Recent content by Canute Rex

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  1. Canute Rex

    Watch Your Watch

    Some random time facts. In the British army of the 18th century, dawn was defined as when a black and a white thread, held side by side, could be told apart. In the British navy of the time, a ship at sea "made noon" every day there was a clear sky by measuring the height of the sun with a...
  2. Canute Rex

    Wonder Wads

    If you have a pair of felt liner type boots, eventually the bottoms of the liners get pounded down and you have to get new ones. The old ones make fantastic wads, cut with an arch punch. I melt 2/3 beeswax, 1/3 olive oil and drop them in and fish them out with a fork. If they are too thick you...
  3. Canute Rex

    Radioactive frizzen?

    After reading this I have to say that using lead acetate in slow match seems like less of a problem.
  4. Canute Rex

    slow match

    I got some from Dixie a while back and it was too small. Maybe 1/4" in diameter. You really want something 3/8" at least, and 1/2" isn't too large. If the match is well made it will burn into a large red cone on the end. Making your own match is not too difficult. I have posted a set of...
  5. Canute Rex

    Woods walks

    The main problem I run into at woods walks is the variety of ranges. I'd recommend you try a horizontal line target. Use masking tape and spray paint to make a 1" horizontal line on some pieces of white cardboard. Use a dead center hold, right on the line, at 50 yards, 25 yards, 10 yards, and...
  6. Canute Rex

    Leather wads in a cap and ball?

    I have used orange hand cleaner as a patch lube and it makes the bore easy to clean at the end of the day. It dries quickly, so only as a lube for range shooting. Also a bit acidic with the orange terpenes in it, so rinse well after using. I make my own over-powder wads out of old wool liners...
  7. Canute Rex

    Crucible Steel

    Yes, Doc Ivory. Bessemer's process was to blow heated air through molten iron. The issue was that, as originally smelted, cast iron had far too much carbon in it. Maybe 2-3%. Usable tool steel is below 1.25% and mostly below 1%. Blowing the air through oxidized away the carbon. At first they...
  8. Canute Rex

    How to create more interest in traditional muzzleloading.

    A few thoughts. Muzzleloading is always going to be a niche pastime. We can't expect to be the most popular kid in school. That said... There are a lot of routes into a hobby. If we want more participation we need to keep all those routes open and welcoming. Some people are history buffs. Some...
  9. Canute Rex

    Cold! Still Shoot?

    I've been doing the primitive biathlons in Vermont and New Hampshire for a number of years. That's a timed snowshoe run with gong targets. A hit knocks five minutes off your time. Great fun, quite popular, and, of course, a winter sport. They are always in January/February and it's always cold...
  10. Canute Rex

    Explosive Cannonballs

    To expand on Smoothshooter's post: Years ago, divers in a Vermont pond found boxes of dozens of explosive shells from the Civil war sitting on the bottom. Apparently they had been given to the Vermont militia after the war and then disposed of in the pond. They were sealed and still live...
  11. Canute Rex

    Brown bess questions

    Abbl, I would recommend that you do as little as possible to this antique. The point is not to make it look new - it has a history, and that should show. Do what you need to stabilize it, to prevent further corrosion or damage to the wood. Don't polish anything. If you put a new frizzen on it...
  12. Canute Rex

    How common were firearms on English ships during the Tudor period?

    From what I have read, the second half of the 1500s was a time of fast transition from the longbow to the matchlock. The Mary Rose had scores of longbows in the hold. By 1600 longbowmen were considered obsolete. Shakespeare, writing at the end of the 1500s, mentioned guns and gunners regularly...
  13. Canute Rex

    Any Good Matchlocks?

    Echoing Flint62, anything Brian Anderson makes you will balance perfectly and shoulder perfectly. He can make you a museum quality copy or a graceful pastiche of an original firearm. I own one of his guns and have fired or shouldered a number. They all feel "just so."
  14. Canute Rex

    Grooming standards in the Continental Army

    There is a story from the 1840s in Massachusetts of a man who decided he was going to wear a full beard. He was asked to shave by his fellow townsfolk, and then demanded, and then ordered, to no avail. Finally, the townsfolk found his facial hair so offensive that a mob formed, grabbed him, and...
  15. Canute Rex

    rifle name

    I don't generally name my guns, but Brian Anderson made me a Brescian style wheellock that is so elegant I felt I had to. She is La Donnina (con la Voce Forte). That is, "The Little Woman (with the Loud Voice).