Author Topic: More Myths  (Read 17361 times)

Steamingspud

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More Myths
« on: September 13, 2009, 03:37:40 AM »
So the last myths I put up went great, and a load of responses. I got a few more for ye to think about.

In 11th grade, we saw a movie on the battle of Gettysburg, and how intense the firefight was. Smoke, blood, havoc, all the not-so-fun stuff. It mentioned that even today it is common to find old rifles and shots in the dirt, which I thought was plausible. But the thing that caught my attention was how it said opposing shots would collide in the air to mush together. Please do not try this at home, I do not question your accuracy but the accuracy of your partner in testing might not be so great.

This ones controversial. If you haven't heard, theres a policy when enlisting into the army that the recruit must have at least two teeth. This was so he could bite open the paper cartridges when loading, which is a fact I don't deny. But what I've heard also is that grooming standards for hair was regulated because when loading hair would get caught in the barrel and delay the shooter. First off has anyone done this and second do you think that is the real reason for the age old policy?

OK, last one, and it's just for kicks. No, this has no factual evidence, and do not believe I am really as gullible to think so. Everyone know the Battle of New Orleans? The song I mean. How possible do you think it is to launch a cannon ball out of an alligator? Thats another 'don't try this... anywhere' things.

G'night folks

Steamingspud

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2009, 03:45:39 AM »
I'm gonna throw this one in too, I was actually debating asking this before I ever saw this post but I was just, naw. They'll call me crazy. But here goes, cause I ain't the only one to think this:

I hate to mention this but I read somewhere that years ago if the barrel was too glass-smooth they would urinate in it and let it sit overnight to restore accuracy. Anyone else ever hear of this?

Offline SCLoyalist

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2009, 04:17:49 AM »
Bullets colliding in air:  I remember seeing two bullets that had collided and fused back in 1960 at an exhibit for the Civil War Centennial in Atlanta.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 05:07:25 AM by SCLoyalist »

Daryl

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2009, 06:04:43 AM »
I'm gonna throw this one in too, I was actually debating asking this before I ever saw this post but I was just, naw. They'll call me crazy. But here goes, cause I ain't the only one to think this:

I hate to mention this but I read somewhere that years ago if the barrel was too glass-smooth they would urinate in it and let it sit overnight to restore accuracy. Anyone else ever hear of this?

Yes- it works, but so would scrubbing the bore, up and down with 100 grit paper.

That would make neither a myth.  With enough soldiers shooting both ways on a concentrated area, I can see the balls/colliding as being plausible.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 06:06:28 AM by Daryl »

Candle Snuffer

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2009, 08:16:04 AM »
There is a picture (Plate 41 - in Walter Cline's book, The Muzzle-Loading Rifle Then & Now) of two minies that collided and was found on the 1864 Resaco, Georgia battlefield around Atlanta.  Also the T.V. show "Myth Busters" did an episode on this and found it was possible that it could happen.  I believe it could happen and probably has happened more times then we might imagine throughout the history of war when two large Army's collide.

The gator,,, no!

Two teeth?  I bet it's because you're not allowd to gum your food or women.... :o :D

Actually, the two teeth for biting off paper cartridge tails seems logical. Does the regulation state one tooth must be in the upper gum and one in the lower, beneath the upper tooth?

« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 08:19:06 AM by Candle Snuffer »

Colonial Riflesmith

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2009, 11:45:18 AM »
Teeth, yes.

Gator, mmmm, tough old salt, but I'd doubt if he'd be still long enough to load 'em up.

Two bullets colliding, yes.

Hair, I think that was more due to the 'LICE' problem that a loading problem.

How'abouts a ramrod as big as trees? Who can lift it?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 11:46:55 AM by Colonial Riflesmith »

Offline Artificer

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2009, 02:41:03 PM »
The average height of a soldier in the Un Civil War was 5' 8".  The length of the rifle musket was 4' 8".  It could be said that the length of beards would have been important so as not to load your beard in the bore, but I'm not sure about the length of hair.

I agree that keeping lice down was part of the reason for length of hair, but also wounds are easier to treat and don't have as much tendency to infect with shorter hair. 

roundball

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2009, 02:50:07 PM »

"...the recruit must have at least two teeth. This was so he could bite open the paper cartridges when loading, which is a fact I don't deny..."

I heard that mentioned in a Revolutionary War firearms demo 20-30 years ago and never forgot it...never been comfortable that it wasn't just an old wives tale...the guys putting on the demo even went on to include that the two teeth needed to be one on top, one on the bottom, opposite each other, etc.

On its face it would seem to make sense...but...while I've never done it, I wouldn't think the mouth does anything more than clamp / hold the end of the paper while the hand is used to do the twisting / tearing / pulling...and if that's the case they might just as easily have been able to hold it tight enough with their gums to tear it with the hand...dunno.

[/quote]

Offline Artificer

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2009, 02:59:25 PM »
I don't have a clue how many thousands of paper cartridges I've bit open as a re-enactor and I'm here to tell you I would not want to do it without at least two teeth.  Grin.

Modified to add:  Oh, and I was only tearing wood pulp paper cartridges, not the linen paper used in the 18th century.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 03:03:16 PM by Artificer »

ottawa

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2009, 03:47:56 PM »
I know of during the civle war that they mad some bayonets with the cartrage ripper on them .the teeth thing is still in the old regs and stated your own teeth

Offline 490roundball

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2009, 04:15:04 PM »
colliding bullets - yes - there were examples at the old Gettysburg museum.  It is estimated that over 560 TONS of munitions were fired in those three days.  I remember seeing a calculation once of how much lead was in the air at one time, passing rounds meeting in the middle were not accuracy but inevitable.

as for the alligator, force containment aside, how a gonna keep your powder dry?
"It's a poor word that can't be spelt two ways" Tom Yeardley in Swanson's Silent Drum

Offline TPH

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2009, 07:32:32 PM »
Alligator and hair, no. Bullets colliding and teeth, absolutely yes.
T.P. Hern

Offline Canute Rex

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2009, 10:47:07 PM »
From my British reenacting days I remember reading that the "two teeth, opposing" standard was the only health or fitness standard for the British Army in the 18th century.

Odd side note - in the 19th century the Sepoys, local Indian troops in the British Army, were caught up with a rumor that the British were going to grease the paper cartridges with pig fat. If the Hindus put pig fat in their mouths they would lose their caste status. The British Authorities tried to assure them otherwise, and when that failed they changed the drill to allow the Sepoys to tear the cartridges with their hands. It was futile - the Sepoys mutinied and the rest is history.

Grooming standards were enforced in the British Army simply for the sake of appearance. The officers wanted a line of identical soldiers. Soldiers greased and pigtailed their hair. The 29th Regiment had a black square of cloth on the back of the coat collar well into the 19th century. It was originally put there to hide the stain from the hair grease.

More than you ever needed to know.

Offline Randy Hedden

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2009, 12:06:03 AM »
Grooming standards were enforced in the British Army simply for the sake of appearance. The officers wanted a line of identical soldiers. Soldiers greased and pigtailed their hair. The 29th Regiment had a black square of cloth on the back of the coat collar well into the 19th century. It was originally put there to hide the stain from the hair grease.

Canute,

I believe that you above statement is kind of misleading.  British soldiers did grease their, but they did not "pigtail" their hair.  A pigtailed hair style indicates two braids, one on each side of the head.  The common British soldier greased his hair and then braided/plaited his hair to form a queue, but I know of no unit in the 18th century British army that left their queue hang down their back.  The hair was  braided and then the braid was turned back on itself and wrapped in silk ribbon or leather to produce what was called clubbed hair.  The clubbed hair probably was never long enough to hang down any lower than the bottom of their collar.  To my knowledge the only units that were not required to wrap or club their hair were the grenadier units, the King's or Queen's royal guard and maybe a couple of other specialized units.  These units braided their hair into a long queue that hung down their back, but the end of the braid was shoved back up under their miters or cocked hats.  Thus you would have seen a braided loop of hair that came from under their head cover, hung down and then back up and under their head cover.

Randy Hedden
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Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2009, 12:17:56 AM »
 The museum in Petersburg Va. has two sets of minis,at least they did, that met head on. I first saw them at Center Hill mansion when the museum was there in the late 50s. I was metal detecting with a guy at Five Forks, in Dinwiddie Co. Va back in the early 70s and he found a set, unbelievable.


 Tim C.

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2009, 01:03:57 AM »
Back in the 1960s I was stationed at Fort Lee Va.  A couple buddies and I visited the Petersburg battle ground and museum.  I still remember quite a few welded minies.  Some were perfect head-ons, others were tangential collisions, 90 degree hits and so on.  It makes sense when one considers the high volume of fire, relatively low velocities and large projectiles.
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Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2009, 04:32:03 PM »
I'm gonna throw this one in too, I was actually debating asking this before I ever saw this post but I was just, naw. They'll call me crazy. But here goes, cause I ain't the only one to think this:

I hate to mention this but I read somewhere that years ago if the barrel was too glass-smooth they would urinate in it and let it sit overnight to restore accuracy. Anyone else ever hear of this?
Yes!

roundball

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2009, 04:59:10 PM »
I'm gonna throw this one in too, I was actually debating asking this before I ever saw this post but I was just, naw. They'll call me crazy. But here goes, cause I ain't the only one to think this:

I hate to mention this but I read somewhere that years ago if the barrel was too glass-smooth they would urinate in it and let it sit overnight to restore accuracy. Anyone else ever hear of this?
Yes!

That amazes me...if anything I would have thought there would have been at least some roughness in the bores due to the imperfect field condifions and elements that they lived in to say nothing of the possibility of leading buildup.

Offline Canute Rex

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2009, 05:15:39 PM »
Randy Hedden caught me using shorthand. Yes, of course, British soldiers didn't "pigtail" their hair in the sense of two braids. They "queued" their hair in a short mass at the back of their necks, hence the black square on the collar. I didn't think that most people would get "queued" or "clubbed."

On the urine down the bore conjecture, it is hard to imagine a glass smooth bore in those days or even now, and harder to imagine that urine would do anything positive. Maybe they were cleaning their bores with a primitive version of Windex? There is ammonia content, after all.

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2009, 05:19:51 PM »
Randy Hedden caught me using shorthand. Yes, of course, British soldiers didn't "pigtail" their hair in the sense of two braids. They "queued" their hair in a short mass at the back of their necks, hence the black square on the collar. I didn't think that most people would get "queued" or "clubbed."

On the urine down the bore conjecture, it is hard to imagine a glass smooth bore in those days or even now, and harder to imagine that urine would do anything positive. Maybe they were cleaning their bores with a primitive version of Windex? There is ammonia content, after all.
Hey Nute!  Shootem enough and cleanem enough and they will get slick and I say too slick!!  They will start to shoot low at longer ranges and the urine trick will work but only temporary been there and done that (long story) The J.B bore paste works better.    :)

Daryl

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2009, 05:25:14 PM »
Roger, next time try Flitz! It is a lot more agresive, but still won't harm the bore.  I would think scotch-brite on a jag might also work well.

roundball

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2009, 05:48:32 PM »
Roger, next time try Flitz! It is a lot more agresive, but still won't harm the bore.  I would think scotch-brite on a jag might also work well.

I thought these kinds of products were used to make a bore even MORE smooth and polished?

Offline Artificer

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2009, 07:12:11 PM »
Randy Hedden caught me using shorthand. Yes, of course, British soldiers didn't "pigtail" their hair in the sense of two braids. They "queued" their hair in a short mass at the back of their necks, hence the black square on the collar. I didn't think that most people would get "queued" or "clubbed."


Your posts reminded me that in at least the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment, "The Forty Twa!," and I know I've heard it about other Scottish units, that they shaved their heads and/or cut their hair short then sewed horsehair queues to their Balmorals and even some of the Grenadiers bearskin caps.

Offline Canute Rex

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2009, 04:43:14 PM »
This concept of a "smooth and polished" condition being bad intrigues me. The guy who owned my rifle before me used a lead slug and valve grinding compound to get irregularities out of the bore, including a manufacturing burr that was cutting patches. Does that mean that now I need to re-roughen it? Won't that just increase ramming force and introduce random forces into the equation? Hmmm....Does our resident barrel maker want to weigh in on that one?

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: More Myths
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2009, 04:57:16 PM »
This concept of a "smooth and polished" condition being bad intrigues me. The guy who owned my rifle before me used a lead slug and valve grinding compound to get irregularities out of the bore, including a manufacturing burr that was cutting patches. Does that mean that now I need to re-roughen it? Won't that just increase ramming force and introduce random forces into the equation? Hmmm....Does our resident barrel maker want to weigh in on that one?
[/quote : I would describe the difference as the difference between snot slick (for lack of a better pc term) and satin smooth!  I know of more than one topnotch shooter who likes to see just a bit of colour when he pulls the first patch out of his bore prior to starting a shoot..... Seems there has to be just 'some' resistance of the patched ball to the bore as she travels up and out!  Thats the best way I can describe it and I know it to be true. ;D