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[WarOf1812] Cartridge Box trays and safety

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  • Phil Graf
    While I m a huge fan of safety, even when compared to authenticity, I also come from reenacting a period where about 90% of the cartridge boxes use tins
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 6, 2006
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      While I'm a huge fan of safety, even when compared to authenticity, I also come from reenacting a period where about 90% of the cartridge boxes use tins instead of wooden blocks. I'm sure there can be found isolated incidents, I haven't heard of too many cartridge box cookoffs in any period.

      I really do appreciate the sincere concern, but ss this really a cause for worry?

      Phil

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    • PEGGY MATHEWS
      My experience for whatever it s worth. Around 200 tacticals (not events, just the tacticals), one box cook off. The latter was in England at Fishguard in
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 7, 2006
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        My experience for whatever it's worth. Around 200 tacticals (not events, just the tacticals), one box cook off. The latter was in England at Fishguard in '97. As I understood at the time, the cause was his cartridge box flap got caught in the crossbelts in an "up" position. Being in the front rank he caught a spark from somewhere, perhaps an over-primer. I don't know if he had a block or tins, but it went up like a roman candle. Amazingly, his uniform was a little scorched, a little hair burnt, but nothing serious. That was just fortunate. I'd have been as worried about the second rank fellow but he apparently escaped also. We only stopped the tactical for a few minutes to determine that the redcoat was okay, then resumed the fight along the wharf.

        So roughly one half of one percent in this non scientific study. Too high for my taste, though I suppose you should also factor in the number of boxes in use over all those "battles."

        Michael Mathews


        "Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake."
        -- Chess Grandmaster Savielly Tartakower (1887-1956)
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Phil Graf<mailto:phil_graf@...>
        To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com<mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 11:06 PM
        Subject: [WarOf1812] Cartridge Box trays and safety


        While I'm a huge fan of safety, even when compared to authenticity, I also come from reenacting a period where about 90% of the cartridge boxes use tins instead of wooden blocks. I'm sure there can be found isolated incidents, I haven't heard of too many cartridge box cookoffs in any period.

        I really do appreciate the sincere concern, but ss this really a cause for worry?

        Phil

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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      • spikeyj@crosslink.net
        On Tue, 7 Feb 2006 06:32:51 -0600 ... There was the time Andy Ballantine of the Fort York Guard had his cartridge box go off while his hand was in the vicinity
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 7, 2006
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          On Tue, 7 Feb 2006 06:32:51 -0600
          "PEGGY MATHEWS" <ciefranche21e@...> wrote:
          > My experience for whatever it's worth. Around 200 tacticals (not
          > events, just the tacticals), one box cook off. The latter was in
          > England at Fishguard in '97. So roughly one half of one percent
          > in this non scientific study.

          There was the time Andy Ballantine of the Fort York Guard had his
          cartridge box go off while his hand was in the vicinity -- Sackett's
          Harbour in maybe 1981 or '82. You'd have to ask him if he had a
          wooden cartridge holder and for other details, because I wasn't on
          that road trip.

          Spike Y Jones
        • Kevin Windsor
          Safety vs Authenticity. This thread will keep going around and when they are re-enacting the 100th anniversary of the first re-enactment they will still be
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 7, 2006
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            Safety vs Authenticity. This thread will keep going around and when they
            are re-enacting the 100th anniversary of the first re-enactment they will
            still be talking about this, but here are my thoughts for what it is worth.

            For unit commanders.
            It's not about you! You job is to make sure your troops are safe. They are
            your responsibility and like it or not by saying you are the one "in charge"
            you are also legally responsible. Treat them better than you would treat
            yourself.

            For soldiers.
            Your responsibility is the guy (or gal) beside you. Not to make sure the he
            is safe, but to make sure you are safe enough not to make them part of your
            "darwin" experiment. As one Officer (who shall remain nameless unless you
            bride me) is fond of saying. If they want to be a Darwin Award candidate
            that's fine, it purifies the gene pool, but don't take me out in the
            process! Imagine what hell your life would be like if you lived but you
            killed the new guy who was just standing there beside/behind/in front of
            you.

            If we all make sure we are as safe as possible so that we won't have to live
            with the possibility of killing a friend in our unit, our hobby will be
            perfect. One comment I heard from someone off list was that they saw a
            wedge tent go up in less than a minute. That means in 5 minutes or so one
            of our streets burn down. Do you want to be the guy responsible for that
            because you left a candle buring in a tent without a lantern because it
            isn't authentic?
            People back then had these things happen, but there is one difference...they
            were a lot smarter about these things then we are and they looked after each
            other because that was all they had!


            Kevin
            89th Reg't
          • corporal klinger
            Amen Kevin, I think that we are all responsible, no matter what rank you carry, for the safety measures on the field, and in camp for that fact. Chris GLI ...
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 7, 2006
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              Amen Kevin,

              I think that we are all responsible, no matter what
              rank you carry, for the safety measures on the field,
              and in camp for that fact.

              Chris
              GLI
              --- Kevin Windsor <kevin.windsor@...> wrote:

              > Safety vs Authenticity. This thread will keep going
              > around and when they
              > are re-enacting the 100th anniversary of the first
              > re-enactment they will
              > still be talking about this, but here are my
              > thoughts for what it is worth.
              >
              > For unit commanders.
              > It's not about you! You job is to make sure your
              > troops are safe. They are
              > your responsibility and like it or not by saying you
              > are the one "in charge"
              > you are also legally responsible. Treat them better
              > than you would treat
              > yourself.
              >
              > For soldiers.
              > Your responsibility is the guy (or gal) beside you.
              > Not to make sure the he
              > is safe, but to make sure you are safe enough not to
              > make them part of your
              > "darwin" experiment. As one Officer (who shall
              > remain nameless unless you
              > bride me) is fond of saying. If they want to be a
              > Darwin Award candidate
              > that's fine, it purifies the gene pool, but don't
              > take me out in the
              > process! Imagine what hell your life would be like
              > if you lived but you
              > killed the new guy who was just standing there
              > beside/behind/in front of
              > you.
              >
              > If we all make sure we are as safe as possible so
              > that we won't have to live
              > with the possibility of killing a friend in our
              > unit, our hobby will be
              > perfect. One comment I heard from someone off list
              > was that they saw a
              > wedge tent go up in less than a minute. That means
              > in 5 minutes or so one
              > of our streets burn down. Do you want to be the guy
              > responsible for that
              > because you left a candle buring in a tent without a
              > lantern because it
              > isn't authentic?
              > People back then had these things happen, but there
              > is one difference...they
              > were a lot smarter about these things then we are
              > and they looked after each
              > other because that was all they had!
              >
              >
              > Kevin
              > 89th Reg't
              >
              >


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            • Craig Williams
              Spikey, Good example. I was actually thinking of this incident as background when we started this thread. Andy was portraying RM with the rest of the Fort
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 7, 2006
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                Spikey,

                Good example.

                I was actually thinking of this incident as background when we
                started this thread.

                Andy was portraying RM with the rest of the Fort staff that went, ( a
                section of eight men I believe).
                There were several extenuating circumstances that,
                (hopefully),wouldn't be repeated by the modern re-enactor.
                First, the cartridge box being used had no safety flap as was the
                case with just about all boxes used by historic sites in Canada at
                the time. It was around this time that there had been a move to make
                the boxes with flaps as it had become apparent that original boxes
                had them for a reason that made sense. Protect the ammunition from
                moisture or sparks.
                The practice at Fort York at the time was to load faster and fire
                longer than anyone else, (think football locker room mentality), so
                the rounds were all laid sideways in the box, two stacks totaling 70-
                ish rounds. The rounds were 120 gr. and were wrapped in industrial
                toilet paper...

                Yep, there it is, the real problem.

                The reason for this was long ensconced with the fort from the early
                1960's. The toilet paper came in a precise size that rolled into a
                round very easily, it was a softish fibre that allowed twisting
                without breaking, so less spoilage. The paper tears very easily so it
                expedited faster loading and it burned off a lot better than anything
                else as in those days we did drop the paper down the barrel.
                This makes for a round that could ignite very easily.....

                The section was landing from long boats and had exited into the surf.
                They were spread out and knee deep in the water, firing and advancing.

                Nobody knows how, but it is speculated, (probably quite accurately),
                that a bit of smoldering toilet paper drifted into Andy's box when he
                was reaching for a fresh round. They were firing at will so they
                weren't all at the same point in the drill at the same time. This
                probably wouldn't have happened if they had all been at the same
                point in the load, but that too is just educated speculation. (this
                is one of the reasons we don't put paper down the pipe).

                The box went up with Andy's hand in it.

                Later, someone who was on shore, ( Dave Hill if memory serves), said
                they thought the Fort staff had brought a mortar.

                Andy's tunic was scorched, the buttons on his cuff were melted and he
                had some severe flash burning on his hand, but, luckily, the force of
                the explosion pushed his hand away from the box and he went into the
                water immediately. He was very lucky as the damage was in fact very
                slight. He is now a professional clarinetist.

                By the way folks, this is also a fabulous reason for wearing real
                wool garments. If he had been wearing one of those old polyester
                wonder coats it would likely have been fuzed to his back and arm.

                I have also heard about the Parks tests on rounds in and out of a
                block and the rounds in the block, when one was ignited, if they
                other did cook off, they did so in a slower gradual cascade as each
                one ignites the next as opposed to them going off in a pile.

                The use of proper cartridge paper which is fairly stiff and closed
                surface reduces the chances of a cookoff. The most likely culprit in
                a cookoff is the loose powder from broken and partial rounds that
                occur either from accidental breakage or when some one uses a round
                to re-prime. This is why it should be everyone's practice to dump the
                unused portion of a round used for re-priming.

                Loose powder should always be dumped from your box after every use.

                My opinion on tin vs. block. I think that the block is a great idea.
                I'm not about to condemn the tin though. Not until more tests are
                conducted. It would also be nice if the folks at Parks, (on either
                side of the border), who have conducted tests would share their
                findings. (rather than just telling us about it).

                Conversely, if the tin is kept clean and the rounds made with the
                proper materials my choice, for myself when swinging a firearm is the
                tin. Call me old fashioned but isn't that the point?

                So, keep your Cartridge box clean folks.

                Craig

                > There was the time Andy Ballantine of the Fort York Guard had his
                > cartridge box go off while his hand was in the vicinity -- Sackett's
                > Harbour in maybe 1981 or '82. You'd have to ask him if he had a
                > wooden cartridge holder and for other details, because I wasn't on
                > that road trip.
                >
                > Spike Y Jones



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