Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Limousin France
Coming late to the party I apologise if I repeat anything already said that I missed on reading my way through the thread.
There does seem to be a misconception that Britain was arming the Mexican government. Britain was simply selling off surplus arms from it's stock that were no longer needed. Mexico got what it ordered and paid for. Probably (as was normally the case) through a British company buying them at auction for the Mexicans. The weapons were well made and possibly worn but in serviceable condition. The quoted back to back 'V's do not note the gun as unserviceable but simply that they were sold out of British government service. No poor quality is implied. The Mexicans bought cheap and got cheap.
As far as powder was concerned the guns were not noticeably supported by powder sales. British manufacturers would have been only too happy to have sold good powder were the Mexicans to offer to buy it at a profitable price. Again I am not aware of any such approach nor sales. Essentially the Mexicans made their own and it was awful They had the ingredients but poorly refined, charred and worse processed.
IIRC the Mexicans did have trouble finding domestic flint and knapping the same which would raise the proportion of misfires.
FWIW it seems that the Mexican powder of the day was like a poor British ACW powder and was used in equivalent arms. Were the troops trained and supported like the British army in the ACW they could have overcome their material issues but the Mexican army was not so organised despite the doubtless bravery of the troops on the ground. The British powder of the time of the Alamo was an order of magnitude better than in the ACW when it was one of the poorest in Europe. Hence the government going into the business of powder making itself to get the necessary quality.
Again, pursuing a comparison to the ACW British army, an equivalent Mexican army would have had the troops well supplied with powder, well fed and clothed with several months of relevant training and practice before they came under fire confident in their arms and well directed.
In short. Yes they had *** powder but that was a hinderance to their performance, not a bar. The underlying issue was the way the Mexican army was run. The common soldiers, as ever, paid the price.