There are two patterns of nipple wrenches issued to Regiments-
Sergts with cramp, and privates without cramps, in proportion of 1 of the former to 7?? of the latter.
The Sergeants Wrench consists of a stem in the centre of which is the oil bottle. On one side of it is the mainspring cramp, and on the opposite side is the pricker, screwed on to the stem. At the bottom of this is a square hole for unscrewing the nipple, and above this is a screw hole into which the ball drawer screws.
At the other end of the stem the punch or drift screws in, and forms the stopper to the oil bottle, there being a small leather washer on the drift to prevent the oil from oozing out.
Across the top of the oil bottle is a cross piece with a large screw driver at one end and a small one at the other, over the latter the worm or charge drawer is screwed.
On the side of the mainspring cramp the stem is made flat and roughened to give it greater purchase in holding the mainspring.
The cross piece is kept on by the punch.
The Ball drawer, drift or punch and Worm or Charge Drawer are all threaded so as to screw on to the point of the ramrod.
The large screw driver passes through the slot at the head of the ramrod which thus forms a kind of handle.
The Privates Nipple Wrench differs from the one just described in having no punch, ball drawer or mainspring cramp, but attached to the stopper of the oil bottle is a pin called the oil pin.
All the parts of the nipple wrench are made of steel hardened and tempered. The same pattern nipple wrench is issued for all Arms, altho varying a little in size with the bore.
Those for the Whitworth rifle have no worm as the bore is too small to admit of the double pronged screw being used.
All the parts of the nipple wrench are separately marked with the view marks.
A jag also is made separate for the Whitworth rifle to screw on to the point of the rammer. This was found necessary as the jag at the head of the rammer weakened it too much.
Wrenches for Cavalry Carbines have a projecting male screw to screw up into the cup of the rammer. There is a male screw on the worm, drift and ball drawer for this purpose. A separate jag is also made for the Cavalry Carbine.
By: G.C. Holden