Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Guys thank you so much for these outstanding entries!!
Philip, I sincerely appreciate the patient and detailed explanations on all these factors. This thread has been quite and education for me as I have never focused on the dynamics and processes involved in the firearms or artillery of these periods. While being familiar with the types of guns, it was only a historical overview noting the various forms in use.
Obviously, I am not a 'shooter' either, but your explanations of how the powder detonates (or explodes as it seems more properly described) makes perfect sense in the propelling of the projectile. It is my understanding that the added powder was to increase the velocity of the ball (or buck and ball) being fired. I was expecting that might have increased the recoil, not to mention the flash.
It sounds as if the powder was degraded in any manner, the resultant 'explosion' would have been 'adequate' regardless, and it sounds like the flash was more troubling than the recoil.
The number of 'friendly fire' casualties seems to suggest that somehow adequate propulsion was reached in at least a good number of instances. It sounds like a profound number of misfires probably took place as well.
The inability to reload in the cold and darkness and in chaos was certainly what brought the preferred bayonet to use, and it seems virtually most of the victims probably were bayonetted.
Ibrahiim, excellent notes on the British aspects of arms and powder. It does indeed seem that there were probably stores of powder sold along with the huge numbers of guns, and their powder was as noted earlier, probably the most superior. If I have understood correctly, the 'third pattern' musket Brown Bess we are discussing were I think largely intended for EIC purchase, but they were declined or something to that effect. I think that or perhaps the officer involved in design (Windus) may have been associated with EIC,. Whatever the case, it was basically the Brown Bess.
Fascinating on the powder plant in Faversham which well illustrates the volatility issues with this. Thank you so much for the great research in finding all this perspective!
Fernando, excellent article by Mr. Reid!!! and specifically addresses many of the questions I had toward the Mexican powder issues. In my research I do recognize the anecdotes re: Mexican powder but the specifics Mr. Reid attends to are most helpful. Thank you.