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guns, safety, realism

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  • yawors1@xxxxxxxx.xx
    It is apparent that most 1812 reenactments see firefights at ranges where one or two volleys at most would have shredded everyone present. It s hard to fight
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 1998
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      It is apparent that most 1812 reenactments see firefights at ranges where one or two volleys at most would have shredded everyone present. It's hard to fight at "realistic" ranges, however, because of available space and the necessity to let the crowd actually see something...
      On another very closely related point, however, I think we fire far too rapidly, and this is at least partly because when the "firefight" starts, we're all loading our blank charges without ramming at maximum speed... So how does one slow down to a realistic pace without looking like an untrained oaf? Should we all have to pretend we're ramming? Audience might appreciate this (usually they're pretty far away and might not realise we're not ACTUALLY ramming...) but scariest part of this scenario is the untrained militia thinking "heh, everybody's ramming" : end result: one of us is carried off the field with a ramrod in the torso...
      No solution here.
      Same comment on rapid-fire musket contests: I think contestants should have to follow the proper drill, not devise totally unrealistic "shortcuts" - unrealistic because you couldn't load a ball using them, they only work when loading blanks... When you let the public watch such a contest & someone fires 10 times in 43 seconds or whatever, it certainly amounts to "misinformation" of the public: surely this should be a "no-no"!
      Back to firing in tacticals: generally, we fire too fast & too often to be realistic. Preserving your fire for those first few volleys, when most of your muskets were still working, was crucial to most engagements that I've read about... even if it meant taking a bit of a pasting from enemy skirmishers etc first. Of course, with riflemen & light bobs (Boer War term, isn't it?) providing cover, this is not something us line men have to worry about in the Brit forces!
      Firing too often also seems to bore the crowds. They want movement and action, not two lines of soldiers blazing away for 5 or ten minutes. Moving up 5 paces or back 5 paces etc. also doesn't cut it in terms of keeping the crowd happy...
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