With you through the waters of conflagration
And the copper pipes went through, Your most reliable friend -
Take good care of him!
Black rubber pads
Fasten with a Phillips screw, Feed him machine oil
And with the finest lead.
Lead ringed with rim
(Do not forget to wipe it!) -
Copper alloy cylinders, At the bottom - explosive mercury.
Weapons and firms. Last time we talked about the career of the Nagan brothers and the participation of Leon Nagan's revolver in the revolver competition for the Russian imperial army. However, it would be completely wrong to stop at this and not tell about another revolver, which was the opponent of the "revolver" in this competition. We are talking about a revolver designed by Henri Pieper, which in all respects was no worse, and in some even better than the Nagant revolver, and nevertheless never made it to Russia. There are such incidents in history when the worst is preferred to the best for a number of reasons. It also happened that a patent obtained by one designer was successfully used by another, while the author himself remained in the shadows.
So with regard to Henri Piper, it should be noted that it was he who invented to push the revolver drum onto the barrel in order to prevent gas breakthrough, and that the first patent for the design of such a revolver was issued to Henri Piper in 1886. However, the patent was short and expired as early as 1890.
True, Henri Pieper in the same 1890 patented the design of an improved revolver with gas obturation, in which the drum was fed forward by an original part connected to the trigger. This achieved the elimination of the gap between the barrel and the chamber, and the designer provided for the blocking of the drum with a special stop, which was attached to the upper part of the frame by means of a hinge.
As a result, Pieper got a seven-shot, one-piece frame, 8 mm revolver. He also invented a cartridge for him, in which the bullet was entirely drowned in the muzzle of the cartridge case. A trigger-operated ejector was also provided, which ejected the spent cartridge case with a curved lever at the very moment when it lowered and hit the primer. Moreover, this mechanism could be turned off.
And in 1897, Pieper designed a revolver produced by the Osterreichische Waffenfabrik-Gesellschaft in Steyr, already with a folding drum.
His most famous revolver was the 1886 model. A very technologically advanced design, with only one double spring, chambered for 7, 5-mm cartridges with smokeless powder. To remake this caliber for the domestic 7.62 mm would have cost nothing at all. Well, in all other respects this revolver was in no way inferior to the "revolver". Moreover, it was his drum approaching the barrel that Leon Nagant used in 1892 on his new model of the revolver.
As for the requirements for a new revolver of the Russian army, they were formulated by the Commission for the development of a small-caliber rifle, headed by Lieutenant General N.G. Chagin.
First of all, it was required to provide a large stopping effect of the bullet. From a distance of up to 50 steps, she had to stop the horse. This was an “iron” requirement for all our revolvers. "The strength of the battle" (there was such a concept at that time) was supposed to ensure the penetration of four to five inch boards from pine.
In this case, the weight should have been in the range of 0.82-0.92 kg.
Self-cocking was prohibited because it "has a detrimental effect on accuracy."
Bullet muzzle velocity not less than 300 m / s.
The accuracy of fire had to be high, and the design of the revolver had to be technologically advanced (the requirement of mass production) and simple (the requirement for training soldiers).
Well, it is clear that it must be insensitive to pollution: to dirt, poor operating conditions, and had to work even in the most difficult conditions.
An important requirement was the alternate extraction of the liners.
Aimed shooting - 35 steps. Drum for at least seven rounds.
The gunpowder in the cartridge is, of course, smokeless. The bullet is in a copper sheath.
Self-cocking was ruled out because it "complicates the design and raises prices" (oh, this is our economy on matches). And besides, it leads to "excess consumption of ammunition" and, again - to losses for the treasury.
As a result, the competition turned out to be, in fact, fictitious, since there were only two contestant revolvers: Henri Piper and Leon Nagant, and both were very similar. But … the conditions were clearly favorable for Nagant.
It got to the point that Henri Pieper directly stated that there was no equality for the participants.
That is, two revolvers competed: the M1889 "Bayard" Piper and the "revolver" of Leon Nagant M1892, which, by the way, was also self-cocking from the very beginning. But he ruled out the possibility of self-cocking firing, deteriorating the characteristics of the revolver in accordance with the requirements of the organizers of the competition. Moreover, there were two options - 6- and 7-charging models. Piper's revolver, as not meeting the requirements of the competition, was immediately rejected, and the victory thus easily went to Nagant.
And then the most important conversation went. No, not about improving the characteristics of the new revolver, but only about money. Leon Nagan demanded 75,000 rubles for his patent for it. The amount seemed excessive, and then a repeated competition was appointed, under new specified conditions, in order to make it more agreeable: you, they say, are not the only one.
In the new competition, a bonus was also introduced: 20,000 rubles for the revolver itself and 5,000 for the cartridge for it.
But now the winner could no longer demand money from the government. He
"He gave his invention to the full ownership of the Russian government, which received the right to manufacture it, both at home and abroad, without any additional payment to the inventor."
Thus, the savings in general came out very significant.
Pieper submitted redesigned revolvers to this competition, which the commission considered "witty, but not practical." Captain S. I. Mosin presented his "six-barreled revolver" (that is, nothing more than a pepperbox!), Which, of course, the commission rejected.
However, when the revolver passed military tests, the officers who participated in them began to say that it would be nice to get a revolver with a double action, that is, with the possibility of self-cocking.
The Commission revisited the original Nagant model. And after much deliberation, I made a palliative decision. The army adopted two types of revolvers: self-cocking - for officers, while non-self-cocking model was supposed to be armed with non-commissioned officers and privates.
On May 13, 1895 (May 25, according to the Gregorian calendar), by decree of Nicholas II, the "soldier" and "officer" revolvers of Nagant were adopted by the Russian Imperial Army. But according to the military department, they were adopted only after the order of the Minister of War No. 186 in June 1896. And their production began even later.
However, Nagan began to produce his revolvers, almost immediately. The price of a Belgian-made revolver for the Russian army was 30–32 rubles.
It was envisaged to receive from Nagant in three years 20,000 revolvers of the 1895 model of the year. The Belgians were also supposed to help in organizing their fabrication at the Imperial Tula Arms Factory. When, finally, this plant began to produce them, the Tula revolvers began to cost the treasury 22 rubles 60 kopecks. At the same time, the order of the army from 1899 to 1904 amounted to 180,000 revolvers.
However, one cannot say that domestic revolvers were cheaper than foreign ones, since in Russia many expenses for the production of weapons were passed through different departments. So, for example, in order to develop their production, machines worth more than one million rubles were purchased in the United States at public expense. However, if the Tula plant itself had paid this entire amount for them, the price of these revolvers would immediately increase several times.
As for the biography and design activities of Henri Pieper, she is quite curious, so you should get to know her.
He was born in Zoest (Westphalia) on October 30, 1840. He studied engineering at Zust and then continued his apprenticeship at Warstein. He arrived in Liege at the end of 1859, and then lived successively in Herstal, Liege, and Verviers (1866). Soon after his marriage, he moved to Liege, settled at 12 Bayard Street, where he opened a mechanical and weapons workshop.
In 1870 he expanded his workshops on Bayard Street, which now cover 6,000 square meters; created a factory for the production of rifle barrels in Nessonvo in the Vesdre Valley. He actively produced and supplied double-barreled hunting rifles for export.
In 1887, an important event happened in the life of Henri Piper: he joined the united association of arms manufacturers, which united the factories of Jules Ancion, Dumoulin Freres, Joseph Janssen, Pirlo-Fresard, Dress-Laloux and Si, Albert Simonis and … brothers Emile and Leon Nagan …
The following year, Henri Pieper offered the Belgian army several straight-action bolt-action rifles and a Chulhof magazine or a Mannlicher-type magazine. They were tested, but in the end the German Mauser M1889 was adopted.
Then Henri Pieper participated in the creation of the famous Fabrique Nationale, which began to produce these weapons; became its managing director and also one of the most important shareholders. His revolver (model 1893) was adopted in Mexico along with a drum gun of his own design with a folding drum.
Around 1897, Pieper's workshops also began making bicycles and cars.
He died a year later - on August 23, 1898, at the age of only 57 years.
His legacy as a designer was quite large: first, revolvers with drums sliding over the barrel of the models of 1886, 1890 and 1893; secondly, hunting rifles of all types (with one and several barrels, mixed, "express", hammer and hammerless; third, single-shot rifles with a crane bolt, as well as an "electric rifle" with electric ignition; rifle "Optimus"; rifle Martini systems; army rifles of the 1887 and 1888 models; rifle barrel of the 1893 model, etc.
In total, from 1861 to 1896, he received 69 patents for various models and parts of weapons. Well, Piper's 8-mm revolver became a kind of "weapon of the Mexican revolution" of 1910-1920. Just like the revolver has become a symbolic weapon in our army.
The author and the site administration would like to express their gratitude to Alain Daubresse for the opportunity to use his photographs.