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Old February 6, 2013, 07:41 AM   #26
Mike Irwin
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Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,074
"I did see an old Cordite round disassembled, now that was cool. The Cordite was in like strips kinda like little pipe cleaners."

Cordite for small arms ammunition was extruded through dies and cut to length.

In the case of rifle rounds, it was then bundled and tied with a small cloth ribbon which, I believe, was nitrated so that it would burn away.

As others have noted, it was then intserted into the unformed case, which was then necked and trimmed to length.

I'm not sure how cordite for handgun rounds was formed and loaded.

Cordite was an amazingly flexible propellant. With relatively minor formulation changes, it could be used to propell a 200-gr. revolver bullet or a 1.5 ton 15" shell out of a battleship gun.

Earlier Naval formulations were found to have a nasty tendency to sweat nitroglycerine, not unlike dynamite, which is thought to have contributed to, or caused, peacetime loss of two British warships.

Here's a neat WW II era picture of a woman worker at the British Royal Navy Cordite factory parceling out sticks of cordite to be packaged and sent for loading into shells.


THE ROYAL NAVY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. © IWM (A 24936)IWM Non Commercial Licence
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