Rounds Detonating in the Magazine
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Rounds Detonating in the Magazine

Rounds Detonating in the Magazine




      

Rounds Detonating in the Magazine


Rounds Detonating in the Magazine

The weight of a column of five ordinary service cartridges would be about seven ounces, at least four-fifths of which weight would in a tubular magazine, rest fairly upon the point of the bullet of the last cartridge, and which bullet comes directly in contact with the primer itself of the cartridge in advance of it. All ammunition manufacturers realize the difficulty experienced in preparing fulminate of mercury (used for primers), that will, in practical use, always have a uniform degree of sensitiveness. It can be made so sensitive that the slightest scratch will ignite it, and many fulminate mixers have lost their lives by a moment's inattention or relaxation of caution while compounding it. While it is generally possible to produce fulminate of nearly equal quality, still different batches do vary; and whether it be from difference in this quality or from the different position or placement of the fulminate in the primer as regards the cartridge-anvil, or otherwise, still it is certainly true that cartridges are to be found in use that will explode with one half the concussion ordinarily required. It is a fact that cartridges have exploded by dropping a few inches from the machine in which they are loaded into the receptacle below. It is readily seen, then, that the use of such a spiral spring makes premature explosion not only possible, but very probable, and there is no way to prevent it, except by discarding it, as in the Lee or Chaffee-Reece guns. During the War of the Rebellion, guns using the spiral spring have been known to explode when the cavalry were on a march. Of course, such arms were discarded; but the same thing may happen to any arm of recent invention which is so constructed as to require a spiral spring.

Farrow, Edward S. American Small Arms; a Veritable Encyclopedia of Knowledge for Sportsmen and Military Men. New York: Bradford, 1904. Print.

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