Colonel B D SHAW Centenary Celebrations

B D SHAW's famous Musket Experiment
This experiment shows how a tallow candle can be fired from a Crimean War musket with such force that it will pass through several thicknesses of plywood. The demonstration was repeated twice during the celebrations by Mr. Jim Gamble with help from Prof Martyn Poliakoff.



The musket has a round bore, the candle is cylindrical but the candle punched through the plywood making a rectangular entry hole!

The hole made by the candle in the plywood is shown opposite, with a fifty pence piece to give an idea of the scale. Col. Shaw has autographed the target.

The shape of the hole can be explained by examining the way the candles travels through the air to the target. It rotates about it's mid-point as it leaves the musket barrel - so it often hits the target side on.

- B D SHAW introduction page
- Department of Chemistry
- The University of Nottingham Web Site