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Effective Weapons During the US Revolutionary War

I am often amazed by the technology of yesteryear especially implements of war.  Here are a few great examples of weapons used during the US Revolutionary war.  Both the muzzle loading cannon and the flintlock musket were used on almost every major battle of the Revolution (I’d say all but I don’t have the evidence right now to back up that absolute).  These were high technology back then able to deal death to the enemy faster than ever.  I often think what a few cases of ammo and a mini-gun could have done!  Enjoy!

Muzzle Loading Cannon

Firing a muzzle loading cannon was quite difficult during the revolutionary war. It required a team of 7 to 14 men, with each soldier having a specialized job and the tools necessary to complete his function. The jobs ranged from calculating the proper elevation of the cannon to lighting the powder with an amount of smoldering rope when ready to fire.

The Continental Army would repeatedly practice firing the cannon until it became second nature to everyone involved. The practice paid off – the range of a cannon was hundreds of yards. If it was loaded grape shot (a canvas bag full of shrapnel), it had the ability to take out dozens of enemy soldiers at once.

Flintlock Musket

A popular weapon during the revolutionary war was the flintlock musket. If a soldier was equipped with such a weapon, he was expected to fire a round every 20 seconds. That might seem like a lot of time between shots, especially compared to today’s weapons, but it’s actually remarkable that 20 seconds was all that was necessary.

According to the manual provided by the Continental Army, there were 13 steps needed to reload a flintlock musket. The soldier had to get a cartridge, rip it open with his teeth, put some of the powder in the firing mechanism, put the remaining powder and a gun ball down the barrel, ram the ball and powder, cock the musket, and fire.

This particular weapon did not have a reputation for accuracy, so it was likely that the solider wasn’t even going to hit his target after all that work.

Well I hope you enjoyed this little peak into yesterday.  Come back next week for (hopefully) another interesting tidbit!  As always, if you are in the market for any material handling equipment give us a look.

Posted by on May 25th, 2011 :: Filed under: Blog,History,Military