Measures to secure a patent for an improvement in the above have been taken by A. S. Nippes of Lower Merion, Pa. The improvement consists in attaching the breech at the back of the barrel by a hinge joir.t, ard in applying a wedge to the back of the breech in such a manner that when the wedge is brought into operation on the breech, the hrffie* is thrown up to the back ot the barrel, and forms with it a perfect joint, but when the wedge is withdrawn the barrel is allowed to fall or rather is thrown back by means ol a spring, to receive the charge. The wedge is operated by a lever attached to its base by a link, and they are both secured in their position by a spring catch, which is fastened below the stock and presses firmly inside a hele or notch in the lever, so that it cannot be Withdrawn without the application of considerable force. When it is desired to load the piece, the lever and wedge are drawndown,bywhichthe breech is thrown back, and the entrance to the barrel left unobstructed,the cartridge having been inserted, the lever is operated, and in so doing throws up the breech, forcing it against a steel plate which forms part of the barrel, and renders the hinge joint perfectly tight. The vent passes through the top of the breech, where the nipple is placed, and enters through the centre.