Captain Artemas Wheeler - THR

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Old Today, 12:27 PM   #1
Join Date: July 9, 2009
Location: Southeast CT
Posts: 102
Captain Artemas Wheeler

This weekend my wife and I were touring historical places in MA. While we were visiting famous gravesites in Concord, we came across Captain Artemas Wheeler's headstone who was credited with the first satisfactory design of a revolving cylinder for a gun.

Excerpt from "Guns and Ammunition"
The most popular type of handgun used during the 1800's was the revolver. Instead of rotating barrels, the revolver has a rotating cylinder containing five or more firing chambers. As the cylinder rotates, a fresh cartridge is placed in line with the barrel for firing. The cylinder was rotated by hand in early models, but later cocking the hammer or pulling the trigger would automatically rotate it. As far back as the late 1500's, gunmakers had been trying to perfect this design. But it was not until the early 1800's that a satisfactory system was designed. In 1818, Captain Artemas Wheeler (17811845) of Concord, Massachusetts, was granted a patent for a revolver that fired seven or more times before reloading.
Rittgers, Sarah J. "Guns and Ammunition." The New Book of Knowledge. Grolier Online, 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.
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Old Today, 03:56 PM   #2
Jim K
Join Date: December 31, 2002
Posts: 16,015
Interesting that the name is usually spelled "Artemus", but I doubt his grave marker is wrong, so the others, including Flayderman, are incorrect.

The Wheeler was a flintlock; the first were multi-barrel "pepperboxes" but then he brought out a true revolver with a single barrel and a seven shot cylinder. Note that while Colt is usually credited with inventing the revolver, his actual invention was the way the cylinder is turned and locked. The Wheeler cylinder was unlocked and turned manually, separate from the cocking.

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