View single post by ole
 Posted: Sun Apr 19th, 2009 02:27 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Posts: 2031

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Going with Bama here. The range of the rifled musket had some effect, but not so much as has been proposed. There were few battlefieds and fewer riflemen who even thought to shoot more than 100 yards. Stand under the goalposts at one end of a football field. Look at someone standing under the goalposts at the other end. Can you see the color of his eyes? His hair? How many buttons are on his blouse?

A few out of a thousand can. The rest of us just point in that general direction and shoot something.

All of which tends to diminish the arguement that the rifled musket changed conditions all that much. Although it is true that the minie could travel f ather and faster than the smoothbore ball, accuracy was not that common. Load shoot; load shoot. Don't see much time or ability to actually take a calm shot in there.

Where the rifled musket made a real difference is against artillery. When you were looking at a battery, you called up your best shots who would shoot the horses first and then the guys who were manning the guns. So you have four or five guys out of a regiment who can hit something intentionally. And meaningfully. This "All country boys can shoot" is a myth. Many could. Many could not.

Give me ten minutes and I can nail that nickle at 50 yards. But this is without people shooting at me. It takes some time to adjust the bench to my liking.

But it still comes back to the idea that aimed fire and the rifled musket make a big difference. I'll give you some, but not big.


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