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22 February 1847

Slaget ved Buena Vista under den mexicansk-amerikanske krig begynte ved Buena Vista, ca. 12 km sør for Saltillo i det nordlige Mexico. Den tallmessig underlegne amerikanske hæren på omtrent 4 500 mann under generalene Zachary Taylor og John E.... Read more ...

22 February 1847

Slaget ved Buena Vista
Slaget ved Buena Vista under den mexicansk-amerikanske krig begynte ved Buena Vista, ca. 12 km sør for Saltillo i det nordlige Mexico. Den tallmessig underlegne amerikanske hæren på omtrent 4 500 mann under generalene Zachary Taylor og John E. Wool brukte tungt artilleri mot den tallmessig langt sterkere mexicanske hæren på omtrent 15 000 mann under Antonio López de Santa Anna – kjent fra slaget om Alamo og krigen mot Texas i 1836.

De mexicanske styrkene trakk seg tilbake dagen etter og etterlot seg 591 døde, 1 048 sårede og 1 894 savnede. Amerikanerne hadde 267 drepte, 387 sårede og 6 savnet


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    Enlarging a Bullet Mould Cavity

  • Enlarging a Bullet Mould Cavity

    A precondition for good accuracy with minié bullets are properly dimensioned bullets that fit the barrel. Many .58 calibre bullet moulds have a .575\" diameter, while the bore diameter of many muskets is .580 or more. This article shows you how to enlarge a bullet mould cavity.

Making Bismuth Shot

Category: Shotgun
Published: 5 December 2007 by Øyvind Flatnes.
Views: 18672

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.