On this day

14 November 1567

The military strategist Maurice of Orange was born. He was stadtholder of all the provinces of the Dutch Republic except for Friesland from 1585 at earliest until his death in 1625. Before he became Prince of Orange upon the death of his eldest... Read more ...

14 November 1567

Maurice of Orange was born
The military strategist Maurice of Orange was born. He was stadtholder of all the provinces of the Dutch Republic except for Friesland from 1585 at earliest until his death in 1625. Before he became Prince of Orange upon the death of his eldest half-brother Philip William in 1618, he was known as Maurice of Nassau.

Maurice spent his youth in Dillenburg in Nassau, and studied in Heidelberg and Leiden. He succeeded his father William the Silent as stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland in 1585, and became stadtholder of Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel in 1590, and of Groningen in 1620. As Captain-General and Admiral of the Union, Maurice organised the Dutch rebellion against Spain into a coherent, successful revolt and won fame as a military strategist. Under his leadership and in cooperation with the Land's Advocate of Holland Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, the Dutch States Army achieved many victories and drove the Spaniards out of the north and east of the Republic. Maurice set out to revive and revise the classical doctrines of Vegetius and pioneered the new European forms of armament and drill. During the Twelve Years' Truce, a religious dispute broke out in the Republic, and a conflict erupted between Maurice and Van Oldenbarnevelt, which ended with the latter's decapitation. After the Truce, Maurice failed to achieve more military victories. He died without legitimate children in The Hague in 1625, and was succeeded by his younger half-brother Frederick Henry.



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      The Jarmann rifle - Part 2 - Shooting

    • The Jarmann rifle - Part 2 - Shooting

      The 10.15 x 61 cartridge for which the Jarmann rifle was chambered for was also used in numerous civilian firearms, for example, rifles made by Lars Hansen Hagen and Hans Larsen. This article deals with the reloading and shooting of the Jarmann rifle and the 10,15 x 61 cartridge.

    Making Bismuth Shot

    Category: Shotgun
    Published: 5 December 2007 by Øyvind Flatnes.
    Views: 18268

    Vismut Vismut

    The bismuth and the Shotmaker.

    Once upon a time there was a small co-operative society here at 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 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.


    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.