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I have in mind a device somewhere in between a firearms trigger and a clock escapement. One way it could be constructed is as follows:

  1. A crank would displace a linearly moving slider backwards, so that it compresses a spring.
  2. Eventually the crank would let the slider slip, so that the spring shoots it forward, where it could again be caught by the crank on its next turn.

However, this description is not essential to my question. I simply wish to deliver the idea to the reader, all because I do not have a name for it.

It is this name that I am seeking, so that I can further look it up, to hopefully find, study and re-use previously developed constructions of this kind.

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I remembered the concept but not the name so I searched a few terms and found that Wikipedia calls it a quick return mechanism. Many such mechanisms are linkages (requiring no springs and catches, unlike your idea) and therefore may be called more specifically quick return linkages.

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