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In spite of the hostile attitude of the great majority of the bishops, Bishop de' Ricci issued on the 3rst of July a summons to a diocesan synod, which was solemnly opened on the 18th of September. It was attended by 233 beneficed secular and 13 regular priests, and decided with practical unanimity on a series of decrees which, had it been possible to carry them into effect, would have involved a drastic reform of the Church on the lines advocated by “ F ebronius " (see F annonumsu).
The first decree (Decretum de fide et zcclesia) declared that the Catholic Church has no right to introduce new dogmas, but only to reserve in its original pu_rity the faith once delivered by Christ to is apostles, and 15 infallible only so tar as it conforms to Holy Scripture and true tradition; the Church, moreover is a purely spiritual body and has no authority in things secular. Other decrees denounced the abuse of indul ences, of festivals of saints, and of processions and suggested re ortns; others again enjoined the closing of shops on Sunday during divine service, the issue of service-books with parallel translations in the vernacular, and recommended the abolition of all monastic orders except that of St Benedict, the rules of which were to be brought into harmony with modern ideas; nuns were to be forbidden to take the vows before the age of 40. The last decree proposed the convocation of a national council.
These decrees were issued together with a pastoral letter of Bishop de’ Ricci, and were warmly approved by the grand-duke, at whose instance a national synod of the Tuscan bishops met at Florence on the 23rd of April r787. The temper of this assembly was, however, wholly different. The bishops refused to allow a voice to any not of their own order, and in the end the decrees of Pistoia were supported by a minority of only three. They were finally condemned at Rome by the bull Auclarem fidei of the 28th of August 1794. De’ Ricci, deprived of the personal support of the grand-duke (now the emperor Leopold 1.), exposed to pressure from Rome, and threatened with mob violence as a suspected destroyer of holy relics, resigned his see in 179:, and lived in Florence as a private gentleman until his death in 1810. In May 1805, on the return of Pope Pius VII. from Paris, he had signed an act of submission to the papal decision of 1794.
De' Ricci's own memoirs, Memorie di Scipiane de' Ricci, vescovo di Prato e Pistoia, edited b Antonio Galli, were published at Florence in 2 vols. in 1865. Besi es this his letters to Antonio Marini were published by Cesare Guasti at Prato in 1857; these were promptly put on the Index. See also De Potter, Vie dc Scipion de' Rica' (g vols., Brussels, 1825), based _on a MS. life and a MS. account of t e synod placed on the Index in 1823. There are many documents in Zobi, Staria civil: della Toscana, vols. ii. and iii. (Florence, |856). The acts of the synod of Pistoia were published in Italian and Latin at Pavia in 1788.
PlS’l‘OL, a small fire-arm designed for quick work and personal protection at close quarters, and for use in one hand. It was originally made as a single and also double-barrelled smooth bore muzzle-loader, involving no departure in principle from the
H istory—Pistols are understood to have been made for the first time at Pistoia in Italy, whence they receive their name. Caminelleo Vitelli, who flourished in 1540, is the accredited inventor. The first pistols, in the 16th century, had short single barrels and heavy butts, nearly at right angles to the barrel. Shortly afterwards the pattern changed, the butts being lengthened out almost in a line with' the barrels. These early pistolsl were usually fitted with the Wheel-lock (see GUN). Short, heavy pistols, called “ daggs,” were in common use about the middle of the 17th century, with butts of ivory, bone, hard wood or metal. A chiselled Italian dagg of 1650, for example, had a slightly bell-nosed barrel of about 8 in. in length and 14 bore. The German wheel-lock military pistols used by the Reiters, and those made for nobles and gentlemen, were profusely and beautifully ornamented. Pistols with metal hafts were common in the 16th and 17th centuries, many beautiful specimens of which, silver-mounted, were made in Edinburgh and used by Highlanders. Duelling, when in vogue, caused the production of specially accurate and well-made single-barrelled pistols, reliable at twenty paces. The pattern of this pistol seldom varied, its accuracy at short range equalling that oi more modern ones, the principle of a heavy bullet and light charge of powder being employed. The first doublebarrelled pistols were very bulky weapons made with the barrels laid alongside one another, necessitating two locks and two hammers. There was also the “over and under” pistol, one barrel being laid over the other. This was a more portable weapon, only requiring one lock and hammer, the second barrel being turned round by hand, after the first had been fired, or, as an alternative, the flash-hole being adjusted to the second barrel by a key. These pistols were first made with flint and steel locks and subsequently for percussion caps. Double “ over and under ” pistols were also made with a trigger mechanism that served to discharge both barrels in turn.
Revaluers.—-A revolver is a single-barrelled pistol with a revolving breech containing several chambers for the cartridges, thus enabling successive shots to be rapidly fired from the same weapon without reloading. The ordinary pistol is now, and has been for many years past, superseded by the revolver. The first revolver, fired with the percussion cap, was made with the whole of the barrels, six, seven or eight, revolving in one piece, and was known as the “ pepper-box.” It was “ single action," Le. the hammer was raised and the barrels revolved by the pull of the trigger. This weapon was cumbrous and no accurate aim could be taken with it owing chiefly to the strength and resistance of the main-spring and the consequent strong pull required on the trigger. The principle of a revolving breech to one barrel, which superseded the “ pepper-box," is an old one in the history of fire-arms, dating from the filth century. At
ordinary fire-arms of the day. With the introduction of revol- first the breech cylinder was revolved by hand, as in the revolving
vets and breech-loading pistols and the application of “ rifiing " to musket barrels, came also, in the early half of the 19th century, the rifling of pistol-barrels.
arquebus or matchlock, a specimen of which is now in the
‘ For the use of long heavy pistols b cavalry in the 16th and 17th centuries, see ARMY: History; and .wnuw.
Tower of ' London, but this was subsequently improved by ' rapidly fired, if necessary, by the trigger action alone. Many introducing geared mechanism, by which the pull of the trigger I revolvers on the Colt principle were in use during the Crimean or the cocking of the hammer, or both, do the work. There l War and the Indian Mutiny, and proved of valuable service to exists a pistol of the time of Charles I. which is rotated auto- British officers.
matilcally as the hammer is raised. As rim-fire, pin-fire and central-fire cartridges were succes
In'r8r4 a self-acting revolver mechanism of a crude pattern 'sively introduced, breech-loading revolvers were constructed was produced in England. Four years later Collier used a . to use them. Messrs Smith & Wesson, of Springfitld. U.S.A., separate spring to rotate the chamber. Intr83 5, an American, I produced the first metal cartridges for revolvers. Pin-fire Samuel Colt, produced and patented the first practical revolving [ cartridges, paper and metallic, were used on the continent of pistol, the idea of which was obtained by him, it is stated, from i Europe for Lefaucheux and other revolvers, and these and riman ancient “ revolving ” weapon in the Tower of London. The . fire cartridges are still used for revolvers of small calibre. But chambers of the first Colt revolver were loaded with powder and E since the central-fire cartridge has proved its superiority for bullets from the muzzle end, and each chamber had a nipple guns, its principle has been generally applied to pistol cartridges, that required to be capped. It was the invention of the copper * at first to the larger bores. cap that made the Colt revolver possible. Under the oldl The alteration of the muzzle-loading to the breech-loading
priming system with exposed powder in a pan the difficulty chamber in the revolver involved no decided change of type. of separate and effective ignition with the revolving cylinder The original Colt, as a breech-loader, remained practically was almost insuperable. D the same weapon as before, with a changed chamber. A
The first American revolver makers caused the cocking of | hinged flap uncovered the breech-chamber on the right, and as the hammer to revolve the cylinder, while the English makers each chamber reached that point the empty cartridge case was effected this‘by the pull of the trigger. In 1855, Adams of ejected by means of an ejecting-rod carried in a tube attached London, and also Tranter of Birmingham, brought out the to the under side of the barrel and kept in place by a spiral double-action revolver, in which the revolution of the cylinder spring, and the chamber reloaded. The next improvement could be effected by both these methods. When the revolver was greater ease and rapidity of extraction, obtained first by is cocked and fired by pressing the triggei‘ggeater rapidity of Thomas’s invention of making the barrel and chamber slide
fire is obtained than when the hammer is cocked with the thumb, forward on the frame of the pistol. The extractor, being fast to but accuracy is impaired, as-the‘trigger requires a long pull and the pivot, retained the cartridges until the chamber was pushed considerable force in order to compress the mainspring and clear of them. Then the chamber was made to swing on one rwolve the cylinder. The double action'revolver was, there- side, as in the Colt pistol illustrated, enabling all the cartridges fore, a great advance on the single action, enabling the first and to‘ be simultaneously extracted. Finally, self-extracting revolal'so following shots, if desired, to be accurately fired by a vers with jointed frames Were introduced, in which the dropping moderate pressure of the trigger after the hammer had been of the barrel forces out the extractor as in an ordinary double cocked by the thumb; or, alternatively, the revolver could be gun, the extractor-acting simultaneously in all the chambers of
the pistol. A spring returns the extractor to its place when the empty cartridge cases have been ejected, and brings the barrel to an angle of about 45°, for convenience in loading. The soundness and rigidity of the weapon depend upon the efliciency of the connexion between the barrels and the standing breech, and a top snap bolt has proved the strongest and handiest with the pistol, as with the shot-gun.
This type of revolver originated with Messrs Smith & Wesson, but they and other gunmakers have greatly improved upon the original model. Between the American pattern and the English, as made by Messrs F. Webley 81 Son, the chief difference is that in the Smith & Wesson the holding-down bolt or catch is upon the barrel, and it engages with the top of
hammer and trigger when the latch is pushed to the rear for openingthe cylinder, and does not unlock them until the cylinder is positively cl05ed and is locked by the latch. The linder revolves and is supported on a central arbour of the crane E). The crane fits in a recess in the frame below the barrel and turns on its pivot arm (A). The ejector rod with its spring sses through the centre of the cylinder arbour and is terminatedaain rear by the ejector with a ratchet (y). Pushing against the front end of the ejector rod will empty the chambers, the c linder being swung out for loadin . The thumb-piece of the latch (j) slides to the rear in the left si' e of theframe, unlocking the cylinder for opening, but upon closing the cylinder, the bed of the atch firmly enters a recess in the ejector, locking the cylin er in position for firing.
One great disadvantage of revolvers is the escape of gas at
This escape corrodes the surrounding parts and also materially diminishes the pressure in the barrel and the consequent velocity of the bullet. In the Nagant' revolver, adopted by Russia, this disadvantage has been overcome by ein
the standing breech; whereas in the Webley the bolt is upon the l ploying a long cartridge case which extends beyond the nose
standing breech and grips the extremity of the hinged barrel. Neither mechanism is as strong as could be wished if heavy charges of smokeless nitro-compounds are to be used. This hinged type of revolver is most convenient for use on horseback, as the pistol can be opened, the cartridges extracted and the
weapon reloaded with one hand. The Colt’s Double-action Revolver, calibre - 8, model 1896, used in the United States arm , consists (figs. 7 and 8 of the barrel (B), the cylinder (C) with six c ambers, the frame (F),and the firing mechanism, all of steel. The muzzle velocity, with a charge of 16 grains of black powder and a bullet of 150 grains of lead, is about 708 ft. per second, giving at 25 yards a penetration of about in. in pine. The lock mechanism consists of the hammer (h), With its stirrup (r), stirrup in (p), strut (s), strut in (1'), strut spring (g); the trigger (t); the rebound lever (I); the liand (a), with the s ring (2); - the cylinder bolt (b), with its spring (x); the lockin ever v); the main spring (m), and rebound lever spring (71). e hammer (h), tri ger (t), and rebound lever (l) are pivoted on their respective pins, w ich are fastened in the left side of the frame. The lower end of the rebound lever spring (11) is secured to the frame and the free end bears under the rear end of the rebound lever so that the latterq when the tri get is released, cams the hammer back to its safety position, an forces the trigger forward. Pressure upon the trigger causes its upper edge to en age the strut, and thereby raises the hammer unti nearly in the ul ~cock position, when the strut will escape from the trigger, and the hammer, under the action of the main-spring, will fall and strike the cartridge. A rojection on the up r part of the trigger," workin in a sot in t e frame, prevents til): cylinder from ma in more t an one-sixth of a revolution at a time by entering one o
of the frame, the rts are arranged to prevent the cocking of the hammer. The cy inder bolt is pivoted on the trigger pin, and its spring, bearing on the rebound lever arm, causes the nose of the bolt to project through a slot in the frame ready to enter one of the rectangular cuts in the cylinder surface. During the first movement of the trig er in cocking the revolver, the nose of the bolt is withdrawn, afiowing free rotation of the cylinder. The object of the bolt is to prevent rotation of the cylinder in transportation. The hand is attached by its pivot to the trigger, and, as the latter swings on its pin when the hammer is being cocked, the hand is raised and revolves the'cylir'ider, and alsojserves to lock 'the'cylinder in position at the time of firing. An abutment on the Side Plate Supports the hand spring in rear. The s ring ensures the en gement of the hand with the ratchet (y). T e revolver 18 cock by; hand by withdrawing the hammer by the pressure of the thum until its full-cock notch engages in the rear sharp corner Of the trigger. Pulling'the trigger then releases the hammer, lllqu'ig its firing pin if) to move forward and strike the cartridge. _ TI}, gocking lever is pivoted by its screw in a recess in the left side 'the frame, and so connected with the latch that it locks the
of the bullet and bridges the gap between barrel and cylinder as the cylinder is moved forward. A “ mitrailleuse ” pistol has also been constructed by the Braendlin Armoury Co., Ltd., on the “ pepper-box " pg’inciple, with fixed barrels, either four or six, arranged in pairs, and a special striking mechanism, in which there is no revolving chamber and no escape of gas at the breech. It gives stronger shooting than a revolver, but is more cumbrous, and has the serious defect that the shock of the discharge of one barrel sometimes prematurely fires a second barrel.
In 1865, Sharp, an American, patented an invention to remedy the escape of gas,in whichlthe four bgrrels of the pistol
the grooves nearest the rear end , " of the surface of the cylinder. When the cylinder is swung out,
. m; i milr
were drilled the full length out ‘of one block of metal. The barrels were slid forward by an under lever to load, and the firing was efiected by a revolving head no the hammer, set by the
action of cocking the pistol. . 'III; m; 50.53;)"
About 1878 Messrs Lancaster introduced both two- and fourbarrelled hammerless pistols, in, which an internal hammer ms worked by the pull of the trigger. In all the three weapons
and fires a charge of 1} drama of powder without unpleasant recoil. The duelling pistol, as made by Gartinne Renette of Paris, is capable of wonderfully accurate shooting, firing a 9 millimetre spherical bullet and about 12 grs. of powder. This
hammer 0r equivalent protuberance to catch as the pistol is drawn from the pocket; or to entangle if the weapon falls. An automatic safety bolt, whose length lies half across the palm of the hand, and ensures certainty of freedom at the time of shooting, blocks the action until the pistol is firmly gripped for use.
Brucbloading Pirlols.—Although the revolver has for many years practically superseded the pistol, some breech-loading
yarieties, of pistols are still made—the small'pocket pistol, for
weapon is far superior in accuracy to a revolver. Single-barrelled pistols, chambered for the -22 or 297/230 calibre cartridges, with a barrel of from 6 to 10 in. in length, are also made, and when titted witha detachable metal stock form excellent little weapons for target practice. _
Automatic Revolver.—The Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver isa weapon of a distinctly new design, in which for the first time the principle of utilizing the recoil of each shot to operate the mechanism is applied to the revolver. In appearance the weapon is very similar to the Webley service model. The simple pressure of the forefinger on the trigger, the pressure being released between each shot, is all that is required to fire the six successive shots of the revolver. It is supplied with a safety bolt worked by a thumb-piece, and Messrs Webley have introduced a clip loader which enables the six chambers to be reloaded at the same time. This weapon has met with considerable success, and is made in two calibrcs, the -455, 6 shot, 2 lb 5} oz. in weight; and the ~38 model, 8 shot, 2 lb 3 oz. in weight.
Automatic Pistols.—-These weapons are the latest and most advanced type of pistol, and it is anticipated by experts that they will ultimately supersede the revolver. They are made with one barrel and a magazine, on the principle of the repeating rifle, thus doing away with the escape of gas that takes place in revolvers between the chamber and the barrel.
Automatic pistols are so constructed that the force of the recoil is utilized to open the breech, extract the empty case, cock the pistol, reload the chamber with the top cartridge from the magazine, and close the breech, leaving the pistol ready to fire on again pressing the trigger.
The Mauser “ self-loading ".,pistolv (f-i . 9) is one of the earliest of the successful automatic weapons. it is usually -300 calibre, to shot, with a metal clip loader from which the cartridges are "stripped" into the magazine, weight 2} lb, length oi barrel 5} in.: bullet 85 grains. inithl velocity about 1394 f.s.
'iThe barrel (I) and body (2) are-in one piece; the latter contains the bolt (3). The barrel and body slide on the frame (1); the lo-shot ma azine (5) and the stock are in one piece With the rame, and the locg frame (6) and lock-work are contained in the rear part of it. The bolt (3), which is uare, slides in the body, and is kc t resscd up to the chamber by t e bolt a ring (8); the rear end 0 t is bolt spring bears a ainst the block 9). The striker and extractor are contained in t bolt. The bolt is locked by the bolt-lock (to). This is slotted through the centre and fits on to the rejection (ll) under the body; it is supported at the moment 0 firing by a proiection on the lock frame (la); the top of the bolt-lock has two teeth (13). which in the loaded and cocked position fit into two recesses in the bolt. and the bottom of its front end [in front of the body attachment (I 1)] has another tooth (14) which bears on the rocker (15). This rocker is pivoted at its bottom corner. The main-spring (16) bears in front a ainst the rocker, and in rear against the hammer mechanism. he action of the. mechanism is
as follows: on pressing the trigger, the tri ger nose lifts the lever (i8) which is attached to. the sear ([9), the itting of the sear allows the main-spring to act backwards on the hammer, which impinges on the striker and fires the cartridge. At this moment the bolt is locked by the two upper teeth (13) of the bolt-lock, which is itself held _up by the lock frame projection (13). But, the barrel body and bolt recoiling together 13,; of an in., the rear end of the boltil0ck (10) is no longer supported. the rocker (I5) acting on the forward tooth (t4) pulls down the bolt-lock and its u per teeth, the nose of the bolt-lock falling into the recess just Behind the prcg'ection (t2).’ Thus the barrel and body come to a standstill an the remaining recoil energy. is used in drivin back the bolt (nowfree) and extracting the cartridge case. W en this energy is used up the bolt spring (8) reasserts itself, drives the bolt forward and pushes another cartridge into the chamber as in the magazine rifle. and the main-spring, acting on the rocker, pulls u the boltlock again and engages the teeth (13) in the bolt, loc 'ng it for
the next shot. The releasing of the trigger brings the sear _(19) to its former position, cocking the pistol.
This pistol is usually supplied with a wooden holster which can also be attached to the grip of the pistol and so form a shoulder-ska for long~range shooting. it is sighted from 5c to 1000 yards. , ~
The Coll Automatic Pistol, calibre ~38 (fig. 10) consists of four main parts, namely'the frame (F), the'barrel (B), the slide (S), and the magazine (M). The frame forms, at its rear and lower part, the handle (A), which is hollow, and. contains the seat for themagazine. After being charged with seven. cartridges, the magazine is seated from below and held in place by the magazine catch (n) which slightly projects from the bottom of the handle. This projection serves to release the magazine from the catch, when it can be readily drawn from the handle for re-charging. In front of the handle is the trigger uard (g), in which the trigger (l) is found, and in the rear and a ove the grip the firingzmechanism is placed in the part of the frame called the receiver ( ). The firing mechanism consists of the hammer (h), the sear (10), the trigger (I), a safet device (a), the main-spring (z) and sear, spring (e), the lost er part 0 the latter serving to 0 rate the magazine catch. The top of the receiver extends forwar from the handle, and to it the barrel is attached by two short links, one (I) near the front end of the barrel, and the other (0) at its rear end; these links are pivoted to the receiver and also to the barrel, and allow the barrel to swing rearwards thereon. As both links are of the same length. the rearward movement of the barrel,in swinging on these links carries the barrel slightly downwards, but keeps its longitudinal axis in parallel ' sitions during all its movements. Below the barrel the receiver orms a tubular seat for the retractor spring (r), which in front _is closed by a plug (1:) fastened in the receiver by the lower pivot-pin (i) of the front barrel-link. The upper surface of the receiver and two longitudinal rooves on its sides form the seat for the slide, which is guided t ereon in its rearward and forward movements. The'rear part of the slide forms the- bolt or breech block (K), and the'front part forms a partly tubular cover (5) which encloses the barrel. In the forward part of the receiver is a transverse mortice extending through the retractor spring seat, and transverse'recesses‘in the forward rt of‘ the slide serve to admit a key; (m) which, passing 'throug the sides of the slide and thng the mortice, serves to lock the slide to the frame. The' retractor spring (r), in its seat in the frame, consists of a spiral spring. the rear end of which rests against the receiver, and the front end of which carries a piston (p). The rear face of the key (m) has a slight recess, and when the key is in its place the front end of the retractor s ring rests in this recess, thereby confining the key laterally.
he tension of the retractor spring is exerted to force the key and the slide to their forward position. Upon the barrel are provided three transverse ribs (b), and in the interior of the slide are three corres nding recesses. These serve to lock the barrel and the slide ti):me together when in their forward position. Betweenjhe locking recesses and the bolt, the slide has an opening on its right side for the ejection of the cartridge cases (I), and the bolt is provided with an extractor, a firing pin (1), a firing pin retractton
spring (q), and a firing pin lock (y). This latter is ivoted at the rear end in the top of the slide, and when depressed, ocks the firing pin in its retracted position, thus preventing its int from coming in contact with the cartridge primer. When raised, the firing pin lock releases the firing pin, and in this position also serva as the rear sight, being provided on the to with a sighting notch.
The operation of the istol is as ollows: When a charged ma zine (M) is inserted, the slide (5) is drawn once to the rear iay hand, thereby cocking the hammer (h). In this position of the slide, the carrier (6) and carrier spring in the magazine raise the topmost cartridge so as to bring it into the path of the bolt (K). On releasing the slide, it, with the bolt, is carried forward by the retractor spring (r), and during this movement the bolt forces the topmost cartridge into the barrel (B). As the slide approaches its forward position the front of the bolt encounters the rear end of the barrel and forces the latter' to its forward position. During this forward movement the barrel swin forward and upward on the links (I, o), and thus the locking rig: (b) on the barrel are carried into the corresponding locking recesses in the slide. The barrel and slide are thereby interlocked, and the pistol ready for firing.
A slight pull on the trigger (I) now serves to move the sear (to) so as to release the hammer (h) and fire a shot. The force of the powder gases drivir-g the bullet from the barrel is exerted rearwardli against the bolt, and, overcoming the inertia of the slide and t e tension of the retractor spring, causes the slide and the barrel to recoil together. After moving rearwards together, for a distance, enough to ensure the bullet havin passed from the barrel, the downward swinging movement of the arrel releases the latter from the slide and stops the barrel in its rearmost position. The momentum of the slide causes the latter to continue its rearward movement, thereby again cocking the hammer and compressin the retractor sprin , until, as the slide arrives at its rearrnost position, the empty 5 ell is ejected from the side of the pistol and another cartridge raised in front of the bolt. During the return or forward movement of the slide, caused by the retractor spring, the cartridge is driven into the barrel, and the slide and barrel are interlocked, thus making the pistol ready for another shot. These operations may be continued so long as there are cartrid es in the magazine, each discharge re uiring only the sli ht pul on the trigger. The pistol is provided With a safety evice (a) which makes it impossible to release the hammer unless the slide and barrel are in their first forward osition and interlocked.
In the Borchardt-L'euger pistol(fig. l l) the bolt is solidly supported
at the moment of firing by a toggle joint. The barrel (I A) and body (I B slide in the frame (1 L), the bolt (2) sliues in the body and is hel u to the breech by, the toggle joint 3 and 4 and the pins 5 and 7, whic secure the links of the toggle to the body. The centre of pin (6) is below those of the other pins so that the joint cannot Lend at the moment of firin . On the rear link (a) there is a swivel (9) which is connected to t e recoil spring (10) in the gri . This
istol is fired by a spring striker, like a rifle, instead of b ' a gamma. , he striker is within the bolt; it is cocked in the recoi position by a claw on the end of the front link (3 A) and held thus when ready to fire by the nose of the tri ger sear, these engaging with a projection (8 A) on the side of t e striker. The magazine (8 shot) is in :the lgrip. The action is as follows: the first cartridge is loaded from t e magazine by pullin back the toggle joint. As soon as the toggle joint is released t e recoil sprin acts and forces the bolt home, with the cartridge in front of it. n pressing the trigger the barrel and body recoil a little. Then the toggle joint comes