Original British WWII Schermuly Pistol Rocket Apparatus

Item Description

Original Items: Only one set available. William Schermuly 1857-1929 was one of fathers of modern rocketry. He had served aboard vessels at sea and knew of how many lives were lost each year due to shipwrecks. He invented several different line throwing devices, some of which were used in WWI for such things as throwing telephone lines from trench to trench while under fire. But, the British Admiralty still didn’t see a need for his line throwers. Finally, he came up with a design that was small, easily aimed and fired, accurate and simple to use – the Schermuly Rocket Pistol Apparatus. In 1929, just 19 days before he died, the Admiralty made it compulsory for all vessels over 500 tons to carry line throwers. It was so successful that in 1938, a new act made it a requirement for all ships over 80 tons or 50 feet in length.

The pistol is based on the Webley & Scott brass flare pistol, with a steel barrel extension to take a rocket that would propel a wire over distance. The wire could be attached to a cable to help transfer people from ship to ship or shore to ship.
The pistol barrel has an extra handle to steady the gun when firing. The wood grips are made of mahogany.

This is a Schermuly Line Throwing Rocket Pistol has a steel frame with brass chamber the rocket tube, or barrel, is steel. It has mahogany grips and a Bakelite secondary handle, and there are British proof marks on the chamber and frame, the chamber is also marked 1" which is the cartridge size. Overall, the pistol is in very good condition.

This pistol represents a very unique piece of nautical history, and would complement any collection of nautical or WWII artifacts


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