The only source of copper for making cartridges in the Southern US was outside Chattanooga TN in Copper Hill. The only mill that could turn that copper into sheets was in Cleveland TN a few miles up the rail road.What would have served confederate infantry better shorter range breech loaders or longer range muzzle loaders?
The British weren’t manufacturing metal cartridges for export. I would be very surprised if anybody was. The needle gun bolt actionRC you have got up my curiosity with regard to the impossibility of volume importing of cartridges into the confederacy. The lose of East Tennessee was a big big lose but I wonder if there wasn't a work around. You know the old saying necessity is the mother of invention.
The thought behind my theme post is what could the CS do to compensate for having less men of military age.
At one particular low-point in Continental army fortunes during the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin made the recommendation that the bow and arrow be issued, since it didn't use scarce and expensive gun powder, then in short supply, and was often simpler to maintain and service than a musket and its "stand of arms."<snip>
It is interesting to note that the effective range & lethality of muzzle loading smoothbore musket balls & arrows launched by archers or mechanical means came down in favor of the arrow. Of course, mastering the heavy pull of a war bow was a lifelong discipline. Almost anyone with four front teeth to tear cartridge paper could fire a musket. It can & has been noted many times that inclement weather could make both weapons useless.
The centuries long record of arrow vs muzzle loaded musket ball contains examples of each having a decisive tactical edge over the other. As the Zulus demonstrated, under the right tactical conditions, hand held edged weapons could be used to defeat trained soldiers armed with metallic cartridge rifles.
Recall that in the age of black-powder as a propellant, barrels had to be long to burn the inefficient stuff and use it to its maximum potential... That, and the "pike mentality" where infantry had to be able to fix bayonets and form a dense defensive square against opponent cavalrymen intent on riding them down. The ability to fire in "ranks" or by "files" or what-have-you two ranks deep necessitated a barrel long enough that it went well past the ear and face of the shorter guy in front in linear tactics.To answer the question, a shorter range breech loader. During WW II the most experienced armies, the Red Army and German army, both concluded a heavier volume of fire with adequate range was preferable to less fire capable of longer range, and both went to work on appropriate weapons.
I agree. The original post seemed to assume a muzzleloader could not shoot very far. That may be true for a Brown Bess firing a .69 caliber spherical ball. The Minie ball had a flatter trajectory due to less drag.In any case, there was no significant difference in the effective range of Spencer rifles or metallic cartridge carbines & muzzle loaders.
Smooth bore muskets are strictly short-range weapons. A rifle musket and a Pritchett or Lorenz or Minié/Burton ball is a whole other story. Again, Claud Fuller's dated work on U.S. rifle muskets is still an important basis for understanding what the Civil War rifle musket was designed to to do, and what its capabilities were. These were formidable weapons indeed. The actual employment of the new technology, however, was not up to the potential of the arms themselves. It was, after all, the "nut behind the trigger" that determined so much. This tendency certainly did not change. If anything, it became more acute in the mass technified "wars of military Fordism" of the 20th century.I agree. The original post seemed to assume a muzzleloader could not shoot very far. That may be true for a Brown Bess firing a .69 caliber spherical ball. The Minie ball had a flatter trajectory due to less drag.
And Im not sure you would want to reduce the range of a weapon. Maybe to increase rate of fire?
Ha! I seem to recall one or another science fiction or "alternate history" book along those lines...? Certainly the Kalashnikov has sort of brought small arms full circle... In the age of musketry, it was about the rate of fire, and the sheer weight of a regiments volleys that would win through grisly attrition... A bit like the broadside of a wooden-hulled fighting ship: How much shot or "weight of broadside" is thrown and how often... Do the grim attritional math! over time, the side that fired most frequently would win. So rate of fire or firepower was considered primary, and accuracy a distant second.Would the ANV, armed with AK-47s and 50 round clips have been able to win the war for the Confederacy? Serious question.
Ok, sorry. Really. On vacation in Baja and a bit tipsy on the local beer.
Thanks for the history lesson.Smooth bore muskets are strictly short-range weapons. A . . . . .
Higher velocity typically translates into "flatter shooting" so that if a firer does not have a clear idea of the range, or the situation is so fluid and confusing that there is no real opportunity to alter sight ranges or fumble with the sights, a disabling hit on the foe can still be managed... Minié/Burton balls have much, much greater range than round ball,