"Revolutionary America! 1763-1789 April 20-November 3, 2002

The Continental Army

Musketfire

photo of muskets

In this photo:
(top) MUSKET, French Charleville musket, 57" long. One of thousands of French arms negotiated for the Continental Army by Benjamin Franklin
POWDER HORN engraved by James Greenfield "To David Niles from David Wheeler, 1776"
  On loan from the collection of:
    --Claude and Jeanne Harkins
(middle) MUSKET, French Model 1766, 60 3/8" long. Stronger and lighter than the British musket
(bottom) MUSKET, British Brown Bess 2nd model, short land pattern 1779-1783 - weighing approximately 14 pounds with a 42" barrel, and BAYONET with scabbard and sling
SHOT POUCH filled with buck and ball shot (small beads of lead)
PIKE (trench spear) dug at Crown Point, New York
    --Andy Ball, Des Moines IA

MUSKETS vs. WIDOWMAKERS

The most common firearm was a smooth bore musket called the British Brown Bess. Firing lines were only 50-80 yards apart, but since these weapons were notoriously inaccurate, firing speed became the critical factor at 3-5 rounds per minute. Frontiersmen brought hunting rifles such as Pennsylvania or Kentucky flintlock rifles with spiraled grooves cut into the inner surface that permitted accurate fire from 250-300 yards. Backcountry sharpshooters were feared as the "greatest widowmakers" in North America! However, a rifle barrel could not hold a bayonet, which became the ultimate weapon because it changed an inaccurate musket into a deadly spear.

 

A Confederation
  Musketfire (you are here)
The Continental Navy
  Father of the Navy--John Paul Jones
Fate of America
  Commander-In-Chief, George Washington
Saratoga
  Official Flag

 

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