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 Zulu war MH ammunition.

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impi

impi

Posts : 2308
Join date : 2010-07-02
Age : 41

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyWed Aug 07, 2013 5:51 pm

Does anyone have any information on the production of the ammuntion.

By who?
Where?
Handmade?
Machined?
What was the shelf life?

And anything else relating!


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littlehand

littlehand

Posts : 7077
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 52
Location : Down South.

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyWed Aug 07, 2013 6:18 pm

Impi. I thing there is already something on the forum regarding this, but not as indepth as you ask. I recall reading some of the ammuntion was made by Children ?

Here's something that shows the reasoning behind the production, and what was thought nessesary.

]i]"The cartridge adopted was, however, an intriguing compromise that only a military committee could have possibly devised. It was decided that the new cartridge must have sufficient power to punch its bullet through a rawhide shield and the man behind it at 800 yards, or a horse at 600 yards whilst at the same time having sufficient stopping power to deal with the most fanatical tribesman high on opium or dagga (cannabis).To achieve the necessary stopping power a soft lead 480 grain bullet was adopted. Because it needed to be soft (to ensure expansion at low velocity) it had to have a paper patch or jacket to stop leading problems, rather than the easier system of using a lubricated, hard cast bullet. To ensure that it had sufficient penetration at the required distances despite the softness of the bullet, the cartridge was loaded with the largest charge of any of the contemporary military cartridges, viz 85 grains of FFg (medium course) black powder, to give the 480 grain bullet a velocity of 1350fps. Unfortunately, whilst Britain had gone for the cheapest route in converting their muskets into breech loaders, they had invested heavily in machinery to produce cartridges. As adopted, the Snider had a straight case made out of cardboard with a steel washer riveted to the base to form a rim"[/i]
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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Chelmsfordthescapegoat

Posts : 2581
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Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyWed Aug 07, 2013 11:17 pm

LH your sources in full of information, possibly of interest to others. So posting link. Salute 

http://www.huntnetwork.net/modules/wfsection/html/Ahclassic%20African%20Cartridge%20Pt5.pdf
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90th

90th

Posts : 10261
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 64
Location : Melbourne, Australia

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Zulu War MH Ammunition    Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 7:28 am

Hi Impi
Littlehand is correct , this , or some at least of the info you seek is certainly on here , but dont ask me where ! scratch 
Fairly certain Neil Aspinshaw posted much info on this subject . Try using the search box , you may find it . Salute
90th
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impi

impi

Posts : 2308
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Age : 41

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 8:45 am

Thanks for replies. Rolling Eyes 
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Neil Aspinshaw

Neil Aspinshaw

Posts : 552
Join date : 2009-10-14
Location : Loughborough

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 1:31 pm

Everything you wanted to know
http://www.martinihenry.org/index.php?route=product/product&path=61_65&product_id=93

and my video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTnCTFVhlkI&feature=plcp

Manufactured at the Royal Laboratories Woolwich, by machine and hand labour, in 1877 output was 500,000 cartridges per week at full capacity, with the option to alter Snider machinery making up to 2,000,000 per week. Expected stocks were kept at 35,000,000 rounds in Great Britain, plus 560 rounds per man in service stations, around the globe.

To ensure supply of cartridges to India, In 1878, the Inspector of Ordnance at Fort William , Calcutta, reported that at level of ammunition production, at the arsenal at Kirkee was 2.5million Martini Henry and 5 million Snider Cartridges per Annum, with the extensive factory at Dum Dum producing 5.5million Martini Henry and 10.66million Snider cartridges PA

At Woolwich Child labour was engaged, however the R^L operated under the Factories Act that meals and free schooling was a minimal requirements to be offered to its workforce.

Was there deterioration in the ammunition?, yes, but not due to the ammunition becoming self eroding, mainly due to the loss in velocity due to the atmospheric conditions and the moisture content in the air when the gunpowder was manufactured at Waltham Abbey, such was that ammunition manufactured in particular years did suffer from velocity loss. The Government Blue paper, entitled Martini Henry Rifles and Ammunition, published 18 Jan 1881 has a section devoted to reported loss of velocity. Mean muzzle velocity of MH rounds in perfect order was 1350 FPS. this is the recorded velocities of ammuniton, some of it seven years old: date of manufacture and mean recoded velocity from a Watkins Chronograph.

29.8.1874  1292 fps
9.8.1875 1278 fps
12.5.1876 1312 fps
7.3.1877 1297 fps
12.7.1878 1321 fps
15.10.1879 1322 pfs

What was interesting is ammunition leaded with Curtis and Harvey No6 trade powder did not lose velocity, RFG2 from waltham Abbey did. Was 60feet per second loss going to affect much? not at battle ranges, an Olympic 100 meters runner does approx 30 feet per second!

Littlehand, the article is full of factual inaccuracies, the bullet was not soft lead, it was a 12:1 lead tin alloy to harded it, neither was the Snider cartridge cardboard, only the first trail issue was it was based upon a design by frenchman Clement Pottet, but standard issue was boxer rolled brass, accepted for service 20th July 1866. It had a paper covering cemented on and was lined with shellac to prevent the powder attacking the case. His comment regarding base plate delamination too also has scant factual grounding.
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7732
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 74
Location : Cape Town South Africa

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 2:18 pm

Just read an article that says the zulu soaked their shields in water then advanced with them held at 45 degrees. MH bullets were deflected until they got to 200 yards.

Cheers
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Neil Aspinshaw

Neil Aspinshaw

Posts : 552
Join date : 2009-10-14
Location : Loughborough

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 2:42 pm

Hi Springie.
I'm not sutre where some of these articles get thier info from, For saying the MH could put a bullet through 6 half inch wet elm planks at 200 yrds, and clean through the carcase of a horse..methinks thats a bit of wishful thinking!. At anything beyond 300 yards the bullet is falling so those Zulu's would need a mathematical brain to work out thier angles faster than 1320 feet per second.

Neil
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7732
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 74
Location : Cape Town South Africa

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 3:02 pm

Hi Neil
Been reading so much of late its difficult to remember which book But I have a feeling it was in a letter written by Clery in Sonia Clarkes 'Zululand at War"
But hey if David Copperfield can catch one in his dentures without scratching the enamel.....................well what can I say? Very Happy 

Cheers
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90th

90th

Posts : 10261
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Location : Melbourne, Australia

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PostSubject: Zulu War MH Ammunition   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 3:19 pm

Hi Springy .
That's a new one to me , but like you I've read so many books it's very difficult to remember where I saw what ! .
What do you think of the Sonia Clarke ????? . I'm sure you'll be enjoying it ? .
Cheers 90th. You need to study mo 
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7732
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 74
Location : Cape Town South Africa

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 3:37 pm

Hi 90th
Its really impressive, as you said, nothing earth shattering but reading through the letters gets you under the skin of the writers. Clery is really a gossip, as for Crealock? Snob of the first order. Its interesting to get a behind the scenes look at the interchange when Chelmsford through Crealock tried to lay the blame on Glynn.

Really good reading. :Rolling Eyes 
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7732
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 74
Location : Cape Town South Africa

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 3:40 pm

Next one on the list is Keith Smith.
Its a collection of most of the documents around the battle.

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Cromwell

Cromwell

Posts : 27
Join date : 2013-07-28
Age : 59
Location : Northampton, England

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 6:39 pm

Talking of ammunition for HM, is there truth in the story that the reserve ammo for Glyns column was buried near Helpmekaar when RD was being attacked and its whereabouts was lost due
to rain.
I read it some where, sounds plausible but not being able to find again I'm not so sure.Suspect 
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barry

barry

Posts : 934
Join date : 2011-10-21
Location : Algoa Bay

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Buried ordinance   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 6:57 pm

Hi Cromwell,
I have heard of that one too. Not sure of the source though.
As I remember it, the column had to cut and run, so buried all the spare ordinance (including MH's) and withdrew in indecent haste.
Quite a find for someone who has a metal detector and could pin the actual site down.

regards,

barry
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littlehand

littlehand

Posts : 7077
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 52
Location : Down South.

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyThu Aug 08, 2013 11:34 pm

springbok9 wrote:
Just read an article that says the zulu soaked their shields in water then advanced with them held at 45 degrees. MH bullets were deflected until they got to 200 yards.

Cheers
Springbok, like you I read this somewhere, can it remember where? But as I recall the artical, was regarding the deflection of muskets balls tribal wars.
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90th

90th

Posts : 10261
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Age : 64
Location : Melbourne, Australia

Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Zulu War MH Ammunition   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyFri Aug 09, 2013 6:02 am

I think I actually posted the information regarding the burying of the Ammunition , from memory, and happy to be corrected, it was done under the order of Bvt - Col E.W. Bray 2 / 4th Regt . I may be wrong ? .
Cheers 90th.
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impi

impi

Posts : 2308
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Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Zulu war MH ammunition.   Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyFri Aug 09, 2013 11:03 am

They buried the ammo, but could remember where No 

Thanks for the replies.
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90th

90th

Posts : 10261
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Zulu war MH ammunition. Empty
PostSubject: Zulu War MH Ammunition    Zulu war MH ammunition. EmptyFri Aug 09, 2013 1:01 pm

Impi .
No , they couldnt remember where it was , as far as I know it was never found scratch  scratch 
90th
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