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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Old & New Zig-Zag Revolvers:

The Mauser C78 Zig-Zag Revolver dates from 1878 and was a Single Acton six shot built in both solid-frame with a side hinged cylinder - and later a 'break-action' frame.
Solid Frame Mauser Zig-Zag

Hinged Frame C78 Mauser Zig-Zag
Built in three calibres 6mm, 9mm, 11mm, it was a smaller gun than the later Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver.
Mauser C78 Cam-lug in Frame.

As the single-action C78 hammer is cocked a frame mounted 'cam-lug' moves forward and - being mated into the cylinders 'Zig' it rotates the cylinder and indexes it in place. When the hammer falls the lug returns to the rearward 'Zag' position ready to repeat its function when the hammer is again cocked.
 Mauser Between Two Webleys.
Lieutenant-Colonal George Vincent Fosbery patented his automatic revolver in 1895 - having built his prototype on a much modified Colt SAA revolver.
The whole top assembly recoils on firing and cocks the hammer, indexing the cylinder - giving a smooth and very accurate trigger action that was popular with target shooters of its day. - The slide action must be cycled fully after loading to cock and ready the gun for use.
Designed to be carried fully cocked there is a safety-catch on left side grip.
Webley-Fosbery broken open for loading / unloading.
Fosbery's  design was built by Webley&Scott between 1901 and 1915 in .455" and .38"ACP calibres but was replaced by later designs after fourteen years production.
Although not used lately on commercial revolvers - those Zig-Zag grooved cylinders do work well to control the action.
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More recently an adventurous Japanese Yoshimoto Imura was arrested in May 2014 after videoing himself firing blanks in a 'Zig-Zag' revolver he had made using a 3-D Printer.
- Since his arrest members of an on-line rebel group FOSSCAD are busily working at designing and making a gun they have named in his honour:
3-D Printed 'IMURA' Revolver.
(Bottom chamber - 6 O'clock Fired.)
X-Ray Image
- Now an engineering student James Patrick has published his plan for the interesting PM552 Washbear Revolver - a 3-D printed .22" rim-fire pepperbox design firing from the top chamber:
Patrick options cylinders in 8 shot configuration (ABS plastic) or a stronger 6 shot version printed using nylon polymer - and recommends use of sub-sonic ammunition.
Where all this goes will be fascinating to watch.. "Throw-Away Guns" with full on-line plans and instructions? - Certainly much will depend on the strength of the plastics available for use in the 3-D Printers and whether metal inserts are used in critical areas.
 Washbear Cylinder Metal Inserts Detail.
One interesting Washbear design feature is a "drop safety' - When the trigger is forward the zig-zag is held by its cam out of line with the striker - only lining-up when the trigger is pulled.
James Patrick reports that following successful trials with the .22" concept he is currently developing and printing a .38" Special striker fired six shot 'Pepper Box'. - The .38" Special has lower internal pressure than the .22" rim-fire.
Greywolf Project.
Marty K.