View single post by Johan Steele
 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 11:06 pm
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Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352

Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065

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Bama... in some instances I prefer a M1841 to an M16 or given the choice an O3A3. The M16 or M4 (the only quality version of the M16 IMO) in 5.56mm is designed for shorter ranges than the 03A3's big 7.62mm, an example of the evolution and tactical changesbrought about by military needs.

The rifling itself wasn't the leap (the Brits, German Jaegers & US Riflemen had proven the rifle was effective)but the Minnie bullet w/ the expanding base made it possible for anybody w/ a brain between their ears to shoot accurately out to effective combat ranges. In many of the battles of the Civil War the Smoothbore was not at as great a disadvantage as we might think. Those smoothies firing buck n ball at inside 100 yards are plenty nasty and inside 50 yards in some ways more effective than a rifle in that there are four pieces of lead going down range instead of just one.

Where the rifled musket or rifle comes into it's own is at combat ranges of greater than 50-100 yards. When masses of men could open fire at other masses of men at several hundred yards and start doing noticeable damage that was the leap. Really you don't see that very much in the CW; to me the starkest look at the effectiveness of such didn't come until Plevna years after when Peabody armed Turks mauled masses of attacking Russians at ranges that started at 1000 yards; and when they pushed to inside of 100 yards the turks dropped their Peabody's and picked up Winchesters. But in the close terrain of many Civil War battlefields that didn't happen. Places like Shiloh, Chickamauga, the Wilderness & Chanclorsville to name just a few the ranges were terrifyingly close, often well inside fifty yards.

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