Nautical Antiques & Marine Art at Land and Sea Collection™ Dive Helmets, Ship Models, Sextants

SCHERMULY Line Throwing Pistol Complete Rocket Apparatus

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This Intersesting Old Relic Has Been Sold. Thank you!
 
SCHERMULY BRITISH LINE THROWING PISTOL THE FULL KIT with ROCKETS!
 
 
 
Presented is the only known example in the world of a Schermuly Line Throwing Apparatus as a complete kit. Even Britain's National Maritime Museum does not have an example. This is of WW II vintage and is exactly like the Schermuly's gun that is on display at London's National Maritime Museum. This gun is complete in all respects with all parts in working condition, but the firing pin has a stop fitted, and needs the attention of a gunsmith. Except for some missing paint on the outside of the barrel, and some slight rust inside the barrel it is in overall "Fine" condition.

It also comes with its original wood carrying case, with two coils of line in their separate compartments, three authentic rockets, and a can of six cartridges.
We have been selling these guns fo seven years and know of no other complete kit ever being offered.
 
 
 
BRIEF HISTORY: The Schermuly founder was William Schermuly 1857-1929. He was one of the fathers of modern rocketry. Although William started the business and developed many ideas, it was his third son Alfred James Schermuly, the actual family pyrotechnist, who invented and put into production this particular Line gun. Produced during the 1920's and highly successful for the throwing of line from shore to ship, or ship to ship. The Schermuly system saved countless lives at sea. The example offered is a classic of this type of line throwing gun. It is of brass, and steel construction with walnut grips. SPRA is an acronym for Schermuly's Pistol Rocket Apparatus. The photo at left is from the Schermuly catalog. 
This device is being sold for display purposes only. The black powder that was used as a propellant was discontinued in 1952, and the powder available today is much to powerful for safe use.
 
 
               Matching Serial Numbers
 
           Schermuly Mark & Patent Number
               Label from case interior
 
                    Three rockets


DIMENSIONS:
 
Length if barrel                    13 1/2"            Diameter of barrel                 1 3/4"
Length Overall                          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 side15708                           On the obverse chamber: 15708
On the reverse of the frame:
SCHERMULY'S
PAT No. 50505324   P
SI

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 fault.

ACCEPTED 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. 

Buy this very special pedigreed relic of maritime history Now!   What a great find for that special person who can appreciate only the best!

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