Schermuly Mark & Patent Number
Length if barrel
13 1/2" Diameter
of barrel 1 3/4"
20" Length of pistol
section 6 1/2"
Size of case 28" L x 21" D x 6 1/2" H
Total weight 29 1/2 pounds
The markings on the gun are:
On obverse side: 15708
On the obverse chamber: 15708
On the reverse of the frame:
PAT No. 50505324 P
Maker's Decal on case
SPRA is an acronym for Schermuly's Pistol Rocket Apparatus
National Maritime Museum's Description: Line-throwing pistol consisting of a long barrel with pistol grip and trigger which fires a
short blank cartridge. The cartridge is loaded into the breech of the pistol and the rocket is inserted into the muzzle. On
pulling the trigger, the gases generated by the fired cartridge eject the rocket on its correct line of flight, and at the
same time, burst through the waterproof disc and ignite the propellant mixture, which carries the rocket and line on the remainder
of the flight. The rocket (which is missing) consists of a weldless steel case filled with propellant mixture sealed in by
a waterproof disc. Fixed to the rocket case is a direction bridle, to the end of which a short length of flexible steel wire
is attached, this in turn being connected to the end of the line to be thrown. The number '503324' and the serial number '585'
are stamped on the pistol.
U.S.HISTORY of Line Throwing Devices:
The Lyle Gun – Breeches Buoy Lifesaving System
A ship is foundering off the coast – lives are at
risk, crewmen must be rescued. That job falls to the surf men of the U.S. Coast Guard, and prior to 1915, to its predecessor,
the U.S. Life-Saving Service. In situations where the stricken vessel is within a few hundreds yards from shore, it
is possible to effect a rescue without putting a rescue craft in the water and needlessly risking the lives of the rescuers.
In such cases, a line is launched from shore to the vessel. Today a rocket fires that line. Prior to 1952, a small
cannon, a line-throwing gun, was used.
A line-throwing gun is a short-barreled cannon designed to
fire a projectile attached to a rope to a boat or victim in distress. Experiments in shooting tethered projectiles dates
back to around 1800. A mortar device was credited with saving lives in 1850. But it wasn't until West Point and
MIT graduate Army Captain David A. Lyle (1845 - 1937) began his research and testing that resulted in reliable efficient designs.
Thus line-throwing guns are most often referred to as "Lyle
Guns." The U.S. government funded many line throwing gun projects. There were about 30 companies who
made line-throwing guns from the late 1800's to 1952. Famous names included, American Manufacturing, Galbraith, General
Ordnance, Naval Company, Sculler and Steward. Production ceased in 1952 in favor of rockets.
These line guns are used primarily for shore based rescue
operations. The shooter would fire, aiming over the victims' heads and then pull the line within reach of the victims.
They are also useful for rescuing victims that have fallen through the ice, or are stranded on a cliff or burning building.
Boats in distress need larger lines. Lyle guns were
designed to throw projectiles weighing approximately 18 pounds, carrying heavier rope to ranges as great as 700 yards.
Once the line was fired to the ship, shore crews sent out breeches buoy equipment and instructions to the stranded sailors.
Once the breeches buoy lines were assembled, the sailors could be removed from the vessel.
Standard procedure was for line throwing guns and breeches buoys to be used for wrecks
within 600 yards of the shore; rescues at greater distances were to be accomplished by lifeboats.
OUR UNCONDITIONAL GUARANTEE: If not completely
satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original condition
and packaging. Returns must be insured for their full value. All that is required is a prior email authorization by us for
the return. Unfortunately, no refund can be made for the cost of shipping, packaging and handling unless we are at fault.
SHIPPING & PACKING: The
cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, must be calculated and is an additional
charge. You may email us beforehand to get these costs. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed
for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.
International buyers welcome, but should inquire
first. You are responsible for knowing the import laws covering guns of this type for your
own country, and the duties and tax rates to which they are subject. We have satisfied customers in Argentina,
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic
of Congo, Denmark, Estonia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy,
Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Nova Scotia, Panama, Poland, Portugal,
Puerto Rico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates,
USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.
OUR UNCONDITIONAL NO NONSENSE
GUARANTEE: If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned within five days of receipt in
its original packaging if without damage. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization from
us for the return is required. Shipping charges are included in this offer if an error is due to our
FORMS OF PAYMENT are Bank wire transfer, cashier's check, money order, or personal check in which case the item
will be held until cleared. No credit cards or PayPal accepted on this item.