Aiming a Brown Bess?

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by Griz44Mag, Apr 1, 2019.

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  1. Apr 15, 2019 #61

    Juice Jaws

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    Good shooting, rest or off hand or both
     
  2. Apr 15, 2019 #62

    Griz44Mag

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    Gave it a few rounds of both. The Bess is a long handful of gun for sure.... The men who carried them as soldiers had to be some tough hombres...
     
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  3. Apr 17, 2019 #63

    FlinterNick

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    Part of the issue with adding a rear sight to a Brown Bess is that the breeches are not thicken enough to take a dovetail. Its possible on the pedersoli and Colraine barrels you could do a shallow dovetail and reducing the sight base but then you risk a very weak dovetail. The best way to add the rear sight I think to silver solder a sight.

    I agree with the accuracy, you’re looking at 25-50 yards, the accuracy depends on how the round is loaded. Paper cartridges tend to be less accurate that patched round balls.
     
  4. Apr 17, 2019 #64

    Griz44Mag

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    For the purpose of me getting acquanted with the rock lock world and sighting in - load development, I took a buckhorn from my used parts box and ground the bottom off until the height was an identical match to the front lug. I used a light smear of epoxy and glued it to the barrel just ahead of the breech plug. It seems to be firmly attached and and has made it through 2 range sessions so far. When it's time to remove it, a little heat will break the bond. With 80gr 2f it hits a few inches high. With the buckhorn it's really easy to compensate height. This has been a really fun to shoot gun to shoot and draws a lot of attention t our range where white smoke is rarely seen by most members.
     
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  5. Apr 17, 2019 #65

    Rat

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    Silver solder is the way to go. Nothing wrong with epoxy for target work and experimentation. In fact, for working up best accuracy, a temp glued on sight would take all the human error out, which would be good, even if you planned to take the sight off when done with load development. JB weld might even last forever, but of course it would come off just before you came upon that big buck, giant elk, or 600 pound black bear, at the very limit of your range. !!!
     
  6. Apr 17, 2019 #66

    Canute Rex

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    Well done! Where was your point of aim?
     
  7. Apr 17, 2019 #67

    Griz44Mag

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    Holding the crown of the bayonet lug about a quarter way up in the buckhorn. (At 25 yards) Weather permitting this weekend, I will mount a full size man silhouette at 100 yards and see just how frustrated the Brits were at trying to hit those dang Colonials that were picking off their officers from farther than they could shoot back!
     
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  8. Apr 20, 2019 #68

    Griz44Mag

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    Back from trip 3.
    I managed to kill a paper man-sized silhoutte at 200 yards. It only took 14 shots....
    By the time I got that massive ball out to 200, I was aiming at the top of a very tall berm....
    But dang, that was fun!
    I also learned a new skill today, the improper (and finally) the proper way to install a new flint.
    Tonight, I am going to try my hand at knapping to put sharp edges back on the dull ones. (One I wore down, the other I broke off)
    I also now have a full understanding of why all the armies switched from flint to percussion....
     
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  9. Apr 22, 2019 #69

    Redcoat76

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    Might I ask what was proper way you were taught to install a flint. I shoot my Brown Bess a lot I have 4 right now and know two ways people install flints. Plus you got a two hundred yard shot
     
  10. Apr 22, 2019 #70

    Griz44Mag

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    Taught? I never said I was taught!!! I figured it all out for myself.
    My biggest mistake was not getting the sharp edge perfectly parallel with the frizzen face.
    I had good results with different flints upside down or dome side down, depended on the length and where it struck the frizzen, high or low. But that's all a part of having new experiences. It was fun finding out by experimenting.
    I am really enjoying shooting this monster. The only drawback is that I am going through a lot of lead casting those massive balls!
    (But I enjoy that as well)
     
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  11. Apr 22, 2019 #71

    Grenadier1758

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    In our unit, the proper way to install a flint is the way that gets the most sparks in the pan.

    For the 200 yard shot, we would advance 150 yards and fire as a volley.
     
  12. Apr 23, 2019 #72

    Britsmoothy

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    Lol :)
     
  13. Apr 23, 2019 #73

    FlinterNick

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    I always make sure my flints have a sharp edge, a dull edge will chip them unevenly.
     
  14. Apr 23, 2019 #74

    Grenadier1758

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    I must admit that my statement was a bit tongue in cheek using the arrogant speech of a British grenadier. Advancing on a target at 200 yards would expose the advancing unit to considerable volleys from the target. Consider the Battle of New Orleans. So, engagement of a target at that distance would take into consideration of the other troops on the battlefield. Advance would include firing of volleys by file and advance under cover of the smoke ending in a final volley at close quarters and the bayonet charge. Often engagement would take place at long distances with initial volleys at 200 yards common in the hope that having musket balls whistling around would unnerve the opposing force. Then the advance with fairly frequent volley fire would provide more confusion on the battlefield. By the time of final engagement, muskets would be fouled and the bayonet charge would be the final push.
     
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  15. Apr 23, 2019 #75

    Loyalist Dave

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    There's the professional army vs. professional army method...,
    THEN there's the professional soldiers vs. the undertrained militia method...:D
    In the book, With Zeal and Bayonets Only it is documented that the grenadiers or even hat-company men might shoot at 150 yards, but they then would (at open order) begin their advance at a sort of "trot"..., now if they were in the wide open, they would start right at 150 yards just after reloading, but with some cover they would wait until they hit 100 yards....and it would probably be similar to what modern guys call a "double-time march"...., to get the Continentals to fire while the line was at a distance of say 75 to 100 yards. At that speed the Brits would close to about 10-15 yards, and then accelerate into a very fast run, slamming into the Continentals. before another Continental volley could be fired...IF the Continentals stuck around. They normally buggered off before the line hit theirs.;)

    LD
     
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  16. Apr 23, 2019 #76

    Griz44Mag

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    Sounds way to brutal for my tastes. I think I will stay back on the mortar team and just lob rounds over the top of the smoke cloud!
     
  17. Apr 23, 2019 #77

    Treestalker

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    Yes Griz, we aged and physically compromised cannoneers maintain the place of dignity on the heavy tubes, and let the strength of youth advance to glory across the field. 'The strength of the young man is in his arms, but the strength of the old man is in his white head' -the Bible-
     
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  18. Apr 24, 2019 #78

    FlinterNick

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    I think most of the early battles the untrained Americans simply could not perform, even on a bad day for the British the Americans would almost always find themselves outmanuvered and out gunned.

    Washington’s best and only advantage early in the War was disappearing in the middle of the night. At the battle of Cowpens Daniel Morgan used both a liner tactic with volley fire to catch the British off guard of their usual take the field glory, what ended up as a double envelopment (one of the very few in history) was largely due to two volleys being timed and fired almost sequentially one after the other; the militia began with a two round volley, in retreated behind the continental lines in the rear which opened fire once the militants cleared them; following the continental volley the American militia and riflemen opened up with subsequent volleys minutes later; and this all happened when the British were about 25-45 yards away a very deadly range for smoothbore musket fire and rifles; the casualty rate was staggering at 90% for the British.
     
  19. Apr 24, 2019 #79

    Loyalist Dave

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    Actually the casualty rate was a high 30% for the British, not 90%. ;)

    What ended Tarleton's command for a while was the capturing of 55% of his force in addition to the 30% killed/wounded. Bloody Ban lost 85% of his guys, plus two field artillery pieces. :confused:

    But it does demonstrate what I mentioned before. Cowpens was after the Continentals had been trained up to be an equal match to other professional armies of the time period. The Continentals suckered the British into a charge with the British thinking it was the same old situation, untrained militia, and they slammed piece meal into properly trained, well disciplined, Continental infantrymen.

    LD
     
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  20. Apr 24, 2019 #80

    Redcoat76

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    At the battle of the Cowpens did not Lord Cornwallis order artillary to open fire on all the combatants locked in hand to hand resulting in a higher British causalities. Plus recent evidence also suggest Daniel Morgan had more troops than orinally reported. To Grizz44Mag. Sorry sir I did not mean to offend by using the word taught. I use a Amber flint upside down with leather to help secure it in the jaws instead of lead when firing my Brown Bess. I get a wonderful shower of sparks in the pan with both my replicas and originals. Black flint is ok but seem to chip quicker and split. I have been a reenactor and avid shooter for over 35 yrs my take on revolution is Washington did not appreciate the riflemen his other generals new their worth. While the British seen them as cowardly. But the British learned how deadly they were at Yorktown popping your head over the wall got you killed quick They forget the lesson at Lexington and Concord. But the British soldier was very skilled with the bayonet. While not at war most British soldiers only live fired 3times a month,but practiced daily with bayonet use. Main reason why they wanted to close with the continentals,Washington new this from his days serving under Braddock and new open field combat with a partially trained army would be catastrophic. Medical reports of the time usually was all about bayonet wounds.Plus old saying he who fights and runs away lives to fight anouther day. Plus Washington and Congress was buying time for French involvement. Thanks for reading and God bless this great nation our ancestors and families who fought for and continue to defend.
     

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