Pistol, Tail, No. 58 Mk 1
This pistol is a simple impact mechanism consisting of a brass body with a central channel to accommodate a heavy striker. The striker is retained by a small brass cross, which is fastened to the top of the striker by a copper pin. In the normal condition, the four tabs of the brass cross extend outwards over the top of the pistol body, preventing the striker from descending.
Two arming-wire holes are drilled in separate planes at 90° to each other. The hole to be used is that which gives the more favorable angle of pull-off for the arming wire from the pistol to the fuzing unit. Parallel to one of these arming wire holes, and about *4 in. above it, is located a safety-pin hole.
Early issues of the Pistol No. 58 Mk I were conversions of No. 30 pistol bodies. A heavy brass plug was fitted into the top of the pistol body and held in place with four screws. The later Mk I body is machined from one piece of brass. In addition, the early Mk I had a circumferential groove cut around the knurling on the outside of the pistol body similar to the one in the No. 30 pistol, except, that the groove was not painted green.
The use of this pistol is restricted to high level bombing operations, as there is danger of non-functioning from low altitudes. Three of these pistols, located 120° apart in the base plate, are used with the DP bombs. The striker used with this pistol is of the needle type; thus only sensitive-type detonators can be used.
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