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  1. #1
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    Mar 2009
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    Sweets Double Action Safety Fuse (Fuze)

    One of our members asked for more information about a fuze on a projectile that I posted, a High Explosives Shrapnel projo made by American Ordnance Company in 1897 for the U.S. Navy 3 inch Landing Gun. The gray area on the projectile would be filled with black powder to comprise the HE element, and the bottom is filled with layers of lead balls in a matrix of steel shrapnel pie-slice-shaped dividers.

    The fuze on the projectile had no ID, but I had a very similar one with operating instructions and ID engraved on it. These fuzes have a thread size different from all other U.S. Ordnance and operate in the same manner, so I'm assuming they were made by the same company, the American Ordnance Company.

    The fuze operates as a normal Powder Train time fuze, with rotation of a timing ring to set the time. One of the photos shows 4 rachet springs under the ring, that only allow it to turn in one direction. These spring tips engage a dimpled ring in the main body of the fuze. Upon firing, a weighted primer travels backwards, impacting a fixed firing pin in the centerline of the fuze, starting the time ring burning.

    The rear of the fuze houses a mirror image of the same weighted primer in this case facing forward, which would travel forward and impact a fixed firing pin if the projectile impacts something significant. Either the rear impact or timing feature would fire a base charge of black powder, which encircles the rear impact mechanism, covered by the plug with the screwdriver slot. The photo showing the fuze bases shows the chamber in the right fuze, covered by foil on the left fuze. There is a boresafe feature composed of a cylinder offset from the centerline of the fuze. Both ends of the cylinder have 1/2 of the material removed for 1/4 inch, which would support the primers on each end. Upon firing, the heavier half of the cylinder would rotate to the outside, freeing the primers to move in their respective chambers. The offset hole for the safety can be seen in photo 4.

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    Last edited by HAZORD; 19th February 2010 at 12:47 AM.
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