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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 04 Sep, 2011 7:26 am    Post subject: invention of the musket. whn was that?         Reply with quote

ok,
we all mostly know how firearms developed, first wehad the handgonne and harquebus, (hook gun) which became the arquebus, and then the longer and more powerful musket,by the tme of the precussion capped weapons, almost all weapons on a battlefield were rifles and many proclaim, that the rifle replaced the musket etc.

even though we see rifled firearms as early as the dawn of the 16th C

to add to the confusion,ive heard it stated (on the wide expances of the internet that the musket wasnt used until 1520's

and are there some rreasonabley reliable dates for example on the invention of the musket (not the arquebus)

as well as any other firearm developments, likehow early do we see rifled firearms on the battlefield? one of the german armouries the landzehaus (forget the fiull spelling) mentios that detatchments of whel lock riflemen supplemented pikemen amnd musketeers

this may seem open ended but there is a point to this.
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Tod Glenn




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Sep, 2011 8:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Until the minie ball, rifles had limited utility as battlefield weapons. Anyone who's used patched roundball rifles know how slow they are to reload, and how quickly they foul, making reloading virtually impossible. Rifles were specialists weapons until the mid 1800s. Musket units were supplemented by rifleman as skimishers. Riflemen needed supporting units to keep from becoming fodder for cavalry or any other fast moving units that could exploit the rifles extremely slow rate of fire and limited utility.

Once the minie ball came into use, the rifle (rifled musket) enjoyed the same rate of fire as it's smoothbore equivalent, but with a much better range.
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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Sep, 2011 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, Muskets and Arquebus's are different guns. I heard that the Turks invented the Musket, and I"m thinking mid 16th century, but I"m not sure.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Sep, 2011 10:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tod Glenn wrote:
Until the minie ball, rifles had limited utility as battlefield weapons. Anyone who's used patched roundball rifles know how slow they are to reload, and how quickly they foul, making reloading virtually impossible. Rifles were specialists weapons until the mid 1800s. Musket units were supplemented by rifleman as skimishers. Riflemen needed supporting units to keep from becoming fodder for cavalry or any other fast moving units that could exploit the rifles extremely slow rate of fire and limited utility.

Once the minie ball came into use, the rifle (rifled musket) enjoyed the same rate of fire as it's smoothbore equivalent, but with a much better range.


Todd...

I have to take issue with a couple of your comments about round ball rifles. I have been shooting rifled muzzle loaders since 1968. I agree that they are slower to reload than a musket but I disagree about the fouling part. I have never had a problem reloading a rifle due to fouling, as long as I was using a lubricated patch on the ball. Even "spit patches" help keep fouling to a minimum. In fact, loading a smoothbore musket after a few shots is sometimes more difficult than a rifle, assuming both are quality firearms. The rifleman from the American Revolution onward (relatively few rifles were used in the F & I War- Last of the Mohicans not withstanding) was employed as a skirmisher or sharpshooter which required a different set of tactics but they were quite effective in their role. The British addressed this many times during and after the war, as well as the riflemen's tactic of shooting officers, which was not considered sporting. They even studied captured American rifles and had some rifles made following the general design in an effort to determine why they were so effective. Of course some Hessian soldiers were equipped with rifles but these guns had short barrels compared to American long rifles and the sight radius made them somewhat less accurate as a result.

As to speed of reloading, while the rifle is slower it can still be reloaded rather quicker than most non-shooters think. I use to shoot in a speed-loading competiton at a local club called "Defend the Fort". We started with loaded rifles and fired as many shots as possible in 2.5 minutes. You were scored for accuracy as well as number of shots. I found I could get off five shots, the first load, then reload and fire four more, in the time frame or one shot every 37.5 seconds. I was not using a loading block at that point and the addition of a loading block might add another shot to the total.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Sep, 2011 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: invention of the musket. whn was that?         Reply with quote

William P wrote:

to add to the confusion,ive heard it stated (on the wide expances of the internet that the musket wasnt used until 1520's

and are there some rreasonabley reliable dates for example on the invention of the musket (not the arquebus)


There are pretty reliable dates, and about 1520s is right. See, for example, Bert Hall's book, Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe: Gunpowder, Technology, and Tactics.

But, this is for a specific type of musket, the heavy musket, or "Spanish" musket, much heavy than the arquebus, and used alongside the arquebus (in smaller numbers than the arquebus, iirc). Always fired from a rest, due to its great weight (and great recoil). Went out of use in the early 1600s, when the lighter arquebus became more powerful.

This heavy musket was the weapon that was first called "musket", so can be said to be the true and authentic musket. However, the name outlasted the weapon, and later weapons were called "musket" as well, even though, in principle, they're really arquebuses. (Bert Hall says that the higher pay rate of musketeers might have had something to do with this.) This doesn't change the date of invention, but does change the date of going out of use to the late 19th century.

So it can be a little misleading to say that the musket replaced the arquebus; it's more that the arquebus was renamed the musket.

If you were to define "musket" as a heavy arquebus fired from a rest, you might find an earlier Chinese invention. The hard part would be deciding what counts as a heavy musket and what counts as a light cannon (swivel gun).

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.


Last edited by Timo Nieminen on Mon 05 Sep, 2011 2:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Sep, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bert Hall's description of the musket and it's evolution is a wee bit misleading. While later developments of the musket certainly were both lighter and shorter than a full sized musket of the late 16th or early 17th Centuries there is not much resemblance at all to the arquebus since the evolved musket is both longer and often retained the use of the heavy caliber of typical of the "full" musket.

For example the Swedes used muskets bored to fire 10 shot to the pound (around 20mm) from the days of Gustavus well into the Napoleonic wars. Hardly any diffrence from the original Spanish musket which was bored to fire 8 to the pound. (Around 21.5mm) The British Land pattern musket aka Brown Bess similarly retained a heavy caliber (.75, firing .71 shot)
Both significantly heavier than the arquebus & caliver which were typicaly bored to fire 20 or more shot to the pound. (15,9mm and smaller shot) If anything it was the arquebus which became more like the musket as it changed into the caliver by becoming longer and using a heavier shot.

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Sep, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rifles appeared on the battlefield in the 16th century but only in very limited numbers as they were expensive weapons which reqired special skills to use effectively. Their common use was local defence by burghers defending their city or hunters & forresters defending their local area. It was among these groups that the skills to use rifles properly could be found. The burghers in some cities retained their old traiditons of organised training in marskmanship but had changed from crossbows to firearms. They had both the time and money to invest in rifles and their use. For the hunters, forresters and peasants allowed to hunt the rifle was tool which provided food, an income or kept their livestock safe. Hence they developed the marksmanship which allowed for an effective use of the rifle.

In open battle these groups were almost useless as they were easily overrun by cavalry in caught unsupported and could not match the rate of fire or weight of shot of musketers & arquebusiers. They came into their own in the "small war" against raiders, outposts and scouts. Or in the defence of a fortified position.

Another thing to keep in mind is that these early rifles were not necissarily more efficent that smoothbores. The Graz Armoury carried out a large scale test of selected fire arms in their collection in 1988.
The rifled wall gun (doppelhaken) tested had a mechanical accuracy of 52,5% while the unrifled wall gun had an accuracy of 51,5%. By comparison the well made matchlock arquebus had an accuracy of 60,9% while the rifled wheellock arquebus spread it shots so erraticly that testing was halted due to it being a danger to staff and equipment.

The early 18th Century military jaeger rifle clearly showed what could be done with proper rifling as it had an accuracy of 83%, to be compared with the 32,7% of a particularly wretched sample of flintlock musket.
The most surpsing thing was the high accurary of the well made pistols , one flintlock pistol scored an accuracy of 99%, while the modern Glock automatic scored 99,5%

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
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William P




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Sep, 2011 5:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

that is extremely surprising regarding the wheellock rifles horrendous accuracy.

im not totally surprised at the 18th C smoothbores accuracy i remember hearing that the windage was deliberately increased over time from its invention to then in order to make reloading faster and less in need of cleaning (it wouldnt foul up and affect reloading as quickly. )as well as bng a possible safeguard against putting too much powder down the barrel (which would be hard with a brown bess considering the practice of using paper catridges.)

my imagination of 16th C wheellock rifle use would be o have a roving band that moves around the pike block and ducks back into the lines when enemies come close. and naturally being riflemen, to shoot at sargents or light artillery crews like ribaults which i remember a ilustration sowing pike squares with a ribault between them.
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Tod Glenn




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Sep, 2011 11:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

…the riflemen were mostly spitted to the trees with bayonets (their weapons being so slow to load)…these people deserve pity rather than fear.” -Hessian colonel after the Battle of Long Island, August 1776

Lin, our experiences are a bit different. I shoot patched roundball exclusively in my rifled flinters, using Goex ff, with ffff in the pan. After more than a few rounds I find I often have to hammer the balls in with a mallet - a problem that was noted by historical sources as well. The contemporary historical records are replete with descriptions of fouling, and scores of inventions sought to ameliorate this problem.Washington never put riflemen in a position that the couldn't retreat from easily.

With my Bess I can fire the regulation three rounds per minute. I've never been able to come close with a rifle. I can only imagine that your rifles have a lot more windage in the bores (Note that I am shooting mainly Pedersolis, but I have a couple of TC I use for hunting). Also, the quality of powder you are using is vastly superior to that available to revolutionary soldier. Caking wasn't introduced until around 1800 and the quality of saltpeter was all over the map. (Note that I am shooting mainly Pedersolis, but I have a couple of TC I use for hunting).

Keep in mind that the British actually produced on of the best military rifled flintlock rifles ever produced, superior in every way to anything built in America. Unfortunately the Ferguson was too advanced for it's time and and it's inventor didn't survive to promote it. It was costly and difficult to produce. But it could be loaded from the prone, had a high rate of fire and was operable in adverse weather.

There were only two regiments of rifles raised by the colonial army in the war of independence: Thompson's battalion and Mile's Pennsylvania regiment. They primarily provided scouts and skimishers. in major battles, they did not do so well where the enemy could close range, which is why Miles rifle took 50% casualties after being caught by regular British infantry at long island.

As far as the shooting of officers being 'unsporting', the real issue was that most European armies considered officers essential to keep battles from becoming uncontrolled brawls. It had less to do with a notion of fair play and more to do with maintaining orderly conduct in battle.

While the rifle gets a disproportionate credit for winning the war of American independence, the reality is that the important battles won by the colonials were fought using traditional Europeans weapons and tactics, and with the support of French troops and naval forces. Further, there was tepid support for the war in England, and the British never deployed cavalry en masse on the American continent, fortunately for the colonial forces.

By the time of the Napoleonic was 20 years later, the rifle was still regulated to limited application. All the armies deployed them, but in very limited numbers compared to their smooth bore bretheren. Skirmishers were always at hazard from cavalry units, and even rifle units that deploedy as homogenous regiments (rare) would often dispense with patch in favor of rate of fire at the expense of range. Finally, many rifles lacked provision for a bayonet which could lead to a sticky situation in the event a unit was forced to form square.

YMMV
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 2:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:
Bert Hall's description of the musket and it's evolution is a wee bit misleading. While later developments of the musket certainly were both lighter and shorter than a full sized musket of the late 16th or early 17th Centuries there is not much resemblance at all to the arquebus since the evolved musket is both longer and often retained the use of the heavy caliber of typical of the "full" musket.

For example the Swedes used muskets bored to fire 10 shot to the pound (around 20mm) from the days of Gustavus well into the Napoleonic wars. Hardly any diffrence from the original Spanish musket which was bored to fire 8 to the pound. (Around 21.5mm) The British Land pattern musket aka Brown Bess similarly retained a heavy caliber (.75, firing .71 shot)
Both significantly heavier than the arquebus & caliver which were typicaly bored to fire 20 or more shot to the pound. (15,9mm and smaller shot) If anything it was the arquebus which became more like the musket as it changed into the caliver by becoming longer and using a heavier shot.


Hall has about 15-20g as typical for the 16th century arquebus (and says the mid-17th century musket shot was typically the same, which seems a little light), as compared with 50-70g for the Spanish heavy musket. Brown Bess 0.71 is 36g. Some other shot weight figures at hand are from Krenn's 1991 tests, with shot of 11, 17, 32, 31, 28, 32, and 34g for 17th century muskets. Most of these are well over Hall's 15-20g range, but well short of his 50-70g, so quite intermediate between the arquebus/caliver and the heavy musket.

A 10-to-the-pound Swedish musket sounds like a real brute, and a little exceptional. I have the figure of 18 to the pound as typical for 30 Years War (which would be German, and would be a heavy pound, so 27 or 28g).

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 4:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

10 to the pound ( 12 to the pound rolling) was the standard caliber of the musket introduced by the Dutch in the late 16th Century and was a fairly widely used caliber due to the extensive Dutch arms trade. The Swedes used older style weapons bored 8 to the pound/10 to the pound "rolling" alongside these new muskets not to mention the various German calibers captured as battlefield loot or when enemy arms depots were overrun.

Wallenstein standardised his factories on making muskets bored "12 to the pound" but the document does not mention if this was "rolling" or not nor which piund was to be used.

Peter Engerissers website has interesting data regarding muskets made in Germany
http://www.engerisser.de/Bewaffnung/Luntenmuskete1600.html
http://www.engerisser.de/Bewaffnung/Luntenmuskete1620.html
http://www.engerisser.de/Bewaffnung/Luntenmuskete1630.html
http://www.engerisser.de/Bewaffnung/Kaliber.html

In his book "Von Kronach nach Nördlingen" he provides further data on German calibers, apparently a common south German caliber was 13 to the pound firing 15 or 16 "rolling", in 1631 the Franconian circle standardised on 14 to the pound firing 16 "rolling for it's troops. Since these muskets were made using the heavy Nürnberg pound that's a shot weight of a bit more than 31g.

Hall's shot weights for both the Spanish musket and the mid-17th Century muskets seem erronous. The Spanish musket was bored to fire 8 to the pound, the heaviest shot that gives is 63g and that's with muskets bored to the Nürnberg pound. But the actual shot fired was made 10 to the pound "rolling" which gives us a shot weight of roughly 42 to 51g depending on the pound used. Spanish made muskets fired a 42.5 g shot according to Dr Pierre Piquet and Swedish muskets of the same caliber also fired 42,5g shot.
Even the lightest musket shot in common use durig the TYW was still a lot heavier than the 15-20g claimed by Hall as 18 to the pound is still a 28g shot.

The only nation I know of which used a "arquebus" caliber musket were the French who in the later half of the 17th Century adopted 20 to the pound (i.e firing 24 to the pound) as the standard caliber, indeed some muskets were bored 22 to the pound. This is equal to the caliber of the calivers used in the early 17th Century.

I have Krenn's "Von Alten Handfeuerwaffen" next to men and none of the weapons he tested were 17th Century muskets, the only muskets in the test were 3 early 18th Century flintlock muskets firing shot of 30 to 34g. The rest of the weapons tested were heavy wall guns (doppelhaken), pistols, matchlock and wheellock arquebus and wheellock & flintlock rifles. It could be that Hall mistranslated the "gewehr" commonly used by Krenn into "musket".

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 5:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tod Glenn wrote:
…the riflemen were mostly spitted to the trees with bayonets (their weapons being so slow to load)…these people deserve pity rather than fear.” -Hessian colonel after the Battle of Long Island, August 1776

Lin, our experiences are a bit different. I shoot patched roundball exclusively in my rifled flinters, using Goex ff, with ffff in the pan. After more than a few rounds I find I often have to hammer the balls in with a mallet - a problem that was noted by historical sources as well. The contemporary historical records are replete with descriptions of fouling, and scores of inventions sought to ameliorate this problem.Washington never put riflemen in a position that the couldn't retreat from easily.

With my Bess I can fire the regulation three rounds per minute. I've never been able to come close with a rifle. I can only imagine that your rifles have a lot more windage in the bores (Note that I am shooting mainly Pedersolis, but I have a couple of TC I use for hunting). Also, the quality of powder you are using is vastly superior to that available to revolutionary soldier. Caking wasn't introduced until around 1800 and the quality of saltpeter was all over the map. (Note that I am shooting mainly Pedersolis, but I have a couple of TC I use for hunting).

Keep in mind that the British actually produced on of the best military rifled flintlock rifles ever produced, superior in every way to anything built in America. Unfortunately the Ferguson was too advanced for it's time and and it's inventor didn't survive to promote it. It was costly and difficult to produce. But it could be loaded from the prone, had a high rate of fire and was operable in adverse weather.

YMMV


Yes, our experiences are different. The particular rifle I shot the speed loading match with has a GRRW barrel, made on a Bill Large rifling machine. This is a superior barrel in every respect. I have a .38 cal. flinter with a Rex Maxey barrel, again a very well made tube. Then there are two Scottish rifles with Green Mountain barrels. I am not knocking Pedersoli barrels as I also have a Pedersoli Sharps. The barrels they put on their breech loaders are very good barrels and win some long range BPCR matches from time to time. I have no experience with their muzzle loading barrels but hear they are quite good as well. At any rate, I have never had any problem with fouling with any of my rifles, except on very dry days when fouling does tend to get hard, requiring more frequent cleaning. I do try to use a thick patch, well-lubricated on a slightly undersized ball. There appears to be no effect on accuracy with that combination.

I see that you live in Montana where the air is quite dry much of the time. (I spent two years in Great Falls in the early 70s). That contributes to the problem as well. Interestingly, Maj. Ferguson demonstrated his breech loading rifle to the War Department on a wet day, which was designed to show its utility in bad conditions. The high humidity also kept the fouling soft, a side benefit for him. A friend of mine recently finished writing a book on the Ferguson rifle. He owns and shoots a replica of a Ferguson military rifle. I have photos of him loading and shooting his rifle. He says it is very hard to keep it functioning for more than a few rounds on a dry day and consequently he uses a lot of grease on the breech block.

I live quite close to the Kings Mountain Battlefield Park in SC. The visitor center has an original Ferguson sporting rifle on display. You remember that this battle was fought, on the American side, by militia armed with rifles, fowlers and some muskets. While they were not an organized formation, per se, they did act quite effectively. The same situation occurred at Cowpens and Guilford Court House, where the militia were used as skirmishers to good effect. Certainly the contribution of riflemen to winning the war was minimal but used in the proper circumstances they could be quite effective.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 5:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:
I have Krenn's "Von Alten Handfeuerwaffen" next to men and none of the weapons he tested were 17th Century muskets, the only muskets in the test were 3 early 18th Century flintlock muskets firing shot of 30 to 34g. The rest of the weapons tested were heavy wall guns (doppelhaken), pistols, matchlock and wheellock arquebus and wheellock & flintlock rifles. It could be that Hall mistranslated the "gewehr" commonly used by Krenn into "musket".


I have Krenn's figures via Sylvia Leever, "For show or safety?", Arms & Armour, 3(2), 117-125 (2006), and Leever has "musket". Some of them are converted-to-flintlock c. 1700. One is described as rifled, so the translation looks a little relaxed. The very light one is "Wheellock musket, Suhl, 1593". Do you know what this gun actually is? A carbine for cavalry? A hunting gun?

For comparison, Japanese shot weights are 6-10 monme (10ths of Japanese ounces, about 3.75g) for typical military muskets, so 22-38g. 20-50 monme are known for super-heavy muskets. (Edo period peasant guns were 2-3 monme.)

22g seems to have been a common Chinese shot (and effective, described as, roughly, "if you shoot sparrows or small birds at less than 30 paces, they are disintegrated").

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 7:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

it may be due to the nature of the rifle but test firings with the baker rifle by these guys suggest otherwise
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eqz7XLkyx8Y they shoot 13 shots in 5 minutes, roughly 2.5 per minute (and to confirm for myself watching it, when one minutes passing is announced the prson is just about ramming down the ball of his third shot shoots that then makes 2 more shots before the 2 minute mark. meaning 5 shots in 2 minutes) (he starts unloaded), which isnt too bad considering the standard rate of fire for the musket was 3 rounds. and the difficulty in pushing down the ramrod doesnt seem to increase to the level you state, BUT for the last three shots he does indeed seem to ned to use more effort to get the ball rammed,


they mention in the comments on their video on baker rifle accuracy using different styles of patching balls, that apparently they take about 40-50 shots before they require a clean.
i imagne that its probably the fouling problemseffecting reloading and the issues with mass produced rifling on the scale the brown bess was made.
as wellas the rifles inherent risk from cavalry due to their formation (its harder to dash and form square when your strung out in a skirmish line.

while the furguson may have been possibly the best blackpowder rifle of its day though in regardsto its adoption, one other problem was apparently that the screw breach's position made the stock more prone to breaking. snce the walls were thinner i think,

but i think ezekial bakers famous rifle of the same name shouldnt be ignored either, it was shorter than the american penn rifles but that didnt stop tom plunketts legendary longshot.
what makes it great is the fact the bakers maker added one feature which very much alleviated one of the problems addressed of other rifles he gae it not just a bayonet, but a sword bayonet that was apparently deliberately long so that it was the same length as a bayonetted brown bess so that riflemen forming square alongside redcoats woudlnt compromise the formation,
and the fact that every riflemen now had a short sword for close quarters (or a sort of black powder spewing glaive) is an excellent idea considering they were so non numerous.
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Jack W. Englund




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just some thoughts on the "Baker Rifle" ( I own 2 & shoot reg with 2 other men ( 1 a "master gun builder) )

1. READ "De Witt Bailley Ph.D's books ( start with British Military Flintlock Rifles1740 - 1840 ) ( not only includes the "Baker," the Ferguson. +++++)

2. Baker was a top end Gun maker & a acknowledged marksman & understood the "complexities" of what would " work" on the "battlefield" ( speed of loading, fowling, accuracy. etc.) In order to do so, He had to make "compromises"
1. Speed of loading & Fowling - He opted to use a slow twist ( 1:120 ) + a different "land / grove ) + the stock was designed for battle not "sport" Big Grin
2. The above worked, but did effect the accuracy (but it not only fulfilled the requirements,.it turned out surprisingly effective in the hands of the well trained men of the Brits. Big Grin

As I said above I Shoot "Baker's" Both mine use a "faster twist (1:66) for accuracy sake.

As to thee speed & fowling -
Speed = Practice
Fowling = I cheat ( my patches are "lubed with "moose milk" which cleans as I shoot. ( example, in a shoot of 100 shots, I do "run" ( after 25) a wet patch/ then dry. ( note, in "timed comps, like "fort shoots" ( usually 50 or less rnd.s) I skip

BTW, the "gun builder has made a couple of very accurate repo.s of the "original" We have shot them ( using, Or trying to, the "original" powder loads,patching ( including leather) = "interesting" Big Grin Cool

A side note on the "sword bayonet" - most often not used by the "riflemen" except as a "tool" Laughing Out Loud
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 12:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:

I have Krenn's figures via Sylvia Leever, "For show or safety?", Arms & Armour, 3(2), 117-125 (2006), and Leever has "musket". Some of them are converted-to-flintlock c. 1700. One is described as rifled, so the translation looks a little relaxed. The very light one is "Wheellock musket, Suhl, 1593". Do you know what this gun actually is? A carbine for cavalry? A hunting gun?

That would be RG117
92,5cm long, with a weight of 2,9 kilos and a caliber of 13,2mm it is hardly a "musket". It could be either a hunting gun or a cavalry gun, indeed it could be a hunting weapon purchased to equip cavalry due to a shortage of military guns.


"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Sep, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:
Timo Nieminen wrote:

I have Krenn's figures via Sylvia Leever, "For show or safety?", Arms & Armour, 3(2), 117-125 (2006), and Leever has "musket". Some of them are converted-to-flintlock c. 1700. One is described as rifled, so the translation looks a little relaxed. The very light one is "Wheellock musket, Suhl, 1593". Do you know what this gun actually is? A carbine for cavalry? A hunting gun?

That would be RG117
92,5cm long, with a weight of 2,9 kilos and a caliber of 13,2mm it is hardly a "musket". It could be either a hunting gun or a cavalry gun, indeed it could be a hunting weapon purchased to equip cavalry due to a shortage of military guns.


what was it do you think made the graz armouries wheel-lock rifle so horrendously erratic? wouldn't any sort of rifling be at the least no worse than a smoothbore?
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 7:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:

what was it do you think made the graz armouries wheel-lock rifle so horrendously erratic? wouldn't any sort of rifling be at the least no worse than a smoothbore?

Not having examined the gun myself I can only make an educated guess at best. I suspect that either the rifling was badly done or that some part of the gun was poorly made. (Possibly both.)

The quality of a firearms clearly had an impact on the accuracy, one of the flintlock musket scored an mechanical accuracy of only 32,5% while the others scored 48, 50 and 54%, clearly these massproduced weapons were not very accurate at the best of times. In contrast the military Jaeger rifle test is not only rifled by also much more carefully made, as a result it performs much better than the muskets.

While gunmakers observed that rifling could improve accuracy early on it took a good deal time to develop an understanding of how it worked and how you got the best results from the rifling. As the understanding grew rifles got better and better as far as accuracy was concerned (at least withing the limitations set by the use of round shot and black powder).

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:
William P wrote:

what was it do you think made the graz armouries wheel-lock rifle so horrendously erratic? wouldn't any sort of rifling be at the least no worse than a smoothbore?

Not having examined the gun myself I can only make an educated guess at best. I suspect that either the rifling was badly done or that some part of the gun was poorly made. (Possibly both.)

The quality of a firearms clearly had an impact on the accuracy, one of the flintlock musket scored an mechanical accuracy of only 32,5% while the others scored 48, 50 and 54%, clearly these massproduced weapons were not very accurate at the best of times. In contrast the military Jaeger rifle test is not only rifled by also much more carefully made, as a result it performs much better than the muskets.

While gunmakers observed that rifling could improve accuracy early on it took a good deal time to develop an understanding of how it worked and how you got the best results from the rifling. As the understanding grew rifles got better and better as far as accuracy was concerned (at least withing the limitations set by the use of round shot and black powder).

i guess it could also be partly due to the fact that the wheellock mechanism itself was a fairly intricate mechanism, according the a book on the arms and armour of the graz armoury, its manufacture was done by watchmakers.
conversely though im not sure how that would contribute to the guns bad accuracy,
though what do you mean by 'carefully made' im a complete novice to firearms and i admittedly have never so much as held a working gun, let alone shot one.

just to clarify, how was 'mechanical accuracy' tested. my assumption is that mechanical accuracy refers purely to the inherent accuracy that would be a result of the ability of the gun itself to stabilize the flight of the bullet so that it flies in a consistent trajectory and (in theory, will if loaded with identical powder and ball, will hit pretty much the same spot time after time.

a brown bess id say has relatively low mechanical accuracy since the reletively high amount of windace pruportedly causes the ball to rattle down the barrel, and thus exiting in a random direction.

i assume that this was tested by fixing the guns in place so that there was no interference from humans such as the effect of recoil, and the fact that not everyone has steady hands.
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GG Osborne





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PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 7:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually, the Ferguson rifle was not a particularly original or useful weapon...contrary to myth. Ferguson improved upon a virtually identical French arm invented some 30 years earlier. His unique contribution was to cut the threads in the breech screw so that a full turn of the trigger guard cum breech mechanism lowered the screw so that the weapon could be loaded. The earlier French version required several turns of the handle. (see Blackmore for a more detailed description) What made the Ferguson impractical was the screw itself. The screw pattern had to be very corse and this made for a fairly loose seal. As the corrasive powder gases ate away at the screw, more and more gas escaped, right into the face of the rifleman. Hard to aim closely when you know your face is going to be subjected to a spray of hot gas!

Now I know folks who have shot modern reproductions of the Ferguson tend to disagree with this assessment since their weapons are made with a much higher quality steel, but it is incontrovertible that the originals were "leaky" and got worse over time.

"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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