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Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Past and future planned - events/ outings/ training sessions/ offline meets/ camps/ matches etc.
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ckkalyan
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby ckkalyan » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:18 pm

Sunday 23 September proved to be a glorious day, bright sunshine and clear skies. The breakfast, as Baljit pointed out, was most satisfying; Jennifer outdid herself and provided us with scrambled eggs, sliced jalapeno, biscuits (homemade by Ms. C, her lovely, talented, daughter – bravo!) and to top it all off – Gravy - Yum!

Soon after the royal repast, Mark asked us to go over to the range and set it up and start shooting while he attended to a few chores. He said he would join us shortly. We strolled over to the meadow which was near our sleeping area and fell to setting up tables, chairs, unpacking guns, targets and other equipment. We had all this done pretty quickly so we started off shooting in short order. We started off with XL’s weapons, he brought along plenty of ammo and neat rifle rests.

Baljit had brought along his timer, the function of which escaped me at first, as I am no Bob Munden. Baljit explained that the gadget could time how much time you took to empty a magazine and compare that with how well you scored on the target with XL’s 10/22. XL told me about the rifleman’s cadence which is: “breathe in-breathe out- fire, breathe in-breathe out- fire” – after that, it all made some sense and I got into the spirit of the thing.

When one of us was firing with Baljit doing the timing the rest of us were reloading magazines, photographing scenes and targets, calling out shots with binoculars and generally keeping busy supporting the shooter. It was all really great teamwork, all done without any spoken agreement which I found very endearing. All of were plinking away and getting creative with targets such as water bottles, walnuts and empty beer cans which, I assure you we had a plentiful supply of! :lol:!

Now, recall the Suzuki Samurai which I mentioned earlier that was apparently sitting in Mark’s garage; he had shared with me his plans for the vehicle to get it redone with a small Honda Civic Diesel, etc. I got the impression that the project was for much later and that the Samurai was simply resting in the shed.

Imagine our jaw dropping surprise when during our shooting we heard some sort of machine approaching from our left, we held up shooting immediately and then saw Mark and his son Collin driving up in the Suzuki Samurai! But what was that strange object being dragged behind the truck? Wow! It was the ancient Cannon which was earlier sitting in a tool shed, now suddenly mobile on its rig!! Mark disembarked and said something like - we are going to touch off this baby! Woo Hoo! :shock:

This was a great moment because Mark never said anything earlier about bringing in the Cannon to the firing range or firing it. What a wonderful surprise – Thanks Mark! We took turns loading, wadding, priming and firing the Cannon under Marks tutelage, which was an amazing experience. The ‘ball’ used was a ‘D’ sized battery.

Process: we had to first get the cannon standing upright on the ground, then fit in the fuse cut to the right size, measure and pour in a handful of ‘real’ black powder then push in wads of news paper, tamp it down with an old wooden curtain rod, drop the ‘D’ shell in then add some more wads of newspaper, tamp it down again.

The fuse was cut very scientifically – decide on a random length that you think would be the bore of the cannon, then add an inch or so – and then add a couple of inches more; the theory employed being “better safe than sorry”! :lol:!

We then had to do a two man lift job on the cannon to get it back on its rig (it was quite heavy upwards of 50 lb – I would think), lock it into place with the iron hasps, shove in the retaining pins in the hasps, aim it by moving the rig by it’s wheels, adjust the elevation (we used some handily available pieces of wood for this task). We aimed what we figured was low as we wanted to see where the ‘D’ Cell (Shell) finally landed and what damage it did.

And we were all set to fire!

Mark then called for volunteers – ooops - no volunteers! He finally picked Baljit as the best marksman and asked him to perform the aiming (he informed us that the range of the weapon was about 500+ yards) and the ‘touch off’ process. Now came the fun part, we had to light the fuse with XL’s cigarette lighter. Being a mildly windy day, the flame kept going off and in the bright sunshine we were unable to judge whether the fuse had caught properly. This was very much akin to setting off the legendary Lakshmi Bomb firework back in India on Diwali day. Try, run away, then, try again more confidently this time. :mrgreen:

Mark explained that we had to allow for sufficient time to make doubly sure that the cannon was safe to handle. We also had to give the cannon a good half hour between shots as we were not swabbing out (required process) the barrel between shots just to ensure there was no smoldering powder left over from the last firing. That would be a disaster!

We also discovered that Collin has brought along in the Suzuki Samurai, his pet toy – a small, ancient mortar! This cute little thinghy also operated with the same medium/slow burning fuse but used FFF substitute black powder instead (which XL had picked up at Cabelas the day before at Mark’s request).

More coming up....pictures, write-ups AND Videos :cheers:
Last edited by ckkalyan on Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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TC
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby TC » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:25 pm

You people are having a grand grand grand time....

Keep posting.. I really feel refreshed when I go through this thread...

Take care guys..

TC



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Ganesh TT
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby Ganesh TT » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:00 pm

enjoying the freedom of life....great going guys...


Thanks

GANESH TT

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Vikram
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby Vikram » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:30 pm

Baljit,thanks for the photos and Kalyan thank you for the write up.

XL, Very nice pistols there.

Mark, that reminded me of a scene from the climax of Major Dundee.

Looking forward to more.

Best-
Vikram


It ain’t over ’til it’s over! "Rocky,Rocky,Rocky....."

soumithra.177
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby soumithra.177 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:03 pm

Hi friends,
i am closely following the topic from day 1.

You guys r rocking. And giving us a feel of ur meet. Ur narration is too good. Keep going.
Regards.....



prashantsingh
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby prashantsingh » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:25 am

Waiting for the cannon to go "BANG"
Baljit . Please post the snaps ASAP.



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Hammerhead
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby Hammerhead » Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:02 am

Com'on People ...... We forgot ... !

We all forget next year's North American meet and time frame. Let's plan some thing from now on so we can meet more and plan a bigger meet. It turned out to be a good meet with really nice people, except few drunks :lol: and some people were caught stealing food from other people. Still there are many good gun owners out there. So lets plan for next year - Haji


The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

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Baljit
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby Baljit » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:12 am

prashantsingh wrote:Waiting for the cannon to go "BANG"
Baljit . Please post the snaps ASAP.





Prashant, i add more pictures and video for all of you guy's ..........


Enjoy
Baljit



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xl_target
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby xl_target » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:36 am

If you noticed we dismounted the cannon to load it. In former times, cannoneers would have their powder in serge bags. They would load this pre-measured charge into the cannon, then use a wire "pricker" to puncture the bag through the touch hole (after the ball was loaded and wadded in place). After filling the touch hole with a finer mealed powder from a "quill", they would cock the lock and a flint would strike a spark above the touch hole when the lock work released, thus setting off the cannon.

Since we didn't have bagged charges and this cannon didn't have any lock work, we upended the cannon, loaded a loose powder charge and tamped it with newspaper. Just prior to this we inserted a piece of fuse into the touch hole so it was surrounded by the powder charge. Then the "cannon ball", a "D" cell battery which is very close to the bore diameter, was loaded and once again a newspaper "wad" was tamped in to keep the "ball" in place. Lighting the fuse gave you the bang.

The mortar was really cool too. It was a cast brass mortar, very beautifully made. You can see it on the ground in one of Baljit's photos. It lofted the "shell", a molded-plaster disk shaped object, to different distances depending on the powder charge.

While Mark and Amit went fishing, we kept shooting and Baljit tried out Mark's 20-223. He was doing real well, smashing targets so we picked out a plastic bottle cap and were going to have him shoot that. While setting up the gun for that shot, Baljit pushed his safety glasses out of the way. When he took the shot, he had fogotten to lower his safety glasses before he fired. When he pulled the trigger, the primer let go and hot gasses and debris shot up the firing pin hole and exited through the back of the bolt. Some of these gases and debris hit him in the face narrowly missing his eye. Some of the gases and particles actually penetrated the skin on his face, making little blood blisters. As he said, this was a good lesson. This was the only time he has shot a rifle without safety glasses. Guys, If you are going to be shooting firearms, please protect your eyes and your hearing. Use hearing protection and safety glasses always. After we were done shooting, CK, Baljit and i cleaned up the firing range and hitched the cannon to the cannon-wagon and drove it back to Mark's house. We also packed up all the chairs and tables and took them back.

I would also like to mention that Baljit was knocking over eight inch steel plates with a .22 pistol at 50 yards. Amazing shooting.

Later, even though Mark, Amit and gang had gone fishing for a mere hour and a half, they brought back 25 fish. Most of them were Crappies but there was one smallmouth bass and a couple of Bluegills. After they came back, Mark's friend John and Mark cleaned and descaled them. By then it was late and Jennifer had already made supper so we didn't get to try the fish.

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After supper we repaired to "the Village" and lit a giant bonfire. We roasted marshmallows on the ends of sticks and ate them, Mmmmm!

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After the fire died down, we went to bed. Baljit and CK stayed up for a while and sampled the scotch but the rest of us couldn't keep our eyes open anymore. As soon as I hit the sleeping bag, I was gone.

As Hahji mentioned, we had intended to discuss next year's meet. We have to come up with a locale and time/date. As you can see this is a great gang to be around so we're hoping for more participants next year. Some of our State and National parks have really nice cottages and lodges that can be rented.


“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” — Winston Churchill, Oct 29, 1941

prashantsingh
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby prashantsingh » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:31 am

Looks like most people have missed the video.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5Pq1o-wZeg[/youtube]

Truly Spectacular.



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Vikram
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby Vikram » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:49 pm

Baljit, I just saw that you added more pics to the original.

Folks, if you haven't, make sure you visit the previous page for some exciting photographs.

Mark, sincerely, you have a great life- wonderful family and a beautiful place that you call home.

XL, thanks for edification on the mortar.

Baljit and XL, I would love to take a few shooting lessons from you gents whenever that is possible.

Best-
Vikram


It ain’t over ’til it’s over! "Rocky,Rocky,Rocky....."

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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby timmy » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:23 pm

Thank you Baljit! The video was a great cap on top of the treat of pictures. Also the write ups by XL and CK -- they bring to life what I missed... :-(

Mark, your story about the veteran and his P-51 is very interesting and neat. Our WW2 veterans are mostly gone now, and each one has a piece of our history to relate. It's great that you could share that.

Just to be able to access shooting lessons would be more than worth it! After all of these years, I've never been coached. To think of all of the bad habits I've developed makes my hair stand on end.

When he pulled the trigger, the primer let go and hot gasses and debris shot up the firing pin hole and exited through the back of the bolt. Some of these gases and debris hit him in the face narrowly missing his eye. Some of the gases and particles actually penetrated the skin on his face, making little blood blisters. As he said, this was a good lesson.


I have had this happen yo me wiyj a bad lot of surplus .30-'06. I recall three bad rounds. Why did I keep on shooting the lot? Because we had very little money and I couldn't afford to do so! However, as I need glasses, my eyes were protected, thank goodness. The gun was a '03 Springfield, and I learned the hard way that they don't have very good gas handling provisions. I recall seeing this brown stuff, almost like the rifle was spitting tobacco juice into my face. Most unpleasant!

The camaraderie looks so wonderful -- that really makes me sad to think that I had to miss this get-together. Thanks so much for sharing the get together.


Regards,
tim

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Baljit
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby Baljit » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:27 am

Thank very much guy's.Tonight i'll post more pictures about what we did and see next day(monday).


Baljit



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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby Baljit » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:57 am

Day 4
24 September 2012

Guy's here is more pictures for all of you.Mark show us his .50cal muzzle loader rifles and the cave he have in his property.

All muzzle loader rifles on the table.
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Here Mark talking about his muzzle loader rifles.
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CK playing with Mark's toy's.
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Other cabin in his property.
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Inside the cabin we found this white tail deer rack.
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XL,CK and Mark standing out side of the cabin.
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There is a cave.
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We found the other way for the next cave from the first cave.
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XL and Mark standing inside the cave.
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CK inside the cave.
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Here i am inside the cave.
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Exit from the cave.
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Here CK coming out from the cave.
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When we are back from the cave, Mark give us chance to shoot his muzzle loader rifles.
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CK trying his muzzle loader rifle.
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Here i am waiting for my turn.
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Here i fire the last shot in IFG Meet 2012 in USA.
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Guy's i have more pictuers to post so stay with me.meantime enjoy these pictuers.

Enjoy
Baljit


to be continue...............
Last edited by Baljit on Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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xl_target
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Re: Fireworks with IFGian's in Michael IL, USA

Postby xl_target » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:05 am

Description of the photos (from Baljit's post above):
Photo 1. Rifles on the table are CVA (Connecticut Valley Arms) muzzleloader rifles. From left to right; a cut down Hawken caploader used by Mark's son. A CVA Electra muzzleloader and a CVA Hawken.
Both Hawken's use percussion caps for ignition and the Electric uses a nine volt battery. The battery is contained in the bulge in front of the trigger guard. The advantage of the electric ignition is that the is no flash hole to the outside, so it's almost impervious to the weather. You can get about 500 shots off one battery and the battery can be left on for 25 days before it runs out of juice; more than enough time for any hunt. As the trigger is just a switch, there is no mechanical firing mechanism so the lock time is extremely fast and the mechanism is very smooth.

Photo 2. Mark carries pre-measured powder charges in empty cartridge casings with closed cell foam stoppers. The film cannister holds pre-lubed bullets. Loading is simply a matter pulling out the stopper and dumping the powder down the barrel and then ramming the beeswax coated bullet down the bore. The hammer serves as a starter for recalcitrant bullets.

Photo 3. Here you see the (from L to R) the Hawken rifle, two flint lock pistols, the bolt action gun is a 12 ga. magazine fed shotgun with a rifled barrel and the mini Hawken

Photo 4. The Hawken and the Flintlock pistols

Photo 5. Here you can see Mark holding the miniature Hawken

Photo 6, 7 and 8. Mark explaining the features of the CVA Electra

Photo 7. Here you can see the fluted barrel on the CVA Electra

Photo 9. Aaaaar matey! CK just need an earring and a parrot on his shoulder.

Photo 10. CK trying out the Hawken for size. In my opinion, Hawkens are some of the most beautifully balanced shoulder fired firearms ever made.

Photo 11. The way to the replica Scottish village on Mark's property. This was built by Mark's father. People must have been a lot smaller in that time. :) In the first building, on the left, is a blacksmith's shop and Mark has his reloading room above that.

Photo 12 and 13. An eight point buck

Photo 14. Mark explaining stuff about the Scottish village.

Photo 15. The entrance to the cave (reached from the first one). CK bumped his head on the low ceiling here and had a graze on his scalp. It only bled a little :)

Photo 16. The entrance to the second cave.

Photo 17. Inside the cave. Of course the flash was blinding after the total darkness in there.

If I've made any mistakes in the descriptions, I'm sure Mark will correct me here.


“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” — Winston Churchill, Oct 29, 1941


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