Here is a list of all the postings Mick B1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.
|Thread: Testing Medieval Gunpowder|
Thanks for the pointer to the book, Dave.
Reduced-flash cordite was of course of significant value for RN cruisers engaging Scharnhorst at North Cape - ships stalking and shooting by radar in the Arctic night.
Some of the early pointed black powder filled shells used in 19th C rifled muzzle-loading guns didn't have fuzes. They relied on the friction between the powder granules on the sharp deceleration of impact to fire their bursting charge.
'Smokeless' is a bit of a relative term, like 'stainless' for steel.
Look at any photo or footage of a large 20th C warship firing its main armament, and there are always vast volumes of dense, dark smoke emitted - even though 'smokeless'propellants like nitrocellulose, cordite or their analogues were in use. In some notable sea battles, such as Falkland Islands in 1914 or the final Bismarck action in 1941, ships had to alter course in order to prevent their own gunsmoke clouding their gunnery direction.
I've never been able to find out why such copious smoke was emitted by heavy guns, when smallarms really do produce very little. One witness to the Gallipoli bombardments in WW1 blamed the silk bags in which the propellants were loaded to the guns. I even begged a bit of silk from my wife's weaving stock, and loaded it into a couple of .303 rifle cartridges to see if I got a puff of smoke when I fired them at the next range meeting, but got nowt. Anyway, the German guns, which had used big brass cases like oversized rifle rounds, smoked just as badly as the British.
Some have suggested that it's steel particles from the gun chambers and bores, washed out by the high pressures and temperatures. But the rifled liners for the big naval guns lasted about 300 - 400 rounds - say a third as many as an infantry rifle barrel at the time - so if that were so, the rifles should have still smoked a fair bit more than they did.
I think this is the beast, as it was in 2009 anyway - mounted on a 'coehorn' I believe. The powder mill a mile or so west of Postbridge was quite a nice craft pottery, and hopefully still is. The leaflet said alderwood charcoal was best for gunpowder, but what they made at the mill was for quarry blasting - not necessarily the same properties as a ballistic propellant.
Edited By Mick B1 on 22/12/2021 12:40:19
|Thread: Drilling brass.|
At the Government Training Centre they taught me to grind a zero-rake 'platform' about 0,5 - 1mm wide to defeat the rake at the cutting lip. It's much like JasonB's recommendation above, but - for me at least - quicker and easier to achieve. It resolves the snatching problem completely. Time spent learning to get the bench grinder to do what you want is never wasted.
|Thread: Any Old Gun Experts out there?|
The 'double-clamp' item is undoubtedly an Alfred J. Parker foresight adjuster for a Lee-Enfield. If the '03' is a date, then it'll presumably be MLE or CLLE models, otherwise and maybe more likely the much more common SMLE used in WW1 and WW2 until superseded by the No.4. It shifts the dovetailed block incorporating the foresight blade sideways rather than bending it.
To use it on the SMLE required removal of the rifle's nosecap in order for the adjusting screws to be able to get at the foresight in its dovetail. This was fiddly to do in the field or on the range, and risked losing bits like the nosecap muzzle bedding pad and/or spring, and/or securing screw in the long grass! Later rifle models had windows cut in the foresight protector so you could do it without that fuss, but it was still something done by the unit armourer, not Tommy.
Edited By Mick B1 on 13/12/2021 22:36:32
|Thread: Shortening Screws|
Tapped bit of hex brass (A/F > head size of course) slit lengthwise with junior hacksaw. Make sure the slit is between jaws on the 3-jaw, and clamp tight. Part off or face the length - light cutting forces, don't be greedy.
|Thread: Tricky Work Holding Problem|
If you're going to drill the handles for a knob on the end, why not centre-drill the outboard ends for tailstock support? Then you can turn the handles however you might wish.
|Thread: Digital Caliper - again, sorry|
I use Moore & Wright valueline - normally around £25, smooth operating, pretty reliable within their 0,01mm/half-thou resolution and a battery can last many months or more of regular use. I'm on my third one in about 7 years of use - they don't stand being dropped or struck very well - but as a general workshop gauge I think they're at least good enough.
The Aldi and Lidl types do seem to have much heavier battery consumption and are much more prone to the 200 thou/5,08mm reading jump that seems to be a sporadic fault of the genre.
Edited By Mick B1 on 09/12/2021 16:14:44
|Thread: How to profile a bum shaped depression in a 5"G drivers tip-up seat|
The traditional tool is a travisher. You can get them in various sizes but I shouldn't think that small - assuming it's a scale seat rather than one for a full-size driver.
Could you use Miliput or suchlike putty with a thumb-pressed depression?
|Thread: pantomime sword|
Ladder Damascus for a Saracen, surely!
The saexes on the Essex flag are at least as difficult...
|Thread: Stuart Beam Con Rod|
Long time ago for me too, but mine measures about 13/16" to the bottom of the radius.
Maybe I was just leaving myself a load of room, and it looks as if I made the fork as a separate component - but I can't see that it has any negative effect.
|Thread: show us your workshop.|
I thought about photographing and posting mine, but some of the above makes me hesitate even though I keep Location turned off on my phone.
Not that I've got anything especially valuable - and anyway, what comes out yer workshop is 100 times more important than what you got in there.
|Thread: Best way to make valve guides|
I've come to the view that wandering often occurs if you drive the drill hard and don't peck often enough. If swarf gets trapped between the cylindrical land and the wall of the hole it'll deflect the drill point and one lip will cut deeper, diverting the hole slightly, and going deeper will only exaggerate the effect.
|Thread: US Army : Infantry Squad Vehicle|
Hmmm... Currently these are probably mainly used to provide dramatic footage, discourage/outrange local civilian dissent, or otherwise engage targets incapable of effective reply.
Maybe not the sort of things an army presenting itself as the civilised good guys should want to be doing...?
True enough, but there are 2 possible replies:-
i) the next action might be very different, and not conducted in an environment with a significant indifferent or hostile hinterland population component, and
ii) wasn't the recent success of light irregular forces in Afghanistan as much down to the unarmoured pickup loaded with fighters and smallarms, as it was to those other guerilla techniques? This vehicle could be just a better version of that.
Edited By Mick B1 on 14/11/2021 19:15:22
Well, I was thinking of it more as a logistics vehicle to get troops and kit into the battle area rather than an actual combat vehicle. The Vickers gun turret idea was just whimsy, noting that some of the WW1 and inter-war armoured cars used a high rear deck to carry the turret.
Now, not wanting to to hijack this thread, but HMS Hood. The battlecruiser concept was already under criticism after Jutland and before Hood's keel was laid. In the light of such criticism, another 500 tons of armour was worked in - but much speculation since has centred more on the RN ready-use storage of bagged propellant charges in less protected spaces during the Jutland action than the actual armour scheme. Battlecruiser losses at Jutland were more from opposing battlecruisers than battleships.
The second enquiry into the loss of Hood suggested that Bismarck had to hit a region of Hood 40 feet long and 18 inches deep to achieve the result that occurred, and suggested further that it was indeed a very unlucky hit for Hood. It possibly had its roots in confused enemy course reports from the shadowing cruisers during the night, which had lost Hood the abrupt 'crossing-T' approach Adm Holland had hoped for, and forced the tricky and oblique closing manoeuvre of the actual battle.
The later torpedo hit on Bismarck that sealed its fate was hardly less improbable - at least one survivor had played a 'casualty' in an earlier exercise simulating such a hit, and had been told that its estimated probability was in the hundred-thousand-to-one against range.The facts revealed critical design weaknesses in the ship's stern construction.
Edited By Mick B1 on 14/11/2021 17:33:37
Yes, it looks a pretty good piece of work.
That raised rear roof - wonder if you could mount a little turret with a Vickers gun, a la WW1 Rolls-Royce armoured car..?
I imagine those will be accessories provisioned separately, made of whatever is deemed suitable to resist local deployment conditions...
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