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A Detailed Study Of The Effectiveness And Capabilities Of 18th Century Musketry On The Battlefield

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Chapter Summary

During the mid 18th century, the standard British Army issue weapon was the Brown Bess Musket. There are various accounts of the performance of this early form of firearm and its tactical deployment. Using a technical replica of the Brown Bess, range trials and computer modelling have been used to asses the weapon's capabilities and likely performance. The research found the Brown Bess musket to be a lethal weapon at the ranges at which enemy was commonly engaged, so long as it was accurate enough to hit the target. A single shot fired at 150 yards could penetrate at least two soldiers, even if bone were hit. The armour of the day was easily pierced by the shot. The shot was found to readily deform on impact with metal targets. The maximum range could extend to around 1200m, with 202m reached when fired horizontally.

Keywords: Battle of Culloden; battlefield; Brown Bess Musket



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