Author Topic: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2017)  (Read 24171 times)

callicles

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Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2017)
« on: March 30, 2016, 10:29:25 PM »
Below is a compilation of knowledge about the Bormann fuse gathered from the numerous posts written by forum members here. I will periodically update this as new knowledge arises. Thanks to the kind and knowledgeable folks here, I was given many answers to my silly and multiple questions.
Since I have taken so much, I'm hoping to give back.
For all these years I've taken notes and piled them into a folder. Recently, I've organized them, and over the past weekend, I typed all the information into my computer.

I will try to post the information below. I limited all the information I have from this site, no others. I've listed forum members' names and dates of their posts, for each idea, answer given. I only used statements and ideas posted on the public threads by members, not from personal messages or correspondences.  Most times it's not direct quotes, but from my notes, so if some spelling or structure is bad, that's on me, not forum members.

Of course, if I've misrepresented anything, let me know. Also, I realized over the years, some of my notes were missing and lost. It is hard to research "Bormann fuse," as much discussions occurred in threads not dealing directly with the Bormann. So, unfortunately, it's incomplete, but hope you guys find it decent enough. After all it's y'all's, not mine. All I did was ask, ask and ask, then try to write it down and understand.

Again, I want to thank all of you, and maybe this writing will go a little way for new members to get a partial idea of the Bormann fuse, and will kind of sum up where this forum is as of 2016 regarding this fuse.

Hope it works in posting.
Callicles (The Village Idiot)!
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 12:32:26 AM by callicles »

callicles

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2016, 10:38:33 PM »
Bormann Fuse Compilation (2011 -2016)
Bulletandshell.com
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I.   General Discussion

The Bormann fuse was invented by a Belgium army officer and gave it his name.  (John D. Bartelson, Jr. 7-30-12).  It is uncertain when the Bormann fuse was officially adopted by the U.S. Army.  It was tested in summer of 1854 and probably adopted a year or two later.  (Mccaul. 9-24-12).  Being able to prepare a complete projectile in an arsenal was one of the major advantages of the Bormann fuse over the older paper or wooden fuses, one that both the Army and Navy would have taken advantage of.  (Mccaul. 9-24-12).   In the first 12 months of the war, the yankees used only a very-very few Field-caliber roundshells with a wooden fuzeplug. (Those very-very few are believed to be "leftovers" from manufacturing in the early-1850s, before the US Ordnance Department officially adopted the Bormann fuze.)  Afterward the first 12 months of the war, 100% of yankee Field-caliber roundshells were Bormann-fuzed, except for a few Experimentals like the Tice and Wright fuzes.  That statement of course excludes mortar shells. (Pete George. 7-28-12). As far as is known, all American-made Bormann fuses had right-twist threading.  (Pete George. 9-12-12).  Many southern states ordered ammunition, including cannonballs with Bormann fuses, before the war from northern sources.  (Woodenhead. 2-3-15).  Virginia purchased the press, forms, dies, etc., for producing the Bormann from the Washington Arsenal in late 1860.  (6lbgun. 2-8-15). 
So it is highly likely the Confederacy did use Yankee-made Bormann fuses in addition to their own. 

Update: 9-8-17 (by Woodenhead)

Many shops, North and South, made Bormann fuzes which explains some of the confusing variations. Southern craftsmen produced molds and dies based upon ordnance drawings and samples sent out by the Richmond Arsenal. It appears they prescribed a single wrench slot and 5 1/2 seconds maximum range. Otherwise, they took liberties with the smaller details such as the size and shape of the numbers, thickness of the lips, and shape of the "pie slice." Similar variations are seen in the artillery projectiles made at different locations while working from a single set of drawings.

There were few Southern sources during the first 6 months of 1861. A March 1861 Richmond newspaper claimed that Bormann fuzes were being made locally by the Virginia Arsenal. At that time Tredegar, a private company, was widely recognized as the 'king' of Southern ordnance. They received numerous large orders for cannon balls of all calibers from states like Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and others. Just about everyone requested the modern Bormann fuzes. Those white metal igniters were not all that difficult to make, but with its workforce stretched to the limit, Tredegar found it easier to purchase quantities from a New York military supplier, Cooper & Pond. This firm had partnered with the Richmond ironworks in 1860 to sell about 10,000 of Virginia's obsolete muskets to the northern market. Cooper & Pond did not actually make the fuzes, but subcontracted the work to a local manufactory. Field reports of their performance were very unsatisfactory. About two weeks after Fort Sumter was attacked, Tredegar began making and marketing their own version of the Bormann fuze. You can find examples of these, as well as some of the earlier Cooper & Pond Bormann fuzes, in many of the 10 pounder Read-Parrott shells dug from the 1862 Peninsula and 2nd Manassas campaigns. Only the Confederates made these. Parrott never put a Bormann fuze with a maximum range of about one mile in any of his rifle shells capable of travelling more than two miles. (Woodenhead-9-9-17)

For further information by Woodenhead and Pete George on this topic, see below thread:

http://bulletandshell.com/forum/index.php?topic=2183.0

Excerpt from the U.  S. Army Ordnance Manual of 1862.
as a follow on to my [John D. Bartelson] last post on this thread I have located how the Bormann fuse is charged with powders after being cast from lead and tin as follows:
MATERIALs —Mealed powder,    musket powder; rifle powder,   disks of   tin.    UTENSILS — A strong screw-press, annular charger the size of the ring, annular drift,   flat drift round drift.
Take the Mould in which the fuze was cast; place the fuze in the parts of the Mould containing the screw and the upper or graduated side, and secure the Mould by a ring driven on it.
Draw up the piston, and fill the charger by pressing it into the mealed   powder contained in a shallow pan. Place the charger over the groove, and force down the piston, transferring the powder into the fuze. Insert the button in the magazine and the pin in the priming-hole, to preserve their shapes: place the ring on the powder, and with the annular drift force it down by means of a strong screw-press, bringing the ring flush with the  surface of the fuze: rivet the ring in its place with another drift. With-draw the button and pin ; charge the priming-hole with rifle-powder and fill the magazine with musket-powder ; cover the magazine with a disk of tin, and rivet it in place by means of first a flat drift and then a round one which turn down a part of the metal of the fuze over the disk.
Remove the fuze from the Mould, place it in a screw-chuck made to fit it, and turn off in a lathe the lower surface smooth and to the proper thickness. The powder of the fuze is now perfectly sealed up from the air. The fuze may be varnished..”
This is the sequesnts of events in charging the fuse and sealing it so it may be passed on to the shell filling and final assembly as covered in my previous posts.    So the tin disk is crimped into place, not solderd as stated in Gibbons. (Quoted by John D. Bartelson, Jr. 9-11-12).

   Bormann Fuse Powders.
       
 Mealed powder is used in the timing mixture and is pressed into the horse shoe cavity to provide an accurate timing.of the fuse. Since the Bormann burns counter-clockwise it will reach the end of its selected burning at zero (o). At this point is needed the quick action of rifle powder to transfer the burn to the more powerful musket powder in the magazine. The magazine explodes and shoots flame down through the rifle powder placed into the leather washer central hole, trough the support plug into the shell explosive chamber  and it provides enough to break the case into an undetermined number of pieces  with drives on in the direction of trajectory.
Too much info.
Regards,
John (John D. Bartelson, Jr. 4-11-16)

The upper surface of this fuse is graduated into seconds and fourths of seconds; and it’s only necessary to lay bare the composition contained in the fuse (by cutting tool) to prepare the projectile for instant use – a clear advantage over the ordinary fuses. (Mccaul. 9-24-12)
If the gunner perforates the outer ring at 4 seconds and fires the cannon, the propellant flame ignites the mealed powder train at the 4 second mark.  It then burns in both directions traveling 1 second to the 5 second mark and stops,  traveling  4 seconds and ignites the rifle powder which burns rapidly over and down to the musket powder magazine which explodes, blowing away the tin disk and igniting the rifle powder in the suport disk and on to the black powder main charge.  (John D. Bartelson, Jr. 9-13-12).

See below a detailed diagram by John Bartelson of the Bormann fuse:

http://s1168.photobucket.com/user/jbart252/media/USBormannTimeFuseViews.jpg.html?sort=3&o=20
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 11:54:03 AM by callicles »

callicles

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2016, 10:39:26 PM »
A.   Problems with CSA Bormann Fuses

The South had severe problems with the Bormann.  It would appear that only the CSA had severe problems.  (John D. Bartelson, Jr. 9-24-12).  One of the first noticed by the South was with the Yankee Bormann fuses they had purchased.  Mysteriously, they had a “tendency to burn through the top.”  (Woodenhead. 2-6-15). 
The South made their own Bormann fuses that were thicker in order to stop such burning through the top.  (Woodenhead. 2-6-15).  This last idea was questioned by forum members, and an alternative was offered: The (sealing plug or disk) was sometimes made of iron, not tin.  If it were iron, it would have to be perforated or punched prior to assembly.  If not tin or if un-punched iron, the top of the fuse would blow.  (John D. Bartelson, Jr. 2-12-15).  (6lbgun. 2-12-15).
A more serious issue was premature detonation.  An interim remedy was to put a rebate area under the fuse for a gasket.  US shells did not have these rebates as far as we know.  (emike123. 7-26-12).
The South suspected that the premature detonation problem they were experiencing might be caused by “firing shock,” causing a seam inside the fuze to split, allowing flame from the fuze’s powder-train to prematurely enter the shell’s bursting cavity.  As a consequence, they thought the wider, thicker gasket might solve such a problem.  (Pete George. 7-28-12).
In addition, Confederate munition makers couldn’t get the horseshoe shaped seal in the bottom of fuse to work properly.  (Emike123. 3-20-16).
It has been observed from sectioned artifacts that the support plug was often not screwed flush with the bottom of the fuse hole, “but stuck up several threads proud.”  This would not permit the fuse “to seat flat on its gasket and might even stove the bottom of fuse on setback.”  Both these conditions could, perhaps, cause a premature detonation in the bore after leaving it.  (John D. Bartelson, Jr. 8-5-12).  This certainly could explain one of the reasons for premature detonation “by a Bormann’s fuze’s under plug not being screwed down flush with the support-shelf at the bottom of the main fuze.  (Pete George. 8-15-12). 
« Last Edit: April 16, 2016, 05:38:35 PM by callicles »

callicles

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2016, 10:40:09 PM »
B.  Abandonment of Bormann Fuse by South.

The South could never resolve the issues with their Bormanns, so they issued orders to stop using them in late 1862.  (emike123. 3-14-16).  As a consequence, they replaced the Bormann time fuse in 1862 with time fuse adapters.  The substitute fuse was designed to screw into the support plug hole with a gasket under the head (John D. Bartelson, Jr. 8-1-12).  Not many of these substitutes are found because the South discontinued making cannon balls with fuse holes to accept the Bormann fuse.  The regular, common CS copper ball fuse adapter operates on the same principle and yet is more economical in its use of copper. (emike123. 8-1-12). 

For diagram examples and discussion of these substitute fuses or time fuse adapters, see the below thread by John Bartelson:

http://bulletandshell.com/forum/index.php?topic=590.0

There are other examples of "Western Theater" Confederates using Bormann shells long after the stop-usage order, due to desperation caused by ammo supply shortages. I dug three or four fired CS 12-pounder Bormann shells among some Polygonal Cavity shells at an Atlanta Campaign site.  That discovery is what started me on the quest to reliably distinguish CS-made and US-made Bormann fuzes...as mentioned in the 1993 Dickey-&-George book. (Pete George 5-1-16)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 12:19:01 PM by callicles »

callicles

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 10:41:07 PM »
II.   Ways to Distinguish between CS-Made Bormann Fuses/ Shells from US-Made Bormann Fuses/ Shells

A. Gasket Rebate
   
   Whether evidence of certain gasket rebates is a way to determine whether a shell is CS or US is questioned by some forum members.  “I would hazard a mere hunch that the fuse leather gasket rebate was a US modification.”  (John D. Bartelson, Jr. 2-5-15).  The South’s Ordnance Manual simply copied the 1861 US Ordnance Manual.  (Woodenhead. 2-1-15).

Other forum members suggested a possible distinction:

The South had issues with their Bormann fused cannonballs.  An interim remedy was to put a rebate area under the fuse for a gasket.  US shells did not have these rebates as far as we know.  (emike123. 7-26-12).
This gasket rebate found in CS shells “are not an ‘extra’ gasket, because US Bormann shells also have a gasket.”  The difference is that the post-1861 CS gasket is wider and thicker than the Bormann gasket.  (Pete George. 7-28-12)
The South suspected that the premature detonation problem they were experiencing might be caused by “firing shock,” causing a seam inside the fuze to split, allowing flame from the fuze’s powder-train to prematurely enter the shell’s bursting cavity.  As a consequence, they thought the wider, thicker gasket might solve such a problem.  (Pete George. 7-28-12).
With the CS rebate there is a groove around the bottom of the threaded area that accepted the gasket. (CarlS. 7-27-12).

To see an example of the gasket rebate in a sectioned projectile, see below thread:

http://bulletandshell.com/forum/index.php?topic=586.0


The following paragraphs from Pete George. (Pete, 7-27-12)

 More than 30 years ago, when I was doing my studies about distinguishing CS-made Bormann fuzes from US-made ones, I noticed the big "gasket rebate" (groove) at the bottom of CS-made Bormann shells, and began to distribute my theory that its presence was a way to tell CS-made Bormann shells from US-made ones.  Full confirmation came via the flood of cut-in-half Augusta GA cache CS Bormanns.  Every one of those that I've ever seen has the gasket-rebate.
So, the "guideline" I formulated is, the gasket rebate means CS-made, and no gasket rebate means it's either yankee-made or 1861 CS-made (before the gasket-as-premature-detonation-remedy was adopted). (Pete George, id.)

That "guideline" has held true through all the following years, for every sawed-in-half Bormann shell with an identifiably CS-made or US-made fuze in it.  Callicles' sawed Bormann is the first I've seen which doesn't match up with the guideline.  So, I have to think the simplest answer is that his shell is a CS-made Bormann with a captured US-made Bormann fuze in it.  EDIT: Or, a captured CS-made shell fired by the yankees with a US-made fuze in it.  (There is documented proof that the yanks used captured CS ordnance during the Vicksburg Campaign.) (Pete George, Id).

Background info:
  As is already known, the Confederates had bad troubles with their Bormann fuzes detonating the shell prematurely ...often in the barrel or muzzle of the cannon upon firing.  (After the battle of Fredericksburh, that problem caused Col. E.P. Alexander, Lee's Chief of Reserve Artillery, to ban their use by the Army of Northern Virginia.  (Nonetheless, some still got used at Gettysburg ...and much later in the Western Theater, due to desperation.) (Pete George, id.).

  One remedy the Confederates tried for overcoming the premature-detonation problem was to manufacture their Bormann-fuzed shells with a deep groove (which Machinists and Engineers call a rebate) encircling the bottom of the shell's "main" fuzehole.  The rebate's purpose was to accept a wider-than-normal leather gasket underneath the Bormann fuze.  The theory was that the prematures were caused by firing-blast flame geting past the fuze's short threaded section and going underneath the fuze, thereby getting access to the shell's bursting-charge.  You could say that the oversize gasket is a "headgasket," to seal the bottom of the main fuzehole from intrusion by firing-blast flame. Pete George, Id).
Important note:
  US-made Bormann fuzes also had a leather or rubber gasket underneath the fuze.  But the US gasket was no wider than the fuze's body.  Thus there is no gasket rebaye in US Bormann fuzeholes. (Pete George, Id).

  Here are some close-up photos which show the difference I noticed long ago between a CS-made Bormann fuzehole and a US-made one.  (Pete George. 7-27-12) (Pictures may be accessed from thread “12 pd. Case Shot Cut in Half,” Post #7)

The gasket rebate/groove identification clue works as long as the CS-made Bormann shell is not from 1861.  (Pete George.  7-28-12)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 03:00:46 PM by callicles »

callicles

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 10:42:05 PM »
B.  90 Degree Pie-Slice on Face of Bormann Fuse

Using the 90-degree pie-slice method as an identification feature has been questioned.  (John D. Bartelson. 2-12-16).
Others suggest it can be used: If it has a 90-degree pie-shape, it isn’t CS, but the converse does not hold. (emike123. 7-25-12).  It appears that CS Bormann pie-slices are always 45 degree.  US can be either 90 or 45 degree. (emike123. 7-27-12).
For what it's worth, measured five CS Bormanns that I have.  All are measuring about 60 degrees of angle. (6lbgun. 7-27-12)

Update: 9-8-17

I can give my current opinion, but I have to admit that I've paid little attention to the Federal artillery ammunition. There is so much to learn about the Confederate's, and I've primarily focused on field projectiles from the Virginia theater. Molds and dies for those fuzes were made in so many different locations like Nashville, Memphis, Mobile, Georgia, etc., that a minor variation in the pie slice would not be unexpected. Also, the South imported thousands of Bormann fuzes. Nonetheless, if the 90 degree pie slice was part of the U.S. Ord. Dept's official pattern, I would lean in that direction anytime one turned up - even if it was in a shell that appears to be Confederate. In the 30 years since I began photographing CS projectiles, I have amassed a study collection of more than 1,000 documented shells (multiple views of each) enabling me to compare them side-by-side and come up with conclusions. Something similar needs to be done with the Federal ammunition. Right now I would go with Pete George's opinion and run the question by Jack Melton. (Woodenhead-9-8-17)

W.H.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 11:30:05 AM by callicles »

callicles

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2016, 10:42:45 PM »
C.  High Lip Feature of Bormann Fuses

Whether this feature can be conclusively used to identify CS from US has been discussed by forum members. 
There is a question as to whether the “high-lip” is purely CS “design” or a merely a certain type made by a certain contractor/laboratory, because Tredegar was not the only place producing Bormanns. The only difference between the high-lip and the standard Bormann is the absence of a few threads.  (6lbgun. 2-8-15).   
The Federals had a high-lip too, so not all high-lips are CS.  (emike123. 7-26-12).
A scarce number were made by US manufactures and used in the ACW.  (Dave the Plumber. 7-26-12).
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 02:19:01 PM by callicles »

callicles

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2016, 10:43:40 PM »
D.  Hash Marks on the Face of Bormann Fuses

This identification feature seems to be the least controversial.  The following guide is from forum member, Pete George: (It is paraphrased by me.)
A Yankee-made fuze’s time-index starts with a ¾-second line/hash mark.
CSA made Bormann fuzes have the ½-second line/hash mark at the beginning of the fuze’s time-index. (In other words, there are 2 lines/hash marks before the #1 mark.)
Yankee-made fuzes end at either 5 seconds or 5 and ¼ seconds.
CS-made Bormann fuzes end with either 5 and ¼ seconds or 5 and ½ seconds.  The 5 and ½ seconds would be represented by 2 hash marks beyond  the 5-second mark.
The number of ticks (raised lines) before the #1, always confirms whether the fuze is CS-made or is US-made.
(Pete George. July 23-28, 2012).
The only discussion offering an alternative, came in the form of a question: [I paraphrase]
With regard to “tick-marks” before the #1 and after and after the #5, could US arsenals receive requests from the field to add shorter and longer burn times for the Bormanns?  Is it possible we are seeing a wider variety of Bormann fuses?  Is it possible that the 45-degree fuse-faces have been changed from 90-degrees in order to add shorter burn times? (John D. Bartelson, Jr. 7-30-12).
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 02:19:28 PM by callicles »

callicles

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2016, 10:44:56 PM »
E.  Size of Numbers and Castings on Fuse

Check the size of the numbers cast on the fuse; check markings in the casting (“U.S.,” stars, any directional arrows. (Dave the Plumber. 7-26-12).
“Some” US fuses have U.S. cast on them, but the “S” is backwards, and is a good indicator of US fuses. (John D. Bartelson. 7-28-12).

F.  Single Slot/Double Slotted Bormann Fuses

Some people believe the double slot is a later innovation for the Union fuses to reinforce the slotted area from distorting when turned with the wrench. (emike123. 1-20-13).
The double-slotted (two separate square holes) Bormann fuzes are strictly Federal-made and did not function differently from the single slot version.  (Pete George.  3-14-16).
The South never fully produced the double-slot because of the 1862 cease-and-desist order to stop using Bormanns.  Therefore, there would be no reason to produce or manufacture a double-slot version.  (emike123.  3-20-16).

G.  Bormann Fuse Under-Plugs

In field artillery calibers (6,12, and 24-pounders), most CS-made Bormanns have a brass under-plug, and most of the US-made ones have an iron under-plug.  However, I [Pete George] have seen plenty of exceptions, meaning CS with iron under-plugs, US with brass under-plugs – enough that I would not say “brass means CS and iron means US.  (Pete George. 8-5-11).
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 02:20:18 PM by callicles »

callicles

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2016, 10:45:45 PM »
H.  Bormann Moisture Seal Disc/ Fuse Base Seal

From purely empirical observations, the difference between US and CS-made Bormann fuzes is that in the US ones, the base-seal disc is sheet-iron (tin-plated), and the CS ones are sheet-copper. (Pete George. 9-10-12).

Additional Discussions Regarding Fuse-Base Seal-Disc

The disc covered an aspirin shaped tablet of mealed black powder in the circular cavity in the center of the fuze’s underside.  The seal disc was intended to be “pierced” just prior to installation in the shell. (Pete, id.)
The disc seal is not a separate piece, but is in the bottom of the fuse. (emike123. 9-10-12).
The disc is part of the Bormann fuze itself – it is not “put onto” the top of the fuze’s underplug. (Pete George. 9-10-12).
From field recoveries studied, the “piercings” of the discs vary in form and number.  Most items observed reveal 3 or 4 piercings, though others have only 1.  However, this information is from personal observations, as there is little or no ACW documentation available. (Pete George. 9-10-12).
It appears that the fuse is filled with powder in the channel and magazine; the wafer (base seal) is put into place and then back pressed into/onto the fuse holding it all in place.  (John D. Bartelson, Jr. 9-10-12).
It was machine pressed, soldering would be too dangerous because of the powder inside.  The horseshoe-shaped piece which closes the bottom of the time index’s powder train was (perhaps simultaneously)  also machine-pressed into place.  I [Pete George] strongly believe the seal’s hole (or holes) didn’t get made until very shortly before screwing the Bormann fuze into the shell’s fuzehole. (Pete George. 9-10-12).
The fact that the punch-holes seen don’t look to be machine punched or drilled, would indicate the fuse’s being delivered to the field with the bottom unpunched and then the artillery unit taking a nail or something similar and creating the holes in the disc before screwing into shells.  (CarlS. 9-10-12).

Preparation of Case Shot quoted from the U.S. Army Ordnance Manual:
"Spherical Case Shot:
 To CHARGE THE SHOT.—Fill the chamber with musket-powder, ramming it slightly with a wooden drift and light mallet; screw in the iron plug, leaving its top flush with the bottom of the large portion of the fuze-hole, and lay over it a thin leather washer with a hole in the centre ; fill the hole in the plug and washer with rifle-powder, punch 4 or 6 small holes in the tin disk in the bottom of the fuze; put a little white lead on the threads of the fuze, and screw the fuze firmly into the shell.
Fix the spherical case shot the same as round shot."
   I don't see how we can speculate further on how and when the holes are punched in the Bormann magazine closing disk.
One the fuse threads are coated and screwed into the shell fuse hole against the leather gasket this provides the air tight integrity. (Quoted by John D. Bartelson.  9-11-12).
  Second excerpt from the U.  S. Army Ordnance Manual of 1862.
as a follow on to my last post on this thread I have located how the Bormann fuse is charged with powders after being cast from lead and tin as follows:
MATERIALs —Mmealed powder,    musket powder; rifle powder,   disks of   tin.    UTENSILS — A strong screw-press, annular charger the size of the ring, annular drift,   flat drift round drift.
Take the Mould in which the fuze was cast; place the fuze in the parts of the Mould containing the screw and the upper or graduated side, and secure the Mould by a ring driven on it.
Draw up the piston, and fill the charger by pressing it into the mealed   powder contained in a shallow pan. Place the charger over the groove, and force down the piston, transferring the powder into the fuze. Insert the button in the magazine and the pin in the priming-hole, to preserve their shapes: place the ring on the powder, and with the annular drift force it down by means of a strong screw-press, bringing the ring flush with the  surface of the fuze: rivet the ring in its place with another drift. With-draw the button and pin ; charge the priming-hole with rifle-powder and fill the magazine with musket-powder ; cover the magazine with a disk of tin, and rivet it in place by means of first a flat drift and then a round one which turn down a part of the metal of the fuze over the disk.
Remove the fuze from the Mould, place it in a screw-chuck made to fit it, and turn off in a lathe the lower surface smooth and to the proper thickness. The powder of the fuze is now perfectly sealed up from the air. The fuze may be varnished..”


« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 02:20:57 PM by callicles »

callicles

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2016, 10:47:16 PM »
III.   Miscellaneous Discussions

A.  Travel Time of Projectiles and Alternative Settings

The calculations indicate a 12-pounder shell whose fuze was cut for ½ second of burning-time would explode at “about” 170 yards (510 feet) from cannon’s muzzle.  Because the shell (12-pounder) travels away at over 600 miles per hour, “the shell’s explosion is not enough to reverse the fragment’s forward speed,” thus not sending fragments back to the cannon’s location.  A 12-pounder shell travelled 340 yards in 1 second.” (Pete George. 7-28-12).
ACW artillerist’s Manual says that if you’ve run out of canister ammo, you can pierce the Bormann fuze at the “zero point” and use case-shot shells as a substitute for canister.  (Pete George.  7-28-12).
6lbgun related a primary account where a captain of artillery stated:
“One section of the battery on using up all of its canister used case shot and shell without any fuze at all.  The rounds burst as they left the gun, with good effect.” (Quoted by 6lbgun. 7-28-12).

B.  Was Bormann Fuse Attached at the Arsenal or In the Field

At least for the U.S. Navy, they issued projectiles armed with “Bormann fuse complete,” which means prepared at the arsenal.  (Mccaul. 9-24-12).
Excerpt from the U.  S. Army Ordnance Manual of 1862.
as a follow on to my [John D. Bartelson] last post on this thread I have located how the Bormann fuse is charged with powders after being cast from lead and tin as follows:

     MATERIALs —Mealed powder,    musket powder; rifle powder,   disks of   tin.    UTENSILS — A strong screw-press, annular charger the size of the ring, annular drift,   flat drift round drift.
Take the Mould in which the fuze was cast; place the fuze in the parts of the Mould containing the screw and the upper or graduated side, and secure the Mould by a ring driven on it.
Draw up the piston, and fill the charger by pressing it into the mealed   powder contained in a shallow pan. Place the charger over the groove, and force down the piston, transferring the powder into the fuze. Insert the button in the magazine and the pin in the priming-hole, to preserve their shapes: place the ring on the powder, and with the annular drift force it down by means of a strong screw-press, bringing the ring flush with the  surface of the fuze: rivet the ring in its place with another drift. With-draw the button and pin ; charge the priming-hole with rifle-powder and fill the magazine with musket-powder ; cover the magazine with a disk of tin, and rivet it in place by means of first a flat drift and then a round one which turn down a part of the metal of the fuze over the disk.
Remove the fuze from the Mould, place it in a screw-chuck made to fit it, and turn off in a lathe the lower surface smooth and to the proper thickness. The powder of the fuze is now perfectly sealed up from the air. The fuze may be varnished..”

 This is the sequesnts of events in charging the fuse and sealing it so it may be passed on to the shell filling and final assembly. (Quoted by John D. Bartelson. 9-11-12).

Bormann fuses are installed at an arsenal with a special tool.  Being of soft metal, The Bormann can’t be removed without it causing much damage. (John D. Bartelson. 7-28-12).
One forum member quoted an 1863 Ordnance Manual Directive which appears to be Arsenal instructions and not field instructions, thus providing some evidence that Bormanns were installed at the arsenal.  (6lbgun. 7-29-12. “12-pd Case Shot Cut in Half,” Reply #34).
I [6lbgun] feel that there were spare fuses issued as a matter of course. (6lbgun. 7-29-12).

Alternative View

Bormann fuzes were NOT installed at an arsenal, because: (all 7 comments/observations below by Pete George. 7-28-12)
-   They could be unscrewed;
-   Yankee 12-pounder limber-chest “contents diagrams” show a separate compartment for the fuzes;
-   Caches of unfired Bormann shells have been dug, as well as some shells found having no Bormann fuzes;
-   Bormann fuze-wrenches have been dug at cannon positions and artillery camps;
-   One version of Us-made fuze has a feathered arrow on its face pointing in a counter clockwise direction;
-   The thin metal disc at the center of the fuze’s underside is there to prevent water or “humidity” from entering the fuze’s flame hole while the fuze is in storage, awaiting use;
-   The artilleryman had to pierce one or more tiny holes through the sheet metal disc to allow flame from the fuze to enter the shell’s bursting-charge cavity. (Pete George. 7-28-12).

C. Sideloaders Case-Shot.

The following from Pete George:

The reason for manufacturing a Sideloader case-shot:
 When the Confederacy's supply of lead got so short that iron case-shot balls had to be substitued for lead ones, the usual method of creating a powder cavity inside the mass of case-shot balls wouldn't work. In lead ball case-shot shells, you simply drill down through the fuzehole with a large auger-bit, boring out a "well" for the bursting-charge powder down through the mass of balls. But you cannot drill through a mass of iron balls. The bit won't bite into the small iron spheres, and just breaks the iron balls loose from the matrix, or the bit jams.

  So, some bright fellow in the Confederate Ordnance Department came up with the idea of casting case-shot shells with two holes... the usual fuzehole, plus a side-loading hole. Both of those holes are threaded. You put the end of a thick iron bar down through the fuzehole to the bottom of the empty shell. Turn the shell on its side, with the sideloading hole uppermost. Drop the case-shot balls into the shell until it is full. Pour a molten matrix (asphalt, sulphur, or (in the case of some Confederate manufacturers) pine-resin (pinesap). Let the matrix cool and harden. Screw a closure-plug into the sideloading hole. Pull the iron bar out of the fuzehole, and there's your powder-cavity.

  I should mention, for lead sideplugs, you'd simply twist the end of a cylindrical lead rod into the threaded sideloader hole, and the soft lead rod would "self-thread" itself into the hole. Cut the lead rod off flush with the shell's surface, tap it flat, and you're done.

  For many decades, it was believed that no Bormann-fuzed Sideloader Case-Shot were made. But then around the late-1990s (if I recall correctly), either our own Colonel John Biemeck or one of his close buddies in the Army of Northern Viginia Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team dug an intact Bormann-fuzed 12-pounder Sideloader and part of another one, somewhere near the Wilderness, if I recall correctly. I suspect it was most likely from the 1863 Chancellorsville battle overlap of that area, rather than a summer-1864 firing.

  As I said, that was a 12-pounder. I've never seen nor heard of a 6-pounder BORMANN-FUZED Sideloader Case-Shot. Some "converted" 6-pdr. Bormanns exist, of course, having the copper CS Bormann-Replacement timefuze plug in them, not their original CS solder-alloy (not zinc) Bormann fuze.

Regards,
Pete
(Pete George- December 03, 2017, 09:42:58 PM by Pete George »

« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 02:32:32 PM by callicles »

callicles

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2016, 11:11:34 PM »
The End

Steve Phillips

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2016, 09:08:52 AM »
Thanks for compiling all of this. I printed it out and will put it in Chuck Jones book.

pipedreamer65

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2016, 09:43:19 AM »
Wow, that's great bro...  Thank you

John D. Bartleson Jr.

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Re: Bormann Fuse Compilation, BulletandShell.com (2011-2016)
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2016, 11:11:26 AM »
callicles,
   You are to be congratulated on your dedicated efforts to compile the member comments on the
Bormann.  I have not read all of your manuscript but intend to surface any errors if I can find any.
     I believe your work to be a ready reference to the Bormann and will certainly be the first compilation.
If I may make a recommendation? insert any images in specific paragraph in order to illustrate what is being said, if available.
Kind Regards,
John
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 11:59:26 AM by emike123 »