Springfield Model 1861

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Springfield Model 1861

The Springfield Model 1861 was the standard rifle used by Union infantry during the Civil War. The rifle was produced in Springfield Massachusetts, which is where it got its name. The total weight of the rifle is 9 pounds. Roughly 700,000 Springfield rifles were produced between 1861 and 1865.

Springfield Model 1861 Rifles

Springfield Model 1861 Rifles

Springfield Armory

Springfield Armory

This was not the greatest Civil War weapon of the era, however it was the most widely available. It is a one shot muzzle loading rifle.

The Springfield Model 1861 is an accurate rifle, however in the hands of green troops with little to no training, shots often missed their targets, typically shooting over the heads of the enemy.

Springfield Model 1861 Accuracy

Accuracy during this time was less important than raw firepower. Leaders used mass volley attacks to defeat their enemy. This tactic meant that accuracy of the individual soldier meant very little.

This rifle would essentially become the last muzzle loader to be used in warfare after the Civil War ended. Technology was already moving ahead with repeaters even during the war.

The reason the Union did not switch to using only repeating rifles was simply because the Springfield Model 1861 was readily available and it did not waste large amounts of ammunition.

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