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Ask me about Muskets

Discussion in 'Research' started by RHawkins, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. RHawkins

    RHawkins Dreamer

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    Well as it says I have a fondness for muskets and cannon. I started researching the concept after studying the Napoleonic times a bit, and I found the rapid speed of technological development in this era fascinating. I know a lot of things about musket and cannon, and if I don't know it I will find out because I love historically accurate details.

    Drop me a line if you need anything.
     
  2. Legal Rose

    Legal Rose Scribe

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    Does a loaded flintlock pistol weigh noticeably more than an unloaded one? If a group of people were handed pistols, but only one of them was loaded, would the person be able to tell?

    Does dry-firing a flintlock pistol damage anything?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  3. TheDarkFrontier

    TheDarkFrontier Dreamer

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    Even now its difficult for novices to tell if a pistol is loaded or unloaded. Most of the weight of a weapon is the weapon itself, before it is actually loaded. I'd guess a seasoned fighter who has fought many battles / duels with a flintlock pistol might be able to tell, as the only thing that's extra in the pistol would be a small lead ball and some gunpowder, which wouldn't amount to a great deal of extra weight.
     
  4. shangrila

    shangrila Inkling

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    What kind of armour would provide the best defence against a musket?
     
  5. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    I don't believe any armor that a person would be capable of actually wearing would provide protection against musket fire. One of the reasons armor gradually disappeared from the battlefield was the emergence and increasing effectiveness of firearms as a weapon of war.
     
  6. TheDarkFrontier

    TheDarkFrontier Dreamer

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    Muskets are the main reason armour disappeared. Even during the medieval period, certain types of arrowhead shot from a longbow could penetrate armour. Once muskets and cannon entered the equation, armour was just seen as unnecessary for soldiers to be carrying around. Pikemen in the 17th century continued to wear armour breastplates and helmets due to their nature of close-quarter combat against cavalry (who also wore armour), however musketeers and light cavalry didn't really wear any. During the 18th and 19th centuries, some variants of cavalry - French cuirassiers under Napoleon for example - wore armour largely as a ceremonial thing on the battlefield, and to present a fearsome spectacle to the enemy. On the whole, armour was useless against muskets.
     
    T.Allen.Smith likes this.
  7. Hate

    Hate Acolyte

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    Average reload time for a common soldier and a talented shooter?
     
  8. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Any knowledge I have is about mid 18century smooth-bore muskets [50 years before Napoleon]...
    For a trained [average] soldier it would be 3-4 rounds a minute. 5+ r/m have been claimed for highly trained regiments.
    I would suppose that paper cartridges [powders, ball and wadding all in one neat package] made it a little faster and easier than using loose powder and ball.
    For marksmen and hunters it might be a lot slower. Their munitions [mainly the ball] were a much closer fit to the usually much longer barrel and the shooter would take care to load without damaging ball or barrel. 1 to 2 r/m might be more likely.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  9. TheDarkFrontier

    TheDarkFrontier Dreamer

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    Around 3 rounds a minute is what is generally claimed, however many regiments were largely under-trained as their officers rarely conducted training during peacetime. For example, contrary to popular belief, the British Army at the time of the American Revolution was not the well-oiled military machine its often made out to be. The last major war in North America ended 12 years before the first shots of the Revolution (French & Indian War), and during peacetime the army often became complacent. There was no real established peacetime training regimen, and it always fell on the shoulders of the regiment's colonels to conduct peacetime training - many of whom just didn't. As a result, more commonly, most regiments would be able to fire 2 rounds a minute, but as their battle experience and wartime training increased, this increased to around 3. There have been claims of regiments firing up to 5 rounds a minute, which is one round every 12 seconds, but this would have been very rare and an incredible feat. You have to take into account muskets are large, heavy and cumbersome weapons to handle, during battle soldiers would be gripped by nerves and fear, the characteristics of battle - massive background noise, weapon discharges, yelling, crying, sword and bayonet clashes would have made it very difficult to replicate the precision of the drill square onto the battlefield.
     
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