Discussion in 'Civil War Weapons and Ammunition' started by Major_Fool, Mar 11, 2013.
Henry Rifles in action at a reenactment.
I believe the Northern government was afraid the ammo would be wasted. Besides the repeaters then were only good for close range firing. The Gatling Gun was also invented during the Civil War, but again how much of the ammo would have actually hit their intended targets?
When you have the opposition marching toward you in rank I think they would have hit a lot of targets. WWI proved that.
I agree with your statement, but the Yankee government wasn't convinced.
Love the video. Just got me to thinking, when you run out of ammo with someone charging you and being exposed like the reenactors, how long would it take to fully reload? How many rounds did these hold?
I remember seeing something a few years ago that said something like that the Army had done tests and found that a sharpshooter with a single shot rifle was more accurate and controlled with his shot and that one with a repeater was "wasting ammunition". They did not take into account that this was under controlled rifle range conditions. Under fire the accuracy of the sharpshooter was all but lost and the ability to fire more ammunition in combat conditions meant that there was a greater possibility of stopping the enemy.
I think the same was true with the Gatling gun as far as it's dismissal for use during the war.
The original Henry rifle held 16 rounds in a tube. If I remember right (I have not fired one) the soldiers would have tubes pre-loaded and could very quickly get another volley going.
The tube makes sense. I was watching the actor on the left start to reload his rifle, but the video cuts to the second scene before he completes the task. It looks like he does slide a mechanism up the barrel and he starts to reload, but it looks like individual bullets. How long were the tubes and how cumbersome were they to carry? Sorry for all the questions, but this intrigues me.
Hoping someone with first hand experience can jump in. I just remember what I have seen/read. I remember seeing images of ammo boxes filled with tubes that already had the rounds in them. Sort of like it would be with a M-16/AK-47 or pistol magazine today except all the rounds are lined up one behind the other in a straight line.
The Henry rifle was a great innovation and the forerunner to the modern concept of rapid fire. The Henry rifle was accurate out to 200 yards and in some cases further. As the was progressed the range of most battles was less than 200 yards well within the range of the Henry rifle. The government was always behind the time when it came to weaponry during the Civil War. A man armed with a Henry rifle was worth 10 or more of men armed with a single shot muzzle loader rifle. They range of the muzzle loader was slightly longer but the men using the weapon is what makes a weapon effective. The most accurate weapon in the world will do no good if the person using it is not trained in its use.
There were no reloading tubes for the Henry rifle during the Civil War. There was a Blakeslee quick load box for the Spencer but none for the Henry rifle. it was loaded one at a time and took 15 to 20 seconds to reload. It is possible to take an aimed shot every 2 seconds. Mass formations marching out in the open within range would be mowed down. The Henry was a rapid fire weapon and the primary source documentation bear this out. One example was at the Battle of Allatoona Pass Frank Orcutt fired over 400 rounds of ammunition during the 2 hour battle. The 7th Illinois Infantry fired over 31,000 at the same battle in their Henry rifles. The Henry rifle was very easy to load from behind cover while the same is not true for the muzzle loader.
Also the Henry rifle user rarely emptied their Henry rifle. They would fire 5 or six shots and then reloaded almost never empting the magazine unless there was no choice.
Thanks for the clarification. I knew I had seen tubes somewhere.
Resaca Reenactment May 20-22
66th Illinois Infantry WSS
We have a company of 39 so far going to Resaca armed mostly with Henry rifles and Spencers. It should be s good time and are looking for more. We had 48 at the 150th Bentonville last year. Let me know if you might be interested. Todd Koster will be our captain and we will be part of Earl Zechman's brigade.
Henry blanks packaged ready to go.
Naw,the Ordanance buruea was afraid of the cost of rounds that a solider who could fire multiple times would fire multiple times
There were far more muzzle loader rounds of ammunition wasted due to spoilage, torn opened and dropped and by volleys fired too high or too low.
With a repeater you could send fewer men to get the job done. Also just because does not hit the target doesn't mean it is wasted. A close miss will general send the target ducking or running.
Very nice. I'm from Illinois myself. Did any of the original 66 boys come from Southern Illinois?
Yes several were. Check out the link.
Very nice. I've kin from Randolph County who fought. I forget which unit though, I need to look it up.
A nice video but a few safety concerns that they should have known better.
Resaca GA May 20-22 Civil War Reenactment. Our company should have over 40 men armed mostly with Henry rifles but also a few Spencers thrown in the mix.
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