Den norske kongen Harald Sigurdsson Hardråde ønsket å ta over den engelske tronen da denne ble ledig og reiste i starten av september over med en stor flåte – på ca. 300 skip – sammen med sønnen Olav. Reisen gikk via Shetland og... Read more ...
Harald Hardråde gikk i land i Scarborough
Den norske kongen Harald Sigurdsson Hardråde ønsket å ta over den engelske tronen da denne ble ledig og reiste i starten av september over med en stor flåte – på ca. 300 skip – sammen med sønnen Olav. Reisen gikk via Shetland og Orknøyene. Han gikk i Scarborough på denne dag i 1066.
Harald var sammen med Tostig Godwinsson – bror av den nye engelske kongen – for å ta over kongemakten. Mens Harald og Tostig kjempet i Yorkshire, kom Harold Godwinsson raskt opp sørfra med store styrker og overrasket nordmennene. Harald Hardråde og store deler av hans styrker tapte slaget ved Stamford Bridge 25. september 1066. Harold Godwinssons hær led også store tap, og det gjorde at den ble et lett bytte for Wilhelm Erobreren senere på året da han kom over fra Normandie.
Olav tok farens lik tilbake til Norge hvor det ble gravlagt i Trondheim. Slaget ved Stamford Bridge ses på som vikingtidens slutt og begynnelsen på middelalderen.
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Many black powder shooters have once in their career shot a rifle or musket loaded with a patched roundball. This article describes how you can load a muzzleloading rifle with a cloth patch and a lead roundball. The article is especially suited for beginners.
Published: 24 November 2007 by Øyvind Flatnes.
Edited: 24 November 2007.
The patched roundball is said to be an early American invention, if it's right I don't know. It was used in the American woods from around 1740, probably a little earlier. The principle behind the patched roundball is simple: By wrapping the undersized roundball in a piece of greased cloth and then forcing it down the barrel the problem of loading a rifle without hammering the bullet down the bore was solved. The patch was as mentioned greased, often with bear fat. The fat helped keeping the fouling soft, which also made the loading easier. The most common patching material was linen or cotton which had to be tightly woven to survive the travel up and down the bore. Some will claim that leather (buckskin) was used as patching, but I doubt that was very common. Leather was too costly for a hunter or farmer to be shot out of a rifle.
Find out more!
You can learn more about the history and practical use of muzzle-loading rifles and patched roundballs in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.
Loading a Rifled Muzzleloader with Roundball
The things you need are:
- A muzzleloading rifle with flint or percussion ignition.
- Black powder and caps (or flints if it's a flintlock.)
- Some roundballs.
- Linen or cotton patches. Denim is good too.
- Bullet lube. Some people use saliva.
- A bullet starter.
The thickness of the patch is determined by the relationship between the groove diameter of the rifle and the roundball you are using. Let's say you are using a .50 cal. rifle who's groove diameter is .509". The bullet you are using has a diameter of .495". By calculating it as follows you can get an idea of how thick the patching should be: Groove diameter: .531" minus ball diameter : .495" = .036" i difference. Now we can divide .036" in two and minimum thickness will be .018". (There will be cloth on both sides of the bullet, that's why we divide it by two). The thickness of the patches and the bullet diameter can be measured with a micrometer.
The process of loading
1. Make sure that the barrel is dry, run a few dry patches up and down the bore. (Never run a dry patch down a bore with fouling in it or it will get badly stuck down there.) Snap off a few caps if it is a percussion gun. This dries/burns up any remaining oil in the nipple.
2. Measure or weigh up a suitable charge and pour it down the barrel. A rule of thumb is 50 grains for .50 cal. rifle, 45 grains for a .45 cal. and so on. Keep your face away from the muzzle in case the charge ignites.
3. Place a greased patch over the muzzle.
4. Place a roundball on the patch and center it. Push it down with the thumb until it is flush with the muzzle, or as far as you get it. Tight fitting combinations can be hard to push with the thumb.
5. Take your starter and place it on the ball as shown below. Give it a quick thump.
6. Do the same thing with the long rod on the starter. See illustration below.
7. Take your ramrod and gently push the ball down the bore until it is seated against the powder. There should be no air gap between the ball and powder. That could make the barrel blow up. See below. Again, remember to keep your face away from the muzzle, the gun is now loaded. Also remember to keep the muzzle in a safe direction at all times!
8. Remove the ramrod from the barrel.
9. Cap the rifle if it is a percussion or prime it with priming powder if it is a flintlock.
10. Cock the hammer and fire!