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Revolutionary War Reenacting Cartridge-making

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Published on Sep 12, 2013

How to make a musket cartridge for Revolutionary War reenacting, specifically for a 69 caliber Charleville. www.2va.org
Reference: Allen Ockerlander: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYUPa...
Note: dowel hollowed out is to fit a Charleville ball, emphasis ball. And, yes, I can properly say "flatten." Please pardon the single-take preference. : )
Putting the hollow into one end of the dowel may be started with a 1/16 inch drill bit going in maybe 1/10 of an inch, then progressing to a 3/8 in drill bit, finishing off with a knife. To be sure you like the result, this method may have you waiting to cut off the 6 inches until after you've satisfactory formed the hollow. Also, some folks like to use a two (or six) inch long 5/8 inch dowel as a nub on which to press the bottom of the cartridge. The top of the nub needs to shaped with a wood rasp to fit the hollow of the 6 inch long dowel. Then place the two inch long dowel nub-side up into one of the board holes. You're then ready for shaping the bottom of the cartridges, vis a vis smashing the twist into the table as the video shows. Alternatively, use a six inch long nub just to press into the bottom of the cartridge. Also, after paper rolling, some folks like to twist the 6 inch dowel inside the paper to ensure an extra-tight roll. Also, direction of the "store front" can be moved to the traditional left if you twist the dowel as opposed to the paper. Regardless, it's best if the motion of the twist continues in the same direction as the paper roll.
Brown Bess users may want to experiment with dowel sizes. Most cartridge boxes have 3/4 inch holes, so a 3/4 in dowel would need to be sanded/shaved/turned down to perhaps 11/16 inches. Have looked for 11/16 in dowels, but very few sellers. Maybe use 5/8 in dowel and wind loosely or thicken/build-out dowel, or perhaps no big deal and just use procedure for 69 caliber musket? Comments from Brown Bess users welcome!
N.B. Please note that at the end you can use the funnel to pour the powder from the box back into the can. Also, given that you really clean it well before returning it to other use (obviously to prevent a fire), a cookie tin serves as a nice "box."
N.B. For those interested in Charleville firing and cleaning, check out: http://www.bahrnoproducts.com/Charlev...
Other ideas: 1. Use a new cookie tin as your box. Easy to clean. 2. Allow rolled cartridge to slip a bit as you crush the bottom with a nub; this allows an indentation and a better seal for the bottom of the cartridge. 3. As you place the dowel on the paper and try to estimate 5/8 of an inch of paper for the bottom of the cartridge, just try to visualize a square. The dowel is 5/8 inch thick. Move dowel left or right on the paper so that you see a square of paper between the end of the dowel and the edge of the paper.
Thomas Pickering's directions specify "storefront" height of about 6 inches, "floor" of about 5.5 inches, and "storeback" height of about 2 inches. My dimensions are close: 6, 6, and 2 and hopefully good enough.
Also check out Bill's new book: www.LibertyKey.US

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