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269042 Ed Minch <ruby1638@a...> 2019‑08‑11 Re: Whatsit??

Much better than a spill for gun work is a slow match.  Used on both of the tall
ships I volunteer on, it is now a piece of cotton cord that looks much like
clothes line, soaked in potassium nitrate.  Easy to ignite but burns at the rate
of about a foot an hour with just an ember stuck to the end of the cord.  No
open flame and no burning ember falls off.  This is very important on a gun deck
where you may have 30 guns getting ready to fire. About 18” of slow match is
wrapped around the tip of a linstock, and both ends are lit if things get
critical, just in case one end goes out.  The linstock is also 24-30” long to
get the operator as far from the gun as possible because a blast of fire and
brimstone come straight up out of the touch hole when it fires - and also, the
gun can recoil unpredictably.  Check the smoke coming straight up out of the
breech here:


No need of a slow match on a flintlock, of course, and canon had flintlocks
called gunlocks after the late 18th c.  And there are no cannon on a ship, just


Ed Minch

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