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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Colonial Ammunition Company - CAC SHOT TOWER:

Around 100 years ago in 1916/17 Major John Whitney had the CAC shot tower built in Normanby Road, Mount Eden Auckland. It was built to help make shot for ammunition here in NZ - as up till then we had been very dependent on importing over a distance of 11,406 miles from "The Old Country" - often then referred to as 'HOME'.
The Large 'Bluestone' Building (left) Is Now A Bar & Restaurant.

It seems that his original 1885 ammunition manufacture business, 'Whitney & Sons' developed into The Colonial Ammunition Company around 1888 and was the first ordnance factory in Australasia.

In 1888 Whitney also founded CAC Ltd (Australia) at Footscray Melbourne.

At approximately 35 m high, the Auckland tower consists of a polygonal room clad in corrugated iron, supported on a steel frame. The structure was built by local blacksmiths, W. Wilson and Company and initially operated by a Mr Lylie and his two daughters, who had previously supplied the factory with a limited amount of shot from Nelson.

 Shot was made by passing molten lead through a sieve at the top of the tower, which solidified as it fell into a water-filled pit in a room at its base. The shot was then polished, graded and stored in associated corrugated iron structures attached to the tower.

When dropped through a copper sieve high in the tower - the liquid lead forms tiny spherical balls by surface tension, then solidifies as it falls.. those that are "out of round" are remelted.

It seems likely that Prince Rupert of The Rhine (1619-1682) first developed 'Rupert Shot' by pouring molten lead from circular holes in a copper vessel held over water.

Link to a piece about Prince Rupert:

https://flicense.blogspot.co.nz/2015/06/gun-nut-prince-rupert-of-rhine.html

- When shot is dropped through a sieve for only a short fall - it tends to be mishapen, oval, and having a tadpole tail.

 In 1769? (-December 1782 Patent) a Bristol English plumber William Watts worked-out that if the shot was made to fall a longer distance, as from a tower - the surface tension of the lead would cause it to form much more regular spheres called 'Drop Shot'.



The Auckland CAC site ceased operations in the 1980s and most of the plant was demolished for redevelopment - but the unique tower was listed and retained as a Category 1 Historic place. 

During WW2 the Auckland CAC Factory employed 900 workers making various munitions as NZ's only industrial ammunition manufacturer.


CAC  .303" Cartridge Made in 1945.

I know of only a couple of current New Zealand ammunition makers, Falcon Ammunition (Target Products) of Timaru & Belmont Ammunition of Wanganui .. please buy their stuff at every opportunity - if there are others I'll be most happy to give them a mention.

I expect that 'FIRST WORLD' New Zealand now once again imports all of it's lead & steel shot.😼

Marty K.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

New Firearms Brokering Act in NZ Parliament:

Have you heard of the
  Brokering (Weapons And Related Items) Controls Act 2017 ?


Now is the time to take notice of this - provided that it is not already too late.

Link:

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2017/0280/latest/DLM7318217.html

- What do they mean by "brokering" ?
5Meaning of brokering activity
In this Act, brokering activity
(a)
means arranging, facilitating, or negotiating a transaction that involves the international transfer of weapons or related items from a place outside of New Zealand to another place outside of New Zealand; and
(b)
includes,—
(i)
in relation to a transaction described in paragraph (a), acting as an agent for a person involved in the transaction or as an intermediary between 2 or more persons involved in the transaction; and
(ii)
acquiring or storing weapons or related items in a place outside of New Zealand for the purpose of transferring the weapons or related items to any person outside of New Zealand; but
(c)
does not include the provision of any service that is merely ancillary to an activity described in paragraph (a) or (b) (for example, the provision of administrative, customs brokering, or financial services in relation to weapons or related items).
__________________________
I am concerned that Part 3.33 of this Act rules that any breech of it's rules may be prosecuted EVEN WHEN THAT OFFENCE OCCURS WHOLLY OUTSIDE OF NEW ZEALAND..

And this Act provides for penalty fines of 1 Million Dollars or more.

- There is a right of Appeal (within 30 days).

Sit-up and take notice people,

Marty K.

Tranquilizer Guns - Invented Here In New Zealand:

Christchurch born Colin Murdoch (1929-2008)  grew-up to be a pharmacist and veterinarian - but from an early age he was experimenting with home made gunpowder and the chemical ignition of firearms. As a dyslexic "child gun-nut" - he must have been a worry to his parents.


When 10 years old he discovered that certain nitrates would immediately ignite when mixed with sulphuric acid and he used this reaction to design and build a successful firearm that involved a wick and an asbestos filled hammer. He used his homemade gun for hunting rabbits and hares.

 Murdoch 'Acid-Action' Gun.
"My very early acid ignition, muzzle loading pistol. When the spring loaded trigger is pulled it pivots the hammer above. When the acid soaked asbestos filling, makes contact with a short special chemical mixture “touch wick” it causes ignition of the alternative powder charge in the barrel to fire the weapon. Unlike flintlock weapons which when fired have a short delay, acid ignition is immediate."

Once qualified & working as a Timaru pharmacist he developed and patented multiple iterations of disposable injection syringes that are now used in the billions, - new tranquilliser drugs, and invented delivery guns for use to tranquilize and capture wild animals.. these were very successful and lead to him forming PAXARMS to market them.
So successful were his 46 patents and inventions that he was awarded one bronze & three gold medals in 1976 - the Prince Philip Award, the Governor General's Export Award, and The New Zealand Award of Merit.

PAXARMS Mk.24C Projector.

This New Zealand genius may be new to you - as he was to me until I stumbled on an image of one of his guns .. but some people must have heard of him as he even had a postage stamp issued to mark his importance in 2007:

Despite all of his innovations - Murdoch made less money than he might - as he was reluctant to sue anyone breaching his patented designs:

“Patents give you the right to sue, they don’t give you the money to sue. It just costs too much”, he told the Timaru Herald in 1995.


Marty K.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Movie Guns & Children:

Radio NZ National today ran an interview with American psychologist Kelly Dillon today about her research paper regarding ..

  "does the use of guns in movies cause children to be more likely to use them and change the way that they play?"

.. Briefly she says that it does - which should appear obvious and logical to everyone.

However - she claims to be shocked that when she left an inert gun for her own 6 year old child to find - he picked it up and pulled the trigger !!!

- The radio interviewer Jessie Mulligan then congratulated her on her good work.


The mind BOGGLES,

What more can I say?

Marty K.


"West Coast NZ" Beach Mortar & Black-Powder Shrapnel Bombs:









My story about Henry Shrapnel and his invention brought-back happy childhood recall to Colpepper from New Zealand's "Wild West Coast" - where to this day the bitey female sand-flies grow to the size of Jumbo-jets and the beer flows freely from the faucet of every "Cocky" or Coal-Worker's kitchen .. while the rain drums cozily on the tin roof and roasting trays of mutton chops sizzle in the oven of a coal-fired range.


Greetings Mister K,

A fascinating and informative article which brought back memories of many years past. 

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME.
Back then, a young and very talented friend built his own mortar which we used on numerous occasions. From memory this relatively small mortar had a bore of at least 50 millimeters and the barrel length was perhaps 300 millimetres. The mortar tube was mounted on a heavy wooden base and was adjustable for elevation. Barrel thickness was around 15 millimeters.

Black powder was employed to fire heavy blunt (wadcutter style) solid steel projectiles, on the front of which was a welded steel ring to which a length of ribbon was attached to make it easier to see the projectile in flight.

The whole project worked exceedingly well, although owing to the cost of each projectile we never managed to work out the maximum range or (thankfully) the "do not exceed" propellant charge.

When firing the mortar on a deserted beach one day, we found it possible to land a shell in the midst of a bunch of seagulls standing around, at maybe 200+ meters or so.


However, the culmination of these experiments was a cylindrical shrapnel shell in which a short length of fuse in the base was ignited by the main propellant charge. It was difficult and damned dangerous to get the length of base fuse correct, but it was quite spectacular to watch the projectile splash a couple of hundred metres out to sea and then witness a sizable fountain of water erupt one or two seconds later.

Whether or not we killed any fish is unknown to this day.
We never experimented with impact detonators, although it may not be too difficult. The major problem was the inability of achieving pin-point accuracy as the mortar was not then equipped with even rudimentary sights.

A projectile with three or four spring-loaded expanding angled fins in the rear portion was on the "drawing board" at one stage but whether or not this came to fruition is unknown. The idea was to give the projectile an amount of spin in hopes of more consistant accuracy when sights were finally fitted.
Regards,
Colpepper A.

Monday, 25 September 2017

'SHRAPNEL' & Lieutenant Henry SHRAPNEL:

Here in New Zealand in 1998 a hollow '24-pounder' cannon ball (this one known as a shrapnel shell) was recovered by road workers on Middleton Road, Russells Folly, Nr. Johnsonville - where a wagon load of artillery had crashed 150 years earlier. The wagon and it's load of cannon had crashed into a swamp and the cannon were recovered and are at Trentham Military Camp.

 This cannonball is now in the possession of the Onslow Historic Society based at Ngaio, Wellington.


24 pounder shrapnel shells were useually fired from 24 pounder howitzers and 24 pounder Coehorn Mortars -  not from long guns.
A 24 pdr Coehorn Morter.

The round case shot was simply a hollow cannon ball that contained musket balls in a gunpowder matrix. A time fuse made out of paper wrapped around more gunpowder, rather like a fire-cracker fuse, was inserted into the early 'shrapnel' cannon balls.


 The shell sometimes went into the barrel fuse first so that the flash from the gunpowder propelling charge would light the slow burning gunpowder core in the Boxer fuse - or in some cases the fuse might be lit first.


The shrapnel shell cannon ball was designed by Lieutenant Henry Shrapnel of the British Royal Artillery in 1784 by packing musket balls and gunpowder into a hollow cannonball.
 - It was 1803 before Shrapnel - now risen to the rank of Captain - managed to persuade his 'superiors' that he had a useful airburst WMD (weapon of mass destruction) for use against the enemy's massed troops.




Shrapnel's round ball evolved into an artillery shell that looked very much like a modern shell and was manufactured in much the same way. It also performed the same function: the delivery of lead balls over long distances in large quantities at high velocities.

Henry Shrapnel rose to the rank of lieutenant-general on 10 January 1837 and died in 1842

Marty K.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Mek-Porek Israeli Safety Device:

9x19mm Mek-Porek with Chamber Indicator.

The "Mek-Porek" is an inert orange dummie round with an L-shaped piece of plastic that sticks out from the chamber as a "FLAG" indicating that the gun is unloaded and "safe" • The Israeli Defense Forces have purchased thousands of these wee devices as a useful idea for official military use that will perhaps prove valuable to enhance safety of their operations.
Mek-Porek Device For M16.

 The Israel Hayom Newsletter says:


"The Mek-Porek is meant to be taken out of a firearm only during live-fire exercises, missions, or in areas where it is ruled unnecessary. One of the big advantages of the device is that it is very cheap, and the IDF has already purchased 400,000 units. A downside to it is that if the weapon is not cleaned, the Mek-Porek could push dirt further into the chamber.

The Mek-Porek will be distributed to active soldiers first, and there are plans to implement it for reservists as well. According to Moreh, military police will treat soldiers who do not have a Mek-Porek in their weapons the way they treat soldiers whose uniforms are incomplete, and discipline them accordingly."

Mek-Porek in Use At Israeli Bar.

Should we expect the NZ Police to require that an Import Permit be obtained by any Kiwi wishing to import such safety device here .. it being firearms related ?

There are various makers selling 'Chamber Flags' .. Amazon offers a range of packs for around $6 for six - but beware e-bay offerings at rip-off prices..

- I actually have some reservations about the use of these "flags" to PROVE? that a gun is safe .. there isn't much to prevent some nutter loading live rounds and sticking a plastic day-glow flag at the breach as a disguise.

Marty K.

Friday, 22 September 2017

'Full-Patch' Bullet & 'Boullet' - "A Little Ball"

"Boullet" to Bullets:

Funny how one thing leads to another eh. - When reading an African hunting book about rifles & cartridges by John Pondoro Taylor - he uses the phrase "full patch - or solid bullet" .. which it seems is likely another term from the period (1948) when he was writing - for a bullet with a full metal jacket. - I don't think he is referring to a solid brass projectile.

So what was a full patch bullet before it became a FMJ modern round ..?
An Old Russian Paper Patched cartridge.

- so far I've only discovered that , for a while, sub-caliber lead bullets were wrapped in a couple of layers of thick paper to seal & assist their passage down the barrel on black powder rifles and to stop smearing of lead into those bores.

Now I am only guessing that there is a direct link between paper patching and the term "Full Patch Bullet" - either way - paper patches are cut 'on-the-bias' to a pattern .. then wetted before rolling onto the projectile - and the surplus 'collar'** at the base is folded onto the bullet's base and then the finished pills are stood onto the base to dry ready for use. Are these then lubed or not? - And are they then "full patched"?

The more I try to find information on "Full Patch" - the more I am told about gang patches & crime!


Link with expert instructions for paper patching (and lubing) metallic cartridges :

http://www.antique-arms.co.nz/ppatch.html

 Bullets:
- So as the early firearm projectiles were 'balls' - the newer cylindrical pills were named "Boullet" from the Middle French for small balls (boulle).

** 'Collars' .. Does anyone else remember celluloid collars (and 'collar studs')? I can remember my teacher at Linacre Road School, Willesden, London ..  'Mr Casey' sending me once a week with a shilling to pay for his dry-cleaned shirt collars .. I think that I must have been "teachers pet" at that tender age 9 or 10 y.o? in the 1950s. Celluloid was VERY inflammable - nitrocellulose & camphor - and is closely related to the explosives and propellants.
Same Stuff as Table-Tennis Balls.

Aint it marvellous what you can remember when you read eh.

Note:A small annoyance with Taylor's writing in this book is his pretentious use of a 'classical' narrative trick of introducing the two characters "Auctor" &" Lector"  as question and answer for a detailed explanation of his thinking process.. I've been a reader since about 1950 and I never have suffered such a bullshit imposition before.😕

Marty K.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

John "Pondoro" Taylor - African Ivory Poacher:

Old mate /gunsmith Rod introduced me to Ponduro Taylor in a comment added to the recent post about DUM DUM bullets and the sometimes laughable archaic English 'sporting rules' of life..

Well I Googled the man - who it seems was Dublin born & Irish (not American, Rod) and he seems to have been a character and the last of the African 'Ivory Hunters'.

 - 'Pondoro' shot a lot of elephant for commercial ivory harvesting and admits that many of them (and rhinos) - were poached and illegally taken.
John Howard 'Pondoro' Taylor 1904-1969.

So .. according to the record anyway - self confessed ivory poacher, professional hunter and alleged homosexual - Taylor was also a very good writer with an extensive knowledge and love of traditional English large bore Double Rifles - and other dangerous game large caliber Mauser bolt-actions. - For very good reasons:

"The lions vitality and tenacity-to-life is incredible. There is an authentic case of a party of men putting no less than 17 bullets from modern high power rifles into a lion before they succeeded in killing him. I've seen a lion come on for 8 or 10 paces with a gaping hole where his heart should have been."

He wrote half-a-dozen books himself - and others wrote about him. I have only found one book so far for my Kindle, - 'African Rifles And Cartridges' (1948) and I'm enjoying it's experience-based assessments of what worked and what failed at critical moments. - He spins a good tale.

Yes I know that I deride the classic pistol 'big bores' and the magnums as "fabled" stoppers while personally preferring the tighter bores in civilian social use .. But if I were expecting to face tigers, lions, or enraged elephants while on foot in the warmer nations - I too would select a BIG BORE of some kind to help keep those teeth and tusks out of my face .. possibly even a rocket grenade launcher !

He is also much appreciated by many shooters for his development of ..

  The Taylor Knockout Scale:

TKOF=frac{m_{Bullet}cdot v_{Bullet}cdot d_{Bullet{7000} (Equation 1)


(is there an imputation in this table that if I were to fire a bullet from a .500 S&W into a brain .. it would be 42 times deader than if I'd used a .25 ACP ?)

“The type of weapon you prefer and in which you have most faith,is the best for you.” : Pondoro Taylor.


Pondoro Taylor was apparently chased-out of Nyasaland  (around 1957? - modern Malawi in Africa) for his activities of various types, - and found little in the way of a warm welcome or employment offered in London - where he died poor in 1969.

Marty K.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Mushrooming or Expanding Jacketed Bullets - A Different Way?:

I've been thinking again !

"Mushrooming" is planned bullet distortion .. Almost any bullet subjected to enough force will distort or set up. I remember firing pellets from my Webley Mk. III air rifle at an electric iron placed in a cardboard box as a teenager (some time ago) .. boy did they distort -  they just shattered into bits 😊.

I have an idea about maybe there might be a different way to make an expanding bullet .. then I saw this photo image that shows interesting distortions .. look at the forth slug from the left - it's not just the bullet nose expanding:


- What my thought was - that maybe if a bullet was structurally weakened between it's front & rear parts - perhaps by 'through cuts' or incisions in the gilding metal (a type of brass 95% copper + 5% zinc) - it could possibly be made to expand greatly under impact in that mid-section.

The degree of expansion might be made 'adjustable' by the length of the cuts .. but with this ballistics technology you are always juggling with the variables of shape, velocity, strength, & weight.
Going               Going                Gone
Please excuse my crappy photography and sketching

- just 'dreaming' I guess - but you never know until you've tried it eh .. Kiwi Ingenuity.
_____________________

Here's another fascinating thought that I just came across on-line - It seems likely that if a lead cored bullet is driven fast enough .. it's lead core can melt from the friction heat at velocities of around 4,000 ft. per sec.  ??

- Another "wee gem" that I just picked-up is that it was one Colonel Eduard Rubin, a Swiss gentleman - who invented the Full Metal Jacketed Bullet in 1882. - His name rang a bell for me regarding the Schmidt-Rubin rifle eh.
Anyway - here's a link to an excellent & interesting piece about bullet design. Link:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/bullets_beginners.htm

- Well I found it interesting anyway.

& Here's a Link to some fascinating "Slow Motion" video of bullet impacts & penetration:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfDoQwIAaXg

Marty K.
A late P.S. Hey Guys .. read the Comment below as it seems that idea has been used before. - You just don't know what you don't know. 😄


Saturday, 16 September 2017

"DUM-DUM" Expanding Bullets:

Ladies & Gentlemen - May I introduce to you Lieutenant-Colonel Neville Sneyd Bertie-Clay - & Sir John Ardagh.  (both British "toffs" - you'd never have guessed eh).

Briefly, the early simple solid lead ball and cylindrical projectiles - being made of soft pure lead - tended to flatten and expand on impact when fired by the old gunpowder (Black-Powder) propellant loads.
Balls.

- However - when "Cordite" or smokeless powders came into use to produce much faster velocities - the soft projectiles smeared lead onto the rifling and clogged the rifle bores - leading (that's leading as opposed to leading 😁) to the need to wrap the heavy soft lead in harder copper skins. And those 'jacketed' rounds tended to not expand but to 'drill' much tidier holes in targets .. thus causing less injury.

Bertie-Clay - working at the Ordnance Department of the British Indian Army, was the guy who in 1896 invented the 'evil' Dum-Dum expanding bullet for the .303" rifle. He was Superintendent of the British arsenal at Dum Dum near Calcutta in Bengal.

There were several 'iterations' of official plus home-made versions of .303" expanding rounds used by British soldiers against enemy forces - who, naturally protested at their inhumanity and effectiveness.


 During the Hague Convention of 1899 - Sir John Ardagh explained to an absorbed audience, 
"men penetrated through and through several times by our latest pattern of small calibre projectiles, which make small clean holes,' were nevertheless able to rush on and come to close quarters. Some means had to be found to stop them.

 'The civilized soldier when shot recognizes that he is wounded and knows that the sooner he is attended to the sooner he will recover.

 He lies down on his stretcher and is taken off the field to his ambulance, where he is dressed or bandaged. Your fanatical barbarian, similarly wounded, continues to rush on, spear or sword in hand; and before you have the time to represent to him that his conduct is in flagrant violation of the understanding relative to the proper course for the wounded man to follow—he may have cut off your head."
Ardagh.
A very British approach, what !

- There were expanding bullets before Dum-Dum - and certainly afterwards - but "Dum-Dum" has entered into our folk-law books as the archaic name for the expanding bullet.

Bertie-Clay died on 17 October 1938, having lived for some time at Villa La Pensee in Tahiti - down our way in French Polynesia. - Ardagh died in 1907 following a long and most distinguished career (worth Googling).

Marty K.

P.S. While talking about "dum-dums" - I'm pleased to note the return of a very few neighbor Australian mates to my blog stats.. this surely indicates that some aussies are able to read eh.
(- I'm currently recording around a thousand total 'hits' per week.)

martyk.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

A SUPER-MAGNUM - 327 Federal Magnum:

I'm making sure that YOU have heard about the 327 Federal Magnum.


Me personally - "Moi" - I am fully sold on this super-magnum cartridge .. and would hate to think that there's anyone out there that remains unaware of what this neat caliber can do for you.

When I handed my SP101 Ruger Revolver to the NZ Police firearms employee during a recent 'Home Security Check' - saying "this is my new 327 Federal Magnum" ...  He expertly stated - "There is no such thing."
357" Magnum Compared to 327 Fed. Magnum.

- I pointed to the barrel markings before quietly explaining.

That the '327' is a SAAMI high pressure rimmed round that is the latest development in 'thirty-twos'.

The very original S&W 32s of 1860 were black-powder rim-fires in various lengths and strengths - but the first center-fire S&W 32" cartridge was the (now so called)"Short" in 1871 with a case length of .61 inch ... then S&W introduced the "Long" in 1896 (case length .920"). Next in 1984 Harrington & Richardson worked with Federal to introduce the again extended thirty-two they called the 32 H&R Magnum with a 1.075 inch case length.

The semi-rimless John Browning designed 32 ACP (Automatic Colt Cartridge) was introduced first by F.N. in 1899 and uses the same sized bullets - and is also known as 7.65×17mmSR Browning.

'Thirty-twos' have been used extensively where low weight and controllable accurate performance is valued. The .32 calibers are compact and light. While some believe it has marginal stopping power*- it has been used effectively by military and police worldwide over the past hundred & fifty years.


.32 ACP

*  "Stopping Power" is a widely discussed concept - factually more dependent on accuracy than other factors.
- These guys kept up-grading the .32 because it was a bloody good & accurate cartridge that did the job - but was sometimes considered "under powered" when held alongside the big bores and their magnum versions. 

- In 2007 Ruger got together again with Federal to once more hot-up the thirty-two by strengthening it's brass case and further lengthening it to 1.20 inches. The 327 Federal Magnum comes with a SAAMI pressure rating of 45,000 p.s.i. - So it is a magnumized magnum cartridge.


Don't take a Kiwis word for it .. Check-out Jeff Quinn at Gunblast.com

http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-LCR3.htm

- and again .. Link:

http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-SP101-327.htm

327 Revolver shooters have a choice of five different factory loaded cartridges.

Top 327 loadings are in the .357 Magnum power zone with less recoil and blast.

The slightly smaller size means that you get six rounds instead of five .. or seven instead of six.

The long strong 327 case makes it ideal for custom loads - Duplex, Triplex, "buck'n'ball"

- and now, at last, - the first US maker - Henry has produced a lever action rifle for the 327.
.32 ACP, .32 S&W "Short", .32 S&W Long,  .32 H&R Magnum, 327 Fed. Magnum.
________________

One very popular 'old-time' cartridge is the 32-20 or .32" WCF. Loaded for both revolvers and rifle .. this useful round takes the same .312" dia. bullet & has shot many a deer since it's beginnings in 1882. Originally a black-powder round - the 32-20 runs a SAAMI maximum pressure of only 16,000 p.s.i compared to the 327's 45,000 p.s,i.
32-20 (32"WCF), -  327 Fed. Magnum, -  32" H&R Magnum.

The 327 Fed. Magnum effectively renders those older rounds obsolete.

Try reading John Taffin's story on Bowen Classic Arms .327 Federal Magnum Custom Sixguns. Link:


The best thing since sliced bread .. Or as John T says - "The Best Thing since the 44 Magnum".

.. But one problem for a 'new caliber' is that there is already a cartridge sized to meet just about every need out there - except for the minor point that they all are damn loud .. and their unprotected use will permanently stuff your ears with mushy bananas and permanent whining sounds (Tinnitus).

 - Now if only someone could invent a non-toxic & silent cartridge system eh.

 Life is good,

Marty K.