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Thread: would like 4v50's opinion

  1. #1
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    would like 4v50's opinion

    The latest NRA magazine had two articles concerning the marksmanship and the fire arms of the Revolution. I couldn't think of a better man to critique the article and perhaps add to the content.
    Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth

  2. #2
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    My own research has shown that we were not a nation of riflemen at the time of the Revolution. However, we were a nation of gunners and hunters. Thus, the New Englander had a smoothbore whether it was an old musket or a fowler (sporting piece that was smoothbore). As farmers, they used these guns to kill varmints or to supplement their diet. Aiming was not a novel concept to these men.

    The rifle was more predominant along the frontier and in the South (Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas) where the Swiss/Germanic immigrants settled. Both Patriot and Tory alike in those states were familiar with rifles and aiming. Toss a coin to figure out who was better.

    Marksmanship should not be confused with ability to kill or render h'ors de combat to the foe. Being able to hit and wanting to hit are two different things. People who are motivated enough will shoot to kill (or at least injure). There are plenty of examples of a volley being fired and very few being hit (on both sides).
    TFL Aluminium. Molon Labe!

  3. #3
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    From the article I was left with the impression that the war was less lethal than I once thought.
    Based on your research, that we were a nation of gunners and hunters, I can appreciate the difficulty the American officers had training European battle tactics to a people more inclined toward guerrilla/indian style fighting.
    Based on your research, did the opposing commanders have a typical range that they would try to achieve for their first volley? Or was it a matter of nerve?
    Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

    A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth

  4. #4
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    Ranges were typically less than 75 yards. A steady commander waited until the whites of the eyes could be seen. It also depended on the experience of the men. Trained British soldiers and Continentals were a lot steadier than raw militia.

    Riflemen fired up to 200 yards distance. The better ones would throw themselves on the ground and fire and 300-400 yards. Short distance (think bayonet) was a no-no as one came into bayonet range. Daniel Morgan's battalion of riflemen were supported by Maj. Dearborn's musket armed light infantry battalion. If chased, Morgan's men could rally behind Dearborn's who were bayonet equipped. This was done at Saratoga (I).
    TFL Aluminium. Molon Labe!

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