Fuse or not?

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

SOLANCO

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Messages
406
Reaction score
409
Location
Lancaster County, PA
Not new. Neither to firearms in general nor BP/ML in particular. But I have developed a late life itch for a ML BP canon. Spend a lot of time looking at Hern's web site. I am curious about firing the beast.
Videos on here run to fuses. Reading Patrick OBrien's Jack Aubrey series suggests the Royal Navy filled the touch hole of a loaded canon with BP rather than a fuse and lit it with a slow match when ready to fire. Seems that would provide superior accuracy when trying to hit a moving target from a moving platform. A function of shortening "lock time" if you like.
Any thoughts?
 

tenngun

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
14,946
Reaction score
6,363
Location
Republic mo
Yes the gun captain had a powder horn and the top of the gun had a flash pan. On a war ship a tub of sand was set up between guns with poles stuck in and lit matches in in the poles to be graves for firing
By the time of O’Brian’s stories, the British developed a flintlock mechanism that was fit on to the gun when the ship cleared for action. The matches just for emergencies.
For a while it gave a one up over the French.
By percussion era some guns could fire with a cap.
For the most part fuses were rare. Feather quills could be filled with powder and inserted in the vent. Even on land most gun commanders had ‘priming horns, that were full sized horns filled with musket powder.
 

SOLANCO

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Messages
406
Reaction score
409
Location
Lancaster County, PA
Yes the gun captain had a powder horn and the top of the gun had a flash pan. On a war ship a tub of sand was set up between guns with poles stuck in and lit matches in in the poles to be graves for firing
By the time of O’Brian’s stories, the British developed a flintlock mechanism that was fit on to the gun when the ship cleared for action. The matches just for emergencies.
For a while it gave a one up over the French.
By percussion era some guns could fire with a cap.
For the most part fuses were rare. Feather quills could be filled with powder and inserted in the vent. Even on land most gun commanders had ‘priming horns, that were full sized horns filled with musket powder.
Thank you. That is a lot of fascinating information and I love it.
So....why do so many videos of bp cannons in use now show fuses in use?
 

tenngun

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
14,946
Reaction score
6,363
Location
Republic mo
Folks can place a fuse and step back. In real action people were burned by flash or hit by recoiling guns. So fuse is just a nice way rod everyone to be clear
 

Whitworth

45 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
539
Reaction score
727
Location
Elk Ridge Mountain, Washington County Maryland
Since ship's gunning had to timed to the rise and fall of the ship a burning fuse would be too difficult to time for a precise shot. The glowing match to the primed touch hole could be considered instantaneous for all practical purposes.
 

SOLANCO

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Messages
406
Reaction score
409
Location
Lancaster County, PA
After the vent was primed, a "linstock" with slow match was used to light the primer powder. The long handle allowed you to be to the rear side of the gun to avoid recoil.
Zulu







Don't think I'd want my bare toes under the gun truck when it went off!!!!
 

SOLANCO

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Messages
406
Reaction score
409
Location
Lancaster County, PA
Folks can place a fuse and step back. In real action people were burned by flash or hit by recoiling guns. So fuse is just a nice way rod everyone to be clear
Remember the character riding the atomic bomb after it dropped from the plane in Dr. Strangelove? Wonder if any of the tars road the cannon when it recoiled.
 

Bon Sauvage

45 Cal.
Joined
Mar 16, 2007
Messages
525
Reaction score
8
At Ft. Vancouver, WA (on the site of the original HBC factory) there are two ships 18 pdrs facing the South gate. Each of them has an area around the touch hole that has been cut away to allow powder to collect when poured from the horn instead of it rolling off the sides of the tube. For whatever reason the four 3 pdrs in the Bastion do not have this feature.
 

BCarp

40 Cal.
Joined
Oct 30, 2004
Messages
198
Reaction score
7
I use this quick fuse, and touch it off with slowmatch held in a linstock. Ignition is virtually instantaneous!

 

Commodore Swab

40 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
713
Reaction score
795
That looks comparable to what I use. Professionals use either a very fast fuse or friction primers not slow fireworks fuse
 

Attachments

tenngun

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
14,946
Reaction score
6,363
Location
Republic mo
Don't think I'd want my bare toes under the gun truck when it went off!!!!
And keep in mind the conditions. Big ships with big guns might be in twelve foot centers. Each gun spread out in to about two feet of that distance. Leaving the men about eight feet to work in.
Smaller ships with smaller guns might be on eight foot centers.
Foot run over with a six pounder truck going to feel about the same as a thirty two pounder
 

Davey Boy

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
276
Reaction score
133
Location
Florida Panhandle
I converted my little cannon from fuse to #11cap

I couldn't fire more than once without removing the nipple and cleaning the fuse hole to the bore

From what I have learned on the forun, it is definitely time to revisit the cap

I also wanted a nice clean design for lanyard mechanism to strike the cap, it there are any for 12" long scale cannons please help

I will get some pictures and videos and share

dave
 

flintlock75

45 Cal.
Joined
Sep 23, 2007
Messages
554
Reaction score
26
Not new. Neither to firearms in general nor BP/ML in particular. But I have developed a late life itch for a ML BP canon. Spend a lot of time looking at Hern's web site. I am curious about firing the beast.
Videos on here run to fuses. Reading Patrick OBrien's Jack Aubrey series suggests the Royal Navy filled the touch hole of a loaded canon with BP rather than a fuse and lit it with a slow match when ready to fire. Seems that would provide superior accuracy when trying to hit a moving target from a moving platform. A function of shortening "lock time" if you like.
Any thoughts?
When I first started with cannons I used a fuse , we had an incident where we had several guns set up and wanted to time the shots one after the other, so all guns were set and fuses lit, the first gun fired then number 2 just as #3 fire . People appeared down range where there should have been none. 3 more guns went off with no time to react. No one was hurt and those down range never even knew how close this was to disaster. That was in 1993, I have not used a fuse since. If we all had used linstocks the firing could have been stopped, once a fuse is lit you are committed.
 

andy52

40 Cal
MLF Supporter
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
431
Reaction score
396
Location
Missouri
Remember the character riding the atomic bomb after it dropped from the plane in Dr. Strangelove? Wonder if any of the tars road the cannon when it recoiled.
Not many people would even know what your referring to with the word "Tar" but it's nice that someone knows the meaning.
 

nightwolf1974

40 Cal.
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
495
Reaction score
132
That looks comparable to what I use. Professionals use either a very fast fuse or friction primers not slow fireworks fuse
I use 8" (12" on the big 3" cannon) of the slow green cannon fuse you buy in a gunshop. I don't want near my cannons when they go off....they jump!
 

Commodore Swab

40 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jul 5, 2012
Messages
713
Reaction score
795
And if the fuse doesn't go off? I know "I've never had it happen"

The delay is the problem to me. I like to know boom now without a delay. Anything wrong you know there is a problem compared to a maybe. A friend of mine is of the same mindset with his 12 pounder.
 
Top