Brown Bess

Muskets room smoothbore weapons, an interpretation that the within of the barrel is smooth, not grooved like a rifle barrel. The musket to be notoriously inaccurate – hardly ever hitting a soldier beyond one hundreds yards. It to be a flintlock weapon, definition that a sharpened flint attached come a spring or clocked hammer is pushed right into a locking position prior to firing. The was additionally commonly described as a firelock. Major George Hanger, an government at the time, claimed that when ‘firing in ~ a man past a hundred and fifty yards one might as well fire in ~ the moon.’ Troops were taught to look follow me the barrel with the right eye from breech pen to the muzzle. The brother soldier was not supposed to target at anything in particular nor use the former sight, as there to be no rear sight.

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When a soldier traction the trigger, the hammer sprang forward. The sharpened flint to win a vertical L shaped steel lip (or frizzen), which covered the pan whereby a small amount of black color powder was sprinkled. The blow compelled the frizzen back, exposing the black powder to a spark resulted in when the flint to win the stole lip. The spark ignited the powder in the pan (also called a speed pan) and component of the to explode passed through a small hole above the pan (called a touchhole) that result in the main charge of black powder at the base of the barrel (or breech end). The flour ignited in the barrel and propelled the lead shot.

It is believed by some that once an 18th century soldier little bit off the tail of the cartridge, he organized the ball in his mouth. After putting the black color powder from the cartridge down the barrel, he would spit the musket ball into the muzzle, stuff in the wadding and ram it all home. This is myth obtained from fictitious novels. One difficulty with this notion is the after the weapon had been fired, the barrel would certainly be so warm that a soldier would have to lay his lips ~ above the muzzle to spit the sphere down the bore, burn his lips severely .

This eighteenth century muzzleloader compelled twelve steps to load and fire; however, plenty of Americans later diminished this number come ten, as follows:

Reach in the cartridge box with leather casing; it had a lengthy flap to make sure the black color powder within the cartridges stayed dry. Remove among the cartridges and also bite under on the tail the the cartridge to tear that open.Half penis the musket by pushing ago on the hammer v flint enclosed (called a dogshead). Push the frizzen forward, opening the pan (or speed pan) and pour a small amount of black color powder indigenous the cartridge.Pull the frizzen back, shutting the pan – the steel lip of the frizzen is now vertical. The weapon is now primed and the musket might be turned about without spilling the powder out of the pan.Hold the musket through the muzzle pointing up.Pour the rest of the flour from the cartridge into the barrel.Insert a command ball right into the barrel.Push the cartridge record (called wadding) right into the barrel.

Step eleven, increasing the musket, is readily explained in the drill manual that basic Gage’s soldiers used in Boston just prior to the fight of Bunker Hill. In ~ the command ‘Present!’ the soldier to be to “step back around six inches with the ideal foot bringing the left toe come the front. Raise increase the target so high top top the appropriate shoulder that you may not be obliged come stoop too lot with the head, the appropriate cheek to it is in close come the butt and the left eye shut and look follow me the barrel, through the ideal eye from the breech pin to the muzzle.”

Soldiers either loaded their tools individually or as a unit prior to a volley, in which instance an officer would certainly bellow something comparable to the following orders:


Prime and also Load. A quarter rotate is made to the ideal bringing the musket come priming position.

Handle Cartridge. Draw a cartridge native the cartridge box. Rip turn off the paper or bite that off. Organize the ball and also cartridge in the ideal hand.

Prime. Pull the hammer (or dogshead) ago to fifty percent cock. Pour a little amount of black powder in the priming pan. Close the frizzen, trapping the priming powder.

About. The butt of the musket to be lowered to the ground. Some historians insurance claim that the butt was not placed on the ground but was hosted firmly in one hand. The remainder of the black powder of the cartridge to be poured under the muzzle followed by the ball and wadding. The wadding kept the sphere firmly in the barrel if the muzzle was declined.

Draw Ramrods. The ramrod is drawn from beneath the barrel and also the round & wadding is firmly seated to the bottom of the barrel or breech. Commonly two fast strokes tamped that down. The ramrod was went back to the channel.

Present. The butt was brought ago to the shoulder and also the dick was fully pulled back. The musket was held firm while wait for the command to fire. The weapon was hosted in the basic direction the the foe – rarely sighted, the effect on the enemy depended upon the volume of fire to inflict damage.

Fire. The trigger was drawn ago and the weapon was fired.

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