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Login Name Post: Rappahannock Forge Wall Gun        (Topic#307987)
Loyalist Dave 
Cannon
Posts: 6853
Loyalist Dave
08-07-18 12:17 PM - Post#1696513    


Hey folks a friend on another forum gave me this link to a paper on The Rappahannock Forge of VA and their activities in the AWI.

Good photos of some Continental wall guns (which is why it's here under "cannon"), and some committee of safety muskets.

LD

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 7684
08-07-18 03:00 PM - Post#1696553    

    In response to Loyalist Dave

Best article I ever saw on Rappahannock Forge! Thank you.

I spent many years living in or around Fredericksburg and owned a house for a while within a couple three miles of the original Rappahannock Forge Site, but nothing of the original site was left. Back in the 1990's, they "re-discovered" part of the canal that was used by them to power many of their machines.

Oh, for some time a local Bank in Fredericksburg had a relic condition RF musket on display, but I am not sure if it still is.

Gus

 
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6988
08-10-18 04:08 PM - Post#1697110    

    In response to Artificer

A good article about amusettes with some info about Rappahanock Forge, from the Army Center of Military History:

https://history.army.mil/news/2013/130325a_amusettes.html

Gus, another improbable accuracy claim for your collection.

Spence

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 7684
08-10-18 09:01 PM - Post#1697153    

    In response to Spence10

" their effectiveness was attested by General Charles Lee, who wrote from Williamsburg in 1776: "I am likewise furnishing myself with four-ounced rifle-amusettes, which will carry an infernal distance; the two-ounced hit a half sheet of paper 500 yards distance."

Hi Spence,

Thanks for thinking of me.

I've seen other documented examples where even SMOOTHBORE amusettes were claimed to have had an effective range to 600 yards, BUT there must have been a great deal of difference between what was claimed for accuracy and another of Lee's wild eyed exaggerations/or deliberate bits of propaganda.

I can see how an Amusette would have been effective against a linear formation of Infantry as light artillery, especially if the ball was bounced into the formation so it would not go over their heads. The typical 3 or 4 lb "Grasshopper" field cannon used by the British and Americans would not have been much more effective against Infantry as they did not have exploding shells in the period. Yet they were used in between linear formations as "support weapons."

Gus



 
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6988
08-10-18 09:35 PM - Post#1697158    

    In response to Artificer

  • Artificer Said:
...another of Lee's wild eyed exaggerations/or deliberate bits of propaganda.


This was Gen. Charles Lee with the amusettes, the guy shooting the oranges was Richard Henry Lee, non-military.

Spence



 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 7684
08-10-18 10:00 PM - Post#1697166    

    In response to Spence10

OOPS!! Thanks for the correction, I should not have mixed that up.

Gus

 
Loyalist Dave 
Cannon
Posts: 6853
Loyalist Dave
08-11-18 06:54 AM - Post#1697193    

    In response to Artificer

I don't think it's necessarily a "wild eyed exaggeration" to say they hit sheet of paper at 500 yards with a 2-bore. Maybe he meant a piece of paper the size of a bedsheet?


No, but seriously we don't know how many shots they used to get that "hit". We also don't know if the shooter was able to "range" with that weapon to 500 yards, meaning they had some aiming aids to get it pretty close, then place the paper where previous shots had impacted, then fired for the general's observation and voila, got a hit.

I noticed the 4-bores are going to be used to fire over water, which means they could very well have been that effective as the impact on the river surface would give anybody with a spy-glass a reference point to adjust for impact of further shots, at a passing ship. Even a sloop-of-war is a much more reasonable target than a sheet of paper. Lobbing 4 ounces of lead onto the heads of those on the outer deck would discourage navigation upstream, eh?

LD

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 7684
08-11-18 12:15 PM - Post#1697243    

    In response to Loyalist Dave

Hi Dave,

Yes, a rifled flintlock swivel gun could have been very effective against ships coming upstream on rivers. After all, they built, outfitted and armed the Armed Sloop, Dragon on the River at the Rappahannock Forge to protect the Armory from smaller sea going ships that could make it that far upstream and of course do some damage to British Shipping down in the Bay.

I think this type of gun, no matter rifled or smoothbore, was most effective at forts or defensive positions because they could be moved rather easily around a fort to fire at any direction a threat came from.

Gus



 
Squire Robin 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2545
Squire Robin
08-12-18 04:00 AM - Post#1697322    

    In response to Artificer

Something strange happens as the bore size increases, around 1" smooth bores become accurate. In the English civil war there was an agreement that neither side would use their rabonets to pick off the officers.



 
Colorado Clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 15106
Colorado Clyde
08-26-18 09:10 PM - Post#1699829    

    In response to Loyalist Dave

  • Loyalist Dave Said:
I don't think it's necessarily a "wild eyed exaggeration" to say they hit sheet of paper at 500 yards with a 2-bore. Maybe he meant a piece of paper the size of a bedsheet?



LD



I don't think they were talking about the standard size computer paper we have today, more likely newsprint paper about 4 times as big....I managed to hit an area that sized repeatedly with my cannon 2.5" bore at 300 yards....And it has no sights or anything. and the projectiles aren't even spherical....Plucking a man off at 500 yards with a wall gun is totally believable. I think Squire Robin is right about it having something to do with bore size.


 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 7913
tenngun
08-28-18 11:41 AM - Post#1700160    

    In response to Colorado Clyde

How big was a sheet of paper then ? I know they put up sheets of paper representing a company in line and tested shots at one,two and three hundred yards for experiments to shoot at by a company of musket men.
I’ve seen rag paper being made in 6x3 sheets, and in drawings back in the day look like it was good sized frames for paper, but in the drawing it could be smaller then it seems.
I would think the paper would have to be big enough to be seen and focused on at five hundred yards.

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 7684
08-28-18 12:26 PM - Post#1700172    

    In response to tenngun

Not sure if this is helpful, but the size of the black bullseye (Aiming Black) on 600 yard, slow fire targets for High Power competition is a 36" diameter black circle.

So it seems something around that size would be in order for that range.

Gus

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 7913
tenngun
08-29-18 10:24 AM - Post#1700353    

    In response to Artificer

Is that for open sights? Can you focus on a 36 inch bull without a scope? I know I shot at a rock at about 300 yards. I thought it was a couple of feet across later found it was six feet and a bit.

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 7684
08-29-18 03:09 PM - Post#1700391    

    In response to tenngun

  • tenngun Said:
Is that for open sights? Can you focus on a 36 inch bull without a scope? I know I shot at a rock at about 300 yards. I thought it was a couple of feet across later found it was six feet and a bit.



Yes, that target is used with open sights for Service Rifle Competition, though normally Military aperture rear sights and blade front sights. That black bullseye is mounted on a large off white target frame so you see the distinction between the black bullseye and off white background.

A White or Off White 36" diameter circle could easily be seen in contrast at that distance with normal natural conditions, though it would not be able to be seen with a background of fallen snow.

At 500 yards slow fire prone for standard military rifles, we use the B Mod target, which is a black silhouette with just a head on top of a 20" wide body and measures 40" tall including the head. That target is easy to aim at the base of the neck and drop the rounds into the torso of the silhouette.

The difficulty of hitting that size target with any ML would not be in the sizes of the target mentioned, but rather if the sights allowed for the drop of the projectile at that range.

Gus

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 7913
tenngun
08-29-18 04:55 PM - Post#1700423    

    In response to Artificer

Well I’ve never shot that far. I was in the navy and a sub at that, so my shooting was a .45 at twentyfive yards. Any thing out of range of that took a tomahawk ( that’s why I joined the sub service they said I could throw tomahawks )

 
BillinOregon 
Cannon
Posts: 6513
09-01-18 08:49 AM - Post#1700719    

    In response to tenngun

Squire Robin, thanks for that fascinating piece of intel.

 
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