Shooting down balloons

Armed conflicts in the history of humanity from the ancient times to the 20th Century.
paul.mercer
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Shooting down balloons

Post by paul.mercer » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:17 pm

Gentlemen,
During the first WW fighters on both sides would attemp to shoot down observation balloons, I think I read somewhere that before the advent of incendiary .303 bullets an experiment was made using modified 577-450 Martini-Henry bullets (presumably left over from the Zulu and Sudan wars) can anyone confirm this?

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tommy303
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Re: Shooting down balloons

Post by tommy303 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:24 am

There was a 577-450 incendiary round produced. The case was drawn brass and the bullet was a large spitzer type bullet with incendiary filling and a base closed by a steel washer with central vent. The incendiary compound, in this case a tracer composition, was ignited by the discharge of the cartridge. The round was known originally as 'Cartridge SA Incendiary .45 inch Mark I' when introduced in 1914. Later, in 1916 it was renamed, 'Cartridge SA Tracer Martini Henry Rifle and Machine Gun Mark I.' The round was replaced by the 303 BIK Mark VII.K incendiary eveloped by wing commander Brock, RNVR.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

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