2.44 Art of Travel.
up armed at a moment's notice." (Parkyns' ` Abyssinia.') The longer the gun, the more secure is the sleeper from accident. The sketch is not quite accurate, for, in practice, the weight of the gun is never allowed to rest so entirely on the arm, as it is here represented : if it did so, the arm would soon be numbed. The gun-stock may be a little bolstered up if desired, to avoid any troublesome pressure on the arm.
Cleaning Guns.-A bit of. rag does as well as tow, and can be used over and over again. A top furnished with a sponge, to screw to the cleaning-rod, is convenient. "A leaded barrel must be cleaned with fine sand." (Hawker.) Quicksilver, if it be at hand, will dissolve out the lead at once.
GUN-FITTINGS AND AMMUNITION.
Powder-flask.-The flask that is carried in the pocket may be small, if roomy ; a large one, in reserve, being kept in a bag, at the front of the saddle.
To reduce bulges in a metal powder-flask, fill it up with Indian corn, or dry peas, or any other sort of hard grain ; then pour water into it, and screw down the lid tightly. The grain will swell, at first slowly and then very rapidly, and the flask will resume its former dimensions, or burst if it is not watched. Peas do not begin to swell for a couple of hours or more.
Powder-horn, to make.-Saw off the required length from an ox's horn, flatten it somewhat by heat (see " Horn "), fit a wooden bottom into it, caulk it well, and sew raw hide round the edge to keep all tight. The mouth must be secured by a plug, which may be hollowed to make a charger. Pieces of cane of large diameter, and old gunpowder canisters, sewn up in hide, make useful powder-flasks.
Percussion Caps.-Caps may be carried very conveniently by means of a ring, with two dozen nipple-shaped beads, made of some metal, strung upon it ; each bead being intended to be covered by a percussion-cap. The beads are cleft down the middle, which gives them a slight springiness, that more eiectually secures the caps that are placed upon them : the ring is tied by a thong to the belt or button-hole. It is very
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