Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/704

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688

��Popular Science Monthly

���Fifteen hundred dollars' worth of liquor was poured into the sprinkling wagon, water was added, and the concoction was spread over the streets of the city

��Phoenix, Arizona, Finds a New Use for the " Water Wagon "

IN Phoenix, Arizona, recently, a city sprinkling wagon filled with two hundred and twelve gallons of beer, one hundred and ninety-six gallons of whiskey, eight gallons of wine and enough water to neu- tralize the intoxicants, was driven through the streets. The fiery concoction was sprinkled over the streets, leaving in its wake an odor which proved its genuine- ness. The county sheriff, his deputies and prohibitionists rode on this "water" wagon. The liquor was collected from bootleggers after the prohibition law had gone into effect.

Making the Automatic Pistol Practically Foolproof

THE automatic pistol is peculiarly tricky. It has a magazine that is removable by the touch of a re- tainer catch, which removal is be- lieved by nine persons out of ten, to unload and make the gun entirely safe. He loads it by putting in the magazine, thinks the user, why not unload it by reversing the process? I know of a half-dozen fatal accidents from this misguided opinion.

When the slide or bolt of the auto- matic goes forward, it carries one cartridge forward out of the removable magazine, and pushes it into the chamber, which is the portion of the barrel in which the cartridge rests when it is in firing position. The cartridge is now entirely out of com- munication with the magazine, and

��removing the magazine affects that cartridge as little as throw- ing away the box in which the ammunition came in the first place. The only way to unload the gun is to remove the maga- zine, then retract the slide or breechbolt by hand, which with- draws the cartridge in the cham- ber and ejects it from the gun. But so common is the belief that removing the magazine re- moves all cartridges, that wise pistol-makers have installed de- vices to prevent the gun from being fired when the magazine is out. In the hands of the ex- perienced man there is no occa- sion for such a precaution. It is purely to cut down the number of acci- dents resulting from this mistaken idea that the pistol with magazine out is necessarily* empty. With such a device in use, the gun-ignorant person can remove the magazine and snap the gun at some innocent bystander without the usual re- grettable sequence to such an act.

In the usual form, a little catch, held out of the way by the magazine when the maga- zine is in the gun, springs up and locks the trigger the instant the magazine is taken out. The user cannot fire the gun until the magazine is replaced and the catch de- liberately thrown off. Then, of course, the most arrant amateur who ever handled a gun, ought to know that the gun is loaded and ready to fire, and that consequently it must be handled with care and not aimed at a comrade's head in a spirit of fun, lest an accident with dire results happen.

���MAGAZINE REMOVED FROM STOC\

��A little catch springs up and locks the trigger of the revolver the instant the maeazine is taken out

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