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Publication numberUS3331282 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date18 Jul 1967
Filing date1 Nov 1966
Priority date10 Aug 1965
Publication numberUS 3331282 A, US 3331282A, US-A-3331282, US3331282 A, US3331282A
InventorsMcgowan Kenneth J J
Original AssigneeAvco Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ammunition feeder for automatic launcher for rocket-boosted ammunition
US 3331282 A
Abstract  available in
Images(15)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

i K. J. J. M GOWAN 3,333,282 AMMUNITION FEEDER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER FOR ROCKET-BOOSTED AMMUNITION 1965 July 18, 1%?

l5 Sheets-Sheet Original Filed Aug. 10,

INVENTOR. j KENNETH J. J. MQGOWAN f ATTORNEYS.

.Fufly 18, E967 K. J. J. M GOWAN AMMUNITION FEEDER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER FOR ROCKET-BOOSTED AMMUNITION 1965 15 Sheets-$heet 2 Original Filed Aug. 10,

INVENTOR.

ATTORNEYS.

.Hufiy E8, 39%? K. J. J. M GOWAN 2 AMMUNITION FEEDER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER FOR ROCKET-BOOSTED AMMUNITION Original Filed Aug. 10, 1965 15 Sheets*Sheet K. .1. J. M GDVVAN AMMUNITION FEEDER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER FOR ROCKET-BOOSTED AMMUNITION Original Filed Aug. 10, 1965 l5 Sheets-$heet 4 INVENTOR, KENNETI? J. J. MCGOWAN ATTORNEY July 18, 19 7 AMMUNITION FEED FOR Original Filed Aug. 10, 1965 K J. J- M GOWAN ER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER ROGKET-BOOSTED AMMUNITION 15 Sheets-Sheet 5 N INVENTOR.

KENNETH J. J. McGOWAN K. J. J 'M GOWAN AMMUNITION'FEEDER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER July 18 1957 FOR ROCKET-BOOSTED AMMUNITION 15 SheeLs-Shee-i 7 Original Filed Aug. 10,

INVENTOR KENNETH J. J. MCQOWAN Q ATTORNEYS.

July 18, 1967 K. J. J. M GOWAN 3,

AMMUNITION FEEDER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER FOR ROCKET-BOOS'IED AMMUNITION Original Filed Aug. 10, 1965 15 Sheets-Sheet 7 IIID E INVENTOR.

KENNETH J. J. MOGOWAN i I ATTORNEYS"- July 18, 1967 K. .J. M GOWAN 3,331,282 AMMUNITION F EP FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER F ROCKET-BOOSTED AMMUNITION Original Filed Aug. 10, 1 l5 Sheets-Sheet 8 INVENTOR. KENNETH J. J. McGOWAN W149 ATTORNEYS.

July 18, 1967 AMMUNITION F EE K J. J. M GOWAN DER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER FOR ROCKET-BOOSTED AMMUNITION Original Filed Aug. 10, 1965 15 Sheets-Sheet 9 INVEN'IUR. KENNETH -J J. McGOWAN Wm WQW ATTORNEYS.

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QwZmDPmm wojw zopomww July 18, 1967 K. J. J. MCGOWAN AMMUNITION FEEDER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER FOR ROCKET-BOOSTED AMMUNITION 1965 15 Sheets-Sheet 12 Original Filed Aug. 10,

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K. AMMUNITION FEEDER FOR AU'I TIC LAUNCHER FOR ROCKET-BOOSTED MUNITION Original Filed Aug. 10, 1965 Sheets-Sheet 1 .1

l N VEN TOR.

KENNETH J. J. McGOWAN ATTORNEYS.

y 18, 1967 K. J. J- M GOWAN 3,331,282

AMMUNITION FEEDER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER FOR ROCKET-BOOSTED AMMUNITION Original Filed Aug' 10, 1965 I N VEN TOR.

KENNETH J. J. MOGOWAN ATTORNEYS l5 Sheets-Sheet 14 July 18, 967 K J. .1. MCGOWAN AMMUNITION FEEDER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER FOR ROCKET-BOOSTED AMMUNITION Original Filed Aug. 10, 1965 15 Sheets-Sheet 15 INVENTOR.

KENNETH J. J. McGOWAN waaw ,QTTORNEYS.

United States Patent 3,331,282 AMMUNITION FEEDER FOR AUTOMATIC LAUNCHER FOR ROCKET -BOOSTED AM- MUNITION Kenneth J. J. McGowan, Richmond, Ind., assignor to Avco Corporation, Richmond, Ind., a corporation of Delaware Original application Aug. 10, 1965, Ser. No. 478,570, now Patent No. 3,315,567, dated Apr. 25, 1967. Divided and this application Nov. 1 1966, Ser. No. 591,288

11 Claims. (Cl. 89-33) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This is a cross feed mechanism adapted to fit the re ceiver of a rocket launcher and to place one round at a time into the bore line. A feed slide is mounted for movement transverse to the axis of the rocket launcher. A rack is arranged so that as the operating means of the launcher retracts, that operating means, acting through gearing, drives the rack inboard, stressing tension springs attached to the feed slide. The feed slide is restrained against inboard motion until the bolt and operating means are in retracted positions; whereupon the latching means is released and the feed slide moves inboard. Holding pawls are pivotally mounted on the receiver and are formed with inboard bifurcations and outboard bifurcations. As the feed slide moves inboard the outboard bifurcations and the feed slide are disengaged and the holding pawls rotate to permit a fresh round to be driven over the inboard bifurcations and toward the bore line of the rocket launcher. Driving pawls are pivotally mounted on the feed slide for causing the round to be driven inboard. Stop pawls are mounted on the receiver to terminate the inboard movement of the round. As the round is finally positioned the bolt is freed to advance and the operating means causes the rack and crossfeed slide to move outboard. In the event that no round is in the ready position a stop feed lever locks the holding pawls and prevents feed'of a round. Ejector means, not used during normal operation, is provided for disposing of any round in the bore line position in the event of a desire to eject such a round.

The invention and its objects The present invention is a division of my United States patent application Ser. No. 478,570, entitled, Automatic Weapon for Rocket-Boosted Ammunition, filed in the United States on Aug. 10, 1965, now Patent 3,315,567, and assigned to the same assignee, Avco Corporation, as the present application and invention.

The present invention is directed generally to ordnance, and specifically to an automatic rocket launcher which is particularly adapted to use with rocket ammunition of the type which does not include a cartridge case.

The invention herein disclosed and claimed is an improvement in automatic rocket launchers of the type disclosed and claimed in my issued patent applications entitled, Rocket Boosted Automatic Weapon and Ammunition System and Intermittent Feed Mechanism for High Inertia Load, Ser. Nos. 316,224 and 312,670, respectively, filed Oct. 15, 1963, and Sept. 30, 1963, respectively, now U.S. Patents Nos. 3,204,530 and 3,204,528, respectively, issued Sept, 7, 1965, both assigned to the same assignee, Avco Corporation, as is the present application and invention.

A broad object of the invention is to provide an automatic rocket. launcher in which, after firing, control is first exercised by the bolt (60, FIG. 1), then transferred 3,331,282 Patented July 18, 1967 to an operating rod group (61, FIG. 2), next shifted back to the bolt (FIG. 30), then over to an ammunition feed mechanism (FIGS. 3 and 31), and finally back to the operating rod group (FIG. 4).

In furtherance of this object the invention provides, in an automatic rocket launcher of the type herein disclosed, the combination of:

First releasable latching means (76, FIGS. 15 and 18) for restraining the operating means in retracted position, said first latching means being released by retraction of said bolt 60 to free said operating means 61 from rearward restraint;

An ammunition feeder (FIG. 24) for feeding a new round of ammunition transversely into said position to be chambered, said ammunition feeder comprising a cross feed slide (77, FIG. 24, symbolically shown in FIGS. 1-4); and

A dual-purpose bolt-latching and slide-restraining means (78, FIGS. 15 and 24) positioned normally to restrain said feed slide 77 in outboard position (FIG. 29) but responsive to retraction of said bolt 60 to latch said bolt rearwardly (FIG. 31) and simultaneously to free said feed slide of restraint to permit said slide to move inboard and to position said new round (FIGS. 32, 33);

The dual purpose means (78, FIGS. 15, 24 and 28) being actuated on completion of the feeding operation to free the bolt whereupon the bolt 60 and operating rod group 61 advance forwardly so that the bolt can chamber said newly positioned round (FIGS. 4, 33, 34).

A related object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved cross feed mechanism (FIG. 24) which not only feeds ammunition transversely into the bore line (FIGS. 31-33) but which further participates in control of the rocket launcher and interrupts operation of the launcher (FIG. 35) in the event of a delay in the supply of ammunition.

The cross feed mechanism comprises a feed slide (77, FIG. 24) mounted for inboard and outboard movement transverse to the axis of the receiver 67;

A rack (79, FIGS. 1-4, 1415, 17, 19, 26) mounted for inboard movement (FIGS. 29, 30) relative to the'receiver 67 and independent of the feed slide 77 and also for outboard movement (FIG. 4), said rack 79 and feed slide being proportioned and arranged so that outboard movement of the rack drives the feed slide outboard;

Gear means (80, 81, 82, 83, 84, FIGS. 1 and 24) intercoupling the operating means and the rack whereby the rack is driven inboard (FIGS. 1, 2) by retraction of the operating means and outboard (FIG. 4) by advance of the operating means;

Energy storage means (85, 86, FIG. 24) intercoupled between the rack 79 and feed slide 77 and adapted to be stressed by inboard movement of the rack so as to store energy (FIGS. 29, 30), to relax when supplying inboard driving energy to the feed slide (FIGS. 31, 32), and to be reset by outboard movement of the rack (FIG. 4);

Dual-purpose latching means (78, FIGS. 24, 15, 17, 28) positioned normally to restrain said feed slide in outboard position but responsive to retraction of said bolt to latch said bolt 60 rearwardly and simultaneously to free said feed slide 77 to permit said feed slide to move inboard (FIG. 31); and

Means (8790, FIG. 24) controlled by said feed slide for advancing a round into the bore line of the rocket launcher when the feed slide moves inboard (FIGS. 31, 32) under the drive supplied by said energy storage means (85, 86, FIG. 24);

Said latching means 78 and feed slide 77 being so proportioned and arranged that, upon the feed slide reaching a predetermined inboard displacement, the latching means is actuated (by 91, FIG. 24) to release the bolt 60 to permit the bolt to advance and to drive the newly fed round into battery position.

Description of the drawings For a better understanding of the invention, together with other and further objects, advantages, and capabilities thereof, reference is made to the following description of the appended drawings in which:

FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 4 are perspective views of the bolt, operating rod group, barrel, and round feed mechanism of an automatic launcher in accordance with the invention of the aforesaid patent application Ser. No. 478,570, as taken from the point of view of an observer located laterally to the right and upwardly and rearwardly of the rocket launcher, these figures showing the relationship among the parts during the following phases of operation, respectively: the end of the impulse stroke of the bolt 60 which begins immediately after firing, the beginning of the extraction of the bolt, the completion of the inboard motion of the cross-feed slide 77 as it places a new round in the bore line, and the chambering stroke or advance of the bolt 66 as it is driving the new round into the chamber;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are top plan and right side elevational views of the receiver and barrel portions of said rocket launcher, with the cross-feed mechanism of FIG. 24 removed;

FIGS. 7 and 9 are fragmentary elevational sectional views of the firing control mechanism, consisting of the hammer cocking lever 73, hammer 72, and sear 71 during the following phases of operation, respectively: rocket launcher fired, and rocket launcher ready to fire;

FIGS. 8 and 10 are longitudinal sectional views, full and partial, respectively, each taken along the section line 8-8 of FIG. 13, looking in the direction of the arrows and showing the positions of the hammer 72 and immediately related parts, the bolt 60, and the operating rod group 61 in the following phases of operation, respectively: rocket launcher fired, and rocket launcher ready to fire;

FIGS. 11 and 12 are fragmentary longitudinal sectional views of the rocket launcher as taken along section lines 11-11 of FIG. 22 and 1212 of FIG. 20, in each case looking in the direction of the arrows, FIG. 11 featuring the bolt locks 68, 69, as engaged, and FIG. 12 featuring the bolt unlocking rod 70 and the firing control mechanism 71, 72, 73;

FIG. 13 is a cross sectional view of the rocket launcher as taken along section line 13--13 of FIG. 12 and looking in the direction of the arrows, FIG. 13 showing the symmetrical arrangement of the housing for the operating means;

FIGS. 14 and 15 are longitudinal sectional views as taken along section lines 14-14 and I515 of FIGS. 15, 21, and 19, respectively, FIG. 14 emphasizing the relationships between the receiver and the cross feed mechanism as Well as the position of the bolt locks, and FIG. 15 emphasizing the bolt and operating rod group latching means;

FIGS. 16 and 17 are longitudinal sectional views as taken along section line 1616 of FIG. 13 and section line 1717 of FIG. 14, FIG. 16 emphasizing the contours of the receiver 67, and FIG. 17 again emphasizing the bolt latch 78 and operating rod group latching means 76 and being only partially sectional;

FIGS. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 are cross sectional views of the rocket launcher as taken along the following section lines, respectively: line 1818 of FIG. 16, lines 1919 of FIGS. 11 and 12, line 2020 of FIG. 12, line 21-21 of FIGS. 14 and 15, line 2222 of FIG. 11, and line 23-23 of FIG. 11, in each case looking in the direction of the arrows, the FIG. 23 section being fragmentary and showing only the left bolt lock mounting;

FIG. 24 is a perspective view of the cross feed mechanism in accordance with the invention, as taken from the point of view of an observer located upwardly and to the left of the bore axis of the gun;

FIGS. 25, 26 and 27 are, respectively rear end elevational, top plan, and right end elevational views of the cross feed mechanism;

FIG, 28 is a schematic diagram showing the relationship between the cross feed slide 77 and the dual-purpose bolt latching and cross feed latching element 78;

FIGS. 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33 are rear end views of the cross feed mechanism, greatly simplified, and utilized to explain the cycle of operation of the feed mechanism and showing the following phases of operation, respectively: operating rod being retracted and rack stretching cross feed slide springs; operating rod fully retracted and cross feed slide spring fully stretched; cross feed slide moving inboard, unlocking the holding pawls; cross feed slide still moving inward and ejector slide at its maximum inboard position; cross feed action complete and bolt unlocked;

FIG. 34 is an end view showing the positions of the cross feed mechanism pawls when the round which has been fed is fully chambered;

FIG. 35 is a greatly simplified end view of the cross feed mechanism, showing the conditions of operation which exist when the holding pawl prevents the cross feed slide from moving inboard, as when there is no succeeding round pressing in on the outboard bifurcations of the holding pawl, this phase being referred to as delayed feed action;

FIGS. 36, 37, 38 and 39 are similar schematic views of the cross feed mechanism, showing the conditions which exist when feeding is prevented by the stop feed lever and the mechanism is used for ejection alone, the several phases being illustrated by the respective figures as follows: operating rod and bolt and chambered round being extracted and rack being moved inboard, cross feed slide 77 moving inboard and carrying ejector slide with it while holding pawls are restrained, ejector slide moving further inboard and ejection completed;

FIG. 40 is a top plan view of an improved magazine construction in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 41 is an elevational view of the FIG. 40 magazine;

FIG. 42 is a view of the FIGS. 4041 magazine as installed in a rocket launcher;

FIGS. 43 and 44 are top plan and elevational views of an alternate form of improved magazine per the invention;

FIG. 45 is a cross-sectional view of the alternate form of magazine as taken along section line 4545 of FIG. 44;

FIG. 46 is an elevational view of a complete ammunition supply including a plurality of magazines per FIGS. 43-45;

FIGS. 47, 48, and 49 are views showing the progression of rounds of ammunition, these figures being used as aids in explaining the operation of the FIG. 46 ammunition pp y;

FIGS. 50 and 51 are perspective views showing the common delivery slide and the operation of the sensing pivoted pawl which is provided for each magazine section, these figures showing such operation under the following conditions: first, when the pawl is holding ammunition stationary in a given magazine, and second, when the pawl is permitting a round to be dropped from a magazine section into the delivery slide;

FIG. 52 is a detailed fragmentary figure showing how the receiver depresses the hammer cocking lever as the operating rod group retracts;

FIG. 53 is another fragmentary detail of the bolt showing how the bolt is grooved to permit its forward looking surface to be in front of the bolt locks when the bolt is in battery; and

FIGS. 54and 55 are top plan views, partly axial sectional, showing the bolt and bolt locks in closed positions and open positions, respectively.

Reference is made to the above-mentioned parent patent application Ser. No. 478,570 for a complete description of the automatic rocket launcher as a whole, which launcher incorporates the present invention. The cycle of operation is now described.

Cycle of operation In the description of a cycle of operation now to follow, the following conditions are assumed:

First, a round 118 is in chamber (FIG. ready to be fired;

Second, the hammer 72 is restrained from forward thrust by the sear 71 (FIG. 9);

Third, the bolt 60 (FIG. 11) is in battery position with the forward faces of its locking grooves (FIG. 53) slightly in advance of the bolt locks;

Fourth, the operating rod group 61 is in advanced position;

Fifth, the bolt locks 68 and 69 are closed (FIG. 11);

Sixth, the bolt retract springs 65 and 66 are relaxed;

Seventh, the operating rod group advancing springs 63 and 64 are relaxed;

Eighth, the cross-feed slide tension springs 85 and 86 (FIG. 24) are relaxed;

Ninth, the cross-feed slide 77 is in outboard position;

Tenth, the next round to be fed 119 overlies the holding pawls 87 and 88 and the succeeding round 120 in just outboard of the holding pawls (FIG. 29);

Eleventh, the ejector drive pawl 122 (FIG. 24) is in engagement with the ejector slide 170; Y

Twelfth, the splined shaft 88 is clockwise;

Thirteenth, the holding pawls 87 and 88 are in their resting or central rotational positions (FIG. 29).

The discussion now assumes that firing is desired. This is accomplished by an abutment means 75 which moves rearwardly and causes counterclockwise rotation of the hammer cocking lever 73 (to the position shown in FIG.

7). Such abutment means may be a spring-loaded plunger or any mechanical element which causes counterclockwise rotation of the hammer cocking lever 73 by being displaced rearwardly. In order to maintain automatic operation the rearward displacement of said element 75 is preserved as long as automatic operation is desired. When automatic operation is to be terminated, then this abutment means 75 is movedforwardly .so that it does not cause counterclockwise rotation of the hammer cocking lever 73 as the bolt 60 goes into battery.

The hammer cocking lever 73 and the sear 71 are so formed that counterclockwise rotation of the cooking lever 73 disengages the sear 71 from the hammer 72, releasing the hammer. When the hammer 72 is released, it is driven into the firing pin 74 by reason of the thrust imposed by a conventional compression spring. The firing pin 74 strikes a primer in the case of the rocket 118, igniting the propellant (FIG. 8).

The gases in the chamber drive the bolt 60 rearwardly, and the bolt in turn imparts momentum to the operating rod group 61 (FIG. 1). At the termination of this impulse and at the end of a partial retraction of the bolt, the front surfaces of the bolt locking grooves impact the bolt locks 68 and 69 and the bolt 60 is arrested, but the momentum of the operating rod group 61 is such that I the operating rod group continues to retract (FIG. 2).

As the operating rod group moves rearwardly it performs three main functions now to be described: one of which is the recocking of the hammer cocking lever 73 (FIG. 9), another of which is the energizing of the crossfeed mechanism (i.e., stretching of springs 85, 86), and the third of which is the energizing of the bolt retract springs 65 and 66 and operating rod advance springs 63 and 64. More specifically, during the rearward displacement of the operating rod group a cam formation on the upper portion of the hammer cocking lever rides on a mating surface in the receiver 67, which mating surface is exaggerated at the rear so as to cause the hammer cocking lever 73 to latch with the sear 71 (FIG. 9) as the operating rod group 61 approaches its fully retracted position. This mating surface is shown at 189 in FIG. 52. As the operating rod group 61 moves rearwardly (FIG. 2) the cross feed tension springs are loaded, i.e., caused to be tensed because the operating rod member 62 turns counterclockwise a splined shaft which moves the rack 79 inboard (FIGS. 29, 30). Simultaneously, the bolt retract springs 65 and 66 are compressed by the operating rod group, together with the operating rod advance springs 63 and 64, which likewise are compressed (FIG. 2).

Control by the operating rod is terminated because the operating rod is latched to the rear by a spring-loaded pivoted latch 76, the rear end of which is then in its upward position (FIG. 15). Immediately before the operating rod member 62 becomes latched in retract position it contacts the bolt unlock rod 70, the forwaard end of which then cams the bolt locks 68 and 69 outwardly, releasing the bolt, whereupon the bolt retraction springs 65 and 66 push the bolt rearwardly (FIGS. 2 and 3).

When the bolt 60 is fully retracted it impacts and turns clockwise (FIG. 24) the operating rod latch 76, thus unlatching the operating rod group and then both the operating rod group 61 and the bolt 60 move slightly forwardly until the dual-purpose bolt and cross feed slide latching means 78 arrests the bolt 60. At this phase of the cycle, control is transferred to the cross feed slide 77, the bolt 60 being latched by latch 78, the operating rod group 61 being held to the rear by the bolt 60, the chamber Ibeing empty and conditions being appropriate for the placement of a new round 119 in the bore line of the weapon. The dual-purpose latch 78 (FIG. 24) releases the feed slide 77 that it may move inboard to perform the function of cross feeding a new round 119 into said bore line (FIGS. 29-34). At the termination of the cross feeding operation the bolt 60 is released by the dualpurpose latching means 78, whereupon the bolt 60 and operating rod group 61 move forwardly, the bolt chambering the newly fed round 119. The splined shaft 80 (FIG. 4) is turned clockwise, thus to move the rack 79 and cross-feed slide 77 into the out-board position so that the cross-feed slide may pick up a third round to be later fed at the termination of the next firing operation (FIG. 34).

As the bolt 60 moves into battery, the hammer cocking lever 73 again strikes the abutment means 75 (FIGS. 7-8) and causes firing of the newly fed or second round 119 to occur.

This cycle of operation is repeated automatically at the high firing rate characteristic of automatic rocket launchers.

Cross feed mechanism The description of the cross feed mechanism (FIG. 24) postulates that the magazine supplies ammunition in such a manner that, before each cycle of operation of said mechanism, a round, such as 119, to be fed is in the position illustrated in FIG. 29. The feed mechanism operates in such a way that, when the bolt 60 of the automatic rocket launcher has been retracted, that round 119 is fed in a direction transverse to the line of fire or axis of the rocket launcher and positioned in front of the bolt in readiness to be chambered 'by the bolt. After such round is chambered and fired and the bolt again retracts, a succeeding round, such as 120 (FIG. 29) is automatically fed into alignment with the retracted bolt.

In this rocket launcher the cross feed slide is set and reset by control exercised by the operating rod group 61, in a manner to be described. The operating means member 62 has a formation 141 (FIGS. 12 and 19) which is geared to the fore-and-aft extending splined shaft 80 in such a manner as to turn that shaft counterclockwise when the operating rod group retracts, and clockwise when the operating rod group advances. Mounted on the front of the splined shaft 80 is a gear 81 (FIG. 24), meshing with another gear 82 at the front end of a shaft 83, and at the rear end of the last-mentioned shaft 83 is a rack-actuating gear 84. The rack-actuating gear 84 turns clockwise to move the rack 79 inboard as the operating means 61 retracts. This gear 84 turns counterclockwise to move the rack 79 outboard as the operating means advances. The rack is provided for the two-fold purpose of energizing (i.e. tensioning) the cross feed slide springs 85 and 86 and resetting the cross feed slide 77. The rack 79 is of course mounted for inboard movement relative to the receiver 67 and independent of the cross feed slide and also for outboard movement. The rack 79 and cross feed slide '77 are so proportioned and arranged that outboard movement of the rack 79 drives the cross feed slide 77 outboard (FIG. 24).

Secured to the rack 79 are spring anchors 142-143 to which are hooked the inboard ends of a pair of tension springs 85 and 86. These tension springs constitute energ storage means intercoupled between the rack 79 and the feed slide 77 and adapted to be stressed by inboard movement of the rack so as to become tensioned (FIG. 30), to relax when supplying inboard driving energy to the feed slide (FIGS. 31-32), and to be reset (FIG. 34) by outboard movement of the rack.

In order to restrain the cross feed slide 77 against inboard movement unless the bolt 60 is in a sufiiciently retracted position, there is pivotally mounted on the receiver at 144 a dual-purpose latching means 78 (FIGS. 15, 17, 18, 24, 28). This latching means 78 responds to retraction of the bolt 60 to become disengaged from the feed slide 77. That is, at a suitable rearward position of the bolt 60, the bolt impacts a cam surface on the rear end 145 of the dual-purpose latch 78, depressing that end, lifting front end 146, so that the front end 146 clears the inboard-projecting portion 147 of the cross feed slide (FIG. 24). This clearance permits the cross feed slide 77 to move inboard in translation under the driving force of the springs 85 and 86. This phase of operation (FIGS. 31-32) is referred to as the relaxing phase of the feed mechanism operation, as distinguished from the setting phase which occurred when the springs were tensioned (FIG. 30).

Parenthetically, the bolt 60 first releases the operating rod latch 76 from the operating rod group member 62 before it advances slightly from its extreme rearward position to actuate the dual-purpose latching means 78 and initiate a cycle of the cross-feeding mechanism. The operating rod latch 76 is pivotally mounted on the receiver in such a manner that the bolt unlatches it from the operating rod by forcing the rear end 148 of the operating latch downwardly (see FIG. 17 and cam surface 136, FIG.

Resuming the principal discussion, it was stated that the dual-purpose latching means 78 permits the crossfeed slide 77 to move inboard. Simultaneously a surface on end 145 of the dual-purpose latching means 7 8 latches onto the bolt 60 and rearwardly restrains the bolt 60 until the cross-feeding operation is completed.

A top guide formation 258 and tray formations collectively designated by the reference numeral 149 are provided in the receiver frame. The tray is a centrallydivided platform over which the ammunition is fed or ejected, as the case may be. This tray is 'llustrated schematically in FIGS. 29-39. It comprises a horizontal resting or rolling surface for ammunition being fed (FIGS. 11, 14, and 16), located outboard of the line of fire and on the right side of the gun. The supporting tray further comprises a horizontal resting surface located on the other side of the bore axis in order to provide supporting surfaces for an ejected round. Note is now made of the round ejection opening 156 (FIG. 19) in the receiver. The tray is stationary and is provided with grooves and openings (150-155) suitably formed to permit the driving pawls and holding pawls and stop pawls associated with the cross-feed mechanism to project upwardly 8 through the tray in order to perform the various functions presently described.

The description now proceeds with those constructions and operations whereby, when the cross-feed slide 77 moves inboard, a round of ammunition is moved transversely to the receiver and into the bore axis of the rocket launcher.

Particular attention is invited to a pair of spaced holding pawls 87 and 88 (FIG. 24) pivotally mounted on the receiver frame at 157. These holding pawls are formed with inboard bifurcations, such as 158, and also with outboard bifurcations, such as 159, which sense the presence of an outboard round and are biased counterclockor inboard thereby (during the FIGS. 32, 33 phase of operation).

The holding pawls perform three functions: First, when a given round 119 is fed transversely into the bore line of the rocket launcher, the outboard surfaces of the outboard bifurcations 159 (FIGS. 32-33) hold in arrested position the succeeding round 120, whereby only one round at a time is fed by the cross-feed mechanism. Second, during the feeding operation the inboard bifurcations are depressed to permit a round to be fed transversely by driving pawls 89, 90 (FIG. 24) later described. Third, the holding pawls rotate in a manner later described into a clockwise position (FIG. 35) to lock the cross-feed slide 77 outboard in the event of a delay in supplying ammunition to press on the holding pawls. The holding pawls 87, 88 are so biased by springs (not shown) that they tend to rotate clockwise in the absence of restraint.

It will be seen therefore that the holding pawls have three rotational positions. The first is the resting position of FIGS. 29-30 which is characterized as follows: First, the round 119 to be fed is reposing on the holding pawls 87, 88 and the following round 120 is reposing outboard of the outboard bifurcations of the holding pawls (FIG. 29). Second, the holding pawls 87 and 88 are under restraint by hook portions 160, 161, formed on the cross feed slide.

'Now as the cross feed slide 77 moves inwardly and frees the holding pawls 87 and 88 from those hook portions 160, 161, the pawls, being pivoted to the receiver, turn counterclockwise and permit the round to be slipped over the inboard bifurcations and to be fed into registration with the bore line of the gun by the normal operation of the cross feed mechanism. FIGS. 31-33 show holding pawl 88 approaching and attaining its second or counterclockwise rotational position.

The force which turns the holding pawls counterclockwise during the inboard movement of the cross feed slide 77 is exerted by round 119, which is being driven inboard by driving pawls 89 and 90 presently described. It will be noted that, as the holding pawls turn counterclockwise, their outboard bifurcations, such as 159, rise (FIGS. 32 and 33), thereby holding the next round 120 in outboard position (FIGS. 32 and 33), so that only one round to be fed is accepted at a time to be fed by the cross feed mechanism.

Since the normal feeding operation is presently under discussion, there will be reserved until a later point in the description the details of the means by which the holding pawls 87 and 88 are returned to their resting positions.

Pivotally secured to the cross-feed slide and biased to norm-ally extend diagonally upwardly and in an inboard direction are a pair of driving pawls 89 and 90 (FIG. 24). These are brought into contact with the round 119 (FIG. 31) to be fed as the cross-feed slide 77 moves inwardly, and the round 119 being fed is pushed over the inboard bifurcations (such as 158) of the holding pawls as those pawls turn counterclockwise (FIGS. 31-32). As the action continues, the outboard bifurcations, such as 159, ascend (FIG. 33), arresting the succeeding round 120. In order to stop the round being fed when it is in registry with the bore line of the rocket launcher, there are provided a pair of spaced stop pawls 162, 163, pivotally mounted on the receiver at 164 (FIG. 24), and comprising body portions which normally extend horizontally, and cam portions which normally extend vertically. These stop pawls are turned slightly counterclockwise by reason of the action of a pair of stop pawl levers 166 and 167, one lever for each stop pawl, these levers being similarly spaced and mounted on the receiver at 168 (FIG. 24). These levers 166, 167 are so related to the stop pawls 162, 163 and so proportioned and arranged as to 'be cammed clockwise (FIG. 33) by the cross-feed slide 77, thereby to cam the stop pawls 162, 163 upwardly to stop the round 119 being fed in the desired position of alignment with the bolt 60.

As the round reaches the bore line it is ready for chamber-ing, so that the bolt 60 is caused to be unlatched by the dua1-purpose latching means 78 at this phase of the cycle. It will be borne in mind that, as the round that is being fed is stopped, the bolt is still latched rearwardly by the dual-purpose latch 78. The bolt is released from the dual-purpose latching means as the cam formation 91 on the cross-feed slide turns the latching means 78 clockwise (FIG. 24; counterclockwise, FIG. 17), lifting end 146 and lowering end 145 still further down than the bolt-engaging position to which the bolt moved it when the bolt retracted.

As the bolt 60 is thus unlatched, it is advanced by the operating rod group forward so that the splined shaft 80 turns clockwise and gear 84 counterclockwise, returning the rack 79 and the cross-feed slide 77 to their outboard positions (see FIG. 34, showing anchor 143 on rack 79). This phase of operation of the cross-feed slide mechanism is referred to as the resetting phase.

The rack 79 and the cross-feed slide 77 are slidably secured to each other with one degree of linear freedom, in this sense: they are so formed and arranged that the rack 79 moves inboard to stretch the springs 85 and 86, as previously stated. However, they return outboard in synchronism.

It is appropriate to discuss at this point the reasons why the holding pawls 87 and 88 return to their normal resting positions as shown in FIG. 34, during the outboard return of the cross-feed slide 77. The holding pawls are normally biased clockwise by their own springs (not shown), and, in the absence of a succeeding round 120, which is urged by magazine springs against the outboard bifurcations of the holding pawls, the force of the springs which bias the holding pawls would alone be sufficient to turn them clockwise. In fact, in the absence of the round 120 those pawls do tu-rn completely clockwise to the position illustrated in FIG. (but FIG. 35 discloses an abnormal condition and not ordinary operation). Under normal operation the holding pawls are moved to the resting position illustrated in FIG. 34that is, they are moved from the FIG. 33 rotational position to the FIG. 34 rotational position by cam action of the cross feed slide 77 as that slide moves outboard. The hooks 160 and 161 are so shaped and arranged as to provide this cam action, the under surfaces of the hooks depressing the outboard bifurcations.

The cam action turning the holding pawls clockwise to their resting positions is made necessary by the presence of round 120 and turns the holding pawls sufliciently clockwise that the new round 120, being magazinespring urged, passes over the depressing outboard bifurcations and assumes the resting position illustrated in FIG. 34, in contact with the rising inboard bifurcations.

As the cross-feed slide reaches its outboard position, the hooks 160, 161 on the cross-feed slide re-engage the outboard bifurcations of the holding pawls.

As the cross-feed slide was moving outwardly, the bolt chambered the round 119 that was fed. Further, as the cross-feed slide moved outwardly it permitted the for- 19 Ward end of the dual-purpose latching means 78 to descend, thereby latching the cross-feed slide 77 in its outboard position (FIG. 24). This forward end is numbered 146.

Parenthetically, the means for ejection is now described. Linearly slidably mounted with respect to the cross-feed slide 77 is an ejector slide 170, to the fore part of which are secured an upwardly and diagonally extending pair of ejector pawls 171, 172. The subassembly of ejector pawls and ejector moves inboard in advance of the round at the time that a round is fed inboard. In order to drive the ejector slide forward, it is clutched to the cross-feed slide by an ejector drive pawl 122 pivotally mounted on the cross-feed slide, but as the ejector subassembly reaches its maximum inboard position (FIG. 32) the lower end of the ejector drive pawl strikes a cam surface 173 provided in the receiver, whereby the ejector drive pawl is turned counterclockwise so as to release or unclutch the ejector slide from the cross-feed slide, whereupon the ejector slide 170 is returned to its outboard position by a pair of springs 174 and 175 secured between the ejector slide and the receiver. The action of ejector slide return (FIGS. 32, 33) occurs early in the feeding operation so that the ejector slide 171 may not interfere with the feeding operation. In normal operation of the rocket launcher the ejector subassembly does not perform any actual function. Its sole purpose is to remove a rejected round from the receiver during clearing operations or in the event of a misfire. During clearing of the rocket launcher, as after a misfire, the operating rod is retracted by manual lever 176 operating in groove 177 (FIGS. 5, 19, 20), and the bolt is caused to be retracted. A manually operated stop feed lever 178 is pivoted on the receiver at 179 (FIG. 24) in such a position that it may, when desired, be turned counterclockwise to hold down the drive pawls 89, and holding pawls 87, 88 so that they remain locked in their resting positions (FIG. 36).

Manual retraction of the operating rod group by lever 176 (FIG. 19) causes the operating rod group 61 to perform the same sequence of functions that it performs during normal automatic operation except that, when the rocket launcher is simply being cleared, a new round is not cross-fed into the bore line (FIGS. 37-39), since both the driving pawls (89, 90) and the holding pawls (88, 87) are being held down by the stop feed lever 178. As the cross-feed slide and ejector slide move inboard, the ejector pawls 171 and 172, pivotally mounted on the front of the ejector, force the round to be ejected (FIG. 38) out of the bore line and over slots 154 and 155 of the tray 149 (FIG. 16) and out chute 156 (FIG. 19).

Returning now to the description of normal operation, note is made of the fact that in each case the driving pawls 89 and 90 and the ejector pawls 171 and 172 are so formed and biased diagonally upwardly and inboard by torsion springs or the like (not shown) that they exert the inboard forces required to perform the functions assigned to them. It will be noted that in the transition from the FIG. 32 phase of the cycle to the FIG. 33 phase of normal operation, the ejector pawls have passed under round 119, those pawls being depressed in so doing. It will further be noted that, in the transition from the FIG. 33 phase of the cycle to the FIG. 34 phase, the drive pawls 89 and 90 pass underneath round 120, relatively speaking. Again, these pawls are depressed for that purpose.

Parenthetically, the two holding pawls 87, 88 are sub stantially identical, the two ejector pawls 171, 172 are substantially identical, and the two driving pawls 89, 90 are substantially identical, so that descriptive matter herein relating to one member of any of these pairs will be understood to be equally applicable to the other member of that pair.

The ejector drive pawl 122 is pivotally mounted on the cross-feed slide and is so proportioned that, when it is in its vertical position, it engages a cam surface 180 on the

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US636977 *24 May 189914 Nov 1899Frank M GarlandAutomatic machine-gun.
US2486878 *1 Jan 19451 Nov 1949Gen Motors CorpReversible shell feeder
US2858739 *17 Aug 19564 Nov 1958Eames James OHydraulic feeding mechanism for a firearm
US3021762 *11 Jun 195820 Feb 1962Bofors AbDevice for feeding rounds of ammunition from a magazine to the ramming position of a gun
US3277786 *14 Sep 196411 Oct 1966Brevets Aero MecaniquesSemi-automatic or automatic guns
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4175470 *22 Dec 197727 Nov 1979Thiokol CorporationGun with rapid firing rate
Classifications
U.S. Classification89/33.1, 89/33.2
International ClassificationF41A5/00, F41A9/32, F41A9/00, F41F3/04, F41A9/75, F41A9/49, F41A9/22, F41A3/00, F41A9/78, F41F3/00, F41A5/34, F41A19/30, F41A3/38, F41A19/00
Cooperative ClassificationF41F3/04, F41A9/22, F41A9/49, F41A5/34, F41A3/38, F41A9/75, F41A19/30, F41A9/32, F41A9/78
European ClassificationF41A9/49, F41A5/34, F41A9/78, F41A3/38, F41A19/30, F41F3/04, F41A9/32, F41A9/75, F41A9/22