Backdating enfield rifle musket

Later experiments showed that the plugs were not necessary, as the force of the exploding gunpowder expanded the skirt of the bullet sufficiently to grip the rifling.So while the new rifled musket could be loaded as fast as the old smoothbore, it had three or four times the effective range of its predecessor.No longer did the foot soldier carry a weapon that could not be counted upon to hit a man-sized target past 50 yards—the new rifled muskets were accurate out to 300 yards and beyond.This was because the rifled musket fired a new projectile, commonly known as the “Minié ball” after the French officer Captain Charles Claude Minié, who first proposed and experimented with the concept of hollow-based rifle bullets.In addition, percussion-cap ignition made the weapon even faster to reload and more reliable, especially in windy or wet weather.

He calmly waited his turn to dismount and add his Enfield musketoon and two Colt Navy revolvers to the growing pile of weapons in front of the platoon of Yankee soldiers.There were four basic models: the “three band” P53 musket with a 39-inch barrel, the “two band” Pattern 1858 short musket with a 33-inch barrel, the Pattern 1853/1861 artillery musketoon with a 24-inch barrel, and the Pattern 1856 cavalry carbine with a 21-inch barrel and a swivel-retained ramrod.The various P53 and P58 muskets used a socket-style bayonet with a 21.75-inch triangular blade, although the latter (and the P53/61 musketoon) was also issued with the Pattern 1856 saber-style bayonet, a fearsome, 23.5-inch curved blade.Union and Confederate agents were dispatched to Europe to procure arms, where they desperately bought up just about anything that would produce clouds of white smoke while launching projectiles in the enemy’s direction.The shoulder-fired weapon that was to become the second most widely used by the North, and the most popular with Southern troopers, was soon on its way from Europe in the holds of numerous ships and blockade runners.

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