HBSA Journal Vol 3 No 9 (2007) Abstracts

‘Daniel Fraser of D. & J. Fraser of Edinburgh, Scotland’ by Jonathan Kirton

Considers  very early Fraser falling block rifles covered by British Patent number  5403 of 1880, improvements to the striker and to the attachment of the trigger guard to the lower action plate and details of sporting and match rifles. Information on barrels made by Adams & Tait. Schofield, Goodman & Sons trade with Newfoundland in rifles for hunting, commercial seal hunting and target shooting (St John’s Rifle Club).

Keywords:  Daniel Fraser; falling block rifle; James Fraser; Newfoundland; seal hunting; Schofield, Goodman & Sons; Adams & Tait; St John’s Rifle Club; Patent No. 5403


‘Vertroue in God en de Mauser [Faith in God and the Mauser]’ by Guy and Leonard A-R-West

Considers two Mausers from the 2nd Boer War. Background to the war and Boer tactics, including trench warfare. Development of the M/93 Mauser rifle. Boer arms purchases after the Jameson Raid.  Many rifles were privately purchased and often had stocks carved by their owners. Detailed descriptions of Mauser M/93 rifles, bayonets and carbines, including markings, accessories and of the 7 X 57 cartridge (including the ‘kortnek’ variant). Results of shooting tests. Comments on sporting (‘plezier’) Mauser M/93 rifles also used by Boers.

Keywords: Mauser M/93 rifle; Mauser M/93 carbine; Boer War; South Africa; Cape Colony; Orange Free State; OVS;  South African Republic; ZAR; Jameson Raid; commando; trench warfare; kortnek; plezier.


‘The Ammunition Carriage and Packaging Patents of J.W. Frazier’ by Bill Harriman

Addresses the development of ammunition boxes for metallic cartridges. Ammunition packaging and packing practices in the later 19th century. J.W. Frazier of Newark, New Jersey’s US Patents Nos 123,883, 123,884, 123,885 and 129,545 of 1872 and 204,017 and 202,642 of 1878. The latter three were ready-access cartons which could be placed in cartridge boxes. The US Cartridge Company used Frazier’s later designs, which were also adopted by some National Guard and State Militia units. Frazier’s Patent No 368,577 of 1887 was for detachable magazines and loose rounds.

Keywords: J.W. Frazier; cartridge box; ammunition pouch; ammunition carton; US Cartridge Company; US Patent Nos 123,883, 123,884, 123,885 and 129,545, 204,017 and 202,642


‘Hammond Breechloading Rifles Patience Rewarded’ by Ken Hocking

Considers the first of the British Patents of the gunmaking family of Hammond of Winchester, Hampshire, of their co-patentees E. Russ and ‘Mr Sherwell’. The three Patents were No 2267 of 1866 (a conversion for the P53 Enfield muzzle loading rifle), No 2904 of 1869 (a design similar to the Werndl) and No 766 of 1871 (an improvement to the Martini action). Two rifles based on the 1866 Patent were unsuccessfully submitted for the 1866 Prize Competition organised by the War Office to find a successor to the P53.

Keywords: E. Russ; H & E Hammond; Mr Sherwell:; Vokes Collection; War Office 1866 Prize Competition; British Patent No 2267 of 1866.


‘The Classic British Rook and Rabbit Rifle’ (review by Clifford Bryant of a book authored by Colin Greenwood)

Review of a wide-ranging book covering the classification, use of, ammunition for and manufacture of, rook and rabbit rifles and of their socio-economic importance.

Keywords: Rook rifle; rabbit rifle; Colin Greenwood.


‘The Metford Letters’

More from the correspondence of William Ellis Metford, 4th August 1884 to 22nd December 1884. Concerned with the final finishing of ‘Young’s new barrel’. Metford’s ‘Coventry Rotary’ bicycle(or tricycle) and its gearing. Gibbs cartridge cases and 525 grain Deeley bullets. Preparation, patching and lubrication of bullets. Storage of sperm oil.  Humber tricycle.

Keywords:  Metford; Coventry Rotary bicycle or tricycle; 525 grain Deeley bullets; Gibbs cartridge cases; Humber tricycle; Sperm oil.


Captain E.H. Robinson’s Personal Copy of the 1929 Edition of the ‘Textbook of Small Arms’

Short foreword by Clifford Bryant to the facsimile reproduction of the annotated first four pages of Robinson’s copy of the 1929 Edition of the Textbook of Small Arms.

Keywords:  Captain E.H. Robinson; Colonel Lord Cottesloe; Major J.H. Hardcastle; Major Hugh Pollard; Dr F.J. Kelly; Lieutenant Ibbetson; Major General Edgar Pilcher.


‘External Ballistics A Historical Viewpoint’ Part 1 1500-1914’ by David A. Thombs BSc PhD

Traces the development of external ballistics of guns from the 16th century to 1914. It examines the advances in physics, mathematics, and engineering. The major British and overseas ballisticians are identified and their contributions defined.

Keywords: external ballistics; measurement of velocity; Bob McCoy; Leonardo da Vinci; Tartaglia; Galileo Galilei; Sir Isaac Newton;  Robert Hook; Benjamin Robins; Francis Bashforth; Nikolai Vladimirovich Mayevski; Colonel James Monroe Ingalls; Francesco Siacci; George GreenhillCoriolis Effect; Doppler EffectProfessor Carl Cranz; Dr F.W.Mann.