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12 November 1720

Norwegian Vice Admiral Peter Wessel Tordenskiold was killed in a duel at Hildesheim in Germany. The occasion was a quarrel in which Tordenskiold accused Jacob Axel Stael von Holstein, a colonel who had been in Swedish service, to trick people for... Read more ...

12 November 1720

Tordenskiold was killed
Norwegian Vice Admiral Peter Wessel Tordenskiold was killed in a duel at Hildesheim in Germany. The occasion was a quarrel in which Tordenskiold accused Jacob Axel Stael von Holstein, a colonel who had been in Swedish service, to trick people for money. The dispute ended in scuffles and Tordenskiold beat up the ten years older Staël von Holstein. Stael tried to pull the sword, but was unable to get it out of its sheath. Tordenskiold used it instead to beat him up. The injured von Holstein demanded redress through a duel.

At five o'clock in the morning of 12 November Tordenskiold was summoned by his second, named Münnichhausen – whom Tordenskiold had never met. It was predetermined that the duel would be fought with guns, but Münnichhausen told Tordenskiold that the duel was cancelled because von Holstein had traveled to Hamburg. Münnichhausen convinced Tordenskiold that for formal reasons he had to show up at the agreed site of the duel instead, but that there was no need to carry a gun.

When they arrived von Holstein was present and ready to fight. Since Tordenskiold had arrived without pistols, it was decided to fight with sword instead. Stael von Holstein was better armed with a long ‘karolinerverge’ while Tordenskiold just had a small parade sword. During the duel Tordenskiold was hit by a powerful thrust that went in under his arm and hit the spine. Mortally wounded, he died after a few minutes, just 30 years old.


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    Different Firearms Ignition Systems

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Smoothbore Musket and Paper Cartridge

Category: Muzzle-loading
Published: 24 November 2007 by Øyvind Flatnes.
Edited: 24 November 2007.
Views: 33971

Brown Bess

A picture of a target which I shot from the standing position with my Pedersoli .75 cal. Brown Bess carbine loaded with paper cartridges from a distance of 35 yds. The cartridge consisted of a .735" ball dipped in a mixture of deer tallow and bees wax and 90 grs. of 1F powder. You would probably get better results with a patched roundball, but what the heck, I'm satisfied anyway!

Sometime during the 17th century the armies of the time began to use the paper cartridge for their muskets. Before, the musketeers had used a bandoleer with the desired amount of gunpowder measured beforehand which was kept in a tubular wooden container. This was an inconvenient way to carry the ammunition because the ball had to be kept in a pouch separately from the powder. Loading a musket was by then a time consuming process.

Find out more!
You can learn more about the history and use smooth-bore muskets and paper cartridges in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.

Loading a Musket with Paper Cartridge

Muskettpatron

.75 cal. musket cartridge.

The first thing you do is to take a paper cartridge that contains a round ball wrapped in paper, black powder and bullet lube. Back then, the bullet end of the cartridge was dipped in melted tallow before the powder was poured into the cartridge. The soldiers used to bite or tear a hole in the cartridge and pour a small amount of powder on the flash pan. This is not recommended to day, obviously because you do not want to load a primed weapon. The weapon was primed first in the old days because you saved time during the operation of loading the musket. Today we don't have enemies charging us when we load. We do as follows: We pour all the powder down the barrel. Then the cartridge is reversed and placed with the bullet end down it is rammed down the barrel.

Brown Bess Brown Bess Brown Bess

The greased paper around the ball will work as some sort of crude patching. I have experienced that if the excess paper is torn away (all the paper that isn't greased) accuracy will be best.

Brown Bess Brown Bess Brown Bess

Now we can prime our musket. I normally use 4F for this, but I have also tried 3F, 2F and even 1F powder. The musket will ignite with all of them, but the coarser the priming powder is, the slower the ignition time will be.

Brown Bess

BANG!