 extending about Vthe motor end bellso as to 'be free `iitting relative thereto. A clock-type spring 40 is mounted about the cup portion 3 9 and keyed thereto -at its `inner end so Vas to be carried with the 1cup as it rotates upon operation of the motor 3D. The outer end .of `thesprfing-M'l is connected to a second or driven cup 42 which is reducedat its innerend portion to telescopicallyengagethe corresponding reduced end portion of the driver cup 38. A bushing 44 is disposed between the corresponding reduced .end portions 0f the cups 38--42 to provide a suitable reduced friction bearing arrangement therebetween.

The'outer surface of the cup 42 engages a ballbearing device as indicated at 45 which is mounted upon a transverse partition portion 4l of the housing I4, whereby the cup 42 is freely rotatable relative both to the cup 38 and to the housing I4.

' -An extension shaft 50 is mounted in spline connection relation at one end within the reduced end of the cup 38, and the shaft 5i? is rotatably mounted adjacent its opposite end by means of a bushing 52. The b-ushing 52 is carried by a thimble 54 which is rotatablyvmounted relative to the housing I4 by means of a ballbearing device 5E. Thus, the extension shaft 50 is keyed to the cup 38 and thereby to the motor shaft 3E so as to be functionally integral therewith subsequent 'to assembly of the mechanism.

A cylindrical reel Si) is mounted'at` its opposite ends upon the thimble 54 andupon the reduced end portion of the cup 42; and the reel is keyed to the cup 42 by means of set screws 52. The reel is provided approximately midway of its length with a pairof spaced integral sprocket 'wheel formations having teeth 64-65 extending radially therefrom for geared engagement with the cartridge belt entering the feed device. Thus, the teeth @4i-$5 are-so relatively spaced and shaped as to be adaptedto mesh between successive cartridges 22 of the cartridge belt as it 'belt links from the rounds, as will be explained hereinafter.

Anv automatic motor control mechanism is ar- `ranged in conjunction with the reel device, and

comprises `a nut 'm `which is mounted -upon a screw threaded end portion 'I2 of the shaft 50.

The nut 'I0 is axially slotted at its outer surface -to engage in spline connection relation lat 'I4 with correspondingly slotted portions of the thimble 54, the latterl being fixed for rotation.

with the reel 56. Thus, it will be understood that upon relative rotational movement between the thimble 'and'the'shaft 50 the Anut IG will be displacedV axially, either to thev right or' to the left as viewed in Fig. l, depending'upon the direction of relative rotation between the parts. A yoke arm 'I6 extends at one end into'registry with the path of axial movement of the nut In and is pivoted at 1'! intermediately of its endsupon a fixed end plate portion 13 of the housing I4. At its opposite end the arm 'i6 carries an actuating vfinger 'I9 for operatinga micrometer switch 80 which is mounted upon the housing I 4 and is electrically connected in the power supply circuit of the motor "it so as to control operation of the'latter. The switch 80 and control arml' Vare so provided and arranged that whenever the nut I0 travels to the left as viewed in Fig. l and presses the adjacent end of the arm 15 outwardly the micrometer switch S is actuated 'to open Y condition; and reversely, when the nut-'HB moves toward the right the micrometer switch is actuated to circuit-closed condition. A ratchet wheel 32 is keyed to the outer end of the shaft 5E) and a pawl 84 is pivoted upon the housing vend wall` at, 85 and backed by a springv 86 to engage the 'ratchet 82 in such manner as to prevent rotation of the shaft 5U in reverse direction upon deenergization of the motor 3G.

- Thus, it will be understood that the cartridge belt driving mechanism will operate as follows.

When the electric power supply circuit of the motor 3G is closed the motor 3i) will drive the shaft 513 to rotate in counterclockwise direction 5 as viewed in Figs. 2 and 3. As explained hereinabove, the motor shaft 36 and extension shaft 5G function as an integral assembly because of their common connection to the cup 38. The cup 38 is simultaneously rotated in the same direction and thereby drags upon the inner end of the clock spring 40 whereby the motor torque is transmitted to the outer cup 42 which is keyed directly to the reel 60. Consequently, as soon as the operation of the mechanism has suitably tensioned the spring d the reel 50 will be rotating with the motor extension shaft 50 in the same direction and at equal rate for drawing the cartridge belt through the inlet port I6 of thefeed mechanism. Upon stopping of the gun firing operation, either intentionally or because of jamming of the cartridge belt or gun mechanisms, the reel 65! will be stopped because of its geared engagement with the cartridge belt while the motor 3i] continues temporarily to drive the extension shaft 58. The rotationaldifferential between the cups 38-42 will Ybe absorbed by additional tensioning of the spring 46 while the shaft 50 rotates relative to the thimble 52 which is carried by the reel. Consequently, the nut'l is thereby caused to be displaced to the left as viewed in Fig, l, thereby actuating the lever I6 to adjust the micrometer switch 88 to open the power supply circuit of the motor 3S. Thus, the reaction by the spring 4G against the motor rotation subsequent to stoppage of the reell G will resiliently oppose the motor and stop it as the electrical power supply circuit is opened, whereby damage to the motor windings will be avoided. Upon final stopping ofthe motor operation the ratchet pawl 84 will act tor hold the -motor shaft against reverse rotation such as would otherwise relax the spring 4&1.v Therefore, the spring 4G will be Vthen pretensioned so that whenever the gun firing operation is recommenced and the reel 60 is released the spring will lbeadapted to impart to the cartridge belt driving mechanism a spontaneous acceleration force functioning to drive the cartridge belt toward the gun. The nut 1E! will be 'concurrently dis- 50 placed axially toward the right asviewed in Fig. v1 because of the rotational differential between the reel thimble 54 and the shaft 50, 'and so the switch B0 will be actuated to close the circuit of -the motorA Sil. Thus,-during the initial accelera- 55 tion period of the motor operationV wherein the motor is operating at less than normal speed the above-normal tensioning of the spring 40 will operate as explained hereinabove to 'provide instantaneous feeding of the cartridge belt, and throughout the operating cycle ofthe mechanism control of the motor 30 is completely automatic. Thus, it will be understood that the cartridge belt driving mechanism of the inventionv comprises a novel self-contained accessory unit which normally drives thecartridge belt to move in the direction ofthe associated gun in accord with the feed requirements thereof, and which embodies novel and important jam accommodating features whereby damage to `thel motor and driving mechanisms in connection with stoppages of the gun firing operation for various reasons are avoided, and whereby the mechanism is automatically preloaded at the end of each operating cycle so as to be prepared to apply acceleration forces to the cartridge belt uponrecom'mence- 'ment 4of the firing operation, in improved manner.

The mechanism of the invention also embodies novel means for segregating the shell or cartridge belt links from the ammunition rounds subsequent to feeding of the belt into the mechanism and prior to delivery of the rounds to the associated gun. The sprocket formations [i4-95 of the reel device are so spaced `along the longitudinal axis of the reel as to be adapted to receive therebetween the ammunition connecting links 24 as the cartridge belt enters the inlet port I6 of the device. Thus, the links 24 are held by the sprocket formations against movement axially of the rounds subsequent to entry of the links into the feed mechanism.

The reel 69 is provided with a Vplurality of rounds shifting devices arranged to lie peripherally of the reel and in radially spaced relation thereabout so as to be adapted to individually engage successive cartridges of the cartridge belt as they enterl the device. Each cartridge shifting device comprises a shaft 9|) mounted by means of spaced bearing portions of the reel so as to be disposed parallel to the axis of the reel and to be freely slidable relative thereto in longitudinal directions. A cartridge engaging head 92 is carried by each of the shafts 90 by being pinned thereto as at 93, and a ball bearing 94 is carried upon each cartridge engaging head by means of a pin 95 so that the roller is adapted to engage in bearing relation against a circuitous cam surface portion 9G of the housing I4. A compression spring 91 is arranged in conjunction with each of the shafts 9|) to urge the latter to move toward the left relative to the reel as viewed in Fig. 1, so that the ball bearing members 94 will bear in camming relation against the cam surface 96 as the reel rotates about the axis of the motor shaft 50. i

The cam surface 95 is so formed as to Cause the cartridge shifting shaft members 9! to be forced to positions of maximum retreat as they come into registry with the inlet port I6 of the feed mechanism. Each cartridge engaging head member 92 is generally in the form of a cradle adapted to complement and embrace the adjacent curved surface portion of a cartridge or shell case, and a lever 98 having an outturned end portion isv pivotally mounted upon each of the heads, as at 99. A compression spring |99 is provided to bias each of the levers 98 outwardly so that their fingers will engage within the conventionally provided extracting grooves of the cartridge cases at the primer ends thereof as the cartridges are received by the corresponding head members 92. Thus, as each successive cartridge enters the feed device it is engaged by the head 92 of one of the shafts 90, and the corresponding nger 98 enters the extracting groove of the cartridge for fixing the cartridge longitudinally relative to the cartridge shifting mechanism. As the reel 69 rotates away from the inlet port I6 the cam surface 96 retreats, as indicated diagrammatically at |92 in Fig, l, to permit the cartridge shifting mechanism to advance toward the left as viewed in Fig. 1 to a position o-f maximum advancement when the corresponding cartridge reaches a position of registry with the outlet port I8 of the feed mechanisrn housing.

As explained hereinabove, the sprocket portions |i4|5` of the reel device maintain the cartridge connecting links 24 against shifting in directions axially of the reel as the reel rotates. Thus, as

the cartridge shifting devices move from retreated to advanced positions while being rotated between the positions of the ammunition inlet and outlet ports, the corresponding cartridges are automatically shifted rearwardly relative to their connecting links so as to become completely disconnected therefrom (Fig. 5). Consequently, when the cartridges reach positions of registry with the outlet port I8 of the mechanism they are free from connection with the cartridge belt links and are thereby adapted to be scooped out of engagement with the reel `6|) 'by means of a scoop plate |94 (Fig. 2) so as to be guided thereby into the outlet conduit 20 for feeding the `associated gun. Thus, in summary, it will be understood that as the reel rotates it draws the cartridge belt into the housing I4; 'disconnects the successive cartridges from the connecting links 24; and then pushes the freed cartridges into the outlet conduit 2|) and into the feedway port of the gun, at a rate equal to the ammunition feed requirements of the gun.

To lift the links 24 out of alignment with the corresponding ammunition rounds subsequent to disconnection of the links and rounds, each of the cartridge shifting shaft members 90 carries at its inner end an abutment block 96. The blocks |96 are adapted to bea-r against the ends of corresponding bell crank levers |08 which are pivoted upon the reel 6i! so as to bear upwardly against the corresponding links 24 as the cartridges are shifted axially relative to the links 24 as explained hereinabove. Therefore, as the successive cartridges become finally freed from the links and move through the outlet port I8 the -corresponding lift cranks |98 elevate the links so that they are caught upon a scoop plate ||0 and directed into a link discharge port ||2 of the casing wherefrom they are iinally disposed of in any desired manner.

Thus, it will be seen that the cartridge shifting mechanism functions automatically throughout the entire cycle of link segregating and cartridge feeding operation as the reel 6|! rotates within the housing; and that a particular feature of the invention resides in the fact that the entire link segregating operation is controlled by the action of the cam surface 96 upon the cartridge shifting members which engage successive rounds at their head ends. Thus, the mechanism relies in no respect for its proper operation upon engagement of the nose or projectile end portions of the rounds against any camming or guiding devices, whereby effective operation of the mechanism is provided at all times irrespective of the fact that the nose or projectile ends of the rounds may be of varying lengths. This is a particularly important feature in view of modern combat practices which often dictate feeding of rapid firing guns alternately with projectile and tracer and armor piercing rounds or the like, whereby the lengths of the nose portions of the rounds being handled will vary considerably throughout a single gun firing operation.

Although only one form of the invention has been shown and described in detail, it will vbe apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention is not so limited but that various changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.

I claim.

1. An ammunition feed mechanism for use in feeding successive rounds of amunition to sa .gun from an integrating link cartridge belt, :said

mechanism comprising acasing having an ammunition belt inlet port and a link'discharge'portion", a reel rotatably mounted within said casing and having teeth portions extending therefrom for engagement in gearedv relation with-the feeding ammunition belt, said Casing having any ammunition outlet port opposed to said inlet port,

means on said reel for maintaining the a-rnmunie YYY'rotation of said rour'ids'by` said/'reel into positions of registry with said outlet port, and means carried by said reel to bear against said links subse- 'quent to disengagement thereof from the corresponding ammunition rounds for displacing said links out of registry with said ammunition outlet port and in registry with said link discharge portion of said casing whereby said links are prevented from yentering said outlet port with said rounds.

2.*An ammunition feed mechanism for use in feeding successive rounds of ammunition to a gun from an integrating link cartridge belt, said 'mechanism comprising a casing having an ammunition belt inlet port, a reel rotatably mounted Within `said casing, said casing having an ammunition outlet port opposed to said inlet port, means on said reel for maintaining the ammunition beltv forming links against displacement in directions axially of the reel, linger means slidably mounted upon said reel for separately engaging successive ammunition rounds atY the primer endportions thereof as they enter said casing, cam means formed on said casing for cooperating With said finger means for actuating the latter so that Said rounds are caused to move backwardly relative to their corresponding links for disengagement of said rounds from said links While said rounds are .being carried by said reel into positions of registry with said outlet port, and means carried by said reel to displace said links radially outwardly therefrom to cause the latter to be dissociated from said rounds subsequent to disengagement thereof whereby. said links are prevented from entering said outlet port with said rounds. 4

3. An ammunition feed mechanism for use in Afeeding successive rounds of ammunition to a gun from an integrating link cartridge belt, said `mechanism comprising a casing having an arnmunition belt inlet port, a reel rotatably mounted within said casing, said casing having an ammunition outlet port opposed to said inlet port,

means on said reel for maintaining the ammuni- 'tion belt forming links against displacement in directions axially of the reel, finger means slidably mounted upon said reel for separately engaging successive ammunition rounds at the primer end portions thereof as they enter said icasing, cam means formed on said casing for cooperating With said finger means for actuating the latter so that said rounds are caused to move backwardly relative to their corresponding links for disengagement of said rounds from said links while said rounds are being carried by said reel into positions of registry with said outlet port.

f 4. An ammunition feed mechanism for use in feeding successive rounds of ammunition to a gun from an integrating link cartridge belt, said mechanism comprising a reel rotatably mounted upon a support and having teeth portions extending therefrom for engagementin geared relation with an ammunition belt when .wrapped about said reel for feeding in the direction of said gun, means on said reel for maintaining the ammunition belt forming links against displacement in directions axially of the reel as said links engage said reel, means carried by said reel for separately engaging successive ammunition rounds at the primer end portions thereof as they engage said reel and moving them backvvardly relative to their corresponding links for disengagement of said rounds from said links prior to discharge of said rounds by said reel into position for feeding said gun. y Y Y,

' 5. An ammunition feed mechanism for use in feeding successive rounds of ammunition to a gun from an integrating link cartridge belt, said mechanism comprising a casing having an ammunition belt inlet port, a reel rotatably mounted Within said casing, said casing having an ammunition outlet port opposed to said inlet port, means on said reel for maintaining the ammunition belt forming linksY against displacement in directions axially of the reel, iingermeans slidably mounted upon said reel for separately engaging successive ammunition rounds at the primer end portions thereof as they enter vsaid casing, cam means formed on said casing for cooperating with said nger means for actuating the latter to move the cartridges backwardly relative to their corresponding links for disengagement of said rounds from said links while said rounds arebe- Y ing Vcarried by said reel into positions of registry with said outlet port, and means carried by said reel to displace said links radially outwardly therefrom to cause the latter to be dissociated from said rounds subsequent toV disengagement thereof whereby said links are prevented from entering said outlet port with said rounds, saidlink displacement means comprising corresponding lever devices pivotally mountedupon said reel and operable to lift said links as the corresponding rounds are disengaged therefrom.

6. An ammunition feed mechanism for use in feeding successive rounds of ammunition to a gun from an integrating link cartridge belt, said mech.- anism comprising a casing having anammunition belt inlet port, a reel rotatably mounted within said casing and having teeth portionsextending therefrom for engagement in geared .relation withV the feeding ammunition belt, said casingY with the axis of said reel, means extending from said reelinto connection with the outer end of said springy and ratchet means interconnecting said drive shaft and said casing to permit said drive shaft at all times to rotate relative to said reel inisuch Aa manner as to tension said. spring but to prevent said drive shaft from rotating in reverse direction in response to forces of said spring upon deenergization of said motor, and motor control means comprising a nut mounted inscrew threaded rotation upon said drive shaft and arranged in spline connection With said reel and operable in response to relative'rotation of said drive shaft and said reel to move axially of said drive shaft toV operate a motor Vpower circuit control switch between open and closed positions.

7. An ammunition feed mechanism for use n feeding successive rounds of ammunition to a gun from an integrating link cartridge belt, said mechanism comprising a casing having an ammunition belt inlet port, a reel rotatably mounted Within said casing and having teeth portions extending therefrom for engagement in geared relation with the feeding ammunition belt, said casing having an ammunition outlet port opposed to said inlet port, and a link discharge port adjacent said ammunition outlet port but separate therefrom, means on said reel for maintaining the ammunition belt forming links against displacement in directions axially of the reel as said links engage said reel, means carried by said reel for separate- 1y engaging successive ammunition rounds at the primer end portions thereof as they enter said casing for pulling said rounds backwardly relative to their corresponding links for disengagement of said rounds from said links prior to rotation of said rounds by said reel into positions of registry with said outlet port, means carried by said reel to bear against said links to cause the latter to separate from said rounds upon disengagement therefrom and to be displaced into registry with said link discharge port whereby said links are prevented from entering said ammunition outlet port with said rounds.

JOHN C. TROTTER.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2481726 *9 Oct 194513 Sep 1949Bristol Acroplane Company LtdAmmunition-belt feed mechanism for automatic firearms
US2559714 *27 Jun 194610 Jul 1951United Shoe Machinery CorpGun turret
US2561255 *21 Jul 194517 Jul 1951Glenn L Martin CoAutomatic feeding device
US2629288 *10 Oct 194724 Feb 1953Hughes Tool CoAntirollback brake for boosters
US2843021 *1 Dec 195215 Jul 1958Garrett CorpAmmunition booster with torque limiting device
US2989900 *9 Jun 196027 Jun 1961Grover Donald PStopping and starting system
US2993414 *5 Jun 194625 Jul 1961United Shoe Machinery CorpAmmunition feed mechanism
Classifications
U.S. Classification89/33.5
International ClassificationF41A9/30, F41A9/00
Cooperative ClassificationF41A9/30
European ClassificationF41A9/30