On this day

16 May 1808

Slaget ved Alvøen var et sjøslag som ble utkjempet mellom en engelsk fregatt og en norsk styrke bestående av fire kanonjoller og en kanonsjalupp. Slaget fant sted i Vatlestraumen ved Alvøen like sørvest for Bergen, og var en del av den såkalte... Read more ...

16 May 1808

Slaget ved Alvøen
Slaget ved Alvøen var et sjøslag som ble utkjempet mellom en engelsk fregatt og en norsk styrke bestående av fire kanonjoller og en kanonsjalupp. Slaget fant sted i Vatlestraumen ved Alvøen like sørvest for Bergen, og var en del av den såkalte Kanonbåtkrigen fra 1807 til 1814 under Napoleonskrigene.

Den britiske fregatten HMS Tartar var på vei inn til Bergen for å uskadeliggjøre eller ta som prise et hollandsk kaperfartøy som hadde søkt inn til Bergen for reparasjon. Om kvelden den 15. mai løp det inn melding til Bergenhus om at en engelsk fregatt var i leden. Om natten/morgenen den 16. mai ble fem norske kanonfartøyer sendt ut for å møte fienden.

Slaget varte i vel en time og endte med at fregatten flyktet nordover ut Hjeltefjorden. Engelskmennene mistet totalt tolv mann, og skipet fikk store materielle skader. Blant de falne var skipssjefen selv. De norske tapene skrev seg til fem mann, i tillegg til flere sårede. Trefningen fikk betydning da en så at små kanonbåter kunne bekjempe større fartøy innenskjærs langs norskekysten.



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    Shooting the Percussion Revolver

    Category: Handguns
    Published: 14 September 2008 by Øyvind Flatnes.
    Edited: 14 September 2008.
    Views: 17009
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    The Colt Walker is a beast of a revolver, and it was the world's most powerful handgun until the powerful magnum revolvers started to appear in the 1900s.

    The percussion revolver, also called cap and ball revolver, is perhaps the most common black powder weapon in use by modern black powder shooters. The first percussion revolvers started to appear in the 1830s, and the inventor is said to have been a certain Samuel Colt, even though other inventors also have to be credited. The first commercial revolver from Colt was the Paterson model, a five shot .28 and .36 calibre revolver which was made from the mid-1830s. This revolver has a concealed trigger which appeared when the hammer was cocked. The first Paterson Colts did not have a fixed loading lever, but it was sold with a separate loading tool.

    Find out more!
    You can learn more about percussion revolvers and how to use them in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.

    Perkusjonsrevolver Perkusjonsrevolver

    From left to right: Paterson Colt and Colt 1860 Army.

    The Republic of Texas' rangers were among the first to try this revolver in combat. 15 rangers armed with the new Paterson revolvers conquered a band of about 100 Comanche warriors in a fight at Plum Creek, near San Antonio. This battle served as an eye-opener and showed the public that the new revolvers were efficient combat firearms. In the years to follow thousands of different percussion revolvers were to be manufactured.

    Colt later invented the Colt Walker revolver. This was also used by the Texas Rangers. One of the improvements was a fixed loading lever under the barrel, which simplified the loading process. In 1846 the Republic of Texas was once again at war with Mexico, and this time supported by the USA. 1000 Walker Colts were ordered by Texas, and ranger captain Samuel Walker was sent east to Samuel Colt to discuss how the Texans wanted the revolver. The Walker Colt is a beast of a revolver: The barrel is 9" long, and the calibre is .44. The best known Colt revolver is probably the Colt 1860 Army. This was also made in .44 calibre and was a favourite of the soldiers during the Civil War, and also the most common percussion revolver during the conflict.


    Remington New Army.

    Colt was not alone on the percussion revolver market. Several manufacturers started up production in the years that followed. On today's replica market the most common revolvers next to Colt are probably Remington New Army and Rogers & Spencer's Army revolver. All Colt revolvers had an open frame; this means that they did not have a top-strap around the cylinder. Both the Remington models and Rogers & Spencer had a top-strap, which made them more robust and more stable regarding accuracy. In the mid-1800s the Colt revolvers were immensely popular, but today most serious competitive shooters prefer a Remington or Rogers & Spencer, made by manufacturers like Hege, Pietta or Uberti. These three manufacturers are the best producers of replica percussion revolvers.

    Loading a percussion revolver

    The percussion revolver is per definition a muzzleloader, even though the powder and ball is loaded into the chamber and not through the muzzle. It is loaded with loose powder, sometimes a wad, followed by a conical ball or roundball. You can follow this procedure when loading: Hold the revolver in your left hand with the muzzle pointing upwards and away from your face. The hammer should be at half cock so that the cylinder is allowed to rotate. Pour pre-measured black powder loads into each chamber. FFFg or Swiss #2 is the most commonly used powder granulations, but it also works with, for example, FFg. Some shooters leave one chamber empty and rest the hammer on this chamber if it is not going to be fired right away. It is optional to use a wad. If you decide to use one, place a lubricated felt wad over the powder so that it is seated below the chamber mouth.



    When all the chambers are filled with black powder a roundball or conical bullet of correct diameter is placed over the chamber. You then rotate the cylinder so that the ball is placed directly under the loading lever. Force the ball into the chamber and seat it against the powder. Repeat this until all the balls are loaded. Some shooters lubricate the chamber mouths with soft bullet lube, but in my opinion this is messy and it does not enhance accuracy. Grease over the chamber mouths is not historically correct, but it is used because an old myth claims that it prevents so called chain fires or multiple discharges. I'm not a believer of this myth. The revolver is now ready to be fired, except for one important thing: the caps. Point the revolver in the direction of the target and place a percussion cap on each nipple. It may be an advantage to squeeze the caps a little between your fingers before you place them on the nipple, so that they don't fall off. Make sure that they are tight, because loose caps may result in multiple discharges. At one time I stood next to a shooter with a Colt Walker which experienced a multiple discharge caused by loose caps, and it was not a nice experience.


    If you are a beginner and want to start shooting percussion revolvers there are a couple of things you should know. If you are going to use it for competitive shooting I would have stayed away from the Colt models. They have a reputation for being inaccurate compared to revolvers with a top-strap, such as the Rogers & Spencer and the Remington New Army. If you are more concerned about history and nostalgia I would have chosen a Colt.



    Loads: Personally I shoot a .44 calibre Uberti Remington New Army. My revolver prefers 30 grains of FFg Wano black powder behind a .454" roundball. New replicas cannot be overloaded with FFFg, FFg or Fg black powder, but you must make sure that there is enough space for the ball. Heavy loads are seldom the most accurate, and most shooters find the best load somewhere between 20 and 30 grains of FFFg or FFg. As mentioned above I prefer a lubricated felt wad between the powder and bullet instead of grease in front of the balls. Remember that it should not be air between the powder and the ball, so if you use light loads you must make sure that the plunger seats the balls deep enough.