Join Date: Jan 2007
Further to what Rick says;
If this mealed powder was still in use as late as the 19th century, it would certainly account for the narrower powder chamber or choked powder chamber in many Indian and N. African barrels. The reason for the chamber to protect the powder from over -compression.
However, ( I don't like "Howevers"!!)
How do we account for the often stated first hand accounts of how the local peoples in India and N Africa routinely out-shot the British forces they were up against?
Not outfought, but outranged them in the long distance and accuracy department?
This question may be simple to answer;
It may be for no other reason than the individual was familiar with his arm, and not bound by volley fire, so was something of a specialist, Despite his poorer powder.
As we know, many Indian and Persian barrels have a powder chamber that holds a huge amount of powder. Some I have in .50 to .55" calibre have a chamber capacity of 200 to 250 grains. Some toradors much more.
It may also be that some arsenals produced better powder than others, as the Sikhs for instance, out-shot the British with their very expertly served artillery. Surely this could only happen with good powder?
Afraid I can only offer this as food for thought, and not give any real answers, but it Is a very interesting subject!