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50 MEIGS

  

  

The Meigs rifle was designed by Josiah (Joe) V. Meigs. He was granted U.S. Patent 36,721 for a protected a sliding breechblock locked by a pivoting strut. It fired the .50 caliber Meigs cartridge, with a 25" round barrel, 50 round magazine rifle and was a sliding guard action repeating carbine. The rifle had a nickelled finish with the receiver made from brass. A twined piece of cord was used instead of a fore stock. The guard and trigger assembly is capable of sliding back and forth on a rail. This is producing the motions needed to rotate the magazine frame and move the breechblock which extends up out of the frame to eject the fired cases. The magazine consisted of a metallic tube which replaced the stock. The tube has 5 bores and each of them could be loaded with 10 cartridges. A soldier could fire his 50 rounds in just over one minute but what made his design remarkable was that the tubes were replaceable so that a soldier could carry pre-loaded tubes which gave the rifle a potential rate of fire of about 160 rounds per minute compared to the early Gatling Guns of 1861 that had a rate of fire of around 200 round per minute. According to records, there are only 3 of these guns in existence including one that resides in the Cody museum that was donated by the Army. They received the rifle from Meigs for trials which lasted almost four years with this particular rifle firing a about 38,000 rounds without failure. (American Firearms.com)