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22 May 1804

På denne dag i 1804 forlot Lewis og Clark-ekspedisjonen St. Charles i Missouri og ekspedisjonen fikk dermed sin offisielle start. Lewis og Clark-ekspedisjonen var en oppdagelsesferd som foregikk fra mai 1804 til september 1806. Ekspedisjonen gikk... Read more ...

22 May 1804

Lewis og Clark-ekspedisjonen begynte
På denne dag i 1804 forlot Lewis og Clark-ekspedisjonen St. Charles i Missouri og ekspedisjonen fikk dermed sin offisielle start. Lewis og Clark-ekspedisjonen var en oppdagelsesferd som foregikk fra mai 1804 til september 1806. Ekspedisjonen gikk til Stillehavet og tilbake, ledet av Meriwether Lewis og William Clark.

Ekspedisjons mål var dels å undersøke om det eksisterte en elv fra Missourielven og til Stillehavet, og dels for å kartlegge det da stort sett ukjente området vest for Mississippielven. De opplysninger som USA hadde om området før ekspedisjonen, var stort sett utilfredsstillende annenhåndsinformasjon fra britiske og spesielt fransk-kanandiske pelsjegere og handelsmenn som i noen generasjoner hadde besøkt området og ganske ofte giftet seg inn i ulike indianerstammer.

Et av hovedmålene for ekspedisjonen var å undersøke om det eksisterte en anvendbar vannvei fra Missourielven til Stillehavet. Svaret ble til manges skuffelse negativt. Man hadde også håpet at Marias River nådde betydelig lengre inn i landet enn hva som var tilfellet, ikke minst for at dette ville gitt grunnlag for ytterligere territoriale krav for USA. Da Lewis oppdaget hvordan dette forholdt seg døpte han den siste leiren ved elvebredden for «Camp Disappointment» (Skuffelsens leir).


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      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: 18975

    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.