New Article from Bill Skillman on the Lawrence Pellet Primer
Page 1 of 1

Author:  David Rider [ Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:03 pm ]
Post subject:  New Article from Bill Skillman on the Lawrence Pellet Primer


Author:  Calum [ Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Article from Bill Skillman on the Lawrence Pellet Pr


Thanks for such a detailed and informative article (as well as your assistance over the past week or so) :D.

In addition to the Garrett lock that Bill references in his article, I have also recently obtained a Garrett Sharps with a complete original lock. I have to agree with him about how few parts are interchangable.

Bill's article goes where I have been unsuccessful - namely how to load the thing (if primers were ever available). Even the reprint of Sharps' Patent Improved Breech Loading and Self Priming Rifle, Carbine and Shotgun booklet from Dixie only mentions the priming system, but doesn't cover it in any way.


Author:  Bill Skillman [ Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Article from Bill Skillman on the Lawrence Pellet Pr

Fellow Sharpshooters

A new post by Kotkinjcl on the Civil War Talk (Wednesday, Oct 31) weapons and ammunition blog shows photos of his newly purchased, original NM1859 carbine, along with a copper sleeve partially filled with Lawrence Pellet primers. Here is a brief description provided by the owner:

The pellet cartridge is half empty - I think it originally came with 24 pellets. There's some tissue stuffed in the end to keep the rest from falling out and to try and keep the thin copper tube from crushing. The whole tube is installed into the hole just behind the nipple by pressing the spring-loaded plunger in the receiver wall down then using the wooden dowel/handle on the cartridge to push all the pellets into the receiver. Then the sliding arm is pushed back to its forward position to secure all the pellets from jumping back out. When the hammer is cocked each time it pulls back the loading slide and when the hammer is released that same slide forces a pellet to the nipple at the same speed as the hammer is falling (the hammer and the pellet mechanism are connected - it explains it better in the pdf I attached up above). Multiple pellet cartridges could be kept in the patch box.

One of the most informative photos shows how the copper primer sleeve is positioned in the magazine; ready for the primers to be inserted for storage or to 'pop away' on the skirmish line.

Here is the link to the post: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/sharps ... em.151274/

Bill Skillman
Hudson Squad Mess-USSS

Author:  Calum [ Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Article from Bill Skillman on the Lawrence Pellet Pr


Thanks for sharing! The photo is very helpful.

I've long wondered about the orientation of the tube for loading the primers. Even though both my Pedersoli and Garrett have original locks and mainsprings, neither hammer goes back far enough to permit such vertical positioning. The Garrett is closer, but still, it would be at an angle. I am not sure if either hammer is original or are repros, although if they are repros, they are at least good castings as they have the lockwork channels on the inside to operate the pellet primer system.

One of these days, I am going to load up some pellet primers and see if the feed system still works.


Author:  Bill Skillman [ Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Article from Bill Skillman on the Lawrence Pellet Pr


Since we are going in depth into the Lawrence Pellet Primer on this link, I thought I'd add the one you provided 5 years ago featuring the original patent filed by Sharps Engineer and inventor, Richard Lawrence. On April 12, 1859, Lawrence received Patent number 23, 590 for his Self-Priming Gunlock.Christian Sharps invented the pellet priming system, whereas Richard Lawrence's patent adds the 'cut off' system. This allowed pellets to be stored in the magazine until needed, and when activated, be used in place of the musket cap. Lawrence's 'improved' pellet priming system was featured on all of the New Model 1859-1863 Improved Sharps rifles and carbines.

For those who have not read the patent application before, Richard Lawrence provides a highly detailed diagram of the lock plate showing the primer system components; as well as a excellent description on how it functions.


Bill Skillman
Hudson Squad Mess

Author:  Bill Skillman [ Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Article from Bill Skillman on the Lawrence Pellet Pr

Fellow Sharpshooters,

I noticed a couple errors in my original article that have come to light in Marcot, Paxton and Marron’s new book; Sharps Firearms-The Percussion Era

I originally wrote Sharps first carbine/rifles featured the Maynard tape system. Actually, Sharps had invented a rotary wheel system on the 1849 sporting rifles manufactured by Albert Nippes. Interestingly, Sharps never patented his rotary wheel system. He created an even more effective priming system: the “priming cock”, patented in 1852. This became the dominant primer system we are most familiar, starting with the Model 1852 Military Carbines through the New Model 1865 weapons.

The Percussion Era incorporates and builds on the groundbreaking research done by Winston O. Smith (1943) and Frank Sellers (1970). It also helps those of us who research and write about the Sharps and the pellet priming system the most up to date information available.

Bill Skillman
Hudson Squad Mess

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group