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Re: more than one shot in a musket

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  • jblake47
    ... specifics, but ... others ... found ... load, forget ... No one who was as well trained as these men in the routine of load and fire would forget to
    Message 1 of 12 , Jul 13, 2004
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Daniel Giallombardo"
      <ParrotheadDan@l...> wrote:
      > Paul,
      >
      > I am nowhere near my books, so I cannot provide
      specifics, but
      > it seems to me, the results varied. Some would fire normally, and
      others
      > would jam. On several occasions, following intense fighting, it was
      found
      > that during the frenzy of combat, the individual soldiers would
      load, forget
      > to fire, and reload.

      No one who was as well trained as these men in the routine of load
      and fire would "forget" to fire. This knowledge is what kept them
      alive on the battlefield. They were very well-versed in the
      operation of the musket. With that being said, the roar of battle
      often times would cover up the noise of one's own gun. If there was
      a mis-fire the soldier probably didn't know it. With the use of the
      minie ball, the kick was not always noticeable in a cleaner weapon
      when the pressure of the discharge was able to get around the ball.
      Double loading was quite probable in this mis-fire situation.

      More often than not I would assume the multiple load of a musket came
      from the fact that blackpowder is very fouling in the piece. Once it
      became difficult, if not impossible to ram the cartridge down the
      barrel, the soldier had only a couple of options. 1) poor water down
      the barrel of the gun and ram the soften carbon out of the weapon, 2)
      if you have one, ram down a zinc-ring cartridge to scrape the barrel
      a little cleaner, or 3) drop the musket and pick up another with the
      hopes it is cleaner than the one you had. If this is done, it is
      wise to check the barrel to see if there is any obstructions in it
      first. In the heat of battle, it would take about 10-15 seconds to
      do this. If there wasn't enough time, put a cartridge down and if it
      wouldn't go down all the way, grab another. Keep doing this until
      you have a gun that can fire. Just because a gun was double loaded,
      doesn't mean the soldier didn't do something right or that he even
      tried to fire it in this condition. Remember, once a cartridge went
      down the barrel, it was impossible under fire to clear it back out.
      Just get another gun and move on.

      Jeff
    • Art Bagley
      Greetings All... Wasn t there a technique called pulling a round, where a soldier could actually unload [unjam] his rifle by using a screw-tipped ramrod or
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 3, 2004
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        Greetings All...

        Wasn't there a technique called "pulling a round," where a soldier
        could actually unload [unjam] his rifle by using a screw-tipped
        ramrod or some such tool -- a "worm"? -- thereby clearing a minie
        ball-clogged barrel? Maybe I'm thinking on the larger scale of
        artillery, but I believe good ol' yankee [and rebel] ingenuity could
        solve the multi-load problem.

        Art B.
      • hank9174
        After a battle the collected small arms were refurbished and reused. In camp, a soldier was expected to draw a charge on a jammed or otherwise loaded weapon.
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 3, 2004
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          After a battle the collected small arms were refurbished and reused.

          In camp, a soldier was expected to draw a charge on a jammed or
          otherwise loaded weapon.

          On the battlefield it was much easier to discard the weapon and find
          one in proper condition...


          HankC

          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Art Bagley" <abagley@u...>
          wrote:
          > Greetings All...
          >
          > Wasn't there a technique called "pulling a round," where a soldier
          > could actually unload [unjam] his rifle by using a screw-tipped
          > ramrod or some such tool -- a "worm"? -- thereby clearing a minie
          > ball-clogged barrel? Maybe I'm thinking on the larger scale of
          > artillery, but I believe good ol' yankee [and rebel] ingenuity
          could
          > solve the multi-load problem.
          >
          > Art B.
        • carlw4514
          Precisely, by no means was a mistakenly overloaded musket unmanageable given some time... but in combat, there couldn t possibly be time to go through the
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 5, 2004
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            Precisely, by no means was a mistakenly overloaded musket unmanageable
            given some time... but in combat, there couldn't possibly be time to
            go through the procecure

            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:

            >
            > On the battlefield it was much easier to discard the weapon and find
            > one in proper condition...
            >
            >
            > HankC
            >
          • jblake47
            ... unmanageable ... It could be the fact that many of the weapons became overloaded by use of two different soldiers on the field. If one s gun became
            Message 5 of 12 , Aug 6, 2004
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              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "carlw4514" <carlw4514@y...>
              wrote:
              > Precisely, by no means was a mistakenly overloaded musket
              unmanageable
              > given some time... but in combat, there couldn't possibly be time to
              > go through the procecure
              >

              It could be the fact that many of the weapons became overloaded by
              use of two different soldiers on the field. If one's gun became
              clogged due to blackpowder residue, drop it and pick another one up.
              At that point, one does not know if the gun is loaded or not. One
              could pull the rammer and test it, or they could load another round
              and if it didn't go all the way in, drop it and find another. Now
              you have a discarded weapon with two rounds it in and it was no
              mistake on anyone's part.

              I would think it would not behoove anyone to run around trying to
              find an empty gun with a rammer. Just pick it up, load it and if it
              loads great, if not, try another. There were plenty to be had.

              Jeff



              > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
              >
              > >
              > > On the battlefield it was much easier to discard the weapon and
              find
              > > one in proper condition...
              > >
              > >
              > > HankC
              > >
            • carlw4514
              ... Having a muzzleloader myself, I would say that there would be several ways in which a gun could get overloaded: -the above could happen, as the second
              Message 6 of 12 , Aug 7, 2004
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                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "jblake47" <jblake47@y...> wrote:

                > It could be the fact that many of the weapons became overloaded by
                > use of two different soldiers on the field.

                Having a muzzleloader myself, I would say that there would be several
                ways in which a gun could get overloaded:
                -the above could happen, as the second soldier would be not quite as
                familiar with the weapon's idiosyncracies... one's own musket would be
                harder to misload this way, as for example it is common to make a mark
                on the ramrod to show how far it should go down the barrel when all is
                proper. Different ramrods could even be different lengths.
                -placing a ball before the powder [easy to do if having run out of
                prepared rounds and having to locate separate powder and ball] and
                then loading another round mistakingly assuming the gun actually
                fired, what with all the noise. Examining the ramrod's extension would
                still detect the error, but not so easily.
                -the endangerment scenario: failing to put a cap or not realizing it
                was a faulty cap, overloading, putting a proper cap on and rupturing
                the barrell when firing, with injury certain and death possible.
                Again, that noise of battle bit could mask the initial mistake. A real
                Vet might perhaps always try to be certain he felt the recoil.
                -the below, if the ignition of the cap fails to reach the powder due
                to fouling, in the excitement of battle one might make this
                overloading mistake on an otherwise properly loaded weapon, even on a
                familiar one.... no veteran would put "multiple loads" though, IMO,
                which has a comical aspect when one tries to envision a green trooper
                going through this, assuming he is firing all along. Finally, the
                ramrod sticks so far out even a dolt knows he has to find another weapon!!

                > If one's gun became
                > clogged due to blackpowder residue, drop it and pick another one up.
                > At that point, one does not know if the gun is loaded or not. One
                > could pull the rammer and test it, or they could load another round
                > and if it didn't go all the way in, drop it and find another. Now
                > you have a discarded weapon with two rounds it in and it was no
                > mistake on anyone's part.
                >
                > I would think it would not behoove anyone to run around trying to
                > find an empty gun with a rammer. Just pick it up, load it and if it
                > loads great, if not, try another. There were plenty to be had.


                Interesting that we find this a fascinating topic.


                > Jeff

                Carl
              • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
                In a message dated 8/7/2004 7:44:46 AM Eastern Standard Time, carlw4514@yahoo.com writes: I would think it would not behoove anyone to run around trying to ...
                Message 7 of 12 , Aug 7, 2004
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                  In a message dated 8/7/2004 7:44:46 AM Eastern Standard Time, carlw4514@... writes:
                  I would think it would not behoove anyone to run around trying to
                  > find an empty gun with a rammer.  Just pick it up, load it and if it
                  > loads great, if not, try another.  There were plenty to be had.


                  Interesting that we find this a fascinating topic.


                  > Jeff

                  Carl
                  If you have any questions on CW weaponry, you might contact JGBilby44@... .  He is one of the foremost experts in the country on this topic and his books should be part of everyone's collection.
                   
                  JEJ
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