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Confusion over Mk VII Sealant partially solved

3279 Views 50 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  GunnerSam
The sealant used in the Mk VII cartridge is variously described as "Beeswax" or an "Asphaltum".
The confusion is apparently due to the fact that sealants of this sort are almost always combinations of several constitutients.

The Treatise on Ammunition Page says this about the Mk VII cartridge.
"A cannelure is formed around the base and this is filled with Beeswax"

The Mk VI is also described as using a Beeswax lubricant/sealant.

Further on the illustration of .45 cartridge for the Nordenfelt gun shows a thick Beeswax Disc placed over the waxed card wad.

It is common for Bitumenous sealants and paints to contain Resins added to increase resistence to heat. The most heat resistent of these seems to be CNSL derived from Cashew Nut Shells which contains a formaldehyde resin.

Resin and Beeswax mixtures used since the time of the Ancient Egyptians are commonly mis-identifed as Asphaltum, which they closely resemble.

Now if one of the resident experts on the sealants used by the British Military would take the time to look up the exact composition of the sealant as aproved at various stages of development of the cartridge we can figure out just why the sealants are described both as Beeswax and as asphaltum. We can also find out which resins we are dealing with in cleaning bores.
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Things I know about cordite:

1 I still have hundreds of cordite .303 rounds.
2 It still goes bang when I pull the trigger.
3 It is harsh on barrels.
4 All cordite ammo has corrosive primers
5 I will never reload using cordite.
6 What was the board disc made of? Who cares.
7 What was the wax coating for? Who cares.
I'll second that.

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