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Re: How to load a musket

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  • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
    In a message dated 3/1/99 10:08:38 AM Central Standard Time, shirst@hca.mnsi.net writes:
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 1 8:58 AM
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      In a message dated 3/1/99 10:08:38 AM Central Standard Time,
      shirst@... writes:

      << Manuals be damned - anybody who has ever fired a musket for even a short
      amount of time knows how hot they can get. Has anybody ever tried to spit a
      musket ball down a barrel that's hot enough to fry an egg on! >>

      Yes I know Sean, recall we were talking of academics who are not going to do
      that sort of thing but ARE supposed to do original research using books!

      Cheers

      Tim
    • NINETY3RD@xxx.xxx
      ... Actually, I have seen him do it starting empty!
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 1 10:35 AM
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        In a message dated 01/3/1999 8:08:44 AM, shirst@... writes:

        >Now to Benton,
        >
        >You mention that you have one fellow that can fire five rounds in one
        >minute accurately. I'm assuming you mean he is starting with one loaded
        >and
        >that the clock starts when he fires his first shot.

        Actually, I have seen him do it starting empty!
      • SACBG7@xxx.xxx
        Benton, I am curious as to what caliber of ball you are using to load five rounds per minute live? Not having studied British ordnance specs I am curious to
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 1 12:53 PM
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          Benton,
          I am curious as to what caliber of ball you are using to load five rounds per
          minute live? Not having studied British ordnance specs I am curious to their
          regulation size.

          Members of the 7th US are trained to load and fire live three times a minute,
          by the book, using a regulation prescribed round for a U.S. Musket. (This is
          about a .657 round ball for a .69 caliber musket.) We also practice with buck
          and ball which is the same load with an additional .32 caliber buckshot.
          Powder charge is 125 grains of FFg black powder. Cartridges are made to the US
          Ordnance specifications, complete with string.

          Contrary to public thought the ball, encased in the cartridge tube, does not
          fall down the bore. Two good forcible tamps from the rammer will seat the
          ball. Buck and ball, due to the configuration of the cartridge, is slightly
          more difficult.

          My best time for three rounds live has been 51 seconds. Blank rounds, without
          ramming or paper is about six per minute. I then begin to cook dinner on the
          musket barrel, but not before spitting popcorn kernels down the barrel for a
          later haversack treat.

          We have also done some interesting experiments using buck and ball.
          Stretching a wide length of butcher paper approx 35'---an assumed width of a
          company---and firing buck and ball volleys, at a distance of 60', we
          discovered almost all of the rounds had a tendency to congregate in the middle
          of the company. Remember this is twenty or more men merely aiming to their
          direct front. After doing this experiment several times the result was always
          the same.

          It made me glad I command the company and posted on the right! Has anyone
          else conducted similiar trials?

          Steve Abolt
          7th USI Living History Assoc.
          www.cottonbalers.lynchburg.net
        • SACBG7@xxx.xxx
          A correction to my earlier post on loading the musket. Our buck and ball rounds consist of three .32 caliber balls in addition to the .657 ball. Steve Abolt
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 1 12:56 PM
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            A correction to my earlier post on loading the musket. Our buck and ball
            rounds consist of three .32 caliber balls in addition to the .657 ball.

            Steve Abolt
            7th USI Living History Assoc.
            www.cottonbalers.lynchburg.net
          • Roger Fuller
            ... per ... their ... Steve, in the AWI, and I should imagine, in the War of 1812, standard Brit. Army ball sizes raged from approx. .65 to about .69 cal. ,
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 1 1:06 PM
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              >From: SACBG7@...
              >
              >Benton,
              >I am curious as to what caliber of ball you are using to load five rounds
              per
              >minute live? Not having studied British ordnance specs I am curious to
              their
              >regulation size.


              Steve,

              in the AWI, and I should imagine, in the War of 1812, standard Brit. Army
              ball sizes raged from approx. .65 to about .69 cal. , despite the .75
              caliber bore of the Short Land Pattern Musket. This was obviously done to
              ensure fast loading for volley fire; accuracy was of a secondary concern.
              Wadded up cartridge paper and black powder fouling took care of the windage,
              but with the passage of several shots, even these undersize loads get tough
              to ram down the barrel. (I speak from personal experience.)

              Try doing that on a modern repro with .735 ball- after a few shots without
              wiping down the inside of the barrel with a cleaning jag and wet patches,
              you _will_ get the ball jammed 1/2 way down and have to get a steel rod to
              tap it down onto the charge (don't use your thumbs while doing it...).
              Therefore, I stick to a maximum size ball of .715 for my Bess when shooting
              live.

              The Baker? From what I have read in Howard Blackmore's book on Brit firearms
              (forget the title), the ball size was between .58 to .60 caliber. Much finer
              tolerances required much more frequent and thorough maintenance of the
              weapon.

              Roger
              3/95th Foot
            • NINETY3RD@xxx.xxx
              ... Off the top of me head I cannot recall the exact .0936458 whatever measurements, but it is indeed the regulation size for a .75 Brown Bess. By the by, the
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 1 2:41 PM
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                In a message dated 01/3/1999 12:53:59 PM, SACBG7@... writes:

                >Benton,
                >I am curious as to what caliber of ball you are using to load five rounds
                >per
                >minute live? Not having studied British ordnance specs I am curious to
                >their
                >regulation size.


                Off the top of me head I cannot recall the exact .0936458 whatever
                measurements, but it is indeed the regulation size for a .75 Brown Bess.
                By the by, the same fellow uses his Bess to hunt deer with. This past season
                was the first since I have known him not to bring one back.

                Cheerios and Wheaties!
                B
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