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Re: [SPAM] RE: 1812 rules - Parks Canada (PC) free powder

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  • suthren@magma.ca
    As I seem to be arguing uselessly in this thread with those who believe otherwise, I won t pursue it any further. Tim is setting the tone for the CFNA in this
    Message 1 of 16 , Oct 27, 2008
      As I seem to be arguing uselessly in this thread with those who believe otherwise, I won't pursue it any further. Tim is setting the tone for the CFNA in this issue as is his right. I will simply say that I urge every possible means of ensuring safety---including flashguards, hammerstalls, cartridge volume and powder grade, muzzle vector control, minimum training standards, and the assumption of responsibility by officers for the well-being and physical safety of the amateur hobbyists under his or her command--- be adopted as standard and regularly practiced by every unit or individual involved in 1812 re-enactment, and that any romantic notions of acceptance of 1812 levels of risk implies acceptance of 1812 levels of casualty and injury.

      Vic Suthren


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Mark Dickerson
      To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 7:42 AM
      Subject: [SPAM] RE: 1812 rules - Parks Canada (PC) free powder


      But Jim, the "general" PC rules say nothing about flashguards, powder
      levels, safe firing distance for muskets, hammerstalls, bayonet charges ,
      etc. The list goes on.

      I understand your statement and that site rules must be obeyed.

      Mark D

      Original message.

      My understanding is the short answer to your question is if you're at
      a Parks Canada site that wants us to use their powder, then that's
      what we use... *Whatever* the rules are at any given site, that's what
      we follow - unless the rules are more lax than the "general" (i.e.
      non-site specific) Parks Canada rules, in which case the "general" PC
      rules are to be followed.

      Jim Yaworsky
      41st

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





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • BritcomHMP@aol.com
      Dear Vic, I hope you beleve that I too am very concerned with safety, however I disagree with the premise that flashguards anan hammerstalls are safe! I have
      Message 2 of 16 , Oct 27, 2008
        Dear Vic,

        I hope you beleve that I too am very concerned with safety, however I disagree with the premise that flashguards anan hammerstalls are safe! I have observed bad practice and potentialy dangerous situations caused by these things but the people who were doing this where, in their own opinion, safe because they had the attachments.

        Obviously if the argument is used, "Well, if YOU get them banned (which I am not advocating, I am advoatinc choce and good training). and anyone gets flashed, its YOUR fault". That tends to end the argument as no one wants to?feel responsible?for something that results fom someone elses bad practice. However, when someone is injured by weapon that has these devices,?whose fault will that be?

        I would also like to point out that I am NOT speaking for the CFNA, the decisions are taken in council by the member units, I am expressing my own views formed from over 30 years of re-enacting this period, live firing flintlocks and working in the movie and?TV industry.

        I have stated it many times before and will again, perhaps for the last time (though I doubt it) if a musket needs a?hammerstall it should not be on the field, the?person carrying it needs a flashguard he should not be allowed to fire untill he has been properly trained.

        If we take as our premise the idea that we must remove all posibility of injury from what we do then we might as well mothball our?kit, because that is imossible.

        All the very best,

        Tim??



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Harry Pilotto
        Tim, I am an Old Dog on a quest to learn new tricks. What are the proper techniques and/or training to preclude the need for flashguards? If I am correct,
        Message 3 of 16 , Oct 27, 2008
          Tim,
          I am an Old Dog on a quest to learn new tricks. What are the proper
          techniques and/or training to preclude the need for flashguards? If I
          am correct, historically they were not used; what did they know that
          we do not do? This is a serous question, I want to improve my role as
          a Private in the Ranks. Thanks!
          Harry
          Pte, 42d RHR
          --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, BritcomHMP@... wrote:
          >
          >
          > Dear Vic,
          >
          > I hope you beleve that I too am very concerned with safety, however
          I disagree with the premise that flashguards anan hammerstalls are
          safe! I have observed bad practice and potentialy dangerous
          situations caused by these things but the people who were doing this
          where, in their own opinion, safe because they had the attachments.
          >
          > Obviously if the argument is used, "Well, if YOU get them banned
          (which I am not advocating, I am advoatinc choce and good training).
          and anyone gets flashed, its YOUR fault". That tends to end the
          argument as no one wants to?feel responsible?for something that
          results fom someone elses bad practice. However, when someone is
          injured by weapon that has these devices,?whose fault will that be?
          >
          > I would also like to point out that I am NOT speaking for the CFNA,
          the decisions are taken in council by the member units, I am
          expressing my own views formed from over 30 years of re-enacting this
          period, live firing flintlocks and working in the movie and?TV
          industry.
          >
          > I have stated it many times before and will again, perhaps for the
          last time (though I doubt it) if a musket needs a?hammerstall it
          should not be on the field, the?person carrying it needs a flashguard
          he should not be allowed to fire untill he has been properly trained.
          >
          > If we take as our premise the idea that we must remove all
          posibility of injury from what we do then we might as well mothball
          our?kit, because that is imossible.
          >
          > All the very best,
          >
          > Tim??
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • BritcomHMP@aol.com
          Tim, I am an Old Dog on a quest to learn new tricks. What are the proper techniques and/or training to preclude the need for flashguards? If I am correct,
          Message 4 of 16 , Oct 27, 2008
            Tim,
            I am an Old Dog on a quest to learn new tricks. What are the proper
            techniques and/or training to preclude the need for flashguards? If I
            am correct, historically they were not used; what did they know that
            we do not do? This is a serous question, I want to improve my role as
            a Private in the Ranks. Thanks!
            Harry

            ------------------------------------------------------------

            Dear Harry,

            Happy to oblige. Firstly the maintainance of the weapon, the touch hole must not be over large so that the ignition of the the main charge can blow unburnt/igniting powder out of the pan and into the man next to you. If one does not clean the musket after each use after a (long) time the hole can be eaten away by pwder rsidue so that when the weapon finaly does get cleaned the hole has enlrged a bit.

            Secondly, and attention to this virtualy negates the problems above, the pan must be be filled no more than 1/3 with powder. This is from manuals of the period. Now the presence of a flashguard makes it extremely dificult to guage exactly the right ammount of powder to put in the pan. In fact I would hold that a man trained with a flash guard attached can never lean exactly how much to put in. Added to this the fact that the flashguard makes them 'safe' many people using them think they might as well add a bit extra powder so they will be sure the musket will go off. which I consider dangerous practice.

            You will find some people who mention that the Prussians had a musket with a flashguard and the British experimented with one, which is true HOWEVER what these people will fail to mention is that these were self-priming weapons in which the touchole was enlarged so that all one did was pour the powder down the barrel and ram, which action cause powder from the main charge into?the pan and the flashguard protected the right hand man from?being flashed. In other words they realized that with this non-standard ignition system there was indeed a problem with flashing and made a move to correct it, BUT a properly loaded standard musket has no need for this.

            It should also be stated that on these weapons the flashguard is cast integral with the lock, not a dinky bit of brass screwd onto the outside as an afterthought.

            I hope that covers it,

            Cheers,

            Tim
            ??



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Harry Pilotto
            ... I ... that ... as ... hole must not be over large so that the ignition of the the main charge can blow unburnt/igniting powder out of the pan and into the
            Message 5 of 16 , Oct 28, 2008
              --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, BritcomHMP@... wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > Tim,
              > I am an Old Dog on a quest to learn new tricks. What are the proper
              > techniques and/or training to preclude the need for flashguards? If
              I
              > am correct, historically they were not used; what did they know
              that
              > we do not do? This is a serous question, I want to improve my role
              as
              > a Private in the Ranks. Thanks!
              > Harry
              >
              > ------------------------------------------------------------
              >
              > Dear Harry,
              >
              > Happy to oblige. Firstly the maintainance of the weapon, the touch
              hole must not be over large so that the ignition of the the main
              charge can blow unburnt/igniting powder out of the pan and into the
              man next to you. If one does not clean the musket after each use
              after a (long) time the hole can be eaten away by pwder rsidue so
              that when the weapon finaly does get cleaned the hole has enlrged a
              bit.
              >
              > Secondly, and attention to this virtualy negates the problems
              above, the pan must be be filled no more than 1/3 with powder. This
              is from manuals of the period. Now the presence of a flashguard makes
              it extremely dificult to guage exactly the right ammount of powder to
              put in the pan. In fact I would hold that a man trained with a flash
              guard attached can never lean exactly how much to put in. Added to
              this the fact that the flashguard makes them 'safe' many people using
              them think they might as well add a bit extra powder so they will be
              sure the musket will go off. which I consider dangerous practice.
              >
              > You will find some people who mention that the Prussians had a
              musket with a flashguard and the British experimented with one, which
              is true HOWEVER what these people will fail to mention is that these
              were self-priming weapons in which the touchole was enlarged so that
              all one did was pour the powder down the barrel and ram, which action
              cause powder from the main charge into?the pan and the flashguard
              protected the right hand man from?being flashed. In other words they
              realized that with this non-standard ignition system there was indeed
              a problem with flashing and made a move to correct it, BUT a properly
              loaded standard musket has no need for this.
              >
              > It should also be stated that on these weapons the flashguard is
              cast integral with the lock, not a dinky bit of brass screwd onto the
              outside as an afterthought.
              >
              > I hope that covers it,
              >
              > Cheers,
              >
              > Tim

              Your Honour,
              Sage advice and excellent information. Taking the last bit of
              information first. A quick trip to my references found BRITISH
              MILITARY LONGARMS 1715-1865 by D.W. Bailey, Arms and Armour Press,
              London, 1986. Plate 69 does indeed show a flashguard integal to
              Nock's Screwless Lock. "The shields were only fitted to the carbine,
              some musketrs, and some volunteer rifle locks." I am unable to find
              mention of shields in Blackmore's BRITISH MILITARY FIREARMS 1650-
              1850, but it is a dense reference. Apparently, they were not common
              equipment.

              As to the size of touch holes, they do indeed enlarge with age and
              use. I have notices this on several originals examples of India
              Pattern Muskets. THE RIFLE SHOPPE, the primire company for
              reproductions, says "Touch holes average between .078 and .091
              inches." Also it is possible to install 'flash hole liners' to solve
              the problem. TRACK OF THE WOLF,a muzzle loading parts and supply
              company sells them with instructions.

              As to the amount of powder in the pan, 1/3d full makes for very
              little priming powder. Determining the correct amount in the heat of
              battle (or an exhausting reenactment) would appear to be problamatic.
              Training and experience should solve this. I think most reenactors,
              myself included, do not fire enough to prime so precisely.

              This answers my questions as to history and practicality. However, I
              am sure "Litigation Insurance" will always require the use of
              flashguards and hammer stalls. My personal solution has been to
              install a thick steel flashguard. It is lower than the brass ones and
              fits closer around the pan. This allows for closer attention to the
              priming. With this and practice I hope to eliminate most of the
              sideflash.

              Best regards,
              Harry
              Pte, 42d RHR
            • BritcomHMP@aol.com
              You are more than welcome Harry, I would like to say that I did rather miss speak in my information in that the actual regulations (Carbine and pistol
              Message 6 of 16 , Oct 28, 2008
                You are more than welcome Harry, I would like to say that I did rather miss speak in my information in that the actual regulations (Carbine and pistol exercises for the Cavalry , A. G.s?Office December?1819) states no more that 1/2 the pan but I ind people tend to naturaly overprime so I say less and everything usualy goes well.

                I think the 1819 regulations are so detailed because without a war going on it cannot be asumed that there will be lots of soldiers surrounding the recruit who, as a matter of course, know the correct practice. Heres another item from the same manual.

                "In priming the recuit must be made to understand that a small?quantity of powder in the middle of the pan is sufficient: that he must never fill it. or scatter, or leave any loose grains on the edge of it, as by that means the hammer would be prevented from shutting down close, and the priming would be lost.

                On the hammerstall question I have no hesitation in saying that they are a useless encumderance whose only function might be to have an unsericeable weapon on the field. And they?severly interfere with the proper loading of the weapon if used as some advocate.?Old story, doesn't need to be re-hashed.

                BTW I have seen the Knock screwless lock bot with and without the flashguard, the ones with were all self primers.

                Cheers,

                Tim


                -----Original Message-----
                From: Harry Pilotto <hpilotto42@...>
                To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 7:44 am
                Subject: 1812 Re: Proper Priming Techniques






                --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, BritcomHMP@... wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > Tim,
                > I am an Old Dog on a quest to learn new tricks. What are the proper
                > techniques and/or training to preclude the need for flashguards? If
                I
                > am correct, historically they were not used; what did they know
                that
                > we do not do? This is a serous question, I want to improve my role
                as
                > a Private in the Ranks. Thanks!
                > Harry
                >
                > ----------------------------------------------------------
                >
                > Dear Harry,
                >
                > Happy to oblige. Firstly the maintainance of the weapon, the touch
                hole must not be over large so that the ignition of the the main
                charge can blow unburnt/igniting powder out of the pan and into the
                man next to you. If one does not clean the musket after each use
                after a (long) time the hole can be eaten away by pwder rsidue so
                that when the weapon finaly does get cleaned the hole has enlrged a
                bit.
                >
                > Secondly, and attention to this virtualy negates the problems
                above, the pan must be be filled no more than 1/3 with powder. This
                is from manuals of the period. Now the presence of a flashguard makes
                it extremely dificult to guage exactly the right ammount of powder to
                put in the pan. In fact I would hold that a man trained with a flash
                guard attached can never lean exactly how much to put in. Added to
                this the fact that the flashguard makes them 'safe' many people using
                them think they might as well add a bit extra powder so they will be
                sure the musket will go off. which I consider dangerous practice.
                >
                > You will find some people who mention that the Prussians had a
                musket with a flashguard and the British experimented with one, which
                is true HOWEVER what these people will fail to mention is that these
                were self-priming weapons in which the touchole was enlarged so that
                all one did was pour the powder down the barrel and ram, which action
                cause powder from the main charge into?the pan and the flashguard
                protected the right hand man from?being flashed. In other words they
                realized that with this non-standard ignition system there was indeed
                a problem with flashing and made a move to correct it, BUT a properly
                loaded standard musket has no need for this.
                >
                > It should also be stated that on these weapons the flashguard is
                cast integral with the lock, not a dinky bit of brass screwd onto the
                outside as an afterthought.
                >
                > I hope that covers it,
                >
                > Cheers,
                >
                > Tim

                Your Honour,
                Sage advice and excellent information. Taking the last bit of
                information first. A quick trip to my references found BRITISH
                MILITARY LONGARMS 1715-1865 by D.W. Bailey, Arms and Armour Press,
                London, 1986. Plate 69 does indeed show a flashguard integal to
                Nock's Screwless Lock. "The shields were only fitted to the carbine,
                some musketrs, and some volunteer rifle locks." I am unable to find
                mention of shields in Blackmore's BRITISH MILITARY FIREARMS 1650-
                1850, but it is a dense reference. Apparently, they were not common
                equipment.

                As to the size of touch holes, they do indeed enlarge with age and
                use. I have notices this on several originals examples of India
                Pattern Muskets. THE RIFLE SHOPPE, the primire company for
                reproductions, says "Touch holes average between .078 and .091
                inches." Also it is possible to install 'flash hole liners' to solve
                the problem. TRACK OF THE WOLF,a muzzle loading parts and supply
                company sells them with instructions.

                As to the amount of powder in the pan, 1/3d full makes for very
                little priming powder. Determining the correct amount in the heat of
                battle (or an exhausting reenactment) would appear to be problamatic.
                Training and experience should solve this. I think most reenactors,
                myself included, do not fire enough to prime so precisely.

                This answers my questions as to history and practicality. However, I
                am sure "Litigation Insurance" will always require the use of
                flashguards and hammer stalls. My personal solution has been to
                install a thick steel flashguard. It is lower than the brass ones and
                fits closer around the pan. This allows for closer attention to the
                priming. With this and practice I hope to eliminate most of the
                sideflash.

                Best regards,
                Harry
                Pte, 42d RHR






                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • David Marquis
                Please site some examples of where a Hammerstall or flashguard cause an injury. Obviously, you ve never seen a side blast of powder from the pan burn the
                Message 7 of 16 , Oct 30, 2008
                  Please site some examples of where a Hammerstall or flashguard cause
                  an injury. Obviously, you've never seen a side blast of powder from
                  the pan burn the fellow to your right's face. I have. it happens and
                  it's dangerous. some powder entered the guys eye and gave him painfull
                  burns.

                  I've also seen a musket go off half cocked, hammerstall not in place.
                  If it had been in place, the fellow would not have burns to his hand
                  (holding musket at 'Order firelocks, hand holding the muzzel end).

                  To not use these safety devices is wrong and potentially harmful.

                  And some DID use flashguards back in the day, not sure where I saw it,
                  but a period military musket was found and it had a crude fashioned
                  flashguard in place.

                  David

                  --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, BritcomHMP@... wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Dear Vic,
                  >
                  > I hope you beleve that I too am very concerned with safety, however
                  I disagree with the premise that flashguards anan hammerstalls are
                  safe! I have observed bad practice and potentialy dangerous situations
                  caused by these things but the people who were doing this where, in
                  their own opinion, safe because they had the attachments.
                  >
                  > Obviously if the argument is used, "Well, if YOU get them banned
                  (which I am not advocating, I am advoatinc choce and good training).
                  and anyone gets flashed, its YOUR fault". That tends to end the
                  argument as no one wants to?feel responsible?for something that
                  results fom someone elses bad practice. However, when someone is
                  injured by weapon that has these devices,?whose fault will that be?
                  >
                  > I would also like to point out that I am NOT speaking for the CFNA,
                  the decisions are taken in council by the member units, I am
                  expressing my own views formed from over 30 years of re-enacting this
                  period, live firing flintlocks and working in the movie and?TV industry.
                  >
                  > I have stated it many times before and will again, perhaps for the
                  last time (though I doubt it) if a musket needs a?hammerstall it
                  should not be on the field, the?person carrying it needs a flashguard
                  he should not be allowed to fire untill he has been properly trained.
                  >
                  > If we take as our premise the idea that we must remove all
                  posibility of injury from what we do then we might as well mothball
                  our?kit, because that is imossible.
                  >
                  > All the very best,
                  >
                  > Tim??
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • Tom Hurlbut
                  Well, one might say that the weapon was unserviceable if it went off at half cock.. And if someone was burned by a pan flash, then it could be an overprime or
                  Message 8 of 16 , Oct 30, 2008
                    Well, one might say that the weapon was unserviceable if it went off at half cock.. And if someone was burned by a pan flash, then it could be an overprime or a touch hole too large.

                    But I'm not here to argue with you as I actually believe they prevent more problems than they create (although if a hammerstall allows someone to think they can bring a musket on the field with a non-functioning half-cock, well..).

                    Basically, the sites determine whether we use them or not. (One hopes that they re-examine their rules from time to time.)

                    And that is where this argument really ends.

                    "Major" Tom
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: David Marquis
                    To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 8:04 AM
                    Subject: Re: [SPAM] RE: 1812 rules - Parks Canada (PC) free powder


                    Please site some examples of where a Hammerstall or flashguard cause
                    an injury. Obviously, you've never seen a side blast of powder from
                    the pan burn the fellow to your right's face. I have. it happens and
                    it's dangerous. some powder entered the guys eye and gave him painfull
                    burns.

                    I've also seen a musket go off half cocked, hammerstall not in place.
                    If it had been in place, the fellow would not have burns to his hand
                    (holding musket at 'Order firelocks, hand holding the muzzel end).

                    To not use these safety devices is wrong and potentially harmful.

                    And some DID use flashguards back in the day, not sure where I saw it,
                    but a period military musket was found and it had a crude fashioned
                    flashguard in place.

                    David


                    .

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • BritcomHMP@aol.com
                    Please site some examples of where a Hammerstall or flashguard cause an injury. Obviously, you ve never seen a side blast of powder from the pan burn the
                    Message 9 of 16 , Oct 30, 2008
                      Please site some examples of where a Hammerstall or flashguard cause
                      an injury. Obviously, you've never seen a side blast of powder from
                      the pan burn the fellow to your right's face. I have. it happens and
                      it's dangerous. some powder entered the guys eye and gave him painfull
                      burns.

                      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      David,

                      I is a great help if you actual read the posts you are replying to not just havig a knee jek reaction to what you THINK I am saying.

                      No, I have never seen a serious flash burn on any field where I have commanded (after 35 years of re-enacting by the way) because all the troops were properly trained and supervised. The odd powder fleck yes, as I say this is bound to happen in what we do,
                      I have seen ramrods fired, people burnt by ground charges because they were where they were specificly told not to go and broken limbs from falling off horses, But NEVER a severe powder burn from a musket without a flsh guard.?

                      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      I've also seen a musket go off half cocked, hammerstall not in place.
                      If it had been in place, the fellow would not have burns to his hand
                      (holding musket at 'Order firelocks, hand holding the muzzel end).

                      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Then the muske was not inspected correctly (or at all ?) or it suffered a catastopic unpredictable failure. Even so had the soldier been properly trained and holding his muset correctly he would not have suffered any burns from this occurance.?Why was his hand over the muzzle at the 'order firelocks'? It should be below it at all times, check the manual. No safety device can prevent bad practice.??

                      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      To not use these safety devices is wrong and potentially harmful.
                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      That is my point, the things are NOT safety devices, they actively PREVENT the proper operation of a flintlock which is dangerous. Even if a unit uses them (which on some fields we all have to) the men should be trained (not in tight formation) without them. At least then they can get a feel for how the weapon should be handled and will be less likely to overprime.

                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      And some DID use flashguards back in the day, not sure where I saw it,
                      but a period military musket was found and it had a crude fashioned
                      flashguard in place.

                      David
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      That is a specious argument, if you look back at my posts I have already given details on where and when these devices were used and why and the answer is over nearly 200 years of continuous use no army in the world saw a need for them on a properly maintained and correctly used standard?musket, period. As 'weekend warriors' we ave no excuse whatsoever to carry dirty rust encrusted and badly maintained muskets so we realy have no need for these things. It iritates e that everyone now has to conform with a rule that was invented so that poorly trained people with inadiquate knowlege and badly maintained weapons can come on the field and go bang.? At the time unserviceable weapons might have to be used because new suplies were not available at a remote outpost, we have no such excuse.

                      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Am I saying that not using flashguards would prevent accidents? Obviously not, but then the use of them don't prevent all flashing incidents and have actualy been known to cause some (close formaion, front rank kneeling and igniting te fur roach on the US 1798 headgear). I think that the danger seems to be roughly the same both with and without but the fact that they interfere with the correct operation of the weapon?convinces me at least that they encourage bad practice and unsafe operation of a firearm.?

                      ??? Tim






                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • suthren@magma.ca
                      It will be required of all infantry or riflemen entering Naval Establishment boats, at the discretion and concurrence of the boat commander/owner, that their
                      Message 10 of 16 , Oct 30, 2008
                        It will be required of all infantry or riflemen entering Naval Establishment boats, at the discretion and concurrence of the boat commander/owner, that their edged weapons be sheathed, and not drawn; cartridge boxes closed and having been previously inspected for no loose powder or inappropriate cartridges; and that all flintlock weapons have springs eased, pans open and empty, ramrods 'sprung' beforehand, and the weapons be fitted with both hammerstalls and flashguards. Coxswains shall have the right to refuse carriage to any musketman or rifleman that does not meet these requirements. Firings from boats shall be at under to the total control of, and at the discretion of, the boat commander.

                        The continuing argument that fitted safety equipment such as hammerstalls and flashguards prevents safe operation of the weapons is akin to claiming claiming that safety harnesses worn by seamen climbing aloft increase rather than decrease risk. No amount of training, nor rigorous inspection of a firelock's mechanism, can prevent an accidental discharge due to mechanical failure or a momentary human error. The insistence on every possible physical aid to safety as well as careful instruction on weapon use and prudent orders and decisions made by re-enactor leaders combine to provide the broadest possible safety envelope for the re-enactor. Removing any aspect of that envelope is irresponsible, and the urging of such removal on the grounds that safety is thereby increased is equally so. No truly experienced handler of black powder weapons in re-enacted circumstances would hold otherwise.

                        Vic Suthren
                        Naval Establishments
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: BritcomHMP@...
                        To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 10:29 AM
                        Subject: Re: [SPAM] RE: 1812 rules - Parks Canada (PC) free powder




                        Please site some examples of where a Hammerstall or flashguard cause
                        an injury. Obviously, you've never seen a side blast of powder from
                        the pan burn the fellow to your right's face. I have. it happens and
                        it's dangerous. some powder entered the guys eye and gave him painfull
                        burns.

                        ----------------------------------------------------------

                        David,

                        I is a great help if you actual read the posts you are replying to not just havig a knee jek reaction to what you THINK I am saying.

                        No, I have never seen a serious flash burn on any field where I have commanded (after 35 years of re-enacting by the way) because all the troops were properly trained and supervised. The odd powder fleck yes, as I say this is bound to happen in what we do,
                        I have seen ramrods fired, people burnt by ground charges because they were where they were specificly told not to go and broken limbs from falling off horses, But NEVER a severe powder burn from a musket without a flsh guard.?

                        ----------------------------------------------------------

                        I've also seen a musket go off half cocked, hammerstall not in place.
                        If it had been in place, the fellow would not have burns to his hand
                        (holding musket at 'Order firelocks, hand holding the muzzel end).

                        ----------------------------------------------------------

                        Then the muske was not inspected correctly (or at all ?) or it suffered a catastopic unpredictable failure. Even so had the soldier been properly trained and holding his muset correctly he would not have suffered any burns from this occurance.?Why was his hand over the muzzle at the 'order firelocks'? It should be below it at all times, check the manual. No safety device can prevent bad practice.??

                        ----------------------------------------------------------

                        To not use these safety devices is wrong and potentially harmful.
                        ----------------------------------------------------------

                        That is my point, the things are NOT safety devices, they actively PREVENT the proper operation of a flintlock which is dangerous. Even if a unit uses them (which on some fields we all have to) the men should be trained (not in tight formation) without them. At least then they can get a feel for how the weapon should be handled and will be less likely to overprime.

                        ----------------------------------------------------------

                        And some DID use flashguards back in the day, not sure where I saw it,
                        but a period military musket was found and it had a crude fashioned
                        flashguard in place.

                        David
                        ----------------------------------------------------------

                        That is a specious argument, if you look back at my posts I have already given details on where and when these devices were used and why and the answer is over nearly 200 years of continuous use no army in the world saw a need for them on a properly maintained and correctly used standard?musket, period. As 'weekend warriors' we ave no excuse whatsoever to carry dirty rust encrusted and badly maintained muskets so we realy have no need for these things. It iritates e that everyone now has to conform with a rule that was invented so that poorly trained people with inadiquate knowlege and badly maintained weapons can come on the field and go bang.? At the time unserviceable weapons might have to be used because new suplies were not available at a remote outpost, we have no such excuse.

                        ----------------------------------------------------------

                        Am I saying that not using flashguards would prevent accidents? Obviously not, but then the use of them don't prevent all flashing incidents and have actualy been known to cause some (close formaion, front rank kneeling and igniting te fur roach on the US 1798 headgear). I think that the danger seems to be roughly the same both with and without but the fact that they interfere with the correct operation of the weapon?convinces me at least that they encourage bad practice and unsafe operation of a firearm.?

                        ??? Tim

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





                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • BritcomHMP@aol.com
                        The continuing argument that fitted safety equipment such as hammerstalls and flashguards prevents safe operation of the weapons is akin to claiming claiming
                        Message 11 of 16 , Oct 30, 2008
                          The continuing argument that fitted safety equipment such as hammerstalls and flashguards prevents safe operation of the weapons is akin to claiming claiming that safety harnesses worn by seamen climbing aloft increase rather than decrease risk. No amount of training, nor rigorous inspection of a firelock's mechanism, can prevent an accidental discharge due to mechanical failure or a momentary human error. The insistence on every possible physical aid to safety as well as careful instruction on weapon use and prudent orders and decisions made by re-enactor leaders combine to provide the broadest possible safety envelope for the re-enactor. Removing any aspect of that envelope is irresponsible, and the urging of such removal on the grounds that safety is thereby increased is equally so. No truly experienced handler of black powder weapons in re-enacted circumstances would hold otherwise.
                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Vic,

                          I beleve with every fibre of my re-enactment being that you are wrong.
                          Your analogy doesn't hold water because the harness you mention does not interfere with the correct running of the ship. I would point out (if we ae in the world of wild improbabilities) that if the half cock were to fail while a musket is being held at the 'make ready' position a flash guard will direct the priming directly into the mans face, I would love to see the comments inm the unlikely event that that tragidy happens.

                          The naval department can and should govern all rules while at sea, it is even in the general orders of 1804 that they should. Howevere I would hold that after 35 years I am indeed experienced in the use of flintlock weapons and to sugest that I am not or in some way irresponsible just because you dont agree with my reasoning (nor 200 years of use by the British Army) is not what I expect in a?civilized?discussion.

                          The point is moot, in that the rules, and they are in force, however, to virtualy say that those rules cannot be questioned?and to notable to?refute one point that I have made about the CORRECT (rather than re-enactor accepted) usage of a military firearm strikes me as a bit, odd.

                          ?
                          Just because I happen to be a 're-enactment leader' does not mean I should remain silent when people are espousing falsehoods, quite the opposit in fact.

                          Tim



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • spikeyj
                          On Thu, 30 Oct 2008 11:12:17 -0500 ... Is there any reason why these rules have at the discretion of the boat commander or shall have the right to refuse
                          Message 12 of 16 , Oct 30, 2008
                            On Thu, 30 Oct 2008 11:12:17 -0500
                            <suthren@...> wrote:
                            > It will be required of all infantry or riflemen entering
                            > Naval Establishment boats, at the discretion and
                            > concurrence of the boat commander/owner, that their edged
                            > weapons be sheathed, and not drawn; cartridge boxes
                            > closed and having been previously inspected for no loose
                            > powder or inappropriate cartridges; and that all
                            > flintlock weapons have springs eased, pans open and
                            > empty, ramrods 'sprung' beforehand, and the weapons be
                            > fitted with both hammerstalls and flashguards. Coxswains
                            > shall have the right to refuse carriage to any musketman
                            > or rifleman that does not meet these requirements.

                            Is there any reason why these rules have "at the discretion
                            of the boat commander" or "shall have the right to refuse
                            carriage"? Why aren't these rules definitive: "If you don't
                            meet the requirements the commander/boatowner/coxswain
                            *will* refuse carriage"?

                            Spike Y Jones
                            ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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                          • Tom Hurlbut
                            Hi Spike! The boat commander is, by law, responsible for what happens on the boat. He may have his own ideas about what s safe. However, if I say it s okay to
                            Message 13 of 16 , Oct 30, 2008
                              Hi Spike!

                              The boat commander is, by law, responsible for what happens on the boat. He
                              may have his own ideas about what's safe. However, if I say it's okay to
                              enter the boat with something that might be deemed amiss, and there's an
                              accident, then I am held accountable.

                              If accepted practice (read accepted rules) is disregarded and contrary to
                              what happened, then you can see just what boat the CO finds himself (up the
                              creek!) when this goes to court.

                              As I have said, the people who rule the location of the event will make the
                              rules as they are generally the ones who face the biggest legal dangers.
                              This does not mean that the rules can't be challenged, just not broken.

                              Can't we get past this? There is no solution.

                              "Major" Tom

                              >
                              > Is there any reason why these rules have "at the discretion
                              > of the boat commander" or "shall have the right to refuse
                              > carriage"? Why aren't these rules definitive: "If you don't
                              > meet the requirements the commander/boatowner/coxswain
                              > *will* refuse carriage"?
                              >
                              > Spike Y Jones
                            • suthren@magma.ca
                              Tim There was no personal intent to my observations, and if you have perceived there were, I sincerely apologize. Certainly you are a re-enactor of long
                              Message 14 of 16 , Oct 30, 2008
                                Tim

                                There was no personal intent to my observations, and if you have perceived there were, I sincerely apologize. Certainly you are a re-enactor of long experience, and you are the senior officer on the field because a great many people feel you deserve to be. In my own experience and familiarity with flintlocks, including participation in the AWI Bicentennial with flashguard-equipped BAR units as both musketman and officer, and in designing and implementing the military animation program of the Fortress of Louisbourg, I never experienced, either in my personal use of the firelock or in witnessing that of others, any evidence that the flashguard made safe handling of the weapon less safe. The last-minute removal of the hammerstall added movement to the Manual of 1764, but did not impede its overall execution, and would have prevented the weapon flashing if human error or mechanical failure caused the frizzen to be struck. So I am afraid we must continue to have a firm---but gentlemanly---disagreement.

                                You might consider why all modern small arms, from the No. 4 Mk 1 Lee-Enfield through the 7.62 FN/FAL to the AK-47, the M-1 Garand, the M-14, the M-1 Carbine, and the current M-16(USA), C7 (Canada) or SA-80 (UK) all have a 'safety'---and why weapons that had no safety devices, like the 9MM Sten Gun, were viewed with such dislike by instructor and recruit alike. Training sometimes just isn't enough....

                                Yours in agreeable disagreement,

                                Vic
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: BritcomHMP@...
                                To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 1:55 PM
                                Subject: Re: [SPAM] RE: 1812 rules - Parks Canada (PC) free powder




                                The continuing argument that fitted safety equipment such as hammerstalls and flashguards prevents safe operation of the weapons is akin to claiming claiming that safety harnesses worn by seamen climbing aloft increase rather than decrease risk. No amount of training, nor rigorous inspection of a firelock's mechanism, can prevent an accidental discharge due to mechanical failure or a momentary human error. The insistence on every possible physical aid to safety as well as careful instruction on weapon use and prudent orders and decisions made by re-enactor leaders combine to provide the broadest possible safety envelope for the re-enactor. Removing any aspect of that envelope is irresponsible, and the urging of such removal on the grounds that safety is thereby increased is equally so. No truly experienced handler of black powder weapons in re-enacted circumstances would hold otherwise.
                                ----------------------------------------------------------

                                Vic,

                                I beleve with every fibre of my re-enactment being that you are wrong.
                                Your analogy doesn't hold water because the harness you mention does not interfere with the correct running of the ship. I would point out (if we ae in the world of wild improbabilities) that if the half cock were to fail while a musket is being held at the 'make ready' position a flash guard will direct the priming directly into the mans face, I would love to see the comments inm the unlikely event that that tragidy happens.

                                The naval department can and should govern all rules while at sea, it is even in the general orders of 1804 that they should. Howevere I would hold that after 35 years I am indeed experienced in the use of flintlock weapons and to sugest that I am not or in some way irresponsible just because you dont agree with my reasoning (nor 200 years of use by the British Army) is not what I expect in a?civilized?discussion.

                                The point is moot, in that the rules, and they are in force, however, to virtualy say that those rules cannot be questioned?and to notable to?refute one point that I have made about the CORRECT (rather than re-enactor accepted) usage of a military firearm strikes me as a bit, odd.

                                ?
                                Just because I happen to be a 're-enactment leader' does not mean I should remain silent when people are espousing falsehoods, quite the opposit in fact.

                                Tim


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





                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • suthren@magma.ca
                                Spike Referring to the discretion and concurrence of a boat coxswain (who is usually the owner) is a necessary deference to the conviction most such men hold
                                Message 15 of 16 , Oct 30, 2008
                                  Spike

                                  Referring to the discretion and concurrence of a boat coxswain (who is
                                  usually the owner) is a necessary deference to the conviction most such men
                                  hold that they and they alone will decide what happens to their boat, and
                                  what goes on in it. As they volunteer their boats and their own services for
                                  our events, such respect is necessary, as I think you'd agree, but given in
                                  the hope that they will in fact uniformly support and carry out all such
                                  safety regulations---er---suggestions.

                                  Yours aye

                                  Vic Suthren


                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: "spikeyj" <spikeyj@...>
                                  To: <WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 2:23 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [SPAM] RE: 1812 rules - Parks Canada (PC) free powder


                                  > On Thu, 30 Oct 2008 11:12:17 -0500
                                  > <suthren@...> wrote:
                                  > > It will be required of all infantry or riflemen entering
                                  > > Naval Establishment boats, at the discretion and
                                  > > concurrence of the boat commander/owner, that their edged
                                  > > weapons be sheathed, and not drawn; cartridge boxes
                                  > > closed and having been previously inspected for no loose
                                  > > powder or inappropriate cartridges; and that all
                                  > > flintlock weapons have springs eased, pans open and
                                  > > empty, ramrods 'sprung' beforehand, and the weapons be
                                  > > fitted with both hammerstalls and flashguards. Coxswains
                                  > > shall have the right to refuse carriage to any musketman
                                  > > or rifleman that does not meet these requirements.
                                  >
                                  > Is there any reason why these rules have "at the discretion
                                  > of the boat commander" or "shall have the right to refuse
                                  > carriage"? Why aren't these rules definitive: "If you don't
                                  > meet the requirements the commander/boatowner/coxswain
                                  > *will* refuse carriage"?
                                  >
                                  > Spike Y Jones
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                                • BritcomHMP@aol.com
                                  Dear Vic, I have to say that, yes, I did rather take your last post a bit personaly in that the way I read it you seemed to be saying that anyone who disagreed
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Oct 30, 2008
                                    Dear Vic,

                                    I have to say that, yes, I did rather take your last post a bit personaly in that the way I read it you seemed to be saying that anyone who disagreed with the necesity of flashguards and hamerstalls was, ipso facto, irresponsible. As I have always considered them worse than useless I did rather take it that implication as aplying to me, particularly as you were replying to one of my posts.
                                    As you say we can agree to disagree in a gentlemanly fasion, but I do dislike?the fact that these things sometimes seem to be thought to?cure all ills. The last incident of that type I had in this line was at Mississinewa several years ago when I banned 3 muskets from the field, 2 with very bad locks and one with a completely unservicable half cock. The chaps with them were quite indignant because they had flashguards and hammerstalls so were obviously 'safe'!
                                    I have seen many pure accidents on the field and it is my unshakeable belief that nothing that prevents someone from operating a weapon in the correct?manner can, by definition, be a safety feature.
                                    I have never heard of nor seen any serious?incident involving a firearm that was not caused by either failure to maintain the weapon or bad practice and for this reason I will always trust the period instuction manuals implicitly.

                                    BTW if I may observe on your statement:

                                    You might consider why all modern small arms, from the No. 4 Mk 1 Lee-Enfield through the 7.62 FN/FAL to the AK-47, the M-1 Garand, the M-14, the M-1 Carbine, and the current M-16(USA), C7 (Canada) or SA-80 (UK) all have a 'safety'---and why weapons that had no safety devices, like the 9MM Sten Gun, were viewed with such dislike by instructor and recruit alike. Training sometimes just isn't enough....


                                    These safety devices are not flicked on and off while one is operating the weapon and were actualy designed as part of the weapon from its inception (like the flashguard on the Prusiian self priming musket). As for the Sten Gun having had the dubious prvilage of firing one of these beasts while in the Sea Cadets I would say a safety is the least of its problems. I rather thought it would be more efective as a club, certainly it struck me that it would be at least as dangerous to the operator and his immediate companions as it was to the enemy. The AK-47 though now there's a combat weapon.

                                    Aye

                                    Tim





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