Civil War Rifles

Civil War Rifles were the main weapon used by both sides during the war.


This one weapon accounted for most of the casualties during the entire war. No other weapon came close to inflicting as much damage as the rifle.

They were far superior to the smooth-bore muskets that were used previously in pretty much every conceivable way.

Civil war ammunition was much different than what is used today. Rifles during the Civil War fired a projectile called a minie ball. The minie ball had the pointed look of a bullet you would see today rather than the round ball that was used previously. However it was not a self enclosed projectile like what is used today.

Soldiers still needed to put gunpowder down the barrel and then ram the minie ball down the barrel as well. The benefit the minie ball had over previous round ammunition was that it was able to be fired at a much greater distance and with much better accuracy since it was fired through a rifled barrel.

The minie ball was invented by a couple of French military officers.

Firing three shots in a minute was about the maximum for the average soldier.

The minie ball would expand within the barrel of the rifle allowing it to be firmly gripped by the rifling, this made the minie ball spin in the barrel when the rifle was fired which gave great accuracy to the weapon.

A good shooter could hit a target up to half a mile a way.

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