Re: Killdeer

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Posted by Mike Zeares on December 20, 1997 at 20:29:32:

In Reply to: Re: Killdeer posted by Bill Rooks on December 20, 1997 at 14:57:22:

: Jo,

: I am sure there are some who can tell me if I am wrong or right
: with perhaps more authority than myself, but I am sure regarding the cannons and was a safety issue. Closing air off the vents while they swabbed and then rammed fresh powder
: down the bore. That way, any live sparks attached to bits of
: cloth, paper whatever from the last firing would not ignite the
: next charge prematurely. I have not been a cannoneer when
: reenacting, but believe one of the commands given during the
: loading process of cannons is "stop your vents" i.e. block them
: off to exlude air. The compression of the rammer and charge
: going down the bore with a live spark still down there would act
: like a bellows in a forge and ignite that sucker white hot!!
: So "stop the vent" and keep that from happening. Anybody have
: a better idea?

: Bill Rooks

No, you've got it on the nose. This was such an important thing that gunners would use their thumbs to stop the touch hole if they had to. I assume that re-enactors don't try for this level of authenticity. :-)


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