MorganTyre

Cartridges?

48 posts in this topic

the issue i got is that i dont see anyone teaching how to be responsible anymore....

it used to be that groups were in charge of their own powder,own people, and own guns. seems like anymore its being more regulated, with the resposiblity resting only on a few...and no longer the idividual....you know...the actually firing the peice!!!

i am not a big fan of of one centralized powder store....neither is the ATF....I LIKE THE "LOADING ZONES" idea better....where their are restricted areas...away from public....where rounds etc....can be loaded in each camp....

i am also not a big fan of one guy checking all the weapons for an event....a small event i can see....but for larger events??....too many times in recent events many of the participants were more knowledgable and experienced than the fellow trying to inspect my weapon!?!?...i see more danger in then "nut" behind the weapon than the weapon itself!?!....whos teaching them??

i believe the owner of the weapon should be taught to inspect their weapons...and know what to look for....

now.....i will follow the rules set forth by the event...so's i can play at that event....and i expect others to follow the rules our group sets forth at our events....thats a given.

but shouldnt the focus be on education of the folks behind the weapons....kinda the whole teach a fellow to fish idea???

ok...been up all night...no sleep...i'll re-readthispost later to see if i made any sence!?!

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but shouldnt the focus be on education of the folks behind the weapons....kinda the whole teach a fellow to fish idea???

I can fish with my fowler?

Sounds interesting...do I affix bayonet?

:rolleyes:

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I can fish with my fowler?

Sounds interesting...do I affix bayonet?

No, you simply take aim and shoot them from about 5 feet away. Owing to light refraction you'll probably not hit them as they aren't where they look to be. But the concussion will stun them and they float to the surface. Works fine in clear water and makes for a dandy lunch.

This works great on trout. However, I advise against using a fishing rod for bear.

Edited by Graydog

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There are plenty of places to learn to be responsible, M.A.d'Dogge. Most all serious reenactment groups run schools of the soldier. There are plenty of places on line where rules, safety instructions, loading info, etc., are listed.

When I'm Master Gunner for and event, do I trust that the crews have attended a school or even read this info?? Hell no. I've seen too many people in 25 years of firing cannon that show up without a clue of the proper way to hold the tools, what the safety minimum distances should be, how to tend the vent, or how to make a cartridge. I've seen guns go to the line that had the touchholes shot out, where the capsquires were not tight, the carriages were cracked, or even that they did not have a full set of tools for each gun. No, I want to see that each gun passes the safety standards, that there is sufficient crew and that they know what they are doing, and that they have not been drinking prior to going on the line. (That seems to show up a lot in pirate circles). I've seen people put Bic lighters to the touchhole, fail to pierce the charge and drop a couple of hundred grains behind the charge, smoking next to the magazine box, handling cartridge while the next gun is firing, firing point blank into tall dry grass, any number of stupid things.

I haven't seen ATF rules that recommend dispersal of powder, but I've been to plenty of state parks and forts where a single magazine is required. Most re-enactments do not let you make cartridges on site, you have to bring them pre made to the event, both artillery and small arms.

There is no second place when it comes to safety with black powder. You are either 100% or you are a danger. If there are musters out there with Master Gunners who don't know their stuff, then take it up with the organisers. If they are doing things you don't think are safe, stand down. Better to drive 200 miles for nothing than wind up in an ambulance. If enough people stand down, the organisers will get a clue pretty quick and get another Master Gunner. When it comes to blackpowder, both cannon and small arms, we have to get rid of this notion that 'we're pirates, we don't want no stinking rules'. Safety and common sense tells me that gunners of all types need to be professionals, just like Master Gunners in period.

Hawkyns

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Good advice! So I'll be sure to start with my muzzle in the water!

Here fishy fishy!

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'we're pirates, we don't want no stinking rules'.

Hawkyns

I must say I have always been amazed by this statement... seems to me they had a lot of their own rules... I doubt the successful ones would have been so without them

Good luck Hawkyns...

And Maddogge... I must agree with you... nothing wrong with educating the person holding the gun and holding them accountable for their actions. Back when I was with the British Brigade and the Continental Line, when a person screwed up and can actually only think of two accounts, everyone else didn't suffer... the person messing up did... and were promptly banned from future events.

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ok...after re-reading my post...and a nap....i am trying to remember what i was arguing about....? ;)

i am the Captain of the Marines(Master gunner/saftey officer) for our group....it is my responisibilty to train our members in drills and saftey with all the weapons we use....musket,small arms,canon,sword...etcetc....

in the past 20 odd years i have been a re-enactor(several genres)...including ACW with some original 6 and 12 pounders....and going thru artilary school....and being part of a group that actually helped delvelope some of the rules others use today.....i have sen a lot of ..."bad behavior" out in the feild. and for the most part i agree with most of what ya say.

but i do differ in thought....when it sounds like ya say its only up to a few whats safe?

when i train others on the guns(large bore and small)....that i am not the only one responsible for saftey!!....its up to each of them to also be responsible for their actions....and for those around them....many eyes see many things....anyone on my guns can run any position on my guns....thats how they are trained...including inspections before and after....saftey around them....long distance/non-verbal comunications(in case of situations).....etcetc.....but to install responsibility in each of them is the goal.

the trend i am seeing....now not sure if it from society in large or just the panty waisted lawyers or the gun haters......but i see a trend to start soley relying on only a few "master gunners"(or another word if ya wish).....with responsibilty for many...many with no responsiblies...and i believe its under those circumsatnces that the real danger lies.....

now dont get me wrong....i still believe that events should have saftey officers/master gunners etc....and that so should the individual groups....and that at least a meeting of "gunners" should take place before anyone takes the feild to go over saftey guidlines, and so forth....who then should comunicate it back to their respected groups....and anyone not playing by the rules should be dealt with.

but what i am not seeing...especially in the "PYRATE REALM"....is anyone TEACHING safe practices.??....and i see tooo many jumpin in with only limited experience....sayin.....I am the "master gunner"(word substituted to make point)....so listen to me.....blahblahblah......

again...powder is dangerous...and should be treated accordingly....but so are stupid people....and should also be dealt with accordingly.....

ok....somewhere in the diatribe...was supposed to be a point.....i guess in a nutshell......

i believe its everones responsiblity to be safe...and i dont paticularly care for the idea that some would take that responsiblity away.....just because they havent figured out how to properly train someone??

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I have to agree with "Dogge's statement about personal responsibility. Responsibility is a must when owning any firearm. I used to belong to a very irresponsible group at one time and now I'm paying for it with some loss of hearing. They are still doing their thing, I've moved on. Responsibility is a personal issue. I would think that if we as a group at an event see something out of line, it is our responsibility to make the matter known to those in charge. I also believe that a basic review of the events safety policies should be addressed at the Safety meetings. I know guns and I feel it is my responsibility to teach and counsel others in the proper handling of them if I see something out of line.

The Second Amendment is a right under the Bill of Rights. Along with that right come responsibility to keep that right.

My feelings, that's all.

Animal

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but i do differ in thought....when it sounds like ya say its only up to a few whats safe?

Not sure where you are getting that. Everyone on my crews are trained to all positions and everyone of them is a safety officer. Anyone can stop any gun's drill if they see something wrong.

I'm talking about chain of command. The organiser of the event determines which particular set of safety regs will be in effect- BAR, BB, NPS or whatever. The Master Gunner of the event is responsible to the Muster Master to ensure that all guns meet the regs, that all crews are properly trained, and that all safety protocols are in place and maintained. Each gun captain is responsible to the Master Gunner for the action and operation of his gun and crew.

Anything else and you have crews doing different drills on the line which can cause confusion, especially in tight quarters. You have people bumping into each other, cartridges being passed while guns are being fired, mixed signals about when a gun is loaded or misfired. It is also impossible to take the word of a gun captain that their gun meets regs. Just like the musket safety officer walks the line and checks half cock, cleared barrel, and ammo pouches, the Master Gunner must inspect every gun for safety. People have a tendency to overlook things on their own gun or crew due to familiarity.

As far as teaching in the Pyrate Realm, you are correct. There is a huge resistance to having an overall umbrella organisation with rules and procedures. Part of that comes from the whole "we're pyrates, we don't need no rules" mindset. Part of it comes from the fact that we are a massively diverse group, both in time period and focus. We have groups like mine, Elizabethan sea dogs with a hard authenticity focus, to GAoP groups that are mostly fantasy, and everything in between. I've done some teaching, 3 other crews and their commander, and they are now spreading that way of doing things to other crews. But that's a limited scope and involves a few crews in a couple of states. Anything that I am running willbe run to the standards I've been using for 20 plus years. But then I run into people who do things totally differently and refuse to conform to the rules of the event. The whole bloody independant streak that runs through pirate reenactors/recreationists/hobbyists is our biggest problem when it comes to safety.

Hawkyns

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On 'safety'; I like what one Southern Cal group (I will leave un-named unless they them selves so choose t' do so) have done - they let No One shoot with them who has not gone through their state's local fire arms safety training course. O'course that is naught a "black powder" safety course (even though th' two day long course and test does have a brief section on front loading powder arms) but at least it is something....after that it is, and always will be, up t' th' GROUP themselves t' enforce safety.

But then, with all th' training in th' world, all th' group 'n self regulating in th' world, there is always th' case that if ye put a weapon in th' hands o' a addle plated fool, ye have recipe for disaster.

I can tell ye o' th' time that Mrs Greydog jump'd all over me when me rifle went off while checking th' flint for spark after a cease fire was called - I had a miss fire on th' line, I held it down range and followed all procedures until procedure stated that I call for assistance, it was Greydog he'm self what stepped up, he too could not get it t' fire so he declared it a loss and dumped th' powder. After th' cease fire was called I returned t' me seat and began checking for fowling and cleaned off th' flint, checked it alignment....BUT, before I checked for spark I scooted me chair a bit closer t' th' line, pointed DOWN RANGE, waited until a fellow crew member coming me way had passed, then from me lap (it was very windy and I just wanted t' see if it was sparking) I pointed down range and pulled th' trigger - aye, it sparked - AND it fired!! :( (now remember, it had been dumped, as I recalled I too then dumped and tapped it again).

Well, Mrs Greydog came a rushing over and hollered at me "Mad L! Did Ye Know That Weapon Was Loaded?!!"

I replayed "It had miss fired, both Greydog and me self had dumped it" - what she did naught know was what was in me head; me head told me "there may still be some powder in there" so I made sure t' point down range and made SURE there was no one in front of the barrel BEFORE pulling th' trigger...I however was not Up To th' line, which actually would have been more proper and while still would have caused alarm among th' group (a rouge shooter) it at least would have discounted any doubt that I was still thinking 'safety' throughout my actions of putting finger t' trigger. (I can however assure you that if we where firing with live shot then I would have taken that extra step o' caution)

I do naught know how others play out there but me self, I think th' idea of everyone insisting that everyone in attendance have at th' least attended an official safety course of some kind, and not just a "pyrate organized" one but a federally sanctioned course - $35 or so dollars is NOT that expensive for 'safety' (aye, there be a written test as well, and some do not like "tests", I don't, but if they can not pass the test, then should they really be handling live powder??)

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after digging around i have come to the following conclusion and offer a beginning to a solution. If someone has something i've missed please throw it out there.

There is no federal black powder small arms training that will cover all the states. DOI/NPS what ever you want to call it has a curriculum, but parts vary from area to area and only count on their property.

Each state has its own set of twisted rules and regs to include transporting through the state to get to above said federal land. Did you know New York considers a light dragoon pistol a sawed off shotgun? one of our crew members recently took it upon himself to find out the hard way rather than call any one of four police officers in the crew who could have told him not to do it.

Each group/ crew/ event has its own way of doing things. the only thing that we will be able to accomplish in the near future is to agree to disagree about who has the best rules or the most experience doing this.

Lets begin a central database. Cascabel, can you start a sticky where we can warehouse this information? this will enable it to be available to incoming crews to review rather than just showing up on a doorstep not knowing the local expectations. Its not a fool proof plan, but its a start.

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Each group/ crew/ event has its own way of doing things. the only thing that we will be able to accomplish in the near future is to agree to disagree about who has the best rules or the most experience doing this.

Lets begin a central database. Cascabel, can you start a sticky where we can warehouse this information? this will enable it to be available to incoming crews to review rather than just showing up on a doorstep not knowing the local expectations. Its not a fool proof plan, but its a start.

Are you asking for a thread on local differences in regulations by group/event rules, or postings about differences in local laws, ordinances, etc.? Both are important, however, I find that along with differences in laws, there are also differences in how the laws are INTERPRETED by those in charge.

Often, laws are poorly and vaguely written and sometimes mis-applied by law enforcement officers. We don't want to have people relying on incorrect info, and getting into trouble.

>>>>> Cascabel

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after digging around i have come to the following conclusion and offer a beginning to a solution. If someone has something i've missed please throw it out there.

There is no federal black powder small arms training that will cover all the states. DOI/NPS what ever you want to call it has a curriculum, but parts vary from area to area and only count on their property.

Each state has its own set of twisted rules and regs to include transporting through the state to get to above said federal land. Did you know New York considers a light dragoon pistol a sawed off shotgun? one of our crew members recently took it upon himself to find out the hard way rather than call any one of four police officers in the crew who could have told him not to do it.

Each group/ crew/ event has its own way of doing things. the only thing that we will be able to accomplish in the near future is to agree to disagree about who has the best rules or the most experience doing this.

Lets begin a central database. Cascabel, can you start a sticky where we can warehouse this information? this will enable it to be available to incoming crews to review rather than just showing up on a doorstep not knowing the local expectations. Its not a fool proof plan, but its a start.

I am very pleased that my comment has started a discussion of pirate cannon safety, tis whot I intended. I hope it will lessen the chances of accidents. I appreciate Hawkyns point about the ability of military style re-enactor groups to achieve safety control. And it is impressive, I have done some Schools of the Piece with them. It is a difficult situation though, when the cost of standing down is more than having driven 200 miles for nothing. When you are a pirate for hire with a contract with the festival, and YES, your contract does specify that you have the right to refuse anything unsafe, if you invoke that clause very much, you won't work very much, because the other pirates that are "easier to work with" will be hired. Now, I would rather not work than have someone hurt, but I am hoping that the Pub may get us all to some level of knowledge. Right now, I am moving to the other end of the firing line when I encounter unsafe cannon practice. Which does not fix the problem.

Crudbeard

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cascabel, thankyou for looking at this. the intent is to be able to have pub members be able to get ther hand on the event rules of the day for which ever event they are headed to which means we will all need to share ahead of time. now this is assuming that the event rules follow state and federal law. This will also make guidelines, rules, and practices available as a reference to others. It in no way should be used as a teaching tool or replace common sense. I think that us trying to post and decipher 51 sets of laws will end up defeating the purpose of the thread and might be better suited with a home of their own.

an examle. Lets say you are coing to Hampton, you simply hit that sticky and you know what we are expecting from visiting shooters. In return, Harry posts for PIP so we know what to exect when we get there. Eventually, Hopefully.... "Hey Cascabel, Hawkys, Crudbeard, Maddogge, who ever- hey we are just starting up and interested in learning about black powder for an event. We want to medel them after whats on the pub, but we need hands on- can you come out and teach us?"

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cascabel, thankyou for looking at this. the intent is to be able to have pub members be able to get ther hand on the event rules of the day for which ever event they are headed to which means we will all need to share ahead of time. now this is assuming that the event rules follow state and federal law. This will also make guidelines, rules, and practices available as a reference to others. It in no way should be used as a teaching tool or replace common sense. I think that us trying to post and decipher 51 sets of laws will end up defeating the purpose of the thread and might be better suited with a home of their own.

an examle. Lets say you are coing to Hampton, you simply hit that sticky and you know what we are expecting from visiting shooters. In return, Harry posts for PIP so we know what to exect when we get there. Eventually, Hopefully.... "Hey Cascabel, Hawkys, Crudbeard, Maddogge, who ever- hey we are just starting up and interested in learning about black powder for an event. We want to medel them after whats on the pub, but we need hands on- can you come out and teach us?"

I think the pirate community might be better served by encouraging the event coordinators to post this information on the individual event websites. It really is important for prospective participants to know the rules ahead of time, and I think the people that run the events need to be made to understand the importance of getting the information out there. It could be made part of an information package, such as Harry makes available for PiP.

The problem with posting the information here on the PUB is that what was current in past years may no longer be valid for this year, and the "official safety officers" and their views on the accepted procedures may not always be the same from year to year. For instance, in the early years of the Hampton Blackbeard Festival, it was me, but I have not been there for several years, so things have probably changed to some degree. Another issue is that not everybody reads the PUB, so this should not be the only source of this info. It really belongs on the event websites.

Having said all that, I would encourage those in authority to post the information here on the PUB in more than one location prior to the event, in addition to making it available on the event websites. It should probably be posted here in the Armory section and in the Raids section also as the event draws near.

Until such time as there is a universally accepted set of rules that applies to all events, that seems the best course of action to me.

>>>> Cascabel

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Until such time as there is a universally accepted set of rules that applies to all events, that seems the best course of action to me.

OK... Once upon a time I was in the NCWA (National Civil War Association... (Kinda funny when it was only on the West Coast....)

But they had rules for handling black Powder, for both the artillery, muskets and pistols.... Simple enough to understand, and be safe...

Now PiP has their standards, and I would guess that Hampton and other events have their standards..... I would be kinda nice if we had a standard kinda Pyrate standard.....

I disagree with Haykyns on the handling/storage of Powder (but he may also be talking about the cannon's powder, and not small arms)

SO we argue it here.... then establish a set of "rules" .... something safe, but workable....that we can agree on.....

OK... I go to a Pyrate event.... I know the (well..... call them Pub rules for right now, until we come up with a better name...) if they know the Pub rules... no problem.... I'm not typing this right... but if we set our own standards for safety, and we know them.... and they are accepted....and safe.... we should be able to play at one event or the other.....kinda the universally accepted set of rules"

If someone is going to write "the Rules"... why shouldn't if be us?.....

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cascabel, thankyou for looking at this. the intent is to be able to have pub members be able to get ther hand on the event rules of the day for which ever event they are headed to which means we will all need to share ahead of time. now this is assuming that the event rules follow state and federal law. This will also make guidelines, rules, and practices available as a reference to others. It in no way should be used as a teaching tool or replace common sense. I think that us trying to post and decipher 51 sets of laws will end up defeating the purpose of the thread and might be better suited with a home of their own.

an examle. Lets say you are coing to Hampton, you simply hit that sticky and you know what we are expecting from visiting shooters. In return, Harry posts for PIP so we know what to exect when we get there. Eventually, Hopefully.... "Hey Cascabel, Hawkys, Crudbeard, Maddogge, who ever- hey we are just starting up and interested in learning about black powder for an event. We want to medel them after whats on the pub, but we need hands on- can you come out and teach us?"

I think the pirate community might be better served by encouraging the event coordinators to post this information on the individual event websites. It really is important for prospective participants to know the rules ahead of time, and I think the people that run the events need to be made to understand the importance of getting the information out there. It could be made part of an information package, such as Harry makes available for PiP.

The problem with posting the information here on the PUB is that what was current in past years may no longer be valid for this year, and the "official safety officers" and their views on the accepted procedures may not always be the same from year to year. For instance, in the early years of the Hampton Blackbeard Festival, it was me, but I have not been there for several years, so things have probably changed to some degree. Another issue is that not everybody reads the PUB, so this should not be the only source of this info. It really belongs on the event websites.

Having said all that, I would encourage those in authority to post the information here on the PUB in more than one location prior to the event, in addition to making it available on the event websites. It should probably be posted here in the Armory section and in the Raids section also as the event draws near.

Until such time as there is a universally accepted set of rules that applies to all events, that seems the best course of action to me.

>>>> Cascabel

I agree with Cascabel on the small arms, makes sense to me. But I don't know as much about how they are handled as I would like, as I don't really get to do much of them, being aways it seems on the Great Guns. I would advocate, and have been, when anyone will lissen ta an old fool, that we all abide by the American Artillery Association Cannon rules, as they are universally accepted. Put together many decades ago primarily by Matt Switlik, one of the original gurus of modern shooting of antique artillery, they are simple, clear, and have not changed. You can easily google them by name or at Artilleryman magazine, which I also recommend as a source for finding out what some other damn idiot did ta cause an accident, so you don't do the same thing.

Crudbeard

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Most of Switlik's rules are OK, though heavily slanted to ACW. I have 3 problems with them. One is the plastic baggie. I will not put plastic down my bore for any reason. It is not always combustable, it can create static, and it does not always mold well to the cartridge mandrel. Second is the gauntlet issue. I've been round and round on this with a lot of gunners and I'm still conflicted. I've always used them, not neccesarily the welder's gauntlets, but generally a regular leather gauntlet. After talking with a bunch of people in the BB, I understand the concept that they lessen your 'feel' for what is happening in the bore. I've run with and without and I'm not sure which I prefer. I understand the safety issue, but I have to wonder if it makes a difference if you are double wet swabbing and keeping to the three minute rule. Last is wadding. I do wad my guns for blank firing when not firing at opposing forces. I use cut green grass. It breaks up, leaves no mess and increases volume/cuts powder charge. I think that there are some wads that should never be used like wadded newspaper or florists foam, but banning all wads in all cases goes too far in my opinion.

Hawkyns

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Artillery Rules?? HELL YES!!!! On any line that I am in charge of. If someone won't submit to inspections of gun, kit and cartridge, either they leave the line or I stand down. And if there's a crew on the line that is doing something unsafe and the Master Gunner doesn't do something about it, I stand my guns down, also. If it's a crew I don't know, I want to see them do the drill dry before I let them load powder. If they are doing something not in accordance with the rules, they fix it or stand down. Iron Hand, I would not let you fire your cartridges on my line. Aluminum foil or nothing.

Wasn't arguin' about the rules, just statin' my preference in the field....I will, However, make sure I have Aluminum Cartridge on hand when required.....

I would like to see a standard set of rules for Pirate Artillery inacted. I've never read the BAR rules on artillery but will after this post..I'm sure They're right up there among the Best. As for small arms I'm a member of the Continental Line and adhere to their cartridge and handling rules.........Thanks Hawkyns.....

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Most of Switlik's rules are OK, though heavily slanted to ACW. I have 3 problems with them. One is the plastic baggie. I will not put plastic down my bore for any reason. It is not always combustable, it can create static, and it does not always mold well to the cartridge mandrel. Second is the gauntlet issue. I've been round and round on this with a lot of gunners and I'm still conflicted. I've always used them, not neccesarily the welder's gauntlets, but generally a regular leather gauntlet. After talking with a bunch of people in the BB, I understand the concept that they lessen your 'feel' for what is happening in the bore. I've run with and without and I'm not sure which I prefer. I understand the safety issue, but I have to wonder if it makes a difference if you are double wet swabbing and keeping to the three minute rule. Last is wadding. I do wad my guns for blank firing when not firing at opposing forces. I use cut green grass. It breaks up, leaves no mess and increases volume/cuts powder charge. I think that there are some wads that should never be used like wadded newspaper or florists foam, but banning all wads in all cases goes too far in my opinion.

Hawkyns

i'll have o agree wit ya on NO plastic baggies....for all the mentioned reasons.

and as far as the gauntlets....personally just feel better if everyone usees em...i have used em and not....and think its just good practice for the (up front folks) to use em....and a leather thumb stall a most....

as far as worm...where i think the contoversy about usen a glove or no comes from....being able to "feel" the left over tin....i have experienced that ya can actually still feel it when the worm comes in contact with it...and will "slide out " different when ya got ahold of it...also...i believe ya can feel the vibrations thru the muzle of the gun....like being one with the gun...the gun speaks to you.....

sorry...had a zen moment.

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Most of Switlik's rules are OK, though heavily slanted to ACW. I have 3 problems with them. One is the plastic baggie. I will not put plastic down my bore for any reason. It is not always combustable, it can create static, and it does not always mold well to the cartridge mandrel. Second is the gauntlet issue. I've been round and round on this with a lot of gunners and I'm still conflicted. I've always used them, not neccesarily the welder's gauntlets, but generally a regular leather gauntlet. After talking with a bunch of people in the BB, I understand the concept that they lessen your 'feel' for what is happening in the bore. I've run with and without and I'm not sure which I prefer. I understand the safety issue, but I have to wonder if it makes a difference if you are double wet swabbing and keeping to the three minute rule. Last is wadding. I do wad my guns for blank firing when not firing at opposing forces. I use cut green grass. It breaks up, leaves no mess and increases volume/cuts powder charge. I think that there are some wads that should never be used like wadded newspaper or florists foam, but banning all wads in all cases goes too far in my opinion.

Hawkyns

Interestingly enough, I have the same feelings about the concerns you mentioned. Wow, on the same page! I also won't use a baggie, and I think there was a article in Artilleryman years ago that also expressed an issue with the chance of a static spark from the plastic. I know that a lot of the replica ships use 'em, as they commonly soak the bore until water spouts out the vent. I must confess though, that we do not dry sponge. My feeling is that dry sponging is required when the wet sponging is too wet due to inexperienced gun crews. I worry that the dry sponge will not soak up all the excess water. And remember the big gun disaster the US Navy had a decade ago, finally attributed to wet black powder in the breech I think.

We also do not use gauntlets, except on the vent, and for the same reason you mention. We found that there was too much fumbling and not enough "feel" in the ramming process. Ya don't want your safety equipment to cause an accident. Instead we use a "safety rammer" when firing multiple shots. And, while we don't wad anymore, I have always understood that bread and grass are pretty much the only acceptable wadding for the Great Guns.

The biggest difference I have noticed in the pirate community's gun drill is that nobody but us brushes the vent. While it enhances safety, brushing also keeps friction primers going in and out of the vent better to avoid a problem there, if that is the way you are firing. I happen to agree with three minutes, not that 2 minutes 55 seconds is unsafe, but we all know that slower is safer. We find that our crews, doing the AAA style drill that we use, time out at about three minutes. My feeling is that three minutes between shots is slow for festival audiences used to the pace of action movies, and we do get the impression that we should 'hurry it up" sometimes. Particularly when firing in battery, the tendency is to for gun crews to get in a race to be ready before the other guns. So we try to resist the hurrys, and keep our heads, where they belong of course, on our shoulders.

Crudbeard

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And remember the big gun disaster the US Navy had a decade ago, finally attributed to wet black powder in the breech I think.

Here's an informative article on the Iowa's turret explosion. While black powder was present as priming it's not the item that malfunctioned on that tragic day.

Link:

Iowa Turret Explosion

This is a long read so I don't want to repost the entire text. In a nutshell high speed mechanical over ramming caused the explosion is the current theroy. The ram ripped open a secondary propellant holder due to over ram, via the ramming speed there was enough friction for the spilled smokless powder pellets (propellant) to get hot enough to burn and they then set off the black powder priming charge layer which in turn detonated all bags.

Edited by Graydog

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And remember the big gun disaster the US Navy had a decade ago, finally attributed to wet black powder in the breech I think.

Here's an informative article on the Iowa's turret explosion. While black powder was present as priming it's not the item that malfunctioned on that tragic day.

Link:

Iowa Turret Explosion

This is a long read so I don't want to repost the entire text. In a nutshell high speed mechanical over ramming caused the explosion is the current theroy. The ram ripped open a secondary propellant holder due to over ram, via the ramming speed there was enough friction for the spilled smokless powder pellets (propellant) to get hot enough to burn and they then set off the black powder priming charge layer which in turn detonated all bags.

Thankee kindly Graydog fer tha correction. Me old pate ain't whot it uster be, an holds like a leaky bucket. I'm now thinkin that the wet blackpowder accident was maybe a blank firing by the National Guard? I'll have to go through my old issues of Artilleryman an try ta find the article. But, I do remember a discussion of some accident that was attributed to wet blackpowder holding a spark in the breech, with a caution on too wet a barrel. Anybody else know?

Crudbeard

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