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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2011 12:06 pm    Post subject: Mid 18thC powder horns         Reply with quote

Hi All,

I make knives, bows, scabbards and other weapon related items, but I also seem to get quite a few more unusual orders and one of these I have recently finished was for 3 mid 18thC powder horns. These were based on a French piece in the Museum de l'armee in Paris and are dated about 1750.

The masters were made in a combination of steel, brass and copper and developed up the articulation and the springs (which all took a while) and then had them cast in bronze.

I hope you like them.

If you are curious you will find a picture of the master on www.facebook.com/todsstuff


Regards

Tod



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Lin Robinson




PostPosted: Sat 21 May, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tod...

Those are very nicely done horns. I especially like the valves. It appears and correct me if I am wrong, that there is a cutoff at the bottom and top of the spout so that powder may flow into what amounts to a measure which is closed at the top then, when the thumb piece (for lack of a better term) was depressed, the main powder supply, in the horn, was closed off and the powder that was in the spout could be poured into the barrel of the gun. Am I right. Very nice indeed but somewhat dangerous in use.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982


Last edited by Lin Robinson on Sun 22 May, 2011 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Sun 22 May, 2011 1:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote
Quote:
Those are very nicely done horns. I especially like the valves. It appears and correct me if I am wrong, that there is a cutoff at the bottom and top of the spout so that powder may flow into what amounts to a measure which is closed at the top then, when the thumb piece (for lack of a better term) was released, the main powder supply, in the horn, was closed off and the powder that was in the spout could be poured into the barrel of the gun. Am I right. Very nice indeed but somewhat dangerous in use.


Hi Lin,

Thank you. The method of operation you outline is correct in that they have two gate valves connected by a bar so that when one is open the other is closed and the volume between the two gates creates the measured charge.

As to dangerous in use - I can't really comment as I am not a familiar enough with firearms to meanifully add anything, except that this is how these horns operated in antiquity so they must have been safe enough. Even though not as safe as a bandolier of individual pre-measured charges.

Regards

Tod

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Lin Robinson




PostPosted: Sun 22 May, 2011 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:

As to dangerous in use - I can't really comment as I am not a familiar enough with firearms to meanifully add anything, except that this is how these horns operated in antiquity so they must have been safe enough. Even though not as safe as a bandolier of individual pre-measured charges.


Tod…

As you point out, these types of mechanisms were used successfully for long periods of time. When they were made craftsmanship was paramount. Today makers like you uphold those standards. However there are many less well made items on the market that can be dangerous.

The danger lies in using the primary powder storage container to charge the firearm after it has been fired. With muzzle loading firearms embers can remain in the gun barrel for a time after discharge. Conceivably pouring a charge down the barrel directly from the main storage container can cause a chain reaction leading to the horn or flask exploding. If the stream of powder being poured in is ignited by an ember it can act like a fuse leading to the spout of the container. A lot of the valves being used in today’s flasks and horns to do not create a tight seal which may allow a spark to get to the powder stored in the container. This is not a common occurrence today because black powder shooters are admonished to pour their main charge into a measure then charge the gun from the measure. However it does happen every now and then. When it does the horn or flask becomes a hand grenade with potentially disastrous results. I cringe when I see a movie scene featuring a character charging a gun directly from a horn.

Again, I really like these horns.

Lin

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Julian Reynolds




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PostPosted: Sun 22 May, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great work (as usual), Tod.

Lin, as you rightly point out, loading from a flask can be risky. We are expressly forbidden from loading from a flask on the range, and must use measured loads or paper cartridges. And Napoleonic/American Civil War reenactors also usually load from paper cartridges, but that is period correct. English Civil War reenactors tend to load from their wooden 'apostles' on a bandolier, but you do also get those who load from a flask although there is a 'standard' here in the UK for these - they have a passive sprung cut-off mechanism which separates the charge in the spout from the rest of the powder in the flask (not the same as the mechanism Tod has used, which is more historically correct). Flasks going off are thankfully extremely rare.

Edit: Found the flask I was looking for (see below - made by Plantagenet Reproductions). They have a sprung cut-off mechanism which isolates the body of the flask from the spout (you fill the spout with your finger over the end, then pour the charge in the spout down the barrel). It also has a blow-out plug on the underside. There are other variations on the principle, but you get the idea!

Julian



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David Ledoyen
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PostPosted: Fri 27 May, 2011 7:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tod,

This is real neat stuff. Amazing work. Do you thing it is possible to make these flasks with the main lever and the tow cut-off made of iron? This is what I see on French originals.

David

David Ledoyen
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Michael Pearce
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PostPosted: Mon 30 May, 2011 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful work, Leo! I really like these; can you perhaps PM me what a horn of this type might cost?
Michael 'Tinker' Pearce
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Then one night, as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90mph, I had an epiphany...
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Jun, 2011 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Ledoyen wrote
Quote:
This is real neat stuff. Amazing work. Do you thing it is possible to make these flasks with the main lever and the tow cut-off made of iron? This is what I see on French originals.

David


Yes this is possible, but everyone now using powder, uses non-ferrous materials and so I have followed this route.

Michael - PM sent

Thanks for the compliments.

Regards

Tod

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