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Old 20th August 2019, 11:31 AM   #29
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Limousin France
Posts: 19

I will happily stand correction on the CSA powder availability. I had observed that they imported British made cartridges so used shipping space for quality powder.

Just as a note on powder qualities. Nepal made copy Francotte breechloading Martini action rifles and made their own powder. There were metal issues with the rifles but they were accepted into service. Then they were given British (Indian Arsenal) made ammunition with good quality powder. The result was many burst guns and the survivors withdrawn and put into store. In New Zealand some years ago the supply of firearm quality powder had ceased for some reason and the only powder available was a Chinese powder which was basically a firework powder and shooters experienced many of the reported Mexican results. In British Army service post Napoleonic Wars the musket charge reduced by a factor of @3 with the improvement in powder over the period. The Mexican problem was neither unique nor one which could not be dealt with by planning (larger cartridge charges) and discipline and training to keep the bores cleaned frequently in gaps in actions. Artillery officers needed the training and experience to compensate for the reduced ranges and adjust the sighting and commanders needed to appreciate that artillery needed to be sited to allow for the same. Infantry musket fire would have been limited by the extra thick own smoke. The training and discipline for officer controlled volley fire to allow firing all together when the smoke cleared would be another discipline which might be beyond the period Mexican Army. Even today people under estimate the skilled trade that is infantry warfare.
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