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Thread: The Jacobs Rifle

  1. #1
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    The Jacobs Rifle

    The Jacobs Rifle



    There was a discussion of exploding bullets in the Handgun forum recently, which prompted me to mention the Jacobs rifle, and its exploding "shells", designed in the 1850s.

    http://www.thehighroad.us/showthread...48#post5076848

    Another member, no.5enfield, asked if I had a reference. Rather than highjack that thread further, I thought it appropriate to start a new thread, and in a more appropriate forum.

    So let's wake up the Blackpowder forum. Here's some info on the Jacobs Rifle:


    http://www.myjacobfamily.com/article...cobarticle.htm

    About this time (1851) ... Jacob, after what he claimed to be exhaustive testing, rejected it (the Minie bullet) outright and proceeded to design his own severely pointed projectile, sans cup, and with the addition of four studs to engage the rifling in the manner of his previous design.

    The results were impressive, Jacob claimed, with good accuracy supposedly attained out to 1,200 yards. The bullet was further “refined” by elongating it to 2 ½ diameters and eliminating the hollow base. During his trials, Jacob became infatuated with the concept of a double rifle similar to the double-barrel smoothbore Scinde Irregular Horse carbine already in service, and turned his attentions towards its further development and to the perfection of an explosive bullet.

    The “rifle shell” was not original to Jacob, having been thought up by Captain Norton of the 34th regiment of Foot. Both Norton and Jacob recognized the value of a bullet which could be used to explode enemy artillery caissons at a great distance. To this end Jacob expanded upon his “perfected” bullet. It was now available in two forms—solid and “shell.” The then Major Jacob also conceived his own exploding device, which consisted of pointed, copper percussion tubes filled with fulminate of mercury which fit into the fore part of the shell. These were tested at Jacobabad and results were good enough for Jacob to crow, “…it seems certain that two good riflemen so armed, could, in ten minutes, annihilate the best Field Battery of Artillery now existing.”



    The link has a lot more: I've just quoted a teaser.

    A little more about the Jacobs rifle:
    http://www.brettschulte.net/CWBlog/2...-jacobs-rifle/

    And its use in the War Between the States:

    http://www.brettschulte.net/CWBlog/2...e-proposition/



    General Jacobs served in the Army of the East India Company, and was apparently a very wealthy man. He had a number of his rifles made at his own expense, enough to equip his own regiment. He also enjoyed the luxery of his own 2000 yard rifle range. Now wouldn't that be nice to have?


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    Great stuff, it is amazing what kind of ideas people came up with before firearm technology became "standardized" He decided what he wanted and made it work. Try and outfit your men with a 100% custom rifle today and see what it would cost! Of course the dollar(or pound) went a little further in those days and labor was cheap as hell.

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    Now there's a ramrod (recessed or not) that I want to get in a hurry with!
    No, holding that venegence upon their enemies was more to be desired than any personal blessings, and reckoning this to be the most glorious of hazards, they joyfully determined to accept the risk... Thus, choosing to die resisting, rather than to live submitting, they fled only from dishonor... Pericles' Funeral Oration

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    ... Of course the dollar(or pound) went a little further in those days and labor was cheap as hell.
    Yup, those were the Good Old Days, when a few people had almost all the wealth, and most had none. Huge disparities. (Not that I favor the class envy which certain demagogues use to stir up their base- see my sig line. But like you said, labor was cheap as hell.)

    And the ramrod, well it adds a little interest to the tedium of loading, eh? The "shells" probably slide right down a clean bore. Then there are those muggy days after five or six rounds...
    "You do recognize Socialism, don't you? From each according to what we can take and to me according to what I think I deserve."
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    I know it's nice to have the large middle class we enjoy today, but in a lot of ways we are poorer than the meanest subsistence farmer that ever tried to scrape a living out the ground in the 19th century. Our wealth and comfort is bought at a great price.

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    Wealth is not all gold and steel...
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    Exactly

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    Not so wealthy

    Quote Originally Posted by Threeband View Post
    The Jacobs Rifle



    There was a discussion of exploding bullets in the Handgun forum recently, which prompted me to mention the Jacobs rifle, and its exploding "shells", designed in the 1850s.

    http://www.thehighroad.us/showthread...48#post5076848

    Another member, no.5enfield, asked if I had a reference. Rather than highjack that thread further, I thought it appropriate to start a new thread, and in a more appropriate forum.

    So let's wake up the Blackpowder forum. Here's some info on the Jacobs Rifle:


    http://www.myjacobfamily.com/article...cobarticle.htm






    The link has a lot more: I've just quoted a teaser.

    A little more about the Jacobs rifle:
    http://www.brettschulte.net/CWBlog/2...-jacobs-rifle/

    And its use in the War Between the States:

    http://www.brettschulte.net/CWBlog/2...e-proposition/



    General Jacobs served in the Army of the East India Company, and was apparently a very wealthy man. He had a number of his rifles made at his own expense, enough to equip his own regiment. He also enjoyed the luxery of his own 2000 yard rifle range. Now wouldn't that be nice to have?


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    I am delighted to read this post and have made a link from my site to this. However, my great great uncle John Jacob was not a particularly wealthy man. I have often wondered how he managed to finance the manufacture of his rifles. Perhaps he had a wealthy backer, Outram or Frere, who knows.

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    Oh gosh, read the exploits of Sir Samuel Baker.

    Here are some free Kindle editions:

    http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Africa-e...r+samuel+baker

    http://www.amazon.com/Eight-Years-Wa...r+samuel+baker

    http://www.amazon.com/Rifle-Hound-Ce...r+samuel+baker

    Baker was a big fan of exploding bullets. He also was a big fan of the 2 bore rifle which he said "spun him like a weather vane" every time he shot it.

    You will quickly come to the conclusion that Baker was one of the old school British "barking mad" sort of gentlemen, but you had to be barking mad to spend your entire life nosing around the unexplored parts of the world with a couple of rifles and some handy servants to throw in front of the occasional charging rhino or lion.

    He once rescued a woman from an Arab harem, then married her to make her Lady Baker. Queen Victoria stopped speaking to him after that which just encouraged Baker to go back to Africa, now with Lady Baker to accompany him on all his further quests.

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    General Jacobs served in the Army of the East India Company, and was apparently a very wealthy man. He had a number of his rifles made at his own expense, enough to equip his own regiment. He also enjoyed the luxery of his own 2000 yard rifle range. Now wouldn't that be nice to have?

  11. #11
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    Articke at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Jacob_CB
    He was a scientist and inventor, developing an exploding bullet, or shell, that fired combustibles up to 6 miles. He believed this would revolutionize the art of war. Two good riflemen could, in his opinion, annihilate the best battery of field artillery in 10 minutes. Further experiments made it possible to fire shells up to a range of 14 miles. More importantly, he designed a four grooved rifle and had various experimental guns manufactured in London by leading gunsmiths, and at his expense.
    And here: http://www.americanrifleman.org/arti...-double-rifle/
    Garry James (RSS), "Jacob Double Rifle: The story about the Jacob Double Rifle is as fascinating as its creator", American Rifleman. 19 March 2012.
    Cogito me cogitare; ergo, cogito me esse.

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