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Old 04-30-2003, 01:04 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Ottawa, Canuckistan
Posts: 2,633

How dare they put the Submit button right beside the Preview button!

If I remember the museum correctly, the Gettysburg Battlefield information center has a nice cannon where the barrel exploded.
This happened occasionally when a muzzle-loading cannon misfired during a battle. If the noise and confusion was great enough that the crew didn't notice, they could ram a second or even a third charge into the gun on top of the original charge. This would often cause the gun to burst when it finally fired. As well, Civil War breechloaders were prone to sudden barrel failure due to design and manufacturing flaws, although these were mostly larger cannon.

A bit more resistance than just sticking a finger against the muzzle, though.