View Full Version : another stupid question from a new guy

October 5, 2004, 12:29 PM

I was wondering, in Civil War reenactments, how are the "blanks" made?
Do you just load the powder and use a wad to keep it compressed or is there more to it?
Thanks and I hope I'm not wearing out my welcome with these questions.

Jim Watson
October 5, 2004, 01:04 PM
I am not into it myself, but I was TOLD by a re-enactor that neither wads nor ramrods are allowed in muskets. You bite the cartridge paper open, dump the powder down the barrel, drop the cartridge paper, cap with the muzzle up, present, and fire immediately the barrel comes level. Smoke and bang are adequate for the purpose. A wad would have to be rammed down on the powder and they want no risk of somebody shooting a ramrod at the opposing force, as was known to happen in the day.

I think you would have to have a wad in a revolver, but there is no separate ramrod to launch. Breechloading carbines would likely do ok with a nitrated paper cartridge.

Cap n ball
October 6, 2004, 03:09 PM
It's done like Jim said with one little caveat that you don't find out about until you've fired six or seven rounds. When you bite the paper cartridge and dump the powder you almost always get a little in your mouth and after awhile also a blinding headache and the nitrate will also cause your heart to beat faster. Not a good thing for old guys or those with blood pressure problems. Oh. and yeah, NO ramrods are allowed. Years ago there were some nasty accidents where horses and men were speared by ramrods accidently left in the barrel. Of course, there are some re-enactors of the so-called 'hard core' variety that would like to use live rounds and think getting dysentry would be cool. I camp far away from those sorts.