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17 July 1881

James Felix Bridger var en amerikansk jeger, fangstmann, speider og guide som utforsket og jaktet i det vestlige USA i tidsrommet mellom 1820 og 1850. Bridger døde på denne dag i 1881, 77 år gammel. For dagens generasjon er Jim Bridger mest... Read more ...

17 July 1881

Jim Bridger døde
James Felix Bridger var en amerikansk jeger, fangstmann, speider og guide som utforsket og jaktet i det vestlige USA i tidsrommet mellom 1820 og 1850. Bridger døde på denne dag i 1881, 77 år gammel.

For dagens generasjon er Jim Bridger mest kjent for sin rolle i filmen The Revenant der han ble spilt av Will Poulter.




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    Featured article

      R&D Conversion Cylinders

    • R&D Conversion Cylinders

      Percussion revolvers, also known as cap and ball revolvers, were made by the thousands before and during the war, but the principle of muzzleloading started to become obsolete when the new metallic cartridges became common after the war. This article shows you how to convert a percussion revolver to fire metallic cartridges.

    Making Bismuth Shot

    Category: Shotgun
    Published: 5. December 2007 by Øyvind Flatnes.
    Views: 17501

    Vismut Vismut

    The bismuth and the Shotmaker.

    Once upon a time there was a small co-operative society here at svartkrutt.net that imported ten kilos of bismuth from Germany. The plan was of course to make shot. Bismuth is a metal that is quite similar to lead, and bismuth shot can be loaded exactly as lead shot. As lead shot is banned here in Norway, bismuth is one of the few alternatives we can use in older shotguns.

    The ten kilos were sent to me because I’m the owner of a Shotmaker. When making bismuth shot I used the same setups as I normally use when making lead shot. The bismuth we bought was 99.98 % pure, so the quality should be good enough.

    Bismuth

    Bismuth has a lower melting point compared to lead. While lead melts at 621.50 °F (327.5 °C) bismuth only needs 520.34 °F (271.3 °C) to melt. The test with the ten kilos of bismuth shows that it is possible to make good quality bismuth shot in the Shotmaker. The shot appeared to be just as good as the lead shot the Shotmaker spits out, perhaps even better.

    Find out more!
    You can learn more about muzzle-loading and black powder cartridge shotguns and shotmaking in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.

    Of problems, the following can be noted:

    Vismut Vismut Vismut

    The dripping was a bit slow, but the shot was ok.

    It was difficult to make the bismuth flow through the drippers as easy as lead. I worked outside in a temperature of about 68.00 °F (20 °C), between 10 in the morning and 8 in the evening, in a gentle breeze. Wind has a tendency to reduce the heat effect in the Shotmaker, and this may have been a contributing factor. After a while I found out that giving the ladle a whack with a wooden mallet lead to an even flow of lead out of a couple of the drippers, but not all (see the movie).

    It is possible that making the shot in a less windy condition would have solved this problem. When the temperature began dropping during the night I set up a provisional windbreak and put a homemade lid on the ladle. This seemed to help a bit. It is possible that it simply was too cold for the Shotmaker to function optimal as wind cools down the heating elements in the Shotmaker.

    Vismut

    Click to see movie!

    Makers of bismuth shot have now begun adding a bit of tin in the alloy to prevent the shot from being too brittle. This is also something that has to be tested. As it wasn’t me that ordered the bismuth I cannot give the exact price or the location where we bought it, but it was relatively expensive.

    For more information about making shot, see the article about the Shotmaker.