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Author Topic: Reed shell questions  (Read 152 times)

noonanda

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Reed shell questions
« on: October 15, 2019, 09:26:41 AM »
Gentlemen,

Buddy of mine was out metal detecting and  found a 3" Side loader reed shell, it had a paper time fuze/fuze adapter. Still has powder in it. Looking online and cant find an image of one halved. My "Field Artillery Projectiles of the American Civil War" book is at home

Was there a metal disc that separated the powder chamber from the fuze?
What would be the best way to inert this shell?

Mr George, might want to use your amazing skills if you are available and we cant go in through the fuze well

emike123

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Re: Reed shell questions
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2019, 04:04:06 PM »
There should be a standard powder chamber under the fuse.  In the sideloaders, this was formed by inserting a dowel through the fuse hole, filling the case shot and matrix through the sideplug hole, and removing the dowel after the matrix hardened.  This would leave a normal powder chamber under the fuse adapter that can be drilled out.  There would not be a metal disc separating the powder chamber of this type of shell (you are probably thinking of a Hotchkiss case shot shell).  The best option for disarming would most likely depend on where the projectile so give us a state and we’ll suggest the nearest qualified person.

noonanda

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Re: Reed shell questions
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2019, 05:09:09 PM »
There should be a standard powder chamber under the fuse.  In the sideloaders, this was formed by inserting a dowel through the fuse hole, filling the case shot and matrix through the sideplug hole, and removing the dowel after the matrix hardened.  This would leave a normal powder chamber under the fuse adapter that can be drilled out.  There would not be a metal disc separating the powder chamber of this type of shell (you are probably thinking of a Hotchkiss case shot shell).  The best option for disarming would most likely depend on where the projectile so give us a state and we’ll suggest the nearest qualified person.

I didnt know if there was a underplug similar to roundball Case shot or shells when I posted that. I did reference my "Field Artillery Projectiles of the American Civil War" last night.
 I had my friend try to push a wooden skewer in through the fuze adapter the night he dug it and he had said it stopped, but came out with black powder on it. We have not gotten crap for rain in the last month so that powder was probably hard as a rock, so he placed it in a bucket of water to 1 loosen the dirt on the outside, and 2 hopefully get water into the powder to loosen up as well. He will be bringing it by tomorrow, Im going to see if we can flush out the shell or break the rest of the powder loose with a brass rod.  Any suggestions or things you would recommend?

Im actually in Fredericksburg Va, so Mr George is close down in Richmond If he is available unless there is anyone else in the area

CarlS

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Re: Reed shell questions
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2019, 08:34:57 PM »
If the fuse is open and not one with the small hole (and it likely is open) then what you propose is fine but I'd add use some water under pressure to wash it out.  It is very hard to just soak and dump to get much of it out.  But I would think that given it is a case shot it does have the fuse with the enclosed bottom containing a small hole.  That is likely what your friend hit if he got it less than 2 inches deep.

Pete is the closest I know to you that disarms anymore. If you need someone and he can't do it bring it to the Gettysburg or Richmond Show and I can get it to take home to flush (and clean if desired) for you.   I have a number of high powered flush nozzle for this purpose.

Also, great find!  I'd probably have a heart attack from the excitement if I dug a side loader rifled shell.
Best,
Carl

noonanda

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Re: Reed shell questions
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2019, 06:17:46 PM »
Fuze hole was small but after some water and gentle use of tinyl drill bits turned by hand I broke into the powder chamber. it hissed as the air came out,bout had a heart attack for a second. was able to use a wooden skewer, then eventually a 5.56 bore brush and finally a platic tube to flush out all the powder. took my time with it and got it done, she is in electrolysis now at low power. Should I be concerned about electrolysis affecting the Brass time fuze adapter and brass sabot, or the Lead plug for the side loader?

CarlS

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Re: Reed shell questions
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2019, 06:49:35 PM »
Yes, that gas release can be quite surprising.  Many think it is what may be setting off some shells when being drilled by an electric motor.  The gas hits the motor winding and gets ignited.  Not sure where I stand on that.  But it can sure stink.

Regarding the electrolysis, you don't have to worry so much about the brass/copper parts.  Just make sure they aren't close to the metal tank or whatever you use.  They wil get a little dark and if they have a green patina that will go away but they won't get shiny unless you buff them afterwards.  The lead on the other hand will loose the white patina.  The white is, after all, lead rust and it will come off with the iron rust.  So if you want to keep the white on the plug you have to get creative with water levels and angles or just go the long route of hand  cleaning it.
Best,
Carl