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Civil War Rifles

Minie Ball

Civil War Weapons


Civil War Rifle


"They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." (General John Sedgwick, right before being shot and killed by a Confederate sharpshooter.)

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

This one weapon accounted for most of the casualties during the entire war. No other weapon even 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. You know, Apples and Oranges, it is like that.

Civil war ammunition is nothing like what we have today.

Back in dem old days they fired this thing called a minie ball.

This was a type of ammunition invented by a couple of French military officers.

It essentially looks like a bullet you would see today except for one drawback.

Gunpowder was sold separately.

You had to put the powder in the barrel first then the minie ball. This made loading the rifles a bit time consuming.

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.

This was unfortunate for the target.

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