Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by PWC, Nov 2, 2021.
Did we use cordite or would the statement be more correct to say gunpowder?
Apparently at least one form of cordite (Cordite N) was exported from Canada into the U.S. and was used by our navy in six and eight inch guns during WW II. http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-100.php
It strikes me as unlikely that the typical novelist would explore the subject in such depth, and rather more likely that the author holds "cordite" as synonymous with "That's what they called gunpowder in the olden days", but it is at least remotely possible that it happened in that way.
.303 British cartridges in a Lee Enfield stripper clip, cordite from a .303 cartridge with cardboard.over powder wad ( to protect base of bullet).
(Reloading using Cordite in a bottle neck case would be a pain. I have read that the .303 cases straight necked were loaded with Cordite, then wad, then the neck was formed, then the bullet seated.)
But a lot of 1920s and 1930s novels mention the smell of cordite probably because it was the only popular name they knew for smokeless gunpowder.
In the novel "Day of the Jackal" by Fredrick Forsyth the assassin disguised as an invalid eats cordite to appear sick and avoid close scrutiny. That was a trick used by malingerers in the Army to get put in hospital to avoid duty. Another literary ref to cordite.
Real Thing Name vs Similar Thing Name (generally accepted vernacular)
Cordite vs cordite
Formica vs formica
Kleenex vs kleenex
Cordura vs cordura
Only until smokeless powder became available, then the naval guns switched as well.
Obscuring your target with a hundred or more pounds of powder was not seen as much of an advantage.
Now, the powderbags did have an "igniting" charge sewn on the base of the powder bags which had a mix of black and flash powder, that would reliably respond to the primer loaded in the breech plug.
It was around 5-6# of a 66# powder bag.
Naval gun propellant often gets called "cordite" as it's typically "stick" powder.
Those "sticks" are around 1" in diameter about 3-4 inches long, with a central, longitudinal, hole through them. They were stacked in the bags in bundles all aligned to the bore axis.
They burned a whole lot of cordite at the firing line after the session because we didn't need that extra charge for that range of target.
It really did look exactly like spaghetti. I confess I liberated a small amount for research purposes
Pieces that look kinda like old tubing wash up on Boca Chica beach, not far from the SpaceX site.
Do NOT put them in your barbecue... .
This can be found in Dolf Goldsmith's "The Browning Machine gun vol. 1 Rifle Calibers."
Don't use different ammo if you can help it. A machine gun with Mk VII cordite erosion will be wild with Mk VIIIZ nitrocellulose and boattail bullet, not safe for overhead fire over own troops.
In a similar way, people say "cinder block" even though cinders are rarely used in the concrete mix any more. It just flows off the tongue more smoothly than "concrete block."
They pulled the bullets, dumped the Ball powder, and replaced it with Cordite salvaged from .303s, adjusting the load to put it back in line with .450 NE.
Learn something new everyday (almost)
Never knew it was those spaghetti looking strands.
and we referred to the "powder" in the bags as cordite. It looked like small licorice sticks cut into small pieces. A small handful would get a canteen cup boiling pretty quick.
I have no idea what it actually was.
Modern cannon powder is extruded but cut into granules and depending on the spec, can be single base NC, double base NC + NG, or triple base NC + NG + Nitroguanidine.
AR vs AR vs AR (Armalite Rifle vs Assault Rifle vs Automatic Rifle) ... yep, you're right, things get so convoluted when it comes to the press, historians, writers and so-called "expert pundits."
Lazy Boy vs lazy boy (I knew Pat Norton, the former CEO, and the aftermarket recliners advertised as lazy boys used to drive him crazy. He used-to sue the heckoutta small furniture companies over it.)
There's a name for what you're talking about. I think the all-time big one that ended-up in court was Fridgedaire maybe? People used to call every fridge a Fridgedaire back in the day. I think maybe they were the first self contained refrigerator if I am not mistaken?
And that's the key. Being something that is first and groundbreaking ... the name sticks forever. There are some other great all-time examples that I just can't think of at the moment but your point about Cordite is well taken.
The history of firearms and cannon propellants is an interesting one for sure.
I was Airborne, 11 Charlie in my early days, FDC Chief 60s, 81s, 4.duece ... we called them "cheese charges." I cannot remember exactly for sure but I think maybe they were nitroglycerin and beeswax. They did burn hot but man oh man if you got caught by the wrong higher-up burning a cheese charge to heat a C-Rat that was your 4th pt of contact, you were fubared ... instant UCMJ and busted down at least one rank.
Separate names with a comma.